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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Nov 26, 2010.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    ... to the MEAT of the season

    1. Jets 9-2, then the Packers 7-3, then the Bears 7-3. Those are 3 game that will test the meddle of any team. In fact, after the Bear game, the Pats will have completed a stretch where they played teams with the best record or 2nd best record in the league 5 of 6 games. Lets see where we stand 3 weeks from now.

    2. Conversely its interesting to note that the Jets haven't beaten a team with a winning record since......Game 2. And its not like they have been dominating the bad teams either.

    3. OK let me get my rant over with. It wasn't too long into the first half of the Detroit game when I started thinking, "so exactly WHEN is this "young, talented", though inexperienced defense, going to start to GET FREAKIN' BETTER!!!!!!" :mad:

    It might be alright to give up yds and points to Rothlessberger and Manning, but we don't discriminate. No not us. We also make HOFer's out of guys like Colt McCoy, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and now Shaun freakin' Hill.

    In what universal dimension has the time come where 3rd and 10 become the most scary down. Its like we've entered some kind of Bizzarro World. :mad: IIRC after the first 2 series the Pats defense was unable to stop the Lions from moving the ball except for the picks and the absurd pushing off penalty (be honest, if it had been on Gronk you would have been outraged). Again IIRC the only time we actually stopped them was on the last drive which ended on our 5 yd line.

    That's just HORRIBLE. Yet, for some reason, we all seem to feel like this defense is better than the one we had last year (including myself). Why exactly is that? Last year's D allowed just over 17 points per game. (5th) This season its something over 24 ppg (24th). So I ask the question again, just WHEN is this defense going to start to get better? Just WHEN are we going to start to force FGs in the red zone instead of TDs? Just WHEN are we going to stop at LEAST half of the 3rd and longs? Just when are we going to hold a team UNDER 20 points?

    I don't care about the yds. Back in 2001 and 2003 BOTH those D's were in the mid 20's in total D. BUT...both those teams were in the top 10 in scoring D. Actually top 5 IIRC. I just keep waiting and except of a few things that I will discuss below, does it real seem to be getting better guys?

    4. Actually on some levels I think it is. ;). And that is what is so FRUSTRATING. I can't recall a team which force the opponent into as many 3rd down situations as the Pats do. THAT means we are doing SOMETHING right for a least 2 downs. SO maybe you can say that this defense is better than last years.....for two thirds of the time. :rolleyes:

    5. I have seen improvement in 2 areas, which may be the reason we are 9-2 at this point. First is in our pass rush. No we haven't become the scourge of NFL QB's. We are still in the bottom quarter in sacks. But we have been fairly consistently forcing QBs move off their spot. We are getting closer. And we are doing it, without the Blitz. Except for the Pittsburgh game, the Pats rarely seem to rush more than 4 guys

    BTW - I would have been a lot happier if we had Blitzed a little more in the Detroit game. Wouldn't you think putting SOME pressure on the back up QB might be a good idea? :rolleyes:

    The other thing I have noticed that we are doing better is getting our hands on the ball more. More picks. More tips. THAT is good. It shows we are getting closer (wishful thinking) in our pass coverages

    6. I interrupt this rant with my weekly paean to Devin McCourty. 5 picks in the last 6 games. Amazing when you think this kid had 5 picks in 4 YEARS against college competition. The pick against Johnson was textbook, and it was against a great WR and a decent pass. The kid just keeps on getting better and better. He has a great future ahead of him. Even Jet fans will admit that we got the better CB now. Oh btw, have I mentioned recently that I said he'd be our starting CB from the day he was drafted, and that was when we HAD Boddin. And I can't wait until we get him back. Now THAT will be as solid a CB pairing as there is in the league. But that's a story for NEXT year.

    I thank you for your indulgence, and we will now go back to our regular programing. ;)

    7. OK enough ranting. Lets talk about the good things. Lets talk about the offense.
    OMG Felger was right again. :eek: This offense IS better that it was with Moss. Welker is now running some routes longer than 4 yds. The RBs and ALL the TEs are now an integral part of the passing attack. Brady's chemistry with Branch is self evident. The running game is MORE than what we have a right to expect with 2 UDFAs leading the way. In fact the only fly in the ointment has been the lack of production from Brandon Tate. Clearly I'd like to see him more involved in the offense. And no I'm not having a breakdown because of his drop. His game in Detroit sucked, but it was not worse than Gronk's meltdown in Cleveland. This is just his first year, and I'm willing to cut him some slack.
  2. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    8. Some final miscellaneous thoughts on the Detroit game.

