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Idle thoughts...pregame

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    .....right now I'm real happy with my choice NOT to play Greg Olsen as my FF TE this week and substitute Ben Watson, who was a mid season FA pick up. I think Ben is going to have a big day.

    1. Did any of you see the BB breakdown on the Pats site. In it BB breaks down the Moss TD, and shows how the Pats blocked it. You can't help notice that on that play Chris Baker has Jason Taylor one on one. He not only stoned him, he knocked him BOWN, with a punch to the chest. Its worth watching.

    2. This play got me thinking about how the Pats are going to attack the Colts defense this week. And let us not forget that while all the talk seems to revolve around Brady and Manning, the FACT is that the 2 best scoring D's in the league are the COLTS at #1 and the Pats at #2.

    Traditionally the Colts have been a strictly zone team. A team that relied on not givning up the big play to the offense, while attacking with with a fast front 4 and making big plays on D. This year with a new DC, the Colts are playing more man to man/hybrid coverages, an blitzing slightly more.

    The Pats are presented with somewhat of a quandary offensively. Do they attack the undersized D and run the ball right at them at them with 2 TEs, or do they attack the rookie CBs and depleted secondary by running spread formations and to isolate those CBs and the DBs sent in on the dime packages.

    4. The case for a run first plan:

    a.The strategy of running right at a smaller faster team is a sound one.

    b. Running the ball eliminates the potential for a big negative play by the D (sacks/picks).

    c. Pounding on a smaller D early would wear down the D and slow its rush late in the game

    d. In matching up Volmer against Freeney, in the passing game, the advantage goes to the Colts, but in the running game, that's a match up that favors the Pats

    e. Recently Brady has looked more comfortable in play action than he has in the past. Starting the game looking to pound the Colts D, makes those PAPs more effective

    f. To this end, I'd use a lot more 2 TE 2WR single back formation. When you want to pass, you can motion Watson and wind up with 3 WRs, and use Watson much like the Colts use Clark.

    g. Screens/Draws, would also figure heavily in this scenerio

    h. In this I would NOT use the shot gun on 3rd and 4 or shorter. Once I commit to this strategy, I DO NOT want to give the D a free pass by lining up in a shot gun and take way the obvious run option. If the run is successful at all, I want the D to be worried about it, even on 3rd and 4 or less.

    i. I DO NOT use many misdirection, or slow developing running plays. Setting the smashmouth tone is essential. There should be very little finesse involved in play selection. They idea is that our big people are just going to overpower, your bigs, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Put 8 in the box, and we'll still get 3-4 yds. Put 9 in the box, and you'll find out why Moss and Welker is the best 1-2 combo in the league.

    j. I would also consider either using a no huddle or a fast pace in running this offense. I know part of this stragety has to do with keeping Manning off the field, but I think a fast pace favors the strategy more by further wearing down of the D, especially the front 7.

    Bottom line if you see the Pats the ball 30+ times this game, then THIS is the strategy they chose.

    5. The case for the Pass first strategy.

    a. Passing is what the Pats do best, and would be a misuse of resources to try and be something that your not. Brady has always thrown the ball well against the Colts, especially in the Dome. Why change that now.

    b. Your best mismatches come against 2 rookie CBs, but also against the JAGs that the Colts have had to add to fill the gaps in their nickel and dime packages. Supposedly the rookies are doing a decent job, BUT, like what the Pats experienced the last few years, what really kills a secondary isn't what the top 4 DBs are doing, but what happens when the #5 and #6 have to come in. A lack of depth in the secondary means a D often has to become more vanilla, and a lot less flexible. It also becomes easier to read and to establish mismatches.

    c. Putting Brady back in the shot gun, extends the amount of time he has to pass, even if the rush is effective. It gives Brady a better look at the defense both pre and post snap (he has to turn his back on the play in play action)

    d. Spreading the field in 3 and 4 wide sets causes a D to declare themselves presnap, and by motioning players you can further identify what the D is doing, or rather DICTATE to the D.

    e. Brady is your best player and the thing he does best is to pass the ball. He has been especially effective in a dome. They same can be said about your 2nd and 3rd best offensive players (except that they "catch" the ball ;) )

    f. To max your protection in the spread/shot gun, you can keep 2 guys in te backfield, ie Baker and Moroney/Faulk That way you are usually keeping 6 guys in pass protection, and have the option to motion Moroney/Faulk and get your 4 wide at the snap. Also having Moroney slip out of the backfield after the smap gets him chances to get the ball in an open field.

    g. In this strategy, screens/draws are also a big factor to combat against the big rush.

