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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by KontradictioN, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Over the last 12 hours or so, I've seen an uproar on this forum that has, in a way, confused me and disgusted me. Our Patriots have enjoyed a 21 game regular season winning streak and still we pick them apart even when they've managed to approach the 1/4 point of the season with a winning record being led by a quarterback who is not Tom Brady. I too am perturbed by the loss. I'm right there with all of you. Not only does it hurt to get crushed, but insult to injury is added when you add on the fact that this royal ass-kicking came at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, a divisional foe and a former 1-15 team. But at the same time, you must take into account that these are not the 2007 Miami Dolphins we played yesterday. But first, let me get to our own team.

    Offense

    There is not a lot to get really excited about here. Our running backs managed a paltry 55 yards in the game. That's not including the run that Welker ripped off. For this team to be successful, we need to be able to POUND the ball. Cassel is only starting in his second game since high school and he needs all the help he can get. Pound the rock to open up passes underneath for Cassel. Then again, when you look at it, our running backs only had 16 carries to work with as well. This is where we will miss a healthy Laurence Maroney. He may dance at times, but when he is on, he is really on.

    Offensive line play was horrendous. Before the beginning of the season, I used to defend this line to the death. I would point out statistics as if they meant something. "Brady was able to stand in the pocket long enough to throw 50 TDs". But the reality is that Brady is a Hall of Fame quarterback whose quick release masked a lot of inconsistencies on the line itself. Cassel is relatively new to starting games and having the pressure fall on him which means that he will have a tendency to hold onto the ball a bit longer. He needs all the protection he can get. Especially when he's getting the kitchen sink thrown at him. He just didn't get that protection yesterday. I won't even get into how bad Watson and Thomas are at blocking. It's a moot point.

    The receivers played decently yesterday. The reason I love Welker is because he goes all out on every play. Gaffney got open for Cassel a few times as well. After that, it's downhill. I don't want to say that Moss has given up, because I don't think he has yet. But he definitely does not look inspired. We must find a way to shore up protection for Cassel so he can get Randy in the game. Our receiving corps is too good not to use. Speaking of that, what happened to Kevin Faulk yesterday? Two catches for six yards? He's too dynamic. When Faulk is involved in the game, it changes our offense.

    I thought the play calling by McDaniels was also lacking in a lot of areas. We were too one dimensional in the passing game. Slant here, hitch there. Maybe the occasional out. While Cassel probably cannot complete 20+ yard passes with the regularity of a Tom Brady, we should at least have him try it. At the very least, it will keep the defense honest.

    Last but not least, Mr. Matty Cassel. IMO, a lot of you here were saying "he needs to be Matt Cassel and not Tom Brady" but not a lot of you really believed it. We've all been spoiled rotten but the QB play over the last seven years that when someone else comes in, expectations are reasonably higher. IMO, I thought Cassel had a decent game for what he was being asked to do. He connected on over 60% of his passes and was efficient except for the interception. The fact of the matter is that Cassel had very little to back him up. As I've already pointed out, he was restricted by the play calling, the anemic running game, and poor play at the offensive line position. The fact that he even went 19/31 is impressive. However, I do not think that he should have thrown the ball 31 times. We should have pounded it up the middle a lot more often than we did. Give Cassel some time. I would say the next 3-5 games to see if he improves on the first three games. I think you'll see the playbook start to open a little more for him in each passing game.

    Defense

    After Tom went down, we all collectively said that the defense must play 100% every game in order for this team to win. Yesterday, they did not. I don't know if it was just me but this D looked completely uninspired. I, for one, don't believe they were showing their age. But they did look confused at times. The proof for that came when the Dolphins scored on three (I believe) gadget plays.

    First of all, our front seven was taken completely out of the play. I'll give credit to the Dolphins' offensive line for a job well done on that. Wilfork who is usually doing his job clogging up the center of the line was getting completely blown off the ball on almost every single play and Seymour and Warren were non factors at any time during the game. The linebackers were not much better either. Mayo was the one bright spot in the linebacking corps. Mayo was able to produce eight tackles and four assists but the only time that pressure came on Pennington at all was when AT blew through the front of the line only to miss the Noodle, allow him to run free, and make the same seven yard completion that he had been making all day. This brings me to my next point.

