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Idle thoughts - the match up begins

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    OK, its never too early to start talking about THE game. Here is a little primmer to start the conversation.

    1. The 2007 game is completely irrelevant. All we need to know is that the Giants are are better offensively, and the Pats offense while just as good but vastly different that the one that played that fateful day. There are 46 Patriots who don't really care what happened then. P ;There are 36 Giants who couldn't give a sh!t either

    2. All 2007 is, is a media story line, and the only factor it will be on THIS game is its potential cathartic effect it would have on Pats fans.

    3. If we really want to compare teams we have to go back to week nine and the very close 24-20 loss. Here is where the discussion of the 2 teams should start.

    4. The Giants were without 3 key players. Nix and Bradshaw on offense and Akamura the CB on defense- All three will play in this game

    5. On the Pats side we lost BOTH Chung and Barrett during the game, and I think this was one of the games Connolly missed

    6. This at the start of this game the Pats D was healthy Chung Barrett and Spikes all played, so its no coincidence that it was also one of the best games the Pats played on defense (relatively speaking). Here are some interesting stats

    a. The Pats forced the Giants to punt 8 times

    b. Manning's 3rd down completion rate was 28% (in comparison, Flacco's was over 60%)

    c. And despite giving them 4 more possessions due to turnovers, the Pats defense allowed him only 250 yds passing

    d. A key under reported stat was that the Pats also gave them 30 more penalty yds AND 3 first downs due to penalties. Obviously this has to improve

    e. Arrington had a ticky tack PI that led to a Giant score, and Brown had that horrid needless PI that directly led to the winning TD. This was the game that proved to BB that WR's were a better option at Safety

    f. The man guarding the TE on the winning TD was Tracy White- 'nuff said.

    7. The offense created a LOT of yards (438) but relatively few points. The 4 TO's didn't help, as well as Goskowski's missed FG.

    a. The Giant defense was pretty much the same one we will see, except for the addition of Akamura in the DB

    b. The Pats had 87 penalty yds, and a lot of that happened on offense. Way too many for a home game.

    c. We averaged 4.4 ypc in the run game but only had 24 attempts

    8. Now all that was a half a season ago and much has happened on both teams that bodes well for them.

    9. Here is one interesting stat from NFCCG. And I think it was telling. Eli threw the ball 62 times in what amounted to close to 5 quarters of play. He was sacked 7 times and hit an amazing 20 times during that game. Now I know we don't have the pass rush that the Niners have, but its getting better.

    10. This tells us 2 things. One the Giants OL is suspect. Two, Eli Manning is one tough dude. That was a tremendous display of courage and grace under pressure. He made some big time throws under torrid fire, and came back for more. He quite frankly, is the anti-Manning Manning

    Summary- I purposely didn't do much analysis here. I just put down some stats and facts from the season to start the discussion on what they mean. Add your own and lets talk about what they mean. A great case can be made for BOTH teams to win this game, that's why it should be a 60 minute nail biter....or not :D
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  2. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    One thing that stood out form that game — the first I had gone to in a long time — is it was the debut of the three-TE set, with Solder the third. Expected more runs, especially after some early success. Not sure if going 3-TE was something they saw would work against the Giants or just something the Pats wanted to experiment with in general.
  3. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    Interesting insight Rico. They are keep Volmer on the roster for a reason. While I doubt they would just throw him out there after all this time to start in the biggest game of the year, I'm sure they love to get him some reps at RT with Solder as the TE.
  4. Deus Irae

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

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    Since you're not starting out with a lot of analysis, let me toss a tidbit out for pondering:

    In the first meeting, neither team scored in the first half.
  5. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Another difference between this game and the first - Hernandez and Woodhead were not full speed, and are now. Hernandez at full strength is a huge difference as he gives us the legit #3 option and Woodhead is a considerable difference.

    However another potential negative change could be Gronk's ankle, which might not be QUITE as severe as AH since Gronk doesn't rely as much on lateral quickness.

    I don't see Brady losing a 3rd straight game to Eli, and I don't see him playing a 2nd straight subpar game. This is his and BB's best shot at redemption for the spygate/18-1 heartbreaks, IMO they can't afford to not convert.
  6. Sciz

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    And adding to that a little, the Pats' defense was playing very well until Spikes was hurt. After he got hurt, things went downhill. After Chung was also hurt. We saw about 3 plays of hell.
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that the 2007 game may be irrelevant, but in the deep recesses of the minds of BB and TB this still looms large, they want another chance..

