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idle thoughts.....for Tuesday

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    As we enter the final chapters of this season long saga it might be the time to look back at some of the more memorable events. So let me enjoy the hubris of naming the top ten events of this season.....TO DATE ….as it affected the Pats.

    1. Myra passes- RIP
    2. The lockout ends – Thanks Bob
    3. Carter, Waters, and Anderson are signed – 2 first team all pros and a 10 sack addition make this perhaps the best FA haul in the league, despite the failures of the Ocho and Haynesworth signings
    4. Wright, Barrett, Dowling, Boddin, and Pryor are all lost to injuries., and drastically effect the defense
    5. Solder emerges, and makes what would have been a devastating loss of Volmer, moot
    6. The Pats survive during a period where they were down to their #4 center for 2 games
    7. Love and Deadrick emerge and make the losses of Wright and Pryor more manageable
    8. Chung, Spikes, and Fletcher return to the defense, solidifying the run defense
    9. Hernandez gets fully healthy after his early season injury and the Gronk/Hernandez era truly begins around game 12, when the league realizes a truly revolutionary offensive shift has occurred. Something that in the future we will see other teams turn to, just as we have seen the league turn to 3-4 defenses and spread offenses
    10. Chung comes back,. McCourty moves to S in some subpackage,s and Moore emerges as a viable CB and the pass defense becomes better

    Other moments I thought were important and could have easily been among the top 10 were:
    a. When they cut Haynesworth proving once again, what happens on the field is how you are judged, not what your PRIOR resume says. That solidified the locker room
    b. When Matt Light was signed. Not much was made of it when it happened, but where would we have been without him
    c. The mental toughness that was built up coming back from those BIG early deficits against the Eagles, Denver, Miani, and Buffalo. Unlike in 2009 when things went bad, these guys didn't flinch. Actually this last one should be in the top ten, but I'm too lazy to make the changes

    Some things I find curious -

    1. I find it curious that a team that could let up well over 500 yds of offense, and give up 32 points, despite having the advantage of 5 turnovers; could consistently be called by everyone in the media “a great defense”. While I was impressed their hard hitting, acknowledge that some of those turnovers where caused by the defense, and effusively thank them for knocking out the toughest team in the tourney (I did not want to face that offense in a dome in Indy); I DON'T understand how that could be called a great defensive effort. On the other hand maybe it was for this day and age in the NFL.

    But if the Saints could manage 32 points despite 5 TO's...on the road, I think the equally dynamic Pats offense can do at least as well in a dome without all the TO's

    2. I find it curious how the mediots can't wait to jump off the “offense is king” bandwagon to hype the “defense wins championships” band wagon. Do these guys have ANY shame. Do they even listen to any of their previous comments, before they make their next uninformed pronouncements. :rolleyes:

    3. I find it difficult to figure out GB's melt down. Yes the Giants played well, but it was like GB completely forgot the reasons for all their successes of the past 2 seasons. It is somewhat comforting to know there is now another fan base who knows the kind of pain and anguish we felt back in February of '08 and to a lesser degree last season. “Ain't great expectations a b!tch sometimes” :D

    4. There have been many posts and a few threads pointing out the banality of trying to put some importance to that playoff loss in 2009.as it relates to this game. It would be a waste of your time and mine to repeat them again. Suffice it to say, there has been too many changes to the roster, and too much time has gone by for there to be any residual effect of that loss on THIS Pats team.

    HOWEVER what I find very interesting is that inside the Ravens lockerroom it DOES have meaning Like most bullies, they actually think that that beat down will have an effect on the Pats psyche. They are counting on it.

    They obviously choose to ignore 3 important facts that even go beyond the changes to the rosters, the time, and where the 2 teams are right now. They seem to forget that the Pats are STILL 6-1 all time vs the Ratbirds, they have already beaten them SINCE the playoff loss, and as badly as the Pats played that day, they STILL won the last 3 quarters 13-9. I wonder how wonderful Joe Flacco feels about coming here after that “awesome” 4 completion performance. :rolleyes:

    5. I wold be very happy to see the officials we had in the Denver game do our last 2 games. They kept their flags in their pockets for both sides. No ticky tack calls were made. They had control of the game and let the 2 teams play. I also liked the job the officials did in the SF/NO games and in the Ravens/Texans game. The job that the refs did in GB was a travesty.

