idle thoughts ... next day observations, Chargers at Pats

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Sep 19, 2011.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    You know there are games that you lose and you feel still feel positive about what you saw. Conversely there are game that you win by TWO TDs, and when the final whistle blows you find yourself thinking...."nice escape" Lots of mixed emotions in this one.

    On the plus side.

    1. This is an offense for the ages (if it remains healthy) Record setting passing game. 30+ point expectations week after week, and shock and dismay whenever they are forced to punt. It is very scary to think that with all that, there is still some upside.

    2. We caught a flash of what Ocho is going to bring down the road, in games where 3 WR sets are going to be the main focus. He also gives us injury flexibility WHEN injuries strike. If'/when Branch goes down, we have will have a bigger stronger replacement. If a TE goes down, we have a 3 WR combination that can keep the offense in high gear. He was better than the first game, and will be better in the next.

    3.The OL faced a VERY good DL and passed the "what's going to happen AFTER Dan Koppen" test with flying colors. Dan Connolly was particularly competent against a very good nose tackle. 2 sacks and only a couple of hits was also a very good result against a very good front 7. btw it should also be noted that neither sack came against an OLman (Gronk, and Woody)

    4. Gronk and Hernandez are changing the way the league is using TEs. I believe that the rest of league went to school in the off season, given the success we had LAST year with them. THIS year they have taken it to an entirely new level. I find it hard to believe that 80% of Hernandez's catches are made when he is WIDE open.

    5. One of the things that stood out to me was the comparison of how much separation the Pats receivers had, vs what the Chargers had. Sure Brady made so throws into tight windows, and Rivers had some throws to open receivers. BUT..... Rivers had throw a lot more ball into VERY tight windows compared to Brady. If he was having just a slightly off day, he'd have had a lot more than just 2 picks

    7. By now you must have noticed that I haven't mention the defensive side of the ball at all. Well there is good reason and that will be discussed in due course. HOWEVER, that being said, I'm going to say that in the over all scheme of things, I thought the DBS played fairly well under less than ideal conditions.

    There was no pass rush to speak of. Rivers was uncannily accurate for the most part, and for the most part the DBs were in position. Folks have got to remember that at THAT level, you CANNOT stop a completion if the pass is thrown in the right spot, especially under the current rules. We have to acknowledge reality and stop whining about the DBs whenever a completed pass happens. Completions are going to happen. Yards are going to be accumulated. AND points are going to be scored. Its the new reality of the NFL. Deal with it.

    8. While not being as effective as we would like, the D was very timely, FORCING 4 turnovers and making some very timely plays in the red zone.

    9. And don't dismiss the GREAT job that the Pats did on Gates (Kudos to Chung). Clearly the Pats decided that he was the guy to stop and they did it.

    The BAD.

    1. Most of my concern comes from the play of the DL. Not only did they NOT give us a consistent pass rush, but they also weren't that effective against the run. Now granted they only gave up 98 yds, which isn't a horrible number, its wasn't what I expect from this front 7.

    2. In defense of the defense I have to make 2 observations.

    First is that it is clear to me that the LBs still aren't comfortable in their 4-3 responsibilities. Mayo's play on the SD rushing TD is a good example. Now playing on the outside, he was sucked INSIDE and didn't fill HIS responsibility as the outside LB, and thus created the hole that led to the score. As someone who played on the inside and THEN was moved to OLB, I can relate. He's had 3 years playing on the inside, his instincts were to commit to the inside fake. At this stage of the season, the results were predictable.

    Secondly I wonder if anyone noticed that when the Pats DL rushes they don't seem to be trying to get off the blocks ,and seem content to simply control the offensive lineman and stay in their rush lanes. Is this a function of their lack of skills, or is it a function of their responsibilities. We rarely seemed to hit GAPS when we rushed. We rarely seemed to scheme so that we had a free guy coming in on Rivers, even from the outside. We certainly didn't blitz much. Perhaps TOO much respect for Rivers.