    What evil will lurk in the minds of these men???
  8. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    Essentially after that game we were without Barrett, Chung, and Spikes until game 16 when Chung came back. It wasn't the cause of all our defensive woes, but it didn't help. Here is some analysis on why the defense seems to have gotten for the playoffs.

    1. Getting Chung and Spikes back

    2. Moving McCourty back to safety in certain sub packages

    3. The amazing development of Sterling Moore

    4. Love and Deadrick continuing to improve as the light seems to be going on for both of them. I wish I could say the same for Brace. I guess the only thing we can say about him is "wait til next year"

    5. The sudden appearance of a more explosive Sean Ellis, who seemingly spent the season recovering from his off season hip surgery and now is prepared to play

    6. The transformation of Mark Jackson from a pass rush specialist into a more rounded DE/OLB, though he's clearly a work in progress.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  9. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Was Vollmer available for that game? If not Solder hdd to be making his first or second rookie start there.
  10. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    Vollmer played many snaps at RT in the game, with Solder as the third TE.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  11. RelocatedPatFan

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    The Patriots are 3-3 in superbowl appearances. I'd prefer to stay on the winning side :D.
  12. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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  13. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    Rewatching the regular season meeting, on Brady's first pick, #59 Boley came up in run support, saw that it was a pass, dropped back into coverage and got a piece of the ball to create the interception for Kiwanuka. Great play, and unfortunately, Boley's athleticism matches up well against the Pats' fondness for short passes over the middle.

    Added: The pick came on 2nd and 7, with the Giants in a cover-1 look with #26 Rolle rolled up for run support. Branch, the intended receiver, appeared to round off his route to avoid the deep safety, but the Mike, Boley, got back into coverage so fast, Brady didn't appear to expect it.

    More: With the Pats 1st and 10, 6:27 to go in the 2nd, the Giants have 10 men within 5 yards of the line, even though the Pats have 3 receivers spread left. They seem to like that cover-1 in base situations -- not afraid of the deep ball.

    And more: 5:09 to go in the 2nd, Wendell in at C, the Giants sacked Brady on a 4-man rush with (you guessed it) pressure up the middle. *sigh*
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  14. Deus Irae

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    The Vollmer situation could get very interesting if he's healthy enough to play. Does BB put the better player in the lineup, even though he's bound to be rusty? Or, going in another direction, does BB go with what's worked in the playoffs, even though Solder's clearly a weaker link on the line and could get exploited by a team like the Giants?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  15. zipster9

    zipster9 Rookie

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    Sadly, I think Vollmer will be done..

    As for the Giants, the player that scares me is Hakim Nicks.. He is tall and good hands.. He did not play in game 9, and I think we need to double team him...
  16. robbomango

    robbomango Rookie

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    Just a little stat comparison from week 9 2011 game

    Passing
    player...att......comp.......%..........yds........avg.......td......int.......sck....scky.......rate
    TB........28........49........57.1........342........7.0........2........2........2........10........75.4
    EM.......20.........39........51.3........250........6.4........2........1........0..........0........77.9

    Receivers
    player....rec.......yds.......avg..........td
    Cruz.......6.........91.......15.2..........0
    Wes.......9........136.......15.1..........0

    TE's
    Gronk......8........101.......12.6..........1
    Jake B.....4.........67........16.8..........1
  17. ay-yo

    ay-yo Rookie

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    Here's my offensive idea:

    The Giants like to run a 4 man line with JPP / Tuck / Osi / Canty. I haven't watched enough of them to know if those 4 will start or if they'll have a DT in there for 1 of 3 DE's but they do use that line often. Only Canty (316) is above 280 pounds.

    From the ACE personnel we should start out passing with Gronk and AH spread out wide. Once the 3rd DE comes in bring the TE's back in and slam it down their throats. We should be BLOWING that DL of the LOS.

    Now for the fun part. I want to see no huddle with 4 or 5 straight runs. Don't let that extra DE off the field. I want to physically punish the Giants. Wear them down and demoralize them.
  18. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    I think there's no doubt that the Giants will be able to put pressure on Brady, and a couple of sacks and several hurries are also inevitable, but the overall strength of the Pats OL will ultimately win the day. One of the most irritating things about the Ravens game, was Brady's ineffectiveness, DESPITE the fact that the vaunted Ravens pass rush was largely ineffective. I think when you compare the two OL's you will find that that's the biggest advantage the Pats have over the Giants.
  19. NEPats1

    NEPats1 Rookie

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    Mangini on radio saying Giants are going to put 8 in the box and make it really cloudy in the middle of the field between the numbers, the area where NE usually owns with Welker and the TE's. Put frankly he said the WR's for NE have to make plays and win their matchup b/c they will have many opportunities.
  20. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan Rookie

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    Maybe Hernandez can play the role of Veronon Davis and make the cut to the outside and down the sidelines. Gronk may be slightly limited and probably the better threat over the middle.
  21. NYCPatsFan

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    Ken,

    Fully agree on your view of Eli. I was shocked to see him throw passes even when he was going down with a severe hit and has two guys on him; passes that I thought were erratic but thrown precisely at places where his WRs/RBs have a good chance of catching it.

