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idle thoughts - the warm and fuzzy edition

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Dec 11, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Hard to add to all the positives that we saw tonight. There are so many reasons that we are so lucky to be fans of this team and its organization. Let me count the ways.

    1. You want to know why this team has won so consistently the last 12 years. The best example was the time out the Pats took one minute into the game after the Texans had run the ball 3 times and never had one under 10 yds, including the one called back. BB calls an immediate TO, and while I have no idea what adjustment they made, the immediate results was a 3 and out (2 runs for 5 yds and failed pass).

    I can't tell you how impressive that was. Clearly whatever they planned all week didn't work, and yet within 3 plays they figured out why they were getting gashed, devised the adjustment to fix it, and had the systems in place so that they could communicate the necessary information to their players and their players were coached well enough to make that adjustment work. Folks that is freakin' astonishing.

    There were a lot of critical plays early on in that game. The Hernandez fumble recovery, the McCourty interception, etc. However I think the turning point of this game came one minute into it, when BB called that TO.

    2. BTW- BB called another defensive TO in that first half and it also resulted in a positive play for the Pats.

    3. The PI on Welker early in the game was just a horrible call. I am shocked Perriera said it was a good call. The defensive player has a right to be there and it looked to me that Welker ran into him. I hate it when the refs reward teams for poorly executed plays......However...... I felt a lot better about that call when the Pats were flagged for a call that were easily as bad as that one that killed a promising drive. The OPI on Herandez looked more like holding on the DB than a OPI.

    I have no idea what the ref saw that made him throw that flag. The other injustice that some ref ESPN had in the booth called the OPI on Arrington a bad call. Arrington got perfect inside position on the receiver. He was in the best position to catch the ball. He had every right to his position, and he was knocked down by the receiver. It was an easy call. Yet some jamoke former ref in the booth calls it "bad call" because Arrington hadn't turned his head. :rolleyes:

    4. I will be frustrated all this week when ESPN will keep showing the Welker PI and NEVER show the equally bad call on Hernandez

    5. That being said the ball DID bounce the Pats way. Houston SHoULD have recovered the Ridley fumble, and the Woodhead fumble almost looked like a pass to Lloyd.

    6. Speaking of the Woodhead/Lloyd TD, Almost as amazing as Woody's run was Watt's effort to knock the ball out.

    7. Speaking of Watt, he is clearly the best defensive player in the league. Its hard to watch the game and not be completely impressed with his play. Comparing him to Lawrence Taylor is NOT hyperbole. No offense to the Wake's. Miller's, JPP's and Smith's of the league, JJ Watt is playing at another level right now. Even when he's playing against you, he's a pleasure to watch.

    Its kind of frustrating to remember that there were a lot of mock drafts back in 2011 that had Watt coming to NE. He was a binky of mine back then, but by draft time it was becoming clear that he'd never last to us.

    8. Almost as impressive as Vince Wilfolk's play on the field, was his post game interview with ESPN. What a great ambassador of this organization and the Patriot Way. If you didn't see it, I'd recommend you find a link to it. It will be well worth the search.

    9. You can't say enough about the run defense in this game, especially after what we saw the first 3 plays of the game. Think about this stat. The Pats only gave up 92 yds on the ground, and close to 40 of those yds came on just 2 plays..... and one of those came in the 4th quarter.

    10. The other defensive stat that impressed me was that Houston only converted TWO 3rd downs. Hard to believe that one from a team that had been at the bottom of the league in getting off the field on 3rd down form MOST of the last 2 years

    11. Can't be more pleasantly surprise by the consistently good coverage we are getting from Alphonso Dennard. I keep waiting for the rookie breakdowns and I'm just not seeing them. Even when they complete passes against him, his coverage is tight and if he's missed a tackle this season, I can't remember it. If there is another 7th round pick that has had more of an impact on their team, I can't think of him.

    Its quite an amazing turn around for a kid who couldn't stay on the field for most of TC, and missed the first 5 games

    12. Think about the mea culpas that so many media pukes and a few haters here are going to have to make about comments about Brandon Lloyd. Not only did he have an impact game, he caught the ball over the middle. Took big shots, and caught 7 of the 9 time he was targeted... and was open the other 2. I have no idea WHY he seemed to disappear the last few games, but ability was one of the reasons.