    Through the first two games, our secondary looked sufficient. Deltha O'Neal was looking like a steal as a pick-up a week before the season, Hobbs had done well, and the safeties did everything that could have been expected of them. Yesterday, due to the lack of pressure from our famed front seven, the secondary continuously allowed the Miami no name recievers space to catch pass after pass for first downs. I will say that the one touchdown they gave up was a blown play due to Ronnie Brown getting the direct snap then proceeding to run it down the field. That time, he did not and our safeties cheated up to stop the run. Brown found a WIDE OPEN Anthony Fasano by completing a pass that my grandpa probably could have thrown. That still doesn't excuse the fact that they allowed 200+ yards to Pennington whose reppatoire yesterday was the 11 yard pass all day long.

    Overview

    In closing, Cassel did everything that was expected of him yesterday. If you go back and bring back posts from two weeks ago, we all said from the beginning that we wanted Cassel just to be a caretacker of this offense. Well, he did that yesterday. Granted, he wasn't completely mistake free but the INT should have been something we could have overcome if the defense had held up it's end of the bargain. The running game never got off (or should I say on?) the ground. In order for this team to win, we must see a lot of Maroney, Jordan, Morris, and Faulk. Without Brady and with Cassel in his fledgling starts the only way to win is to go back to Belichickian football and pound the rock while leaning on our defense to deliver us the game. If we do not start doing that on a regular basis, we will find ourselves in similar situations to the one we were in yesterday.

    And I must give credit to the Dolphins even though it pains me. This is definitely not the same team that we all saw last year. That running game is very dangerous. Add a healthy Ronnie Brown and a healthy Ricky Williams to an offensive line that plays like that on a regular basis along with a mistake free quarterback in Pennington and the fish should suprise a few people this year. I know I'm shocked.

    And before you ask, yes I did have the day off from work and no, I didn't have anything better to do.
     
  2. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

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    as i said before i think our o line has been inconsistent all along. they usually play a lot better in the 2nd half of the season(except the last SB).
    plus brady takes a A LOT of hits when completing passes which dont show up on the stat sheet. not every QB can do that.
    on defense, our pass rush is always slow and we are not an aggressive style defense. thats why we see all kinds of QB's completing passes on our D. i just feel pissed when our players even our seniors keep saying they play good red zone defense and yards allowed doesnt matter and points matter. which is true but eventually you are going to get burnt in the redzone.
    also i agree , our running game and our 1st down plays really let to a lacklustre day on offense.
     
  3. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    it looked to me that Dolphins had a plan to go after our OLBs

    - passes down the middle where AThomas was trailing the TE by 5 yards on multiple occasions
    - outside runs that got around our OLBs
    - then fake outside runs from the single wing, that sucked the ILBs over
     
  4. SeauOUCH

    SeauOUCH On the Game Day Roster

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    I never said I wanted Cassel to be a caretaker of the offense. He was handed the keys to the same team that scored a record amount of points last year. A drop off is expected but to revert to a Baltimore Ravens style offence is not acceptable. 17,19 & 13 points scored is not the recipe for a winning season.

    People keep saying he's only had 1 bad game ( or some people are even saying the Miami game wasnt that bad :eek: ) but the results speak for themselves. We're averaging 16 points per game against 2 of the 3 WORST defenses in the league.
     
  5. BradyIsBuddha

    BradyIsBuddha Rookie

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    It's hard to argue with that.
     
  6. JAYHAWKS34

    JAYHAWKS34 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    i'm on the same page, great thread
     
  7. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry, but if you felt like Cassel was just going to come off of the bench and take Brady's place while ringing up 40+ points a game with 400 yards passing then you were just setting yourself up for disappointment.
     
  8. SeauOUCH

    SeauOUCH On the Game Day Roster

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    No there should be some drop off..I was expecting alot of mid 20's scores instead of 40 every week.

    If we average 16ppg the rest of the season we are going 5-11 or so this year.
    Despite that abomination sunday I still think our D is going to be solid this year. Asking them to hold every opponent to under 2 touchdowns every week is asking way way too much.
     
  9. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    Cassel might not have been THE problem yesterday but to say he did what was expected of him is way in the other direction. He played poorly and turned the ball over. They converted a pathetic 4 of 15 3rd downs. He led the offense to 1 TD and that was a 20 yard drive and it was still the longest drive of the 2nd half! He really did nothing that was expected of him.