    6. I find it curious how this board has ganged up on Mangini and what is being interpreted as his anti Pats comments on this game. Now it is fair to hate him for his inglorious departure from the organization. But he could be the best ESPN analyst they have on air. I actually learn stuff when he talks. He lets us know what stuff bothers Brady. That you have to disguise your coverages. He lets us know what a DC is thinking in how to stop the TE offense. What you hear is football talk from him. He knows the “they haven't beaten any winning teams” or “the Ravens have beaten all the good teams”, are meaningless references With Manigin you hear things like motioning and shifting bothers the Pats defense, or that stopping the Ravens screen game will be a key. Or that the Ravens aren't really a power running team, but run a stretch run game. I think its time we give the guy a break. I'm sure no one regrets his actions in leaving more than he does.

    7. I don't know why, but it always pisses me off when Eli Manning is credited with "winining the 2007 Superbowl, when he facts are that the Giants won DESPITE his play. Now I applaud his play his year, and he truly NOW deserves to be mentioned among he elite QBs in he league. But in THAT game, he was less than an observer, he was the guy who on multiple occasions tried to give that game away, only to be bailed out by pure luck or bad play by the Pats.

    8. I'm curious to see which of the 2 NFC teams Pats fans want to face in the superbowl (should we get past the Ravens) The Giants look like the tougher match up, but the chance for redemption seems just too good not to happen. And it would be nice to be the underdog for a change.

    Keys to the Game

    General comments: I think that if both teams play their best game, the Pats should win. However if on this given Sunday the Ravens play their best game and the Pats don't, they can easily lose it. THAT lesson was made abundantly clear in SF and GB last week. So people who think that this is going to be some kind of Denver-like walk over are going to be in for a rude awaking.

    Baltimore has a RB who is quick and darting. This is the kind of RB who usually gives us the most problems. Baltimore has 2 TE's who can present many of the problems that the Pats TE's do to other DC's Baltimore has a DL capable of applying pressure with just 4 rushers Baltimore is VERY strong up the middle of their defense with Ngata, Lewis., and Reed.

    That being said here are the Keys (IMHO)

    DEFENSE

    1. Stop the run (or at least control it) Anything under 120 total yds rushing would be a decent job

    2. Stop the Raven screen passes to Rice

    3. Stop Flacco going deep. He throws a nice deep sideline pass, and he has 3 guys who can go get it. A Boldin who isn't going to out run anyone, but has the size and strength to physically go get it Plus in Lee Evans and Torrey Smith 2 guys who are legitimate speed threats. It makes sense for Flacco to throw a number of these balls because 2 of the 3 outcomes are positives. (catch, incompletion, flag) Interesting that they lack a true slot guy

    4. Beware the 2 TE's off of play action pass.. I wouldn't be surprised to see Baltimore take a page from the Steeler playbook in this game. They certainly have the TE's to do it.

    OFFENSE - Here the issues are much simpler

    1. Protect Brady

    2. Show a representative run game

    Lots of stuff to digest on this one. Take your time, its a long week until we get to game time
  2. Fball

    Fball Rookie

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    What a good read that was.

    On the Eli point, QB's almost always get credit for SB wins, regardless. The only exceptions I can think of are the '85 Bears and the Ravens over the Giants, and perhaps the Steelers over the Seahawks.

    And Eli actually was pretty good in that SB game. The 10 minute drive to start the game was as much responsible for the win as the 2-minute drive to end it.
  3. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I expect we'll see it, and he is good at it. But you forgot a couple of other possible outcomes: sack, interception. Flacco makes each of these a real possibility.
  4. mosi

    mosi Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    The one about the divisional round is that the loosing team, with the exception of the Broncos, had tons of turnovers. Saints=5; Packers=4; Texans=4.