    A. Our KO coverage SUCKED. We KO'd a lot of times, and Graham got the ball high and deep. Not the Ghost deep, but always at least inside the 5. Yet there was only ONE KO where we held Detroit inside the 30, and that was to the 26. Conversly our KO return team, RARELY managed to get to the 20. Both aspects of the special teams game was horrible.

    And we shouldn't forget that a big part of reason we are 9-2 is that up to this game, by and large, we have EXCELLED at those 2 aspects of special teams. Maybe it was the short week. Maybe not. But the fact is we cannot have those kinds of results on Monday Night.

    B Suh is the real deal. BOY he'd look great in a Pats uniform. He's the best rookie DLman I've seen since Richard Seymour. Be happy we won't have to play the Lions for the next several years. Once they "learn how to win" they will be a tough out.

    C. The bad news was, I can't remember a game where Brady was hit as hard as he was in the first half of the game. The good news is, we figured out where the problems were...and we fixed them. In the 2nd half, Brady was hardly touched.

    D. Granted the Pats seem to get the better of the calls Thursday (both the offense and defensive PIs were calls that WE would have been outraged about if they had been called against us. Both WERE probably penalties under the rule book, but both were calls that often let go as well, That being said, I am curious about Chung's PF call. Has anyone seen a replay or has some comments?

    I saw a similar call against the Jets that night. You can't touch the QB on the head, Now you can't hit him WITH your head as well. Both were called hitting with the crown of your helmet (spearing). What troubles me about this is how difficult it is for refs to determine, at game speed, the difference between someone hitting a player with the "crown" of his helmet and one hitting with the forehead of the helmet (which I'm assuming/hoping is still legal) I thought the goal of the NFL was to make as much of the refs calls black and white. I fear there is going to be a lot of 'gray' area on these calls in the future

    9. Now on to the Jets. I actually feel better about THIS game, than I did going into the Detroit game. Here are the reasons.

    A. Its a home game. Being able for everyone to hear Brady's calls makes translating what the Jets are doing on defense much easier than in the Meadowlands. Conversely its more likely for Sanchez to make a mistake, especially if the lucky fans who can get to this game create some noise (pink hats and VIPs need not apply) Their defense loses that slight edge coming off the ball, while our D gets it.

    B.I know its just one play, but did anyone else see Kevin freakin' Walter beat Revis by 2 yds in the game vs Houston (only to drop the damned ball). The Jets CBs ARE very good. Cromartie has been better than I expected. However the Pats have a LOT of targets and they aren't unbeatable. No CB can cover double moves all the time. The Jets will be primed to stop the Pats short passing game so we DEFINITELY will get some open shots down field. We just have to hit them when we get the chance

    C. The key to being able to run double moves is the ability to protect your QB. Well here's the good news. I know we suck at sacking the QB. But so do the Jets. They only have 4 more sacks this season than us...against a weaker schedule. Second time around last season the Pats solved the Jets pressure D, and THIS season we have many more threats. With a long week, I don't see the Jets having any more success at getting to Brady as the rest of the league has had. They don't have the players to get to him with a 3 or 4 man rush, and no one reads blitzes better than Tom.

    I'm sure the Jets will get to Brady on occasions, but I don't see it happening more than any other good team. The key here is when they DO get to Tom, he doesn't turn the ball over by pick or fumble.

    D. The one area of the D where we have a clear mismatch is with the Jet Safeties. Gronk is a size mismatch (especial on Leonard) Hernandez has a speed and to a lesser degree size advantage. IMHO it is key for the Pats to use this advantage early in the game FROM 2 TE formations. Early success in the seams, will keep their safeties from sneaking into the box. That will not only help our running game, it will help open up the short passing game as well. We MUST threaten the deep middle early!

