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Idle thoughts - 2 weeks worth

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Sep 27, 2010.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    I was internetless most of this past week so, I was unable to unburden on the Jets game, and would like to make a few comments on Buffalo.

    1. I think the thing that was most disturbing to me about the Jet game was the fact that the Pats protected Brady so well for the entire game. He was hit rarely and had few "hurries", so the issue had to be more about Brady's decision making than the Jets D.

    The sad truth of the matter was that in the second half of that game, the Jets had the better QB on the field. The 2 worst examples was him overthrowing an open Moss (not the one he caught out of bounds), and the one he under threw to Gronk.

    Our offensive ineptitude in the 2nd half of that game was as surprising as it was unnecessary. I cannot believe that with all the targets we now have available beyond Moss and Welker, the Pats couldn't find openings to throw the ball. If it wasn't bad QB playing, it had to be bad play calling. Most likely it was probably a little bit about both.

    2. As far as the defense goes in the Jet game, I'm probably not as upset as some of you. By and large we had players in the right position at the right time. A couple of times the Jets got perfect throws, a couple of times they got tremendous catches. And then there were those couple of time where the defender was in the right position and just didn't make the play. Butler's whiff on the extra point is the best example of it.

    I thought the DL was decent, and got more pressure on Sanchez, than the Jets got on Brady. The LB didn't play poorly, nor did they stand out. At the end of the game we saw a couple of hopeful flashes from both Brace and Cunningham. We saw that by and large McCourty is the best CB prospect we've had since Ty Law. The thought of he and Boddin on the outside, with Butler better suited as the slot CB brings a tear to my eye as what might have been.

    Right now Butler is being "out physicaled" by bigger WRs. I'm encouraged by his ability to stay with receivers. Hopefully with experience he will begin to start making better plays on the ball.

    3. As to the Buffalo game. The offense was outstanding. The only time they were stopped was when they stopped themselves. Seeing all the balls that Hernandez and Gronk got were particularly satisfying. It was also nice to see Tate beat his man deep, even though Brady overthrew him. We clearly hit the mark on those 2.

    4. I can now say that we should trade Mankins right now. I'd take a 2nd in 2012 right now, Can anyone honestly say that the offense would be $8MM better if Mankins was playing LG instead of Dan Connelly, that Brady's protection would be that much better, or we'd be running for THAT many more yds. The issue isn't about whether we'd be better with him, but more would we be THAT much better.

    I think we'd be better off getting something for him now before the trade deadline, rather than having him come in for the last 6 games and be game ready for about 2.

    5. The good news about the D. Brace is improving to the point where he is a decent contributor in the regular DL rotation (can Crable be far behind ;) ) And Devin McCourty continues to show that he is the real deal at CB (his small problem on the last Bill TD not withstanding)

    6 The bad news with the D this week was that open receivers were a bit MORE open than last week. Now than might have been part of the game plan to protect against the big play, and play more zone, but it was disturbing nonetheless. Most disturbing to me was that fact that our softest spot for the second consecutive week was down the middle of the field. Our Safeties are good enough to start making some plays on those 'skinny post' routes that besetting us.

    The Tackling wasn't as sharp this week either. It really pissed me off when they allowed the Bills to convert 3rd and 18 by having 3 guys miss a tackle and allow a 14 yd gain turn into 20.

    7. I'm getting tired of hearing about how great those defenses we had earlier in the decade were. I wonder how good they would have been if they would have had to play under the current passing rules. Face it folks, its a different game now than it was just 5 years ago, and I think BB is trying to build a defense that fits that challenge.