    6. Well I have now thoroughly confused MYSELF. Both plans seem eminently sound, but I do know one thing, you have to chose one or the other if you are ultimately going to be successful. I know in an ideal world, having the Pats break out into a big half time lead, then kill the clock with a strong run game. But that is really not likely. I think you can't hedge your bets in this kind of game. You pick your plan of attack, commit to it, then EXECUTE it. The coaching staff might have contingencies, but the players have to believe that whatever strategy the coaching staff decided on...is the right one.

    Maybe later on tonight I'll speculate on different ways to attack the Colts offense. In the meantime, I'll look forward to your thoughts as always.
     
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    PFK, GREAT stuff, as always, lots to think about. Not sure I agree with/understand the above statement. Are you saying there can't be a blend of both? Because, in my view, it's a much better idea to balance the two mind-sets, keeping the Colts D off-kilter. Did I miss something?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  3. BritPat

    BritPat In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    ken, awesome stuff. Cheers mate.
     
  4. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    Look forward to more of your thoughts. I do agree that we will definitely have 2 TE in there as a minimum. That is what I was thinking anyway.

    Just a great writeup. Great analysis!
     
  5. HarkDawg

    HarkDawg Banned

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    any chance Taylor or Morris is back for this 1?
     
  6. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    Given Faulk's success running out of the shotgun, this makes no sense to me.
     
  7. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    I think what he's trying to say is you would like to keep the defense guessing as to what you're going to do - run or pass. Which is counter to his initial argument that you either have to commit to the pass or commit to the run. I think what you need to do is have the attack as balanced as possible, not only to confuse the young inexperienced defensive backfield of the Colts so they don't know what is coming every time. Also it prevents the Colt's defensive line from all out pass rush, it keeps them off balance also.

    BTW - Great post Ken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  8. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    If you notice Faulk has gotten a LOT of mileage running out of the shot gun on 3rd and LONG. Not 3rd and short. In fact Faulk leads the league in rushing for 13 yds when its 3rd and 15. ;).
     
  9. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    Please I'm not looking or expect the Pats to run the ball 80% of the time. Anything CLOSE to 50% would be a big change in strategy to date. I think the Pats have had a ratio close to 50% only once or twice this year. 30-35 runs MIGHT be the way to go. If we do that, we are still going to be passing the ball 25-30 times
     
  10. BionicPatriot

    BionicPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    I say mix it up, keep them off balance. Respect our running game, move the safety up and burn em' deep.
     
  11. Deus Irae

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    Re: idle thoughts....pregame.

    For his career, Faulk is:

    3rd and < 3: 22 carries, 58 yards with a 2.6 average
    3rd and 3-7: 45 carries, 230 yards with a 5.1 average

    He's also caught:

    3rd and < 3: 6 catches, 40 yards with a 6.7 average
    3rd and 3-7: 50 catches, 375 yards with a 7.5 average


    I'm not opposed to going with Maroney on 3rd and short. I just don't think you need to avoid Faulk and the shotgun in those situations. For that matter, you could throw a curve at the Colts, and put Maroney in at RB for a 3rd and short shotgun snap.
     
  12. mayoclinic

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    I think that's key. Beathea and Burnitt are critical for the Colts to help out their CBs. If we can make them have to play up in the box it will create all kind of mismatches. If they play deep, I don't think Indy can stop us from pounding the ball.

    I agree, mix it up, keep them off balance. And keep the ball out of Manning's hands.
     
  13. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    hmm, u say both plans are sound...i agree

    however, i like the running one more, give this team confidence it can ran, so that when teh time comes where we HAVE to run, the team believes it can do it....

    our confidence in the passing game is there, now lets get confidet in teh running game
     
  14. bostonia3333

    bostonia3333 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Good ideas, i'll throw in a few idle ones of my own:

    Bethea is an underrated playmaker out there and can be a momentum changer. Remember that INT he had against Stallworth in 07--he makes great adjustments to the ball, something our WRs haven't been great at this yr. I hope Brady just doesn't get too anxious for the big play. That's what hurt us in the Miami and Tampa games. Indy will give NE tons of room underneath, they should take that and methodically attack.

    Why not sprinkle in a gimmick like the Wildcat with Maroney or Faulk? I don't mind a 5 yd running play.

    Gost better be on his game, I have a feeling this thing will come down to kickers in the end.

    I hope we have seen the end of TFB rolling out to his left and throwing on the run

    I hope we are done throwing 50 yd bombs on a 2nd and 1

    I have a good feeling Mcgowan will do a solid job on Dallas Clark
     
  15. PatsWickedPissah

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    Both strategies have their merits given that we have the people who can execute both. I think we'll do some of each in different series. Start with one approach and use it untill you've forced the Colts to re-arrange their defensive alignments well enough to stop it consistently. When they've shown they can do that, go to the other approach. Shift them around and you increase the odds of a mistake.
     