    You just can't win like that. It is amazing to think the saints were even still in that game. Me thinks that the Giants blow the 49er out of the water on Sunday.

    The pats have to limit Rice. Simple as that. Control Rice and win the game. The Pats also need to run the ball consistently to limit the rush and not allow the Ravens to tee off on Brady.

    The Pats have lost every type of playoff game except one. A home AFCGC. I hope to god it is not this year...
  5. BelizePats

    BelizePats Rookie

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    Is there anyone on this board who really thinks that the Pats are going to blow out the Ravens the way they did the Broncos? I find this hard to believe! The Ravens are a very good, physical football team or have I beeen watching something else this past season? They beat the Steeles twice which we failed to do even once.
    I want the pats to win. Badly! But we ar in for a hell of a fight this Sunday. It won't come easy!

    Ken, you mention the sick feeling after the Superbowl in 08 and to a lesser extent last year. The one that really made me sick (aside form 08) was the AFCC game against the Colts the year that Indy won the Superbowl. I could barely talk for about 2 weeks afterwards. Just too depressed and angry!!!! We never should have lost that game. Never! And playing the Bears in the Superbowl? Please! That was our 4th ring right there. I still get pissed when I think of this loss.
  6. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I don't foresee a Pats blowout of the Ravens like I did the week before against the Broncos.

    However, I like our chances.

    To me, the keys on each side of the ball giving me confidence:

    1) OL: Mankins was back last week and shook off rust. Looked like he was fine after the game. That is huge. Compound that with the fact that Vollmer seemed real close to playing and was held back at the last second as a precaution. If he can play this week, you may be looking at the deepest and best OL the Patriots have EVER fielded (and YES, I include the 1974-1978 HOF versions). A line of Light-Mankins-Connolly-Waters-Vollmer with Solder(TE) could possibly be Game-Set-Match-Championship.

    2) Chung and Spikes back and active have given BB the freedom to unleash the hounds. I haven't seen pass rushing like Saturday night's since the preseason game against Tampa Bay. There was no "minding the gap - - trying to occupy blockers" crapola. The beef was simply sprinting into the backfield because they knew Spikes and Chung were back there. That was an ATTACKING defense, and we hadn't really seen that this season. BB threw the switch and it was something to see.
  7. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    naaahhhh.....the defense sucked from the get-go
  8. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    I don't think the pats had to endure as much as other teams.....like houston:

    schaub, leinart, williams and andre johnson for much of the year. where would the pats be if brady, hoyer, wilfork and welker went down?

    stop it with this woe is me crap......
  9. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    One of the matchups that concerns me is Anquan Boldin. This is a tough, playoff tested receiver who has really has learned to run very sharp routes.

    The Patriots have had some problem with those thicker, tough to bring down receivers. Size-wise, Boldin is not quite in the category with guys like Marshall and Jackson who ran all over the Patriots this year. But he's in shouting distance. Even Stallworth was able to beat up on them a bit.

    I think getting off the field on third downs is going to be a priority for the Patriots on Sunday. A major key to stopping long offense drives is forcing third downs and keeping the other team from chewing up big chunks. If you let your opponents go 8 for 15 on third down conversions, that's much easier to take if you were forcing 3, 4 or 5 third downs on their longest drives, because all you need to do is stop them once. If guys like Boldin are catching balls in good spots and picking up YAC in big chunks, it puts much more pressure on third down defense.

    Getting these guys on the ground quickly, even when they convert first downs, is important.
  10. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    No one is saying that, you insufferable twit. To say losing 6 key players that early in the season would have no impact is just foolishness....and that's not counting loosing Andre Carter, your defensive MVP when he went down.

    And I'm tired of hearing about Houston's issues. Its like they were the first team to ever have injuries. While you can' equate losing your QB with ANY other position how is losing Williams any more devastating to the Texans than losing Carter was to the Pats. Did Houston have to start 15 games w/o their starting C. Did they have to start their #4 C 2 games. Did they lose their starting RT for most of the season, or their start DE for all 16 games. And I could go on, but you still wouldn't get it.