    13 ...and speaking about mea culpas, there should be a few reserved for Steven Gregory, who covered well, and tackled even better. Clearly he'd been getting good coaching from Nate Ebner since his return from injury. ;)

    14. There have been several of us who have constantly told you that this was a much improved defense from last year's version. And while it might not have looked like it earlier in the season, it was clear to me that the potential was there, and it WOULD improve over time. Tonight the proof was revealed.

    While it still might not be a "dominating" defense, its getting better and is not that far away from becoming one.

    15. Aqib Talib is not a "shut down" CB in the Revis-mode, but he has made a positive impact on this team already, and his impact will continue to grow as gets more experience with the defense. He was very cheap at the price.

    BTW- It was encouraging to see him walking around on the sideline after he got hurt. It looked like he could have returned if he had to.

    16. Safety or CB, Devin McCourty looks like he's back to his rookie level of playing. You might not have noticed, but he went back to CB after Talib left the game, and did a great job.

    17. Here is a short list of disappointments from this game

    a. That last TD pissed me off. It shouldn't have happened, and garbage time TD's like that, might keep the Pats from getting into the top 10 scoring defenses (which was one of my goals for them.

    b. I had high hopes for Ron Brace this season. I thought he was going to have a Cunningham-like resurgence from what I saw in the preseason. But after he came back from being hurt, he's never gotten many snaps, and him being inactive tonight probably signals the end of his Patriots tenure.

    c. As impressive as Dennard's rise to prominence has been, the apparent fall of Tavon Wilson's impact has been equally disappointing. He seems to be getting fewer and fewer snaps since McCourty moved to safety. His fall from grace has been almost as swift as Patrick Chung's

    d. I imagine Chandler Jones played well in run defense as he has all season. And he did have a pass block. However he didn't show much penetration in his pass rush in his return to duty. Both Ninko and Scott were more effective. I know its his first game back, but I was hoping for more.

    18. Poor Ryan Mallett. He finally gets into a game. He finally gets to pass the ball. He puts it right on the money into a small window, and it winds up being picked off. IIRC he has as many picks as completions now. Its not easy backing up Tom F Brady.

    19. A good word should be said for special teams. Both punt and KO coverage was again excellent.

    20. Is it just me, or is Shane Vareen looking more and more like the RB we all hoped he'd be when we'd drafted him

    21. t was good night to be a Pats fan. Lets all enjoy it tomorrow before we get into SF. The only bad news is that we will no longer be "under the radar". The mediots will all be jumping on the bandwagon and acting like they "knew it all the time". :rolleyes:
  2. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Love the physicality that the current secondary players bring, and I think that Gregory has been holding his own lately--much to my complaining about him at times earlier in the year.

    I will admit that while I do think that Wilson can become a safety of the future, I thought that his turnovers were more in the "lucky" Arrington mode of 2011. He has been in the BB doghouse, apparently his tendency to allow someone to get behind him while guarding the 5 yd line in back to back weeks did not go over well.

    Chung is who we thought he was...as he has been delegated to a bit/role player. Finally.

    The movement of DMcC to free safety has propelled the entire secondary to better results, as safety play is so important in this league. The 'step down' from McCourty to Dennard has not been noticeable enough to warrant DMcC moving back to CB. That said, Dennard is a great surprise and has been holding his own, so everything is working cohesively back there at the moment.

    Kyle Arrington has looked miles apart from his earlier play, as keeping him in the slot has really played to his benefit.

    Wilfork is just a beast. You're right about that.

    Welker had a nice start, but dropped too many balls and couldn't get on the same page.

    Hopefully the injuries to Dennard, Arrington, and Talib are minor as they have obvious huge importance moving forward.

    I'd love to finally get that interior presence as a 3rd down rush specialist. It's a shame that both Fanane and Pryor did not work out.

    Brady got knocked around waaay too much for my liking tonight, but you have to give credit to the great front line of the Texans too. Hopefully we can learn from that a bit moving forward to the SF game. It also shows how tough Brady is, as he was walking and jogging a bit gingerly and stiff at one point, and can be seen when he gets up from his slide on the scramble in the .gif on page 13 of the post-game thread (although that isn't where it happened and it was prior to that). Despite being slightly dinged up and having the usual December bumps and bruises, he still played through them as he always does. The warrior in him really comes out, and the scramble for the first down only proves that more.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  3. danam404

    danam404 Rookie

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    There are two things I religiously read every Monday... Peter kings MMQB and PFK's idle thoughts. Keep it up, nice take as always.
  4. Gumby

    Gumby Rookie

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    Ken,
    Wanted to sing your praises but someone beat me to it and said what I think.