    Again, he is not to blame for the loss, not when the D gets run over like Pacific playing Nebraska back in the day, but he was not the least bit effective. If that is all you expect from a QB, you can't win in the NFL.
     
  10. Deus Irae

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

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    Cassel completed better than 60% of his passes despite being under assault all game. Now, before you go with the "but" arguments, you might want to know that BB was just on WEEI and pointed out that the Dolphins only blitzed about 3-4 times all game. In other words, just as in the Super Bowl, the Dolphins were able to harass the Patriots' quarterback while still keeping 7 defenders back in the patterns. Cassel didn't play a perfect game, but he was a damned sight better than this critics are giving him credit for.
     
  11. NJPatsfan26

    NJPatsfan26 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Very nice article Kontra....

    I agree with all of the points your have made. We do need to step up on a lot of our coaching aspects and keeping our team inspired to stay together.

    Nice post.
     
  12. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I think one of the biggest problems with yesterday hasnt even been covered....We used about HALF the field, between the hash marks. Without Maroney even the threat of an outside run was gone. Three step drops and WR screens never got outside the hash....so the Phins could then compact all their defenders inside where it is easier to stop the run. The other would have been the Phins targetting Mayo, his overplays and misreads cost us badly. But your analysis is pretty close.
     
  13. buile

    buile PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    > When Faulk is involved in the game, it changes our offense.

    Yep, and Miami knew it. Seems like as soon as Faulk released, there was someone immediately on him. No chance for YAC.
     
  14. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    I could reaaly care less about completion percentage or any stats for that matter. The QBs job is to keep the chains moving, not turn the ball over, and get points on the board. He did none of the 3. He played poorly. So did the offensive line, the entire defense, and most of the skill position players.

    Why is it people feel the need to rush to Cassel's defense when anyone says he played badly? He was hardly alone in that.
     
  15. Deus Irae

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

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    Why is it that people feel the need to attack Cassel's performance when it wasn't all that bad, and then ignore the facts because they undermine their arguments?
     
  16. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    So when you say Cassel played poorly, it is an attack? I didn't realize he was above criticism. Is it also an attack to say the OLine played poorly? Or the defense? Outside of the kicking game, the whole team pretty much laid an egg yesterday. They all played poorly. I guess I am attacking the whole team.
     
  17. Deus Irae

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

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    Are you seriously going to claim that line was either true or anything but an attack on his game?
     
  18. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think it was true. I'd say the same about almost every position on the field. You want to call it an attack, that is fine. We'll agree to disagree.
     
  19. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You should. In a lot of ways, they tell you about offensive or defensive production. Or, in this case, the production of the quarterback.

    Very true. Although he didn't turn the ball over more than he scored for us. But he did keep the chains moving for us. Let's take a look at the stats:

    1. TOTAL FIRST DOWNS - 14
    Compare that to Miami's total of 23

    2. BY RUSHING - 5

    3. BY PASSING - 7

    4. BY PENALTY - 2

    While the points still weren't on the board, Cassel did enough by himself to ensure that we were at least in the position to score. So while you agree with me on this I'll go back to the thread to rehash it: Cassel needed more help from the rushing game (non-existant) and the defense (non-existant). He's not Superman or Tom Brady for that matter.

    Agreed.

    Because most here are completely over the top when they say something badly. You say you don't care about stats but how can you look at them then blame the entire game on Cassel? The stats are there. They show that, while he didn't have a great game, he had an efficient one for a quarterback who has rode the pine since 1999.
     
  20. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    quote - "IMO, I thought Cassel had a decent game for what he was being asked to do"

    Huh? I thought he was being asked to win the game, nothing less or more. If winning was his task he had a dismal game, not decent. You're right he's not Tom Brady - Cassel has feet of clay in the pocket compared to Brady to start with - but offering that he was abandoned by the rest of the team hardly lets Cassel off the hook.

    If the 'Fins were any better they should have had at least two more picks, in addition to the one canceled out by the roughing penalty. Cassel, not the rest of the team, threw those balls.

    Cassel totaled 130yds! Against one of the worst D's in the league! That's an "efficient" game? Are you serious?

    Get off the kool aid my friend, Cassel stunk, just like the rest of team.
     
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