    3. Here are the guys that IMHO were defensive no shows. Albert, Spikes, Guyton, Carter, Barrett Hopefully there will be better days to come from these guys

    4. The injury situation. We saw a lot of guys go down in this game. Dowling IMHO, is the the one that will be the most impactfull. Hopefully its just a groin pull and he'll only miss a few weeks, but this one will hurt.

    You got to love what Hernandez is doing, but do you really think if he's out the next week, that suddenly the Pats offense is going to stop moving? I will be on pins and needles to see who is practicing on Wednesday. We had 11 questionable guys last week. This week the number is going to be higher. :mad:

    Miscellaneous thoughts

    1. Rivers truly is one of the best QBs in the league. He has the toughness and grit that would have made him a big favorite if he played for us.

    2. I thought Ryan Matthews was a supposed to be a bust. Clearly he isn't. BTW- what Vincent Jackson did on Sunday could have be the best performance by a WR in the league this year. Not only because of the yards he got, but because so many of his catches were so hard. You can hate it, but you have to admire it as well

    3. Anyone else notice, that one BJGE's TD run, it was Solder who played TE and made a great block. I mention it only because there were several of us, after the loss of Smith and Yeatman, who thought the best use of Solder would be as the regular blocking TE. Well for this play, at least, it worked.

    4. The officiating was once again VERY inconsistent and in this case it went heavily AGAINST the Pats. The most obvious were the 2 QB plays. Carter being called for the most perfect form tackle I've seen this year (which evidently is now considered illegal :mad: ) while the low hit on Brady (TWICE) wasn't.

    The other less obvious was the 2 very ticky tack illegal contact calls, while Gronk was being literally TACKLED down the middle of the field in full view of multiple officials.

    What's bad isn't that they went against the Pats, but more that the inconsistency seems to be league wide. Until they start calling plays CONSISTENTLY, players aren't going to know how to play the game, and coaches aren't going to know how to coach their players.

    Personally I don't what I'd say to Carter.....except good job.:rolleyes:

    5. Dan Connolly may actually be an upgrade over Koppen because he's bigger and provides more strength against a push up the middle when we pass. Where we might miss Koppen is when we run the ball. He was excellent in getting to the 2nd level in the run game.

    6. If you look around the league and consider the amount of yardage that is being put up against OTHER good defenses, you might start looking at our defense a with a little more positive attitude. Yes the defense gave up 400+ yds again, but name me the defense that played a competent offense (that's everyone NOT named the Jags) that DIDN'T. If our defense sucks, then so do the defenses of the Packers, Bears, Ravens, SD, the Saints, etc

    Its fine to be concerned. Its fine to want to see improvement. Buts its ludicrous to harp on it to the point of panic and despair.

    7. This could just be round one with SD, I can't see how anyone in the AFCW is going to beat them for the division
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  2. The-Hooded-One

    The-Hooded-One On the Game Day Roster

    Re: idle day observations

    Guyton was inactive.

    Barrett was awful.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS Supporter Supporter

    Re: idle day observations

    "Panic and despair", after yesterday's very excellent win are the furthest thing from my mind.. a w is a w.. see my sig.
  4. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

    Re: idle day observations

    Nice job,ken.....and you weaned yourself off crack...err....I'm mean CAPITALS,this week:)
  5. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan In the Starting Line-Up

    Re: idle day observations

    Yeah, I expect we'll see more of that when we need just blocking. it's more obvious what we are doing, but Solder can more than do the job. Plus, it could be decptive as we are always a threat to throw the ball...even with 1 receiver being eligible.
    Another matter is the Chargers had 4 (maybe 5) penalties declined because our guys made the play.
  6. NYCPatsFan

    NYCPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

    No Jersey Selected

    Re: idle day observations


    Thanks! Nice articulation of many thoughts of us average fans who lack the ability to pen them so well. :)

    A comment on your point that the NFL rules have changed and that scoring is going to be high, => D's can't expect to do that great. Well, in as much as I hate the Jesters, I am impressed with their D that continues to stifle their opponents.

