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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Dec 26, 2011.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    Just when you thought you had seen the worst start of a football game, you find out you weren't even close. What we saw Saturday was the WORST first half of football in the BB era. Only the Ravens playoff game in 2009 surpasses it. However I guess all's well that end's well. So here are my delayed observations on the game and other sundry items that I hope are not now redundant and irrelevant.

    I started this post Sunday around 1am, typing in bed, in the dark. Then after spending over 90 minutes making brilliant observations, sparkling remarks, and probing insights; I noticed I had my numbering wrong. To fix it I had to start hitting keys that are above the letters (not my area of expertise) I think I mis-hit the delete key and somehow wiped out my entire post, with a single key stroke. Its not easy having stubby ex-LB fingers. Its not easy being technically deficient... and its not easy being old. ;)

    1.I don't think that enough is being made of the remarkable adjustments the Pats had to make on the the OL. Its one thing to have a week to prepare for the loss of someone like Andre Carter. Its a completely different to lose two of your best and most experienced offensive linemen within the first 5 minutes of the game! The Pats had not less than 3 players essentially playing out of position for the bulk of the day, plus Dan Connelly playing his first game in over a month.

    Its not a bit remarkable that the offense looked like it did the first half.. That's what SHOULD have happened, especially against a good defense. What is absolutely ASTOUNDING was that they could come back with the same people in the 2nd half and put up close to 250 passing yds, over 80 rushing yards, and 27 unanswered points. I don't know what they pay Dante, but its not enough

    2.I found it interesting that the Pats had 5 sacks in the game (a season high IIRC), and none were made by Andre Carter (of course) or last week's hero, Mark Anderson (who surprisingly didn't even have a single tackle, let alone a sack.

    3. Over the past two games the Pats have had runs of 34-7 and 27-0. Fantastic offensive output, but you can't have runs like this if the defense isn't doing their job. Just thought I'd point that out.

    4. Another surprising apspect of this game was that the Pats survived a day where Brady was FAR than stellar. He missed open guys with balls at their feet. He missed guys who were wide open only to throw the ball to someone else. He looked VERY uncomfortable in the pocket, complete with the happy feet and forcing the ball out even when he didn't have to. It was probably as bad a half as Brady has had in several years... and also somewhat understandable given the situation

    You could literally see him relax in the beginning of the 2nd half as he realized that his offensive line was going to start to do the job, and then the production started to flow. It was hard to watch, but its good to know that this team is mentally tough enough to survive a stretch where Brady isn't “Brady”.

    5. Say what you want about the Dolphins record, but over the last 7 weeks there weren't a half dozen teams in the entire NFL who were playing better football than them. That's a very good team. Reggie Bush made me a believer that he can be an every down back. He had a lot of plays where he was making something out of nothing, and getting extra yards after contact up the middle. He has finally become the RB that the Saints had hoped he be when the drafted him. Between him and Thomas, if they can stay healthy, the Dolphins have a nice 1-2 running back combo next season.

    And speaking of Miami, I think they'd be better off sticking with a Moore/Hennie combination than reach for some QB after RGIII and Luck are gone. Moore looked very competent. I was most impressed with him in how well he passed under pressure. Like I said, Miami is a pretty good team right now, and the Jets better worry less about how to beat us and more on how they will try to beat the Dolphins.


    5. Its shocking that even as bad as the Jets have been, they can still make it to the playoffs if they beat the Dolphins and 3 other teams lose. What's scary is that its very possible that every team that the Jets need to lose will be underdogs against teams who need the win. Believe me its not like I am the least bit worried about the Jets as competition. To me its just not FAIR that they could make the playoffs at 9-7 playing like crap, while we got screwed in 08, winning 11....... AND believe me, every Jet fan has been quick to remind us that the Bradyless 08 Pats failed to make the playoffs :mad:


    6. If you turned off the TV Saturday thinking that the Pats can't run the ball and can't seem to stop the run, you will be pleased to find out that the Stats say something else entirely. The Pats only allowed a respectable 115 total rushing yds for the game, while “somehow” our rushers managed a respectable 120.

