Mike Rodak at ESPN Boston posted this the other day: ...and now I'm seeing a fan meme emerging that Kyle Williams "ate up" Dan Connolly. Problem is, Rodak was just plain wrong in the above analysis. (I'm specifically referring to a thread in another board that I won't link to from here). The first play he mentioned was actually the 3rd Patriot's play of the drive that started the 4th quarter, occurring with 13:43 remaining. The Bills were in a 4-3, with the RDT (presumably Williams, although the number is hard to read in the TV feed), lined up over Connolly. The Patriots are in a one back set with Hernandez strong left. At the snap, Koppen and Neal double team the LDT. Connolly fires out and engages the RDT and stands him up. Hernandez engages the RDE. Light is uncovered and rotates inside at the snap as if to trap, is in no position to engage the RDT, and tries to help by pushing Connolly from behind. The safety (Scott) then come up and splits the two DT blocks and meets BJGE in the hole for the tackle. Connolly then loses his block and the RDT joins in the general pile-up, but Rodak's description makes it seem like the negative play was Connolly's fault when it wasn't. The second play (occurring at 12:59) is also puzzling to highlight, as it was a successful 9 yard run around left end. The Bills appeared to be in the same 4-3 set. The Patriots look to be blocking zone left, i.e. at the snap all 5 OL rotate left and look for their blocks. Koppen lets Williams skitter in front of him and behind Connolly, as both of them head out looking for 2nd level blocks. As the announcer says, Williams is a little too late to make a play on BJGE in the backfield, and BJGE then turns the corner. Not Connolly's best play, as he doesn't end up engaging anyone at the 2nd level, but it is highly unlikely that his assignment was to block Williams given the obvious zone left. Looks like it was Koppen's failure to at least chip Williams that might have endangered the play, but it's strange to focus on negative might-have-beens when there are so many actual negatives and positives to write about. The really bizarre thing is why Rodak singles out these plays at all. Connolly in that very same drive had two great blocks off pulling action that were instrumental in both Woodhead's second long scamper and the BJGE touchdown. Why trash Connolly? I reviewed the tape and watched him on every play Sunday. He had a great game, including 3 solo pancake blocks that I saw. Instead, because of a sloppy published analysis, the guy is getting trashed by know-nothing fans. Rodak, you owe the man an apology. That kind of selective reporting is really distorting. Rodak could have much more easily -- and fairly -- trashed Koppen, who in the Patriot's second series of the 4th quarter almost cost them the game when in back to back plays he had a false start -- nice trick for a center -- and then lost Williams for the only sack of the game. Or he could have trashed Vollmer for a failed cut block of the LDE on that same play that contributed to the pressure and could have led to a sack by itself. Why trash Connolly? I think the answer to that question is that Connolly's success reduces the drama of the Mankins vs Kraft story. The reality on the field is that Connolly is so far doing a good -- if not great -- job replacing Mankins.