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idle thoughts - retirement party planning

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    There are always certain things in any football game that seem obvious to the casual observer. For example if I were a Ravens fan I'd be very optimistic because I could say that one of my strengths, the long passing game, is going against a perceived weakness in the Pats secondary. I would be thrilled that my OL held one of the top pass rushing D's to a single meaningless coverage sack, that didn't occur until late in the 5th quarter.

    Given that effort, why would I expect an average at best Patriot Pass rush to cause my team any problems at all. I have an elite RB, and a defense that has 2 sure fire HOFer's in Lewis and Reed, and 2 perennial allpros in Suggs and Ngata. Who does NE have on their defense that can match that. Sure the Pats have Tom Brady, but what QB is playing better than Joe Flacco is....right now. Flacco outplayed Brady in last year's AFCCG. He's had 2 very productive game thus far in the playoffs, AND the Pats just lost their top skill player on offense in Rob Gronkowski.

    So if I'm a Raven's fan or a Raven's player, I'm feeling pretty good about his Sunday's battle. The Ravens have had a lot of success in Gillette, (at least relative to the rest of the league) and have ALWAY's played the Pats tough. Plus they are on a real emotional high that fills them with belief. So THIS week, the mediots actually have some ammo when they hammer the Pats and over hype the Ravens

    Ravens D vs the Pat O

    Forget about the any past results - They have no bearing. I think a better look at what we might see on Sunday from the Ravens could be seen last Sunday in Denver. The Pats run the ball very differently from Denver, but our passing attack is very similar in that Manning is patient and likes to work the short and intermediate routes. Decker is a WR, but runs a lot of Hernandez like routes. Stokely is Welker like, and although DT can go deep, Manning rarely gives him the chance.

    It was interesting to see that for the most part in order to keep DT under control, the Ravens chose to go with a man under 2 deep zone being very physical with the receivers and forcing Manning to throw into tight windows for completions.

    I think that although the Pat don't present the obvious deep threat,. I think they will see something similar. The Ravens don't have an great rush, Kruger and Suggs are good enough that if the coverage is good, they can eventually create pressure. Their rush in that respect is very much like ours. Playing man under makes it tougher for Brady to throw those quick hitches and hinders the screens. Playing man under makes it easier for people to get into the correct alignment when the Pats go up tempo. So for all those reasons that's what I think we'll see as a base defense. They'll blitz, but they've played us enough not to exceed 20%, and on those 3rd downs, I wouldn't be surprised to see them double Wes and Aaron and play with a single safety and dare Brady to go long

    Gronk would have been the match up that would have destroyed this plan, but he aint going to be walking through that door, so there is not use whining about it. (even thought I just did . ;) ) No, but I think we saw a prevue of what IS going to break that defense, and that's the great focus on the RB's in the passing game. Not so much the screens, but the dump offs and wheel routes and slipping them into areas that have been cleared out by Hernandez and Welker

    The other thing that will kill this concept is the stretch play and play action passes. Man under coverage is tough on the short passing game, but its a liability in the run game, because the DB defenders are run off the LOS, so if the RB breaks through the front 7, there is more room to run. And the obvious advantage on play action speaks for itself.

    Right now Josh and Daboll are basically creating a run and passing attack that will break all the keys that the Ravens THINK they have going into the game. There is NOTHING more demoralizing to a defense then when they realize that their keys don't work. You can't fly to the ball when that happens. Hesitation will become a killer against this offense.

    The Ravens gave up close to 120 rushing yds against Denver. with their 3rd string rookie RB getting most of the yardage. The Pats have a vastly superior running attack, and this is really the Ravens Achilles heel that will open door for the rest of the offense to flow, and ultimately wear out a Ravens defense that has taken a lot of shots the last 2 games

    The Ravens O vs the Pat D.

    You have to be impressed with the job the Ravens OL did vs one of the best pass rushes in the league. You really can't expect the Pats 4 man rush to do any better. Realistically if the Pats want to create real pressure on Flacco they are going to have to scheme to do it. And there are 2 ways. One way is to use an amoeba type front with 6 or 7 people in position to rush, and send 4 and try and confuse the Ravens OL, or scheme a 5 or 6 man blitz.