    Compare that if you will to the 200 yds the all mighty Packers gave up to the Bears, while rushing for only 83 themselves. And that wasn't Matt Forte, or Reggie Bush picking up those yards. That was their 3rd string RB (who did look impressive) and a PS guy just called up. BTW they also gave up close to 250 yds passing to a QB who has thrown 8 completions in the last FOUR seasons. No Martha, the Packers defense is JUST as unimpressive as the Pats D, only without the injuries

    Now I'm not saying the Pats are better than the Packer, but I no longer “fear” them. I feel a LOT better about beating them in the superbowl than I did when we played the Rams. I worry more about the Ravens and Steelers in fact. The Packers have had a lot of hype this year, and Rogers IS having a historic year as a QB. But what I don't understand is why is that defense so bad. I UNDERSTAND the Patriots problems. Its tough to defend when you are starting career special teemers at S most of the season, and have lost your 2 best Safeties, 2 CBs, 3 DLmen, and your top rush LB for most of the year, among other injuries. But what's the Packers excuse. They have all pros all over that defense, plus got their best ILB back for that game, and it doesn't seem to help a bit.

    7. Right now I'm thinking that the Niners have a real good chance to upset the Packers in Lambeau. If you look at how the 2 teams are structured, the surprising fact is that Niners are much better prepared to play a bad weather game in January in Green Bay, than the pass happy, soft running Packers.

    8. I can't believe that the Pats lined up on 3rd and a half yard, in desperate need of a first down, in an empty backfield, only to throw a first look pass to a well covered receiver.. It HAS to be one of the worst calls of the year. Now I'm not upset that they threw the ball. I'm upset that they made it so easy for the defense to defend. With a half yard to go they completely took away the run possibility by formation. Now the D doesn't have worry about the run. There is no play action pull NOTHING.....and then Brady compounds the error by both, not changing he play at the LOS, and throwing the ball exactly where it was expected with his first read. I would be willing to bet the farm that there were guys much more open than Welker was not that play.

    9, Disclaimer: I coached HS football for 15 years. I was a DC or HC for most of those years. I know (or more accurately KNEW) a lot of football, but at my best knew about 10% of what the guys coaching at the NFL level know. Also the tools they have to help them coach these days are light years away from the volunteer filmed super 8 and 16MM film taken back in my day.

    That being said, I cannot understand why, each week, I keep seeing DOZENS of examples, of NFL caliber DBs and LBs covering receivers with their backs to the ball, never turning their heads. Coaching HS kids who could barely chew gum and walk, I had fewer examples of that BASIC error of pass coverage. I just CAN'T understand why that can't be coached better. Not just with the Pats, but across the entire league. Next to the poor unsafe tackling that I see, its my BIGGEST pet peeve.

    10.When Devon McCourty masters this simple (at least to me) technique, he will immediately become an excellent 2 way CB in this league. If he also improves or masters his man coverage techniques as well, he will be elite.

    11, I now believe that baring a Brady injury, Ryan Mallett will never throw a meaningful pass for the NE Patriots. Think about how the Pats OL protected Brady in the 2nd half WITHOUT Mankins Light, Volmer and Koppen. Then think about the next 5 years with Brady being protected by an OL of Solder, Mankins, Connolly, Cannon and Volmer plus whoever else Dante finds and develops. If Saturday is any indication of what the Pats can do with their dregs on short notice, Brady can look forward to a lot years behind one of the best OL's in the league. It will absolutely extend h7is effective career.

    13, Not for nothin', but this might be a good time to point out that Rod Ninkovich has one sack more than Clay Matthews. He also has 21 more tackles, and only 1 pick and 2 Ffs less than Matthews, despite having to play in a defense that requires him to have less free reign to just “take off and go.”

    14. I'll end this (finally, ;) ) with a media b!tch and moan. I'm getting tired of smug media pukes who dismissed all the wins the Pats (and other teams) accumulate with that lame adage that "there aren't any dominant teams this year". As opposed to what, I ask. Outside of 85, and 07 what other year could you say that, based on their criteria. In every year even the best teams have flaws and the records show it. I know I'm nitpicking but it just rubs me the wrong way because it diminishes what this and other teams have managed to accomplish in a tryinng year to begin with.