    E. Bottom LINE: We are going to move the ball. IMHO the key issue is, are we going to get TDs or settle for FGs. Quite frankly the team that converts in the redzone is the team that will win the game. (how's that for a keen sense of the obivous :D ) At this point I'm thinking we are better prepared to make more conversions than they do. I hope I'm right.

    F. Now I'm sure that the Jets are going to move the ball as well. Why wouldn't they? Why should they be different than anyone else we've played. ;) The Jet offense is better this year. Sanchez isn't throwing games away, he has been hard to pin down in the pocket, and with Holmes, Edwards, Keller and LT, he has legit targets for every part of the field..

    Still if the Pats are to be successful on Monday Night, we are going to have to turn the ball over 2+ times. We are going to have to make them kick FGs instead of TDs. We are going to have get back to playing good special teams. We are going to have to minimize penalties, and not turn the ball over. OMG, sounds like the "blueprint" doesn't it. Why would it change at this point.

    G. Here's one thing I really hope to see. In EVERY FREAKIN' GAME, the Jets throw this 15-20 yd pass up the middle of the field. They do it multiple times each game. Its a pass Sanchez throws very well. It could very well be his favorite. I have seen him complete this pass against the Pats (as well as other teams) all too often. I know its coming, The Pats know its coming, the Jets know its coming.....and I WANT IT STOPPED, Is that too much to ask.

    I got more, but its a long time between games. As usual I look forward to replying to the comments. We should have a lot opinions on this one. Jet fans feel free to join in.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  3. BSR

    BSR Rookie

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    Couple of responses Ken:

    1. I feel the meat of the schedule was Pitt through Jets. Those were the more meaningful games because they were all the prime competition in the AFC. If we lose a game against either Chicago or Green Bay it doesn't mean nearly as much as Pitt, Indy and Jets.

    2. I feel the same way as you about the D but I have the opposite feeling about the pass rush. I think that is the single reason they can't seem to make that key stop. With Cunningham on one side, I think they are one game changing OLB/DL away from being a great D. Seymour for instance would have been huge this year.

    3. I think the KO coverage problems are specifically linked to Graham's abilities. They are a big step down from what we had.
  4. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Good stuff as usual. What I am looking at is BB playing the psych card against the Jets and just waiting for them to make the mistake(s) we all know they will. Thing is, Ryan is boasting again big time, more so then usual, and he will be under SERIOUS pressure to back up his words. It will be like Manning going for the win instead of the tie. He just can;t help himself, and that leads to mistakes. The Jets might have beaten the Bengals, but the Bengals sure seemed able to move the ball against them. I mean, it wasn't until well into the 2nd quarter that any points when on the board.

    Sooner or later the Jets will start to implode, and I have no doubt that their coming into Gillette will be the start of a streak they'd be wanting mightily to forget. The Jets have talent, but they've also got some MASSIVE egos and when things start to go south, they'll end up fighting both the other team AND themselves.

    It's gonna be a great game. :cool:
  5. Brady2Welker

    Brady2Welker Rookie

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    We need to watch for his[Sanchez] naked boots too. He does them at least once a game and he usually tries to hit Edwards running a 9, or Keller over the middle up the seam.
  6. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    The defense has gotten better. They are making turnovers happen.

    Also, I think that you are seriously exaggerating how good guys like Hill and Fitzpatrick are doing against the Pats, while also underestimating them. Neither Hill not Fitzpatrick are your typical back-ups. Both have been starters. They aren't Brady or Manning, but they aren't Losman or JaMarcus Russell either.



    The Pats actually forced the Lions to punt twice in the 1st half.. But then the offense didn't do much with it..


    Actually, the Pats were ranked 6th in points allowed in 2001. They were ranked 2nd and 1st in 2003 and 2004 respectively.


    Great stuff otherwise, Ken.. As always.
  7. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    The Pats have to contain Sanchez the way they contained Big Ben. They need to run the SAME DEFENSE that they ran against Pittsburgh. That's the only way to stop them.

    With the Jets having Holmes, Edwards, and Keller raring to go, they are going to be extremely tough in the passing game so containing Sanchez in the pocket and getting pressure on him to force errant throws is what they have to do.
  8. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    I agree on a lot of the points that you made and the fact that the pass D (McCourty in particular) is getting their hands on a the ball a lot more. So much so, they are tied for 2nd best in the league with 15 int's. Bear in mind that they have tipped a lot more passes that could've ended up in the hands of a Pats defender as they were all very close around the ball.