    Highly impressed to see his toughness and his ability to throw in the circumstances.

    His facial distortions when taking the hit and his weird throws make me always think that it is such a bad throw about to be intercepted.

    Here's hoping that our D comes away with more INT than the other teams that he had played. :)
  22. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    I hope Light and Mankins remember what happened and play like they have been.

    Didn't Spikes get injured in this one as well? I could be wrong but thought he D-I-D.
  23. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    Yes, that's the game when he got injured. As the article in the link says, he was a presence while out there. I was at the game and that hit on Ballard was a loud one.
  24. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    I can see the Giants playing a lot of man coverage underneath and waiting for Brady to make a mistake and force a throw.

    To me, this game will be simple: the QB who throws the fewest picks wins.
  25. grandpajim

    grandpajim Rookie

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    I'm glad TB "Sucked" in Sundays game.
    This guy is under immense pressure, far more than normal for a Super Bowl bound NFL QB.

    His early success and recent playoff failure.
    Chasing the ghost of his idol, Montana.
    Smelling the window of opportunity closing.
    Being an international superstar.
    Making chump change in comparison to his "A" personality type wife.

    Hearing ad nauseum "This team can't win unless Brady has a GREAT game"

    The win hopefully will help Tommy to relax & have merely a "good" game. If the rest of the team plays as it has in the last two games (I believe Solder will improve on the inside pass rush), we win.

    I literally couldn't stomach seeing Eli lift the Lombardi again. I'd move to Brazil.
  26. Mainefan

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    What is going to win--or lose--this game is the attitude, conscious and unconscious, that the players take onto the field. While most of the players on both sides weren't there in 2007, those who were will remember, just as we do. Who can forget the helmet catch, when the game seemed won. I am fairly confident that Tom Brady will remember it and that it will feed his fire. Wilfork as well. And we know what these two can do when they have fires in their belly.
  27. Dragda

    Dragda Yes, it's really me... PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Eli, despite his downs syndrome appearance is one of the smartest players to ever play in the NFL. He's never rattled and is clutch. He's beaten us the last two times we've played. Our defense is particularly vulnerable to his style of play. I hope our DBs keep an eye out for him winging it out there while under pressure.
  28. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    Looking at the numbers, I believe Eli has passed Brady in terms of ball security in the playoffs.

    Brady hasn't had a 0-interception playoff game in almost five years. Eli has thrown 0 interceptions in 2 of his last 3 playoff games.

    Brady is under enormous pressure to run a high-scoring offense, and as a result, I believe he has forced throws and made poor decisions to the point where ball security is being compromised. I have no reason to believe this trend will stop.

    The numbers tell me the quarterback more likely to throw a game-changing pick is named Brady, not Manning.

    Let's hope Brady and the coaches can solve this problem!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  29. NEP4Life

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    Continuing with comments on the regular season meeting, on Brady's second pick, the Giants played a 4-2 cover-1 nickel look, with Boley and Kiwanuka at LB, Deion Grant man on Gronk, Kenny Phillips the deep safety, with Rolle, Webster, Ross the other DB's.

    At the snap, the outside corners bailed, but Grant bumped and stayed with Gronk. Grant was well-positioned and the throw to Gronk seemed to be a poor decision, resulting in a pick for Grant.

    First play of the Pats' next possession, the Giants come back 4-3, cover-1, 10 players within about 6 yards of the line. Brady was pressured and he almost threw another pick to Deion Grant.

    And on 3rd an 10 on the same possession, the Giants lined up with a 3-3 look, blitzed, and hit Brady, causing a fumble. Every Giants defender was within 10 yards of the line. It seems clear they have no fear of the deep ball.

    Added: The Giants' defensive gameplan seems clear -- crowd the line, 10 men within 7 yards, tight coverage with some bails, stay patient and wait for Brady to force something. The Pats have no real deep threat and the Giants defensively took (and will take) full advantage.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
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