    So I'll just say ditto that.
  5. andrewgarrr

    andrewgarrr Banned

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    I'd love to see Vereen as the every down back next season. I think he brings more to the table than Ridley.
  6. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Rookie

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    Chung is gone next season, little doubt about that i think, esp. with Wilson as the 3rd safety, Dowling to come back and maybe a decent FA or draft pick up.

    The CB quartet of Talib, Dennard, Arrington and Cole has done well

    The secondary have been helped considerably however by the front 7/8 really starting to play aggressively, much better schemes, blitzing (i.e. Mayo last night) and a better outside rush (Ninko and Scott did well last night). Even the back ups such as Deaderick and Francis (and previously Cunningham) are playing well
  7. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan Rookie

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    A couple other thoughts to add to all this.

    Hernandez. good to see him coming back to form and being a difficult player to defend. He can lose defenders by where he lines up in the offense and is a matchup nightmare for other teams. 7 receptions on 9 targets is good. My only criticism from him last night. How many times was his first step to go backwards to try and gain more yards? Way too many, but I'll credit him with only doing this when he was past the first down marker.

    Gostowksi. I know they are only PATs, but 3-4 of his kicks could have been kicked through a goalpost that was only 5-6 feet wide.

    Offensive Balance. We have it in spades. Lots of credit to the offensive line for creating lanes for our backs to run through.

    EDIT: I imagine the media may actually try to hype the Patriots this week. They played a great game, but did get a couple things that went their way. But, they certainly capitalized on all the mistakes the other team made.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  8. mosi

    mosi Rookie

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    "The PI on Welker early in the game was just a horrible call. I am shocked Perriera said it was a good call. The defensive player has a right to be there and it looked to me that Welker ran into him. I hate it when the refs reward teams for poorly executed plays......However...... I felt a lot better about that call when the Pats were flagged for a call that were easily as bad as that one that killed a promising drive. The OPI on Herandez looked more like holding on the DB than a OPI. "

    I thought that was a PI. The texans player ran to the spot but was not really looking at the ball and ran into Welker, preventing him from getting to the ball. If that was not called, everyone would have been complaining.

    Also, 100% agree with the interview with Big Vince. I am so glad he is a Patriot and hope he will be for life.
  9. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    No Jersey Selected

    Great stuff; many thanks.

    I think on the disappointments I'd swap in Shiancoe's name for Mallett's. Shiancoe has been a disappointment to say the least. That Mallett pass was on the spot. Hoping for a few more blowouts to close things out so we can see more passes from #15 -- hard as Brady often throws, it's clear Mallett has some extra zip. "Big arm" indeed.

    GREAT showing by the D. Love the way Mayo is being cut loose more, and I'm becoming a big fan of how Dennard plays football. His coverage skills are coming along and he's an excellent tackler. Looks to me like he's been giving Gregory ome tips too. ;)

    Ridley: 18 carries, 72 yards, 4.0 YPC. Foster: 15, 46, 3.1.

    Finally, with so few prime times games for the Pats so far this year, nice to see Brady and Wilfork shine in the spotlight and remind the nation just how good they are.

    Watching NFLN right now and they had a roundtable on whether the Pats are the best team in the NFL now. Kriegel seemed to think they're benefitting from home cooking ("they lost at Seattle and at St. Louis (sic)." Picks 49ers as top team (even though they actually did lose "in St. Louis"). So be ready for a lot of that talk this week. I'm ready!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  10. borg

    borg Rookie

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    The first timeout was because the Pats recognized they had 12 on the field, not because it was time to talk it out. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though.

    Is there a more beautiful runner in the NFL than Foster...just a pleasure to watch a special athlete perform. If Schaub could have hit Foster on those swing passes to Foster......Foster was wide open all day as if the LBs forget their assignment. It's a good thing....

    ....Schaub is a mediocre NFL QB and is so overrated. Without play action, he can't carry a team and Houston is the classic frontrunner...like most teams that rely on the run.

    Was that Big Vince's best game ever? This guy is like a fine wine getting better with age.

    Brady vs Miami vs Brady vs Houston.....a tale of two tapes. And Brady was likely unhappy watching his tape vs Miami. Bad mechanics, poor rhythm, mistiming with receivers. Last night's Tom was a different guy. To hang in the pocket as he did with that fierce pressure was outstanding. Sure, he had the security of a fully equipped O line last night unlike the Miami game....and that's why the complexity of football is so intriguing....so many moving parts needing to come together for success.