    Remember it is more important to create the SENSE of pressure than it is to actually get there. Flacco is at his best when he has time and can get comfortable in the pocket. Somehow the Pats have to create enough pressure to make Flacco want to get rid of the ball more quickly than he'd like. IMHO, Birk is the weakest link in that OL and I'd attack him directly

    In the secondary the Pats have to make a dangerous choice. Do you put Talib on Boldin or Smith. Smith is clearly the deep threat, but I don't like the idea of a Dennard/Boldin match up. I will get tired very fast watching Boldin simply taking the ball away from the diminutive Dennard. Instead I think you trust Talib to match up with Boldin, who is a slower version of AJohnson, and put Dennard on Smith with help over the top from McCourty.

    Ray Rice is a formidable RB, but so was Andre Foster. While Ray got 130 yd rushing on 30 carries (4.3 ypc) over a third of them came on 2 rushes, I don't see him as a key to a Ravens victory. I believe the Pats run defense is good enough to control Ray's success.

    IMHO a key under reported stat from the Denver game was the fact that the Ravens didn't have a sustained drive over 45 yds. Of the 4 Tds the offense got, only one was a redzone TD, and that was set up by a 31 yd run by Rice.

    The fact is the Ravens are not going to beat us unless they are able to break off big chunks of yds at a time. They aren't going to beat us trying to grind and pound it, nor are they going to beat us relying on Flacco's patience and accuracy dinking and dunking. Don't forget he only threw for 53% in Denver.

    So for that reason, I'd like to see some version of man under, or 5 under zone with 2 deep safeties as a base and challenge Flacco to go deep, and force him to throw to tight windows underneath. In the latter he's no Brady, and in the former I trust McCourty to make the plays that the Broncos didn't. On of Smith's TD, there wasn't a S to be seen. As far as the front 7 are concerned I'd like to see a lot of varied fronts designed to confuse blocking schemes.

    Other key points

    1. Clearly the coverage teams have to be better
    2; Obviously he can't lose the turn over battle

    3. And less obviously we can't give up more penalty yds. Denver had over 30 yds more in penalties than the Ravens. That's a LOT.

    4. Before I wrote this I watched NBC's sports channel's Turning point. Its a good show. In it they showed action from all for games. As well as showing the key plays, they also show a lot of the talk and chatter from the players. If you caught the Denver/Raven segment and aren't from Baltimore, you are just going to hate Terrell Suggs, who somehow had the focus and energy to jaw with the Bronco fans near the Raven bench ALL game.

    I pray to god, that there are some fans who will give Terrell some payback when he begins to realize (early in the 4th quarter, I believe) that the it sin't gong to happen again.

    BOTTOM LINE – While how well the Raven OL defended the Bronco pass rush, scares me a bit, I'm pretty comfortable in my belief that the Pats are going to cover....at least. I see a really closely contested first half, as the Pats have to withstand the initial emotional burst by the Ravens, but the Pats are going to bein to pull away in the 3rd and by 4th quarter we are to be able to relax and start thinking about our superbowl opponent.....and have a great retirement Ray.
     
  2. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    We need our DBs to be disciplined vs. play-action. I.e., negligible Chung or Wilson.

    If Hightower or Spikes bites on something, less harm is done.
     
  3. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This season, the Patriots have a better defense and a better offense than the Ravens. There is no excuse for the Ravens winning this game if both teams play to their potential and their form holds.

    I'd like to see some screens to test out the retirement party. Let's get him running sideline to sideline and exploit the lack of linebacker speed. As for Birk, you're right. Unleash the Wilfork. The Pats cannot let Ray Rice get into the second level. He needs to be contained. Shut down Rice (both in the rushing and passing attacks) and the Patriots win in a canter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  4. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson In the Starting Line-Up

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    Nothing like getting your day started in the morning with a cup of coffee and Ken's idle thoughts - AFC Championship style.

    Nice post as always.
     
  5. SpiderFox53

    SpiderFox53 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Agreed. Very nice post Ken.
     
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As always nice detailed post..

    The Ravens are not a team that we do not know, but our team particularly on Defense is much better... Dennard did not play in the first game, and our starting backfield was Arrington and McCourty at DB's and Gregory and Chung at safety... our current D backfield is much superior to that and they have played together for a while now...