    ...your turn
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  2. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Interesting visual there :cool:
  3. A.C Vegas

    A.C Vegas Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    OK that fact shocks me weather it's Matthews having a bad year or jsut the pure media hype he gets it still shocks me
  4. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    When I saw both Light and Vollmer were inactive I thought oh-oh this is not a team you can easily make up for that. It takes Solder out of being the 3rd TE which is where they've been most successful running. Then Mankins goes out and I was thinking wow just don't let Tom get killed.

    The second half they showed resolve and balls when they could have packed it in. People can pick them apart if they want but I'm very happy with this win and will forgive any and all sins given the people missing. I hope they aren't out long.

    Bryan Cox gave Brady a huge huge after the game and they truly looked like old buddies. Love seeing stuff like that. Cox was a very important cog in that first championship.
  5. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    #93 Jersey

    should I keep my tree up until the Super Bowl?

    [​IMG]
  6. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ken...I've SEEN the Pats DB's being coached on technique in pass coverage...the idea is you cover the WR with your back to the QB and LOOK in the WR's eyes to gauge if/when to turn around...I'm serious...it's the most damnable technique I've ever seen worked on by the Pats...I HATE it...all the great corners this team has had over the years, imagine...Mike Haynes playing with his back to the QB never looking back for the ball...for some reason, they LOVE this style of coverage but try to get an explanation and you always run into Billspeak..."it is what it is, we teach the DB's to look for the ball...er...um...harumph...is that about it,fellas?"
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  7. BHSL2

    BHSL2 Rookie

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    To be fair, GB has had a few defensive injuries this year, particularly in the front seven. They also lost their best safety (and coverage caller) Nick Collins, for the year, who if you can remember was a Super Bowl hero with a pick 6 and is a pro bowler. They've had a few rookies and marginal back ups filling in some of these spots.

    However, that's not to say the GB defense isn't weak. I also believe GB, NE and NO are victims of their QB play, but that's another point.
  8. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Couldn't agree more. With Light and Mankins suddenly out and other guys filling in on the fly, the pass protections had to be messed up and a good chunk of the game plan possibly thrown out at the same time. I don't know if Brady's accuracy problem was somehow related to all that, but as frustrating as it was to witness, I think the booing was misplaced. The second-half comeback with the same people definitely was astounding and was the story of the game.

    Also lost in everything was Gostkowski's touchdown-saving tackle on the kickoff return. That might've saved our skins.
  9. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When I saw this, I immediately went crazy and shouted at the tv. If we had missed that one, we would have stopped the clock. To be fair to BOB, the dolphins could not stop the pass all 2nd half and it allowed Brady to survey the field to see if a blitz is coming.
  10. PatriotFan77

    PatriotFan77 Rookie

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    The Ravens and Steelers both just recently had their doors blown off on west coast trips. They are a combined 7-7 on the road this year. Either one shows up in Gillette and I really like our chances. Saints or Pack at Lucas Oil? *shudder*
  11. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    Your either a bachelor or have a very understanding wife.
  12. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Thanks for re-entering your post.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  13. robbomango

    robbomango Rookie

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    Interesting, I didn't know that was an intended technique. Wonder what the success ratio is using it or does it draw more or less flags? looks ugly and desperate enough.

    Here's a name for it "Whiplash coverage"
  14. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    The in-game adjustments this team makes are unbelievable. Against the Broncos, the run D was getting gashed to the tune of 170 yards (or something like that); after the adjustments were made, the Broncos were able to muster 80 yards the rest of the game.

    This week, the Dolphins went up 17-0, and had two touchdown drives of 80+ yards. The Pats made adjustments and didn't give up another long drive until the end of the game ( i must admit I didn't see the Dolphins last touchdown drive as I was out of the room).