    The D is tied for the most returned int's for TD's with 3 and they are tops in the league for the most yards returned off of these int's. A fact that shouldn't go unnoticed as it gets our #1 O back on the field in usually great field position.

    I think the continued maturation and growth of McCourty will be noticed by the QB's around the league and will start to throw more in the direction of Arrington/Butler. Hopefully they can develop a little faster as to being able to locate the ball while it is in the air. Yes, there is a large area for improvement with the D but taking it all in to perspective I think they, while inconsistent, are doing a fine job. They are stepping up when it matters the most which I believe will serve them well in the playoffs.
  9. gottaluv69in

    gottaluv69in Rookie

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    I totally agree with everything u said, although i want to see how out team stacks up against the nfc's best(in which i dont think the bears are included). I want to see if bill can confuse rodgers like he did manning with the disguises of schemes. Our KO coverage is directly related to graham not having the leg gost does, and thats what the team is used to. And your point about the OLB is the one i agree with the most. If we were able to get a stud edge rusher in this draft (not fa for cap reasons, and we could get it cheap for 4-5 years) our defense would be among the tops in the league. All pass defense is based on getting to the passer in a timely manner, any reciever in the league can get open on ANY cb if the qb is given the time. i think mccourty was a hell of a pickup (and admittedly i didnt at the time becausew i didnt hear of him coming out of college, which i dont watch much of so that could be why. But the socalled draft experts never mentioned his name, so i had never heard of him). Banta Cain is terrible, i dont care what anyone says, cant get to the passer this year and is worse than terrible against the run. I just hope BB adresses the pass rush problem, bcuz we've had it for a couple years now and it hasn't been addressed, but BB knows what he's doing.
  10. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Have to say, I think the ranting is really out of proportion to how well this 9-2team has been playing.

    I do think it's funny to say "the next 3 weeks will really be the test..." Feel like we've been saying that all year.
  11. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    The weird part of the game was I thought we defended better against Hill when we had a 2 man (YES! 2-man) rush against him.
  12. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    I agree. I think Ken has lots of awesome points he makes week in/week out but to dismiss the Steelers, Colts games as an appetizer to the real meat of the Chicago Bears is a little confusing.
  13. cincipatsfan

    cincipatsfan Rookie

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    Ken thanks. I look forward you your stuff every week. If there was a payroll around here you would have to be on it ;)

    I think either holding them to FGs, or getting a couple of turnovers, will be necessary. Needing both would imply a pretty bad day is underway.
  14. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I think you mean to say two linemen, because we've never rushed just 2 except for hail mary situations.
  15. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think idle thoughts are a little like idle hands...:ugh: That you can scatter so many :mad: and :rolleyes: emoticons in a critique of a 9-2 :D: team in obvious transition is indicative of the :bricks: mentality that permeates this place lately where everyone including even those who once coached in HS think they're entitled to witness undefeated dominance in all three phases of the game week in and week with no regard for all the adversity THIS particular team is being asked to overcome on the fly...:ugh:

    Rant over. :eat1:
  16. JFaulkNYJ

    JFaulkNYJ Rookie

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    cant help who they play
  17. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey


    First, it was the Dolphins, Ravens, Chargers, Vikings stretch. Then it was the Steelers, Colts, Lions, Jest stretch, and now it's the Jest, Packers, Bears stretch. Well, I guess that crazy talk earlier on about our "easy schedule" was pretty spot on, eh? :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  18. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    That's true, of course, but it's something to consider when analyzing a team--the Jets haven't beaten the Chargers & Steelers on the road, the Colts, etc. You could argue that the last good team they played was Green Bay--they played the Packers after their bye, and got shut out.
  19. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Can't hype it either.
  20. JFaulkNYJ

    JFaulkNYJ Rookie

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    Have to agree. The Patriots are obviously better than the Jets.

    Thing is though the Jets havent peaked yet, and... I think the Patriots could actually peak higher than they already are.

    Being a Jet fan obviously I hope the peaking begins at Foxboro.
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