  16. Joker

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    I hope we have seen the end of TFB rolling out to his left and throwing on the run

    agreed

    I hope we are done throwing 50 yd bombs on a 2nd and 1

    disagree

    2nd down is the only down to try to stretch out the D in that context...you fail, it's 3rd and one...you have to threaten down the field to keep the defense from eventually pinching up and stuffing the O.It looks bad when it fails, but there IS a reason behind it, and they only do it occasionally.You throw that pass on 1st down and fail, it's 2nd and ten.3rd and one is a much better option.
     
  17. SidelineSid

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    1.) Great post Patfanken.

    2.) Bostonia, good comments as well. Bethea is a force to be reckoned with. We can't fall asleep out there.

    3.) The good news is that Bethea will most likely be helping their D stop Moss or Welker. This will force him to play the pass first and the run second.

    4.) I know he's not a star, but Tyjuan Hagler's injury means that the Colts line backer core will not be 100%. Two tight end formations could put added pressure on the rest of the Colts line backers. If Baker and Watson go down the seam, Bethea may be too busy double teaming Moss to provide help. This could mean that we could have situations where Watson and Baker could be running down field in one on one situations.

    5.) Who ever gets stuck covering Piere Garcon and Austin Collie better do their job or we are done. If we happen to take away Clark and Wayne, the rest of the defense must be able to handle the rest of their offense. I know that it's alot of stuff to juggle all at once, but we have to take care of the non supper stars.

    6.) On offense, I think that we can't afford to be predictable. We usually telegraph when we are going to run and when we are going to pass. We can't afford to establish patterns. Instead we have to establish a rhythm and dictate the pace.

    7.) This game could be blown open by screen plays. Consider this. The screen plays put great pressure on the interior of the defensive line to tie up offensive line men and prevent them from getting to the second level. At the second level, the mismatch of offensive line men against small line backers, corners, and safeties would greatly favor the offense. Since the Colts secondary and line backer core are already battered, they can't afford to be overly aggressive. This will put extra pressure on the defensive linemen (especially the interior) to stop the run. If we run the ball effectively, it will wear down the very same defensive linemen that their defense depends upon.

    8.) Maroney, Faulk, and law firm all have to come up big this game. They need to force the Colts to pay strict attention to them.

    9.) Patfanken hit the nail on the head regarding the match ups in our running game. When we run the ball, it will allow us to put our big, fast, young offensive tackle against the small but fast Dwight Freeney. This match up will be key. If Volmer can wear him down, Freeney might be a bit gassed towards the end of the game.

    10.) This one is more of a request. To all you pats fans out there, pay attention to where we are running the ball. I'm not sure, but I think we usually run the ball with greater success to the right. Let's see if this trend continues. I'm not sure if it will, but let's take a look.

    11.) The third quarter is going to be key for this game. I know that all of the quarters of football is important, but huge momentum shifts occur in the third quarter. With the ability to deffer the ball until the beginning of the third quarter, this is even more important. When we lost that painful game against the Colts in the 06 AFC Championship game, I noticed something. They flat out drove right down the field on us in a loooooooooooong scoring drive at the beginning of the third quarter. It destroyed the little rhythm and momentum that we had. Our offense was out of sync for some time after that. That is what we have to do to them. If we can manage to have a very long scoring drive that closes out the second quarter, we would be in good shape to hurt them in the third. Stop them from establishing any momentum in the beginning of the third quarter, (and instead establish long scoring drives of our own) and we win. They will fall in the fourth after that kind of beating.

    12.) Lastly, we must pressure Manning. We may not have to sack him, but we must force him to throw from uncomfortable positions. This means that our defensive line must step up. What was once the strength of our defense is no more. We haven't been able to get consistent pressure from our linemen. Banta-cain is our best pass rusher and he doesn't even have five sacks. We used to brag about having one of the best defensive lines in football. Fellas, it's time for them to prove it. We used to make excuses that it's not their job to sack the quarter back because they have to tie up the offensive linemen. When we're in the 4-3, Warren and Wilfork will be in one on one match ups. They absolutely must win those contests.
     
  18. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I don't agree that we shouldn't use misdirection. Texans used it last week with great success.
     
  19. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth In the Starting Line-Up

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    So who does Felger think will win on Sunday night? Please do not say Patriots!!!

    How about those other great prognosticators like, Borges?
     
  20. SVN

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    i dont think the pats will run as much.everytime BB comes out throwing to score points faster agaisnt the colts. i think jarvis green will be missed in defense in the pass rush. he has had some good games against the oline. this game comes down to pats being patient and executing in the RZ. i hate our teams tendency to get cute sometimes. even the miami game, the randy TD for 71 yards was on a 3rd and 1 . It worked out great but you would think they would punch it in with the RB. If we prefer to pass in such a situation the i assume it will a pass heavy game as always. Brady better not make too many mistakes. he has always thrown a pick against the colts if iam not wrong.
     
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