    They were playing off the Torrey Smith emotion card, but will play off the #52 emotion card, but that wears off..

    Believe all you fanatics, we are going to win this close game..

    BTW everyone of these games could be Gil's last as well...
     
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have a very good feeling going into this game. The outside world is taking free shots at the Patriots and hyping the Ravens - Brendon Ayanbadejo's twitter remarks, Jonathan Joseph's dumb comments, Anquan Boldin "guaranteeing a win", Flacco on the cover of S-I, the Ray Lewis retirement train, etc. And from Foxboro - nothing. Not a sound. It's like the eye of the hurricane. I really get the sense that this team is intensely focused on the moment at hand.

    I just don't see the old, tired, slow Raven's defense being able to do much to our offense. I see them giving it a valiant try. But a more talented and faster Houston defense couldn't come close in 2 attempts, and the Ravens gave up 30 earlier this year when the offense was out of sync and when they had Lardarius Webb and were fully healthy. I think they'll hit a wall at some point.

    I also don't buy all this "Jim Caldwell is an offensive mastermind" stuff. Baltimore has had trouble moving the chains in the post-season. They got 18 1st downs against Indy (vs. 25 for the Colts) despite 439 yards of offense, and lost the TOP almost 2:1 (37:32-22:28). They colt 21 1st downs in 5+ quarters against Denver (vs. 30 for the Broncos), and again lost the TOP. Flacco was 12/23 (52%) against Indy and 18/34 (53%) against Denver, for a 2 game completion percentage of 52.6%. That's not going to work well against the Pats in terms of keeping our offense off the field.

    One other note. Baltimore scored 14 points against Denver in the last 1:00 of each half. The Pats had major letdowns at the end of each half against Houston. I'm sure the theme of not letting up and maintaining focus for all 60 minutes is going to be right up there this week, along with not giving up the big play.
     
  8. 1960Pats

    1960Pats Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'm having a hard time getting comfortable for this game.

    They beat us earlier this year (when we had Gronk). Even though it was a replacement ref type of loss for us, the Ravens did win the game.

    The time before that we played them they should have won on a perfect TD pass at the end by Joe Flacco (not many people are laughing at him any more). That of course was a home game for us that was won when their kicker missed a chip shot to tie it.

    The time before that we barely got by in OT, again at the Razor.

    Before that there was the slaughter in the playoffs, yet again in our house.

    Even in our undefeated season they gave us fits.

    I'm not sure why everyone is so confident. If the refs let them play their physical style, and they might, then this is going to be a brutally tough game. All I ask is that they run the damn ball.
     
  9. NYCPatsFan

    NYCPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    You make some valid points but also miss valid ones. For eg: you point out we lost with Gronk but miss that AH (and Talib) weren't there. You point out the slaughter at home but don't point out that we lost our main weapon, Welker, just the previous week that left the teams O unable to successfully implement plays vastly different from the last 16 games.

    Before you point out that we lost Gronk last game, don't forget that we have had enough games this season playing -and winning- without him and so are in a better position to cope with his unfortunate loss.

    But man .... I hate it when you think that we can't play tough. Especially after this season. At least for that I hope we beat the crap out of them right from the start and let you appreciate our team.

    Go PATS!!
     
  10. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ken, I'm sure it was a great post as usual but you got me so depressed in your 1st couple paragraphs I couldn't read any more. :(
     
  11. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Bingo, Ken. I think this is the ONLY way to attack that challenge this weekend.

    As long as the hammy is ok, I see Dennard as a quicker (albeit smaller) CB than Talib. He won't be outrun by Smith and he would be physically dominated by Boldin. Talib can pound with Boldin one on one without much help. McCourty can shade towards the Smith/Dennard matchup, while (in nickel) Arrington can take on Jacoby Jones. If we see much of Chung, it would be as Pitta's or Rice's shadow. Gregory (who isn't a great cover guy, but has a great nose for the ball) can freelance a bit here.