    Injuries are a part of the game, but what I don't understand is why OTHER team's injuries are always more significant than ours. At least that's how it is to you.
  11. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    i believe it is possible...the denver defense is GOOD, maybe it is not quite as good as the ravens, but they ARE on the same general level

    so why would we not be able to replicate our success? especially if you add 1.66 quarters b/c that is when we stopped playing in the Denver game?

    and their offense, though not AS bad as the broncos, is NOT good
  12. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Perhaps someone should whisper the "inside info" to Illegal Contact that Houston is out of the playoffs and the Patriots are still alive. If Houston was still in, then he could compare how other teams have overcome more.

    But they be dead, bro. And they lost the last 4 out of 5 games they played. Injuries matter.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  13. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    You bring up a very good point.

    Had the Pats NOT eased up on the gas pedal in the middle of the 3rd quarter, they could very well have laid 60+ points on Denver.
  14. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    I have nothing substantive, nor insightful to add, but I wanted to bump this thread. It's a beacon of substance in what has been a pretty silly forum since Saturday.
  15. glm

    glm Rookie

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    The Broncos were 24th in scoring. The Ravens are 3rd.

    The Broncos were 14th in yards per play. Ravens are 2nd.

    The Broncos were 28th in defensive passer rating. The Ravens are 1st.

    Not really the same general level...
  16. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great post Ken... as usual.

    I think the Patriots win this game by at least 2 tDs, but no blowout like Denver.

    Agree on mangini even though I still hate what he did.
  17. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    It's obvious and fundamental but bears repeating for those many vocal posters here oblivious of what BB is doing. By not giving up the "big play" like Ray Rice's opening 80 yd run and making a team get 5 or 6 sets of 1st downs you increase the probability of stopping a score or making it just a FG. If probability of stopping them on 3rd down is just 40%, cumulative series of downs raises the probability that they'll fail the drive. Big plays require less 1st downs. While making the other guys start a drive with bad field position makes them susceptible to more series of downs. Thus the emphasis on STs and Zoltan's field position punt placement inside the 20. It's as simple as that.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  18. highlander2190

    highlander2190 Rookie

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    I honestly see the giants 49ers game differently. I don't think Eli is playing at the elite level he was in the middle of the season. I think he has benefited from a lot of lucky breaks mostly caused by opposing teams defenses. Looking through the games I see it like this

    Redskins: Has barely above 50% cmp 0TD and 3 INT

    Jets: in a must win game has a 33% cmp, 1TD and I INT but is saved by the missed tackles for the 99 yard TD

    Cowboys: Statistically good game, but if anyone watched that game they could see that the cowboys secondary was dysfunctional and had gaping holes all over it

    Falcons: Yet again a statistically nice looking game 66% cmp and 3TD. Issue I have with this one was yet again big plays not coming from Eli, but through sloppy missed tackles by the falcons secondary including a 70 yard TD in which 5 DB's completely miss the receiver. It's also easy to make your passing game look good when the falcons couldn't stop the running game who ran for 172 yards.

    Packers: Stats look nice again, but this was the worst pass defense in NFL history (feels nice being able to say that). There were multiple open throws all day for manning, not to mention sloppy tackling and coverage easily seen by the hail mary to end the half.

    I see Eli's most recent run being a case of getting fortunate match ups in terms of opponents skill level in the secondary, with some lucky breaks on the side. I think the true manning will rear his head against the 49ers defense who caused Brees to struggle for a good majority of his game. The points the Saints put up at the end of the game was a result of excitement at the thought of a playoff win which caused sloppy play. Don't forget this was the same manning that struggled greatly against our defense, and was only able to pull out a win through PI's from inexperienced players.
  19. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    That's hard to believe, Jay. Surely you must have a thought or two about how we're going to approach the game?
  20. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Where are you getting the scoring numbers from?

    According to stats at NFL.com:

    Ravens are #12 in scoring, Denver is #25

    Ravens are #18 in YPP, Denver is #25.
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