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Key to game is controlling Merriman (aka "steroidboy")

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by cblesz, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. cblesz

    cblesz Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Maybe we have already covered this 1,000 times. But, does anyone here remember the Miami game? We were shut out. Miami was not an offensive juggernaut that day, but their defense held us to no points and made our offensive line look foolish.

    My concern heading into this game is specifically, Matt Light and his ability to control "steroid boy". In the Miami game, Jason Taylor as always made him look foolish. He was a turnstile and Miami was in our backfield all day. I am sure we will give Light help by putting Graham over there, but in doing so, this takes an offesive option away. I am hoping for several different variations of the screen pass. In my opinion, controlling Merriman is the key to the game. Look, we all know San Diego is going to put points on the board. We simply have to match their production. If we can control Merriman and keep him out of Brady's face, we should be able to match points with San Diego. Then, it is a matter of execution late in the game. If that is the case, my money goes on Brady rather than Rivers.
     
  2. BelichickFan

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  3. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday who relayed to me what Light has said about Taylor in interviews. It was something like, "It is the matchup. The guys is just so good at everything."

    That is the key to possibly neutralizing Merriman. NE is phenominal at taking away what not only a team does best, but what a player does best. As long as Merriman is better at some things than he is at others or you can predict how he will attack based on formations, postioning or down and distance, then NE will slow him down.

    However, if he is like Taylor and there is not real way to tell what he will use and all techniques are exceptional, then NE will struggle.

    Can any SD fans shed some objective light on this?
     
  4. wdkantro2

    wdkantro2 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I am not too concerned about losing an offensive weapon by leaving Graham at home to help out on the Chargers pass rush. As Reiss said, Graham was on the field for more snaps than any other position player against the Jets, and he only had one catch. This means he stayed to block for a majority of the snaps, and our offense did fine!
    The key is stopping Merriman, but you can't forget about the rest of the Chargers D. Phillips is another speed guy on the outside, so you can't just put all your focus on Merriman, although you do need to put a little extra focus on him. Personally, I would run a lot of lead/off tackle plays directly at Phillips and Merriman. Sure, they can rush the passer, but how many great pass rushers are great run stoppers? Very few (exhibit A= Roosevelt Colvin).
     
  5. PatsDparty

    PatsDparty On the Game Day Roster

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    I think of Merriman more as a bigger Freeney, rather than Taylor. We've had success against Freeney when we've moved Graham over to help out (and also run at him), so hopefully they can do something similar.

    The Chargers have a good offense, but we've faced better ones in the past (rams) and this year (I'd say the colts offense is a worse match up for us personally: we're stonger against the run than the pass)..Some decent defenses have held the Chargers to under 30 points, and I feel that we can do the same.

    Our offense has put up points against some good defenses this year (bears), and has struggled against others (dolphins, broncos), so hopefully we'll have the right gameplan to attack the chargers' weakneses.
     
  6. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    You're right. I should have added that onto my post.
     
  7. abyzmul

    abyzmul Practice Squad Player

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    merriman has done more than taylor in 4 fewer games. there have been games where merriman has been held without a sack, and where he was double teamed. the problem is that the other outside rusher (phillips) has 11+ sacks as well, meaning holding an additional blocker on merriman will only leave other blockers on an island, where the chargers' D will win that matchup almost every time.

    the solution to that problem would be to hold in 1-2 TE's in max protection (like cinncinnati did). however, unlike cinn, the patriots dont have the dominant receivers. NE's receivers do not have an advantage over SD's secondary, especially if you only have 2 receivers running routes (2 WR, 1 RB, 2 TE blocking). it's a chess game, and that's why the coaches become such huge factors.

    marty holds the lead 2-0 head to head against BB when it's SD vs. NE. it will definitely be fun to see how the game unfolds (unless you're a patriot fan)...
     
  8. cblesz

    cblesz Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Good points until you got to, "(unless you are a patriot fan)"...laugh.
     
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Finally we get to where the Patriots have the advantage (other than QB).
     
  10. WaBoltsFan

    WaBoltsFan Rookie

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    There's one thing you guys don't understand, and you will sunday. Double or triple team 'roid boy' and Brady will soon meet some of the other UNDERRATED stars on the Chargers front 7.
     
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    I realize that Merriman's stats seem superior to Taylor's, but what I am talking about is how he gets them.

    To completely oversimplify, lets say you have a guy who has an amazing outside pass rush, but his swim move, bull rush etc. are good to very good. NE will prioritize what moves to watch out for and how to counteract them better than any team in the league.

    There is a reason why a team with no visible pro bowlers and all pros wins as often as they do. There is also a reason why you will see NE's gameplans suddenly appear in games against teams that were previously unbeatable before they faced NE.

    I will say it again: SD is a fabulous team. If they go on to win the SB a case could be made that they are the best team of the decade (although I would contest that, the 2004 Pats would have beaten all comers in this decade). I will have no shame if SD puts NE down. But you are selling SD's opponenet a little short in just about every post that you make.
     
  12. PatsDparty

    PatsDparty On the Game Day Roster

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    Chargers fans must have some of the worst logic that I've ever encountered. One minute they're dismissing our post season records and what we've done (past is the past argument), and the next quoting Marty's history against BB, and how the chargers beat us the last two times they saw us. Take off those rose colored glasses and look at entire bodies of work rather than leaving out information. If you look at that, you'll realize that two excellent teams are facing each other, and picking either team is pretty tough.
     
  13. cblesz

    cblesz Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    How are they underrated? Isn't the entire team going to the Pro Bowl???
     
  14. abyzmul

    abyzmul Practice Squad Player

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    if you read on, the chargers actually have the advantage in that area. schottenheimer has the better record head to head against BB.
     
  15. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't care what their career record is, it doesn't take a great mind to realize that Belichick has it all over Schottenheimer - especially in the playoffs.
     
  16. WaBoltsFan

    WaBoltsFan Rookie

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    Merriman seems to get all the hype. In underrated I'm referring to Philips and Castillo, as well as a couple others.
     
  17. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There's plenty of options. Brady plays a great Point Guard when in the spread offense out of the shotgun.
     
  18. abyzmul

    abyzmul Practice Squad Player

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    i assume what you're talking about it schottenheimer holding the edge over BB in the head:head record stat. many patriot fans love to scream out about the patriots' post-season record. it is true that being 11-0 didn't help becoming 11-1 last year, but since many pro-patriot posters love to use their record as justification for a victory this weekend it is fitting to point out marty's record against BB head to head, when it is the chargers vs. the patriots. perhaps putting it in your own terms (by quoting records) the reality stings a little?
     
  19. WaBoltsFan

    WaBoltsFan Rookie

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    I can't stand marty. But I think that points been made thousands of times already. Just as long as Marty keeps his arse out of the game, they should be ok. I still can't help but remember what he did with the Chiefs in the playoffs, and I've hated him ever since.
     
  20. abyzmul

    abyzmul Practice Squad Player

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    the definition of insanity by albert einstein: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

    as much as you try to spin it, marty has the advantage over BB. SD's coaching staff as a whole has the advantage over BB's depleted squad.
     
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