    I don't really see any other choice
     
  12. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Did you see the end of that segment, though? He goes over to those same Bronco fans at the wall after the game and shakes their hands and gratefully accepts their congratulations. It was actually a very nice moment - - and I (ashamed to say this) kind of liked him for that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  13. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, if I read your post correctly, only the games the Pats won were razor close. But the game In September of this year was a SOLID win for the Ravens?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  14. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    You think they'll actually match the CBs on specific receivers? Considering Flacco's success throwing to the right this season, and in general, this seems like an ideal game to simply have Talib play LCB and Dennard play RCB.
     
  15. ay-yo

    ay-yo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Great post Ken I especially liked the part about who to put Talib on. Another factor to consider is how much we've heard about Flaco favoring the right side of the field. Maybe we just leave Talib as LCB. I'm also very nervous about Arrington vs. Jacoby Jones. Arrington can play slot guys well but struggles against deep threats. Luckily Jones has had a problem with drops in his career. Here's to hoping he duffs a few this Sunday.

    Pitta and Rice are both very good recievers as well. Overall I am impressed by the Ravens skill players and think they are a better group than Hou's skill players. I think we could see a fair amount of zone simply because we don't have the players to match up with them. I also expect BB to try and confuse Flaco and bait him into a few INT's. If we can hold them under 30 (and I think we will) I think we'll win.

    Edit: I hope we see some ILB blitz up the A gaps leaving Vince 1 on 1 with Birk. Think this could be extremely effective.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  16. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    You should have read further, it gets more optimistic. In fact, I'm going against the flow and think that, barring injuries or a redo of the 2009 first quarter, I think this game will eventually end up very much like the Texan game. A close first half, followed by a second half where the Pats pull away.

    C'mon PWP, hasn't being a long term Pats fan taught you anything about perseverance, and overcoming adversity. You have to FIGHT through those first few paragraphs, and GRIND out those long narratives and senseless digressions, and find the meat of the post. ;)
     
  17. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    That's actually an interesting post. Flacco's tendency to go to his right when going long is pretty well documented. Plus there is a lot of history of the Pats not flopping their CB's

    Its and interesting sign of the times. There was a time when topping 30 points was sign of a outstanding offensive day. Ironically after last weekend, keeping a team UNDER 30 is a sign your team is playing "championship defense" :rolleyes:
     
  18. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Damned you Shmess. I had a good hate going on, and you ruined it. Nice job ;)
     
  19. PatsWickedPissah

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    Think about this. A long time ago in a stadium not far away, BB flipped Law (CB) and Harrison(S) for the game against Peyton Manning. Result was utter confusion and 3 picks by Law. I would not be surprised if BB went against type for at least a few series. This of course depends upon Talib & Dennard having shown in practice that they were not hopelessly confused themselves by a change in assignments.
     
  20. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    A couple of small points here. Plus one that I forgot to put in the original post.

    1. I think its going to be Wilson rather than Chung on Pitta in the sub packages. IIRC Chung only saw one snap on the regular D vs the Texans. BB has clearly made his choice.

    2. Gregory is a better coverage guy than you give him credit for, especially when the Pat limit his assignments to TE and jumping inside the numbers short to intermediate routes

    3. ay-yo made a good point about the Pats perhaps playing the tendencies rather than just assigning Talib to cover one guy. They might very well just keep Talib on the Pats' left to defend Flacco's penchant for throwing to his right.

    4. Part of my confidence going into this game comes from the fact that we beat them last year with a defense that was amazingly less talented almost across the board. The front seven is bigger, stronger, and more athletic. The secondary has been totally revamped. No Moore, Ihedigbu, Edelman, and Arrington on the outside in the secondary. No more watching Tracy White have to play LB. Last year Patrick Chung was our best all round DB. THINK about that for a second. How much more talented is our secondary? the best DB from last season, can't get any snaps. THAT'S how much better.

    And its basically the same Ravens offense we saw last time. The only difference is they added Jones as the 3rd WR, and I fear him more in the return game than on the field as a receiver. Its still the Rice, Smith, and Boldin show for Flacco, with a little Pitta on the side. Only this year his completion percentage is down, and the number of long shots he takes is up. He's been throwing up prayers and getting them answered by his receivers or the refs for 2 games now. There is a reason teams DON'T throw the ball deep that often.... and I predict that Flacco's hot streak on the long ball is going to come to a halt on Sunday night.(he'll hit on one, and get one PI, but that's not going to be enough to win the game)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
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