    Request: I posted this on another thread (didn't realize that you had this up). Would be great if you could share your thoughts on my query:


    Question for the experts: in your opinion, can our D be relied upon to step up when Brady and our O falter?

    Those who played the game and those who know it - including those few here who think they know it all thanks to BB's PCs ;) - refer to situational football to explain why the D played the way it played.

    So, if the situation requires our D to say get out of the field quickly by forcing punts or keep the opponent's scoring restricted to just FGs, have we seen enough of our D for the last two/three seasons to have confidence that they will?

    PS: I am not hitting against our D as it seems to be the purpose of this thread. I am elated with our W and impressed by our D's goal line stand; at the same time, I am unnerved by the multiple big completions that opponent QBs/WRs seem to be capable of making during any situation. Hence the query.

    PS2: just saw this clip on situational football. :)
    Brady: 'We're going to stay after it'
  7. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 In the Starting Line-Up

    Re: idle day observations

    One thing I have not seen mentioned, regarding the play of our defense, is that there were some costly penalties that kept drives going. Normally, that does not happen with a Patriots team, and so things looked worse than that would normally have been. I thought the lack of pass rush yesterday was anything close to the lack of pass rush from past seasons (ie, in the last few years it's been literally non-existent). It was existent yesterday, and will only get better, IMHO.
  8. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Re: idle day observations

    A few things ken:

    1) Go back and look at how many times Rivers had to leave the pocket, either going to the sides or back farther from the O-line.. I think you'll be surprised.

    2) Spikes and Pryor did not see a lot of snaps in general from what I saw. If it was more than a handful, I'd be surprised.. In fact, I was very surprised at what seemed to be a "lets throw the sh!t" against the wall and see what works attitude for the LB position opposite Mayo all game long.

    3) I thought Haynesworth did a helluva job yesterday, drawing double-teams on almost every play... Wilfork was handled on most plays by Hardwick and no Help.

    4) Though Mayo was sucked inside on the one rushing TD, he came back to make 2 stellar plays later on against Tolbert. One on the goal-line and the other on the fumble..
  9. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Re: idle day observations

    Nice work Ken......

    I've been a little critical of a few of your "assessments" early on this season, but this one's a much better. Perhaps your rounding into mid-season form.

    Good work. :cool:
  10. DEVIOUS 1

    DEVIOUS 1 Practice Squad Player

    Re: idle day observations

    4. The officiating was once again VERY inconsistent and in this case it went heavily AGAINST the Pats. The most obvious were the 2 QB plays. Carter being called for the most perfect form tackle I've seen this year (which evidently is now considered illegal :mad: ) while the low hit on Brady (TWICE) wasn't.

    The other less obvious was the 2 very ticky tack illegal contact calls, while Gronk was being literally TACKLED down the middle of the field in full view of multiple officials.

    What's bad isn't that they went against the Pats, but more that the inconsistency seems to be league wide. Until they start calling plays CONSISTENTLY, players aren't going to know how to play the game, and coaches aren't going to know how to coach their players.

    Personally I don't what I'd say to Carter.....except good job.:rolleyes:

    As much as I hate to be "that guy", I have to admit this was my biggest issue watching this game. I almost felt like the Chargers brought these officials with them from San Diego.

    I wish I had a dollar for every big play our defense would make that was followed by a penalty to keep the drive moving. Usually involving a really suspect illegal contact penalty. Which i would have no problem with, but it wasn't called consistently on the other side, as you pointed out.

    If that same crew had the guts to call illegal contact during a Jets game the way it was called on us (Bodden mostly), the game would last 8 hours minimum.

    Don't even get me started with that roughing the passer on Andre Carter. The only thing more laughable then the actual call was Phil Simms even more laughable verbal gymnastics to justify it.
  11. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

    Re: idle day observations

    This might help answer the question I raised in another thread about why we don't run clock in the 4th quarter anymore. (I also theorized that pass blocking is easier than run blocking for new O-line members Waters and --- at that time --- Solder.)
  12. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    Re: idle day observations

    Agreed on offense:

    This Patriots offense is gonna be something special and put up very eye-popping numbers in 2011. Although we will lose Hernandez for 2 weeks, I don't think this offense will skip a beat.