    Right now we just have to hope that offense can carry this team to enough wins now, so that when it hopefully starts to become of age in December, there will be meaningful game to be played. Don't think we are going to see improvements by leaps and bound. No we will see improvements in small increments week to week, Again hopefully that will be enough to get us to 6-7 wins by the time we get to December

    8. General observations

    a. Watching the Vikings-Dolphins game last week, was a great example of how a the better team can give away a football game in the NFL if they aren't careful. The Dolphins never should have won that game
    b. Some of the GL play calling by Miami on 2 occasions tonight left me scratching my head, and probably cost the Phins the game
    c. I couldn't quite figure out who to root for in that game. I can't help but want to see those distasteful riff raff from the swamps of NJ lose, but the fact is that we are probably better off having three 2-1 teams in the division, than having the Phins start the season 3-0
    d. Would you agree that the refs are allowing a little more contact by the DBs this year. I think that its a good thing.
    e. Talk about blowing scoring opportunities. Orton threw for over 440 yds.....and Denver scored only 13 points. How does that happen.
    f. Has anyone sent Mike Tannenbaum a thank you note for cutting "the wood" Nice debut.

    OK that's it for now. This is the week where we will see if we are truly going to be a superbowl contender by winning a tough game on the road.....in that stinking heat of Miami.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Get with the program, it's clearly time to panic. :)
  3. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    Zackly, how dare we let a division opponant (who always plays us tough in losing efforts) make a game of it. We should win every game 50-0.

    p.s. Nice idle thoughts (as always)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  4. GAC660

    GAC660 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great post once again. I love that little Woodhead guy. He definitely sparked the offense after his TD. I don't know what the Jets were thinking letting him go, although this was only one game, I was still impressed. I don't know how difficult it is to trade a guy who hasn't signed his tender. Since he isn't technically under contract the Pats can't actively seek a trading partner. His agents would have to seek a partner, arrange contract terms and the Pats would have to agree with that team on the compensation. I know there are a lot of teams the Pats would not agree to trade Mankins to. It appears more difficult to trade a guy not under contract than a guy who is. Correct me if I'm wrong on the logistics. Keep the great posts coming Patsfanken!
  5. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Good post. A couple of quibbles...

    I'd like to have Mankins back. Not saying at any price, but if he's on the team and Connelly's a back-up, that's much better in terms of depth and overall team strength. Injuries are inevitable.

    And I'm not sure I get this one....

    7. I'm getting tired of hearing about how great those defenses we had earlier in the decade were. I wonder how good they would have been if they would have had to play under the current passing rules. Face it folks, its a different game now than it was just 5 years ago, and I think BB is trying to build a defense that fits that challenge.

    Are you saying they weren't great defenses? That this defense would be considered "great" if the rules were different? I think bottom line is that this defense just isn't very good right now. Hopefully that will change. But the NFL isn't a "take 3 years" to rebuild league anymore. With players moving around, injuries, etc., development has to happen fairly quickly.
  6. PatsWickedPissah

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    Ken's point was that our old DB style was to hit and hit again the WRs and TEs and to keep contact with them downfield untill the ball was thrown and it would be PI. Once the 5 yd Polian Rule was instituted, the Pats DB style of play was outlawed.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  7. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    #1 has been totally beaten to death on this board. I sided with the Trent Dilfer analysis from a couple of days ago that showed that Brady's decision-making was good. Trent went so far as to show the Jets flooding the zones with 8 guys and leaving Moss one-on-one. The runs for 2 yards and the 3rd and longs didn't help that situation either.

    Now, I do agree with you that Brady was inaccurate. The throw to Gronk was a huge missed opportunity, the second INT to Moss was thrown inside toward the field, and oh--you forgot one, the out to Crumpler was also a bad throw.

    So, for me, Brady made the right decisions, but on 3 or 4 occasions, they were bad throws.

    That being said, one reason the Jets didn't pressure him that much was because they were only rushing 3 or 4.
  8. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    I understand that. Fact is, though, the rule change does NOT mandate how the Pats DBs are asked to play (with those enormous cushions). Different rules or not, the Pats' defense could still be far more aggressive than it is.
  9. Garbanza

    Garbanza Rookie

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    I think we Pats fans over-rate the safeties. None of them can cover - well, Merriweather used to until he decided to leave that band in pursuit of his solo career. :)

    Sanders - meh. Chung - can't cover. Merriweather - undisciplined. Page - nothing yet.
  10. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    Oh, I would only trade Mankins to a bad team.

    He's worth a late third rounder regardless in compensation if/when we let him go.