    This bodes well for this team. The past four or fives years the Patriots were unable to make adjustments. They would always get beat in the second half, and need to hold on for dear life just to win.
  15. Seacoast Fan

    Seacoast Fan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    This has been something that drives me crazy...they do this a fair amount...an empty backfield in a short yardage situation. The other team doesn't have to even think about a run play. Also....it's been ages since the RB screen has been a true part of this offense.
  16. lamafist

    lamafist Rookie

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    Are you referring to the Pats' 1st possession of the 2nd quarter?

    If so, the reason behind the play calling that the Pats were going no-huddle, shotgun with some personnel matchups that Brady liked. Maybe with o-line less in disarray, he audibles into a running formation on 3rd and short, but as things were, my guess is that Brady didn't trust the line to make the adjustments on the fly.

    The way things were going to that point, staying back in shotgun was the only thing working so far -- the way the Dolphins were getting pressure, he's not going to want to turn his back to them like he'd have to on a play-action. And if he's not going to try play-action, than it's more helpful to have a back split out at the line to draw coverage and get Welker singled up than it does to have him back in pass pro on a 3rd and short when BRady's looking to get rid of the ball right away.
  17. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Sorry, Lama, but that is a "lama" excuse (ouch bad pun) You don't have to be under center to create a run threat. The Pats have a very good running game from the shot gun. All they had to do is have the threat of the running back standing beside Brady and run playaction from there, if they don't want him to turn his back.

    Plus if you think you have a distinct advantage due to a formation, why to you throw the ball to the WR that is most likely to be heavily covered in the short area. Why was it the first read. Why was it thrown immediately, without a second look. Plenty of blame to go around here for BOB and Brady. Remember you are down by 10, you aren't stopping them on defense and you DESPERATELY need a first down. Not only to get points but to give your defense time to get their collective asses on the same page. Instead they throw a simple pass into coverage, and end up being down 17.

    Listen, I think overall we have as good a coaching staff/QB in the league, but everyone f**ks up now and again, and this was one of them.
  18. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Sorry, Joker, but that was the basic technique, even as far back as when I coached. The key phrase here is "then you turn your head around". Its not that its wrong to run with the back to the QB. That is the proper technique. It allows you to gain ground, because you are running straight ahead and the receiver is running with his shoulders turned.

    HOWEVER there is a point in time where the defender MUST also turn his shoulders and find the ball. If the ball happens to be perfectly thrown then only over the top S help can stop it. (and we all know that this year, THAT ain't happening)

    However on anything less than a perfect pass there is only way to stop the pass if you DON'T get your head around, and that's to pray that it hits you in the back. Not great odds. Not a great strategy. All the advantage now goes to the receiver. He can simply slow down and allow the defender to run into him and get an easy flag. OR because he knows where the ball is, he's in much better shape to get body position or come back for the ball. However if the defender simply turns his head and finds the ball, then some of those advantages shift back to the defender.

    I understand that that SOMETIMES a defender is not going to be able to get his head around in time. But in today's NFL, it seems to happen more times than not, and that is simply crazy to me
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Ken, right THERE is where I feel that this year, the Patriots have every chance to win their 4th SuperBowl.

    This isn't the bludgeon and dominate teams of 2004 and 2007 - - or the fast start and contain teams of 2009 and 2010.

    This team is the first team since 2003 that has had some real adversities during games when they looked like they were punch drunk and lost - - and the coaching staff adjusted on the fly .

    This is an ADJUSTABLE team. Mentally tough when it has looked like the floodgates had been opened on them.

    THIS team resembles 2001 and 2003 (not so much 2004). Teams that perservered and were mentally tough. Teams that had INTANGIBLES and SMARTS.

    This team is hard to pigeonhole like those teams were. "Man of 1,000 Faces" teams.

    I loved the 2004 and 2007 teams that were like watching Secretariat at Belmont. This team, however, is RESOURCEFUL and can never be counted out.

    I like that going into the playoffs.

    (By the way, thank you for YOUR perseverence in writing that entire tome all over again after deleting the initial version - - you are our MVP!).
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  20. grandpajim

    grandpajim Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    [​IMG]
    I was at Lasalette and asked Santa for the Lombardi Trophy in Foxboro this year & he said yes, so I'd definately leave the tree up for its delivery.:rocker:
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