    Our OL is special. Our TEs are amazing. Our WRs all chipped in, yes even Ocho Cinco made a couple of big plays. Our RBs gained enough yardage to keep the defense honest. And this is just the beginning. It gets better. :cool:

    On the defense:

    We still need improvement in pass coverage and long yardage situations. Maybe it was the gameplan to just shutdown Gates and force Rivers to beat us with the receivers, but the unfortunate part was Rivers almost did beat us with his receivers. He did throw up 2 picks though, so we need to credit the D for doing good here, even though they looked shaky in other areas. Overall we need to remember that 21 points isn't bad considering how good of an offense we were facing (#2 overall in 2010). We need to cut down on the yardage given up, but maybe that will come in time.

    Pats pass rush was mediocre but they looked downright brilliant compared to the SD pass rush which was really nonexistent on Tom. And let's not forget the 4 turnovers forced. Those were all huge plays. If the defense didn't look stifling, at least it was opportunistic and came up huge at critical junctures, denying the Chargers in the red zone.

    On the officiating:
    Very inconsistent officiating that looked downright bewildering at times. A textbook tackle on Rivers is called for a penalty. Two below the knee shots by the Chargers' Garay yields no yellow flag. What gives refs? Also why were the refs so focused on the opposite side of the field? They called two holds on Bodden who wasn't even in the vicinity of the play! Shouldn't the refs be focused in on the action? It was pretty bad, fortunately the Chargers were so busy shooting themselves in the foot, even the refs couldn't turn around this game.

    Bottom line:
    We got the win against a talented Chargers team. We know we still have deficiencies to be addressed, and the coaching staff has their work cut out for them. But that's why they get paid. Let's shore up the defense, eliminate some mistakes, and get ready for Buffalo next week. At least the offense and Tom Brady is a strength that can be counted upon week after week. It's time for the defense to step up now and show that it can carry the team as well.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  13. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Re: idle day observations

    Italia, the caps are for emphasis in the sentence. I guess my writing style is to write like I'd talk, so getting the right emphasis on the right word is important to getting the right interpretation of what I'm trying to say. Capping is the only way I know to do it, though I understand that its frowned on amongst professionals. That being said, I probably DO use it too often and will TRY to contain myself. ;)
  14. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Re: idle day observations

    So of you can't see the forest for the trees, and are never happy. Despite the gawdy passing stats the Pass Defense is palpably better than last edition, which was better than many think. You can't go 14-2 without a Defense. The Top Five in Points Allowed is the Ultimate defensive statistic.

    Despite the critics, This year there is a Pass Rush, on course for 48-56 sacks/year,which is a League leading rate. They are still very young, big, and talented in there secondary witness the turnovers are still coming at a spectacular rate of last year.

    This year the rush defense is doing the job, allowing only 93 yards/game. Every good Defense is giving up passing yards this season. It is just the way the rules, now.

    I like that Belichick is still emphasizing Read & React principles, despite the 4-3 and an improved pass rush.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  15. Re: idle day observations

    I was happy that Stinko looked really good on his one long pass reception...not saying that means he has learned the whole playbook but he's a very smooth guy, very nice.

    Waters I thought looked great. Amazing getting a guy and plugging him in and having him be so good...why pay mankins huge money again? Oh well.

    Interesting to see how the offense changes up with Hernandez gone for a few weeks....

    Interesting to see what the injuries to mesko and dowling are. Downling, I hope, is not "made of glass". Yes, that would make him a bust.
  16. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Re: idle day observations

    For every QB/defenseless hit called, the league should release a statement after the game describing the violation. I would find it hilarious to hear how Carter's hit was a penalty and the uncalled hit Matt Ryan took last night was clean.