    It's getting late now, and it might ruffle feathers to bring him into the fold unless it's done in the next two weeks.

    Regardless, it seems it's time to move on.

    And I agree that paying a guard $8 million does not seem all that smart.

    But on the other hand, we have Stephen Neal who is ready to retire after this year.

    I'm 50/50 on this one. OK with whatever the brass decides. I'd rather that $8 million be used to snag a bigtime pass rusher, but we know what the price is for that these days--it would take almost twice that to bring someone in.
  11. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I hope you were OK with this patfanken. Nobody should be forced to be without a fundamental need as such ;).
  12. PatsWickedPissah

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    Then you wouldn't trade him at all since he needs to agree to any trade and sign the tender.

    The 3rd pick or top 4th round compensation pick however you consider it goes away if the Pats sign a big money FA. Still, I'm in the let him play out the string comming back in week 10 camp. I don't like paying so much for an OG either but next year Light could move on, Neal retire and we'd need to spend picks on the OL with huge needs at DE and OLB never mind CB talent issues. Never mind the possible need to replace Moss. Glad I'm not GM.
  13. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    FYI - on the deep ball you referenced, the intended target was Slater, not Tate. I agree we hit the mark on Tate though.

    That said, WTF was Slater doing in the game at receiver in that situation? He had beat his man, but probably b/c the corner was assuming run since Slater was in, and his very few snaps at WR come to spell Moss after he's gone deep or to block on a run play. Either way, it seemed like an odd time to try and cash in on that tell (Slater = run). Not to mention, I think its a safe assumption to think the overthrow had more to do with Slate than Brady, given how accurate he was the rest of the day.
  14. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Right--again, I wouldn't want to overpay either (whatever that might be), but I do hope Mankins comes back. Until this year, he was seen as a guy who really "gets it," and the fewer question marks on a team the better.
  15. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    Patriots sign a big time FA??!! Now you got me intrigued. Well, if that were to happen, I'd give up Mankins for nada.
  16. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Heh

    Then I thought about the AD signing :eek:
  17. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    I think you bring up a couple of fair questions, seats. Let me address each in turn. First the I think that the best of the Pats defenses in that era (2003-04) wouldn't have fared nearly as well in the current rules environment. We played very aggressive pass defense in those days, with Law, Harrison, etc. Also if you look back, you weren't facing 2 or 3 6'4" WRs on a weekly basis Large, fast, WRs are a common sight on most NFL teams. Though they existed back then, they were a rarity. Now it seems every team has 2.

    And you are right the defense isn't that good right now, but I think the talent is better than most think, and it will only get better as time goes on....little bit by little bit. What it lacks now is reps, and reps taken together. You'd be surprised how much quicker you react when you see something over and over again.

    It is my opinion is that most of the parts of this 2nd incantation of the Pats as a superbowl contender are already in place, and it is only a matter of time before it starts to gel. It could be we will see this transition occur WITHOUT having to endure a single digit win season
  18. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    You are right, but my point is that while Brady was missing those few throws, Sanchez wasn't missing his key throws. Who knows how the game goes if Brady hits 2 of those 3 key throws
  19. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Don't think I agree w/the first point--those defenses would still perform at a high level now, even with the current rules. That is assuming the game plans would allow them to (ie, be more aggressive in the secondary, not play with so far off.) Of course the talent isn't the same now, either, at least not yet.

    The WR point is interesting, but anecdotal (I assume). Would be interesting to see the real numbers on that (but who has the time for that :) )
  20. D-cleater

    D-cleater Rookie

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    I'm as optimistic as the next fan, but I think the defense earlier in the decade had a lot more going for it than just experience.

    Look at it this way. Assume the defense continues, or starts, to improve, and the team makes the playoffs. Now, with that added experience of 13 more games, match them up against the offenses that the Patriots went through to get to the super bowls....2001 Rams, 2003 Colts, 2004 Colts/ 2004 Steelers etc. Few, if any, 6'4 receivers, except for maybe plaxico. Assume pre-polian rules.

    Do you think this defense would fair as well as the 'old' defense?
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