    Which leads me to my Mea Culpa......last week I pounded the table that Manning should be MVP and not Brady. I argued both had similar stats but Manning was more valuable to his team. And that me still be so, but the eye test tells me Brady is clearly the best QB. His toughness in the pocket last night wiped away any doubt I had. I can't wait to see him perform vs SF. Hopefully big game performance carry more weight.

    Just rewatched that Welker PI call....Welker is running his line and the 2nd defender comes across, tries to undercut and knocks him off his line. Last time I read the rules, body checking into the boards isn't allowed 20 yards down field.

    Coaching....chess vs checkers is the easiest way to describe the difference in last nights coaching match up. The value of having the same QB and coach/scheme in place for a dozen years gets lost in the discussion. But the layers they are able to add that most teams could never dream of because of the lack of any continuity.
    Did anyone catch McDaniels reaction after the long Lloyd TD....priceless. San Fran has been running a similar play...sending the RB to the right followed by the QB.....SF hits the releasing TE on a post as the DE/OLB bites and attacks towards the QB. McDaniels used a releasing WR instead. Just love a well designed play

    Is Andre Johnson elite? If Dennard can hang stride for stride....then not so much.

    Damn that was fun last night....reminded me of those hyped up Pitt games.....when the Pats usually crushed 'em. Time to expose SF now!!!!!
  11. RodThePat

    RodThePat Rookie

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    Talking about bad calls by the officials, on the Ridley fumble the play should've been blown dead because his forward progress had already been stopped by that point.
  12. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Great post as always KEn! There were indeed alot of bounces that went our way last night and the Welker PI so as great a win as it was, I don't think it was as dominant as the score showed. After the 45-3 game in 2010 and losing to the same team in the playoffs, I hope that the team remembers that game well in case we see the Texans again. I know how annoying it will be to hear about the PI's on ESPN but frankly all I care about is getting the big W and moving on to SF, here we stand with 3 games to go and we control our own destiny for the #2.

    One of the most exciting things about last night was not only the TD to Stallworth, but the drive before it looked like he got seperation from his man also. Brady was under major pressure otherwise it could have been another big completion. If he can get open deep 1-2 times a game whether we hit it or not, that ability to stretch the field will do wonders for this offense.

    Watt is definitely something special, I watched him last night and was amazed. If Jones could someday become anywhere near as dominant I'll be ecstatic.

    Still our defense looks legit ever since the Talib trade. His presense on the field, coupled with Dennard stepping up as CB2 has taken this defense to the next level. Moving McCourty to FS and Arrington to nickel is just what the Dr. ordered. PLEASE be okay Talib him and Dennard are as crucial to this D right now as anyone. That said I still hope CB is a high priority in the draft, I'm not sure how much we can rely on Talib long term with the suspensions and off field issues. But hopefully we can extend him for 2 seasons, after the Moss contract in '08 I think anything more is a gamble, unless it's like Gronk's deal and easy to get out of.

    I'm also disappointed in lack of Tavon after his impressive start. But if Gregory keeps playing without the errors we were seeing from him early in the season there may be good reason for keeping him on the bench. Still would be nice to see him steal some meaningful reps here and there. Chung's playing his way out of NE, his only 'impact' last night was a personal foul.

    ST coverage and Mesko were solid again, can't lose sight of that. Especially when the offense was struggling to even get a first down in the middle of the game, we stilll managed to not give Houston a short field. That was huge at that point in the game. Also credit to the offense for not turning it over and giving Houston an easy way back into the game. We played and managed a spectacular game last night, hope that we get some more of these in the postseason now!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  13. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    More on Watt:

    There was one play where he came in hard from the left straight at Brady who ended up rushing a throw for an incomplete pass. I remember thinking "How could the Pats just not assign anyone to block Watt on that play? Wasn't being aware of Watt a point of emphasis?"

    Then I saw the replay and saw that the Pats DID have a blocker on Watt; Nate Solder, but watt went through him so fast and easily that on first look it appeared he was unblocked.

    What an unreal player. I was a big fan of him pre-draft, but he has been even better than I imagined he could be.
  14. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    Now that the over-analyzing period has begun...

    I'm a big "eye test" guy. IMO, according to the "eye test", Justin Francis has been very productive rushing the passer on a per snap basis. He looks slow off the snap, but he seems to have heavy hands and a powerful bull rush.