    While a similar hit on Roethlisberger was not only penalized but it is generally assumed that Brock will face a hefty fine.

    I would love the NFL to also release a tape of those Bodden plays compared to what Revis does on every play.

    Seems like officials are becoming part of the narrative of NFL games. They seem to want to reinforce the game flow that will make for the best story on SportsCenter. Unfortunately this is bad news for the Pats because a loss immediately becomes the lead story.

    While officials can't influence a game like in the NBA, they can use holding and illegal contact penalties (which occur to some degree on every play) to great effect. Bodden touching a WR 5.000001 yds down the field away from the play on a failed 3rd down needs to be called. Branch getting his helmet slapped as he tried to catch a 4th and 4 pass? Not so much.

    Until someone in the media puts these plays side-by-side, any observations will be categorized as homer whining and dismissed with the "it all evens out" company line. Put these obvious inconsistencies on display and call out the officials in question and watch the quality of officiating improve.

    As for Belichick, he may want to consider this before the next 4th-and-whatever call he is forced to make.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  17. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae Retired Jersey Club Supporter

    Disable Jersey

    Re: idle day observations

    Good comedy.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  18. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Re: idle day observations

    Well it didn't stifle the Cowboys much on opening day. In fact THEIR pass D was actually WORSE than ours in game one, giving up 9.5 yards per attempt at home, as opposed to the 8.5 we gave up to Miami on the road.

    Yesterday the Jets D did put up some good numbers, but against a bad offense who didn't have some of its best weapons. I'd wait a few weeks and see how they fair against some teams with decent offenses before I'll anoint them as one of the better D's in the game. The same way I'll wait before I judge our defense as dysfunctional.

    Good question, I wish I knew the answer, I hope we'll find out BEFORE the playoffs. I want to see how this team plays under some adversity. I want to see us win a few games coming from behind, rather than just hanging on at the end. I want to see these things, because those are the situations that WILL come up in the playoffs. We need see if this team has the physical and mental toughness to overcome.

    What has happened anytime before this season has no bearing on the issue. This defense has to be judged strictly on its own merit because of the radical changes in personnel and structure.

    Thus far, its fair to say that you CANNOT trust this defense to win the game......AT THIS POINT. However that being said, we have to look at this defense within the context of what's going on throughout the league. Plus we have to look at it as a work in progress. One of the things that has been consistent during the BB era. Defenses generally improve as the season goes on. Given lockout, this should be more the case THIS season.

    I don't think the purpose of the thread was to "hit on the defense", far from it. Right NOW the defense isn't where it will have to be come January, but baring injury, there isn't any reason to think that it might not be...eventually
    The defense was once again "timely" if not consistently effective. The red zone success continued, but the 3rd down efficiency was back to the bad old days.
  19. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    Re: idle day observations

    THIS! I want NFL Films to do a documentary called "The Myth of Darelle Revis" on how a very good, but not great, cornerback becomes one of the greatest to ever play the position just by hyping himself up so much that the refs treat him differently.

    As to your further point about the officiating - the fact is, the Patriots have NEVER gotten the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their skill position players, with the exception of Moss, perhaps (occasionally, his reputation actually worked against him). We haven't had a lot of star wideouts, big wideouts, or wideouts who whine to the refs after every incompletion (like Colts wideouts...).
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  20. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    Re: idle day observations

    Guys I think we need to take the beer goggles off and quit blaming officiating for our putrid defense.

    Instead of casting blame on the refs, how about we review what we know:

    1.) Pats secondary is playing vanilla coverages, not a lot of disguising going on back there.

    2.) The pass rush is weak, and not scaring quality offenses.

    3.) The LBers are still adjusting to their new roles. Hopefully by game #9, they should be more comfortable.

    4.) The run defense was wobbly against SD. Could be tied to the previous point.

    5.) We have zero playmakers at safety. Although Brown made a good play on the INT.

    We can say what we want to make ourselves feel good, but the bottom line is we won our first two games because our offense covered up for a putrid defense.
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