    Last night he registered two QB hits, and disengaged from an offensive lineman with a nice spin move but the ball got out too soon. That wasn't a fluke either - in his limited time out there this season, he has gotten into the backfield. He beat Brick against the Jets once and got a licking on Sanchez, and got a lick in on Fitzpatrick as well. Also got Cordy Glenn on the ground entirely once, but the ball came out before he could charge at the QB.

    Is it just me or is this kid not bad?
  15. 102 Pat

    102 Pat Rookie

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    Especially since the IR with designation to return was used on him.
  16. RayClay

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    He seems to have the athletic ability and aggressiveness. Seems raw, though. Needs to try to avoid tackling players on his own team.:)
  17. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est Rookie

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    Sadly true.

    Imagine if instead of Schiancoe, the Pats got Jeff Demps back to add another weapon to the Pats arsenal; particularly on KO returns.
  18. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    Ken, I had the same thought about Mallet. Poor guy. Didn't deserve that interception. I'd love to see pure interceptions separated from tips, statistically. The tips aren't the QB's fault.

    But in general, it was obvious that BB outcoached Kubiak. The game plan, offensively and defensively, was superb and Texas had no answer for it.
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    4) They already have - - all the sports shows are showing it and none are showing the idiotic PI calls that went against us. Sadly, this was as predictable as the sunrise this morining.

    8) The Kraft Family should be RIGHT NOW planning a strategy to keep VW and Bianca on the payroll for the rest of their lives - - in some sort of capacity with the Patriot Charity Organization or with the Hall - - I'm talking about being the representatives of the Patriots to the New England community - - sort of like what Andre Tippet does now, but in a more out there way. Bianca already does more charity appearances than any other wife - - every time I look at Patriots.com, there she is somewhere with an apron on at a soup kitchen or at some hospital. There is always a mix of the other wives, but she seems the one constant who is at all of these things. Plus, the fact that she is quite the character. Vince, what can you say? Ken, you are spot on with your observation about that on-the-field studio set interview last night. I TiVO'd it and will show my son this afternoon after he gets back from school. He could be a network news anchor. He was that good. Brady is good, but he still comes off as a slightly shy jock. Vince is a fully self-possessed, mature gentleman. He was like a 350 pound Mr. Rogers - - you could actually notice Suzy Kolber, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young idolizing his presence.

    12) http://www.patsfans.com/new-england...-brown-shut-up-love-kisses-brandon-lloyd.html

    d) Chandler simply had no push off ability on that ankle last night. I was watching him closely the 20-40% of the time he was in. There was little acceleration ability. That's OK, though - he looked like Hernando in the Thanksgiving night game, and #81 is now fully back to being his old evasive running self. Last night was a baby step back into action. CJ will be himself by the playoffs (plus we'll have Cunningham back!).
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  20. RayClay

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    Great stuff, Ken.

    I do have one quibble and it's about a common tendency here.

    Me, I don't care what Tavon Wilson is doing right now. Based on his rep, I'm guessing he's watching and learning about safety, corner, slot just about everything.

    Why don't i care? Because we're getting the best safety play in years from Gregory and McCourty. That's all I care about. If we have injuries, instead of Slater or Indigbo or something, right now we'll have Wilson and Chung available. I don't care about their careers or where they were drafted, that's their problem, or it's history's.

    Brace might not be the most motivated player, but we seem to have a great rotation with Love or Deaderick, depending on the scheme (great game by Deaderick last night) and Vince is playing Pro Bowl level and every snap, it seems.

    Do I care about Brace? Not really. If he's not a distraction and is putting in effort in practice, who cares? We seem to have a great attitude and I doubt BB puts up with slacking, so he's not playing due to some combination of injury, or lack of minutes left from the guys that are getting it done every week.

    Right now, instead of searching the waiver wire looking for huge athletic guys (good luck with that, haven't we been there?) we have quality depth that can step in. If that's not true, the worst is we end up on the wire again, but if there's no better replacement now, his snaps aren't my worry. Mrs. Brace can worry about his career. Until someone beats him out, I'm glad to have him in reserve.

    Only so many slices in the pizza, or snaps in a game. Brady hasn't thrown for 300 yards since whenever? Could be because our running game is successful. If we're averaging 49 points for a stretch, just assume the play calling mix is OK.:)

    If you want to get more snaps, offer more than the guy ahead of you or contribute at practice. Not everybody is going to be a starter, or get their minutes back after injury, but I'd sure rather have talent in reserve, than need it and not have it.
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