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My final season thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    First off, I want to thank all of you for giving me an outlet for my football discussion need. I only have a couple a friends who obsess over the Patriots as much as I do, and due to schedule conflicts discussions with them typically only occur on gameday. I have enjoyed my time very much and learned quite a bit at the same time. Can't complain too much about that. I don't follow offseason that much so my time here will be sporadic at best, and my posting will be virtually non-existant. If this post goes a little long, please bear with me, as there is a fair amount of catharsis in this.

    * Odd as it may sound, for a team that loses even though their offense puts up 27 points on the road and allows 38, I lay most of the blame for this game on the offense. By the end of the Colts' first drive of the third quarter it was clear that the D was done. The flu bug and the clash against SD had completely emptied them out. They weren't running on fumes, they were running on desire and desire alone. It was to the point that I was thrilled when NE held Indy to a FG. I honestly expected Indy to get a TD every time they touched the ball in the second half.

    But when NE's D reached back and found just enough to hold Indy to a three and out (after NE had done the same), that should have been the opening NE needed to put the game away. Instead, a stupid penalty forces NE to start off in the red and they never recovered. A first down there and, at best, Indy gets the ball back with 30 seconds left at the 20 with no timeouts. That was the game right there, and NE let it slip from their hands.

    * That said, the biggest play of the game that no one will talk about was Indy's conversion on 3rd and 10 at the beginning of the second quarter FG drive. Stop them there and.....

    * At halftime everyone was laughing at me because NE was dominating and yet I was still a nervous wreck. My wife, dad and friends thought that I was just being overly critical, but my repeated response (almost a mantra) was, "The second half should have been a formality. This should be 28-3 and over, this should be 28-3 and over." When Ben Watson's first down reception was caught, I let my guard down for a second because that essentially ended the game. Everyone in the free world knew that NE would score a TD on that drive, even the Indy players themselves. I still don't know what Brown was thinking because the defender he knocked out of the way had no chance to break up the pass. That game should have been a formality in the second half.

    * As much as NE made a few mistakes and their defense was dead in the second half, I still have to (begrudgingly, of course) give Indy a lot of credit for the win. I don't believe that NE "gave" the game to Indy, I think that Indy took it by taking advantage of NE's mistakes and weaknesses. With their WRs either playing like crap or being covered well, they didn't force the issue, they just took advantage of NEs LBs and safeties in coverage. It was the smart thing to do and it worked. Even consideing the mistakes by NE, Indy still needed to play a near perfect second half offensively to hae a chance....... and they did.

    * I can't say that I have any complaints about how NE's strategy offensively, except one. From the fourth or fifth time Maroney touched the ball it was clear to me that he didn't have it. He had a couple decent runs on NE's first TD drive, but it was all downhill from there. I don't know if it was the fumble, but I can't recall a single time he touched the ball, including his KO return, that he didn't dance into the blocking. He really was terrible in that game. I know some are going to say that the blocking wasn't that great, but he made it look bad. With the exception of the one or two time he was dropped immediately after getting the ball, he could have easily gotten 2-3 yards by just busting through the line. Instead, he stutter-stepped and was dropped for a loss or no gain. I think that Maroney has all the skills to be a great back oin this league, but his reading of blocks is so poor at this point that it could literally cause him to be a bust. Everything I have heard about him leads me to believe that he is a dilligent worker, so I think he will improve. But he will not see the field next year if he keeps losing yardage on plays that could have gone for 3.

    * Does anybody else wonder why the person who had Klecko in coverage came off of him? It isn't as if Manning had broken towards the goal line, so why not ride Klecko a little deeper (and into others in coverage) and then come up to stop the QB run?

    * What would a post after a Patriots loss be without some vitriol, right? Hey Bill Polian. Unless you are a complete scumbag hypocrite, I fully expect you to come out and complain about the "rough stuff" that Indy's DB was allowed to get away with on NE's final FG drive. That was far worse than anything NE's DBs were3 ever guilty of in 2003. Oh? What? You are a scumbag hypocrite? Well at least we cleared that up.

    * I still think that the Colts were terribly lucky to convert on their 2 pointer. It was a good thrown and catch, but it certainly was not how they designed it. Stop that (and the subsequent try after Indy's last TD) and the final drive is for a winning FG.

    * As much as he was a big reason for NE's improvement in the WR department, Caldwell did everything he could to help NE lose that game. He wouldn't have gotten a TD on the swing pass, but he would have gotten at least 6 yards. Had he caught his TD there would have been another 6 seconds on the clock at the end, too. As much as I am disappointed with him right now, I am optimistic about next year's WRs considering that all are assured of coming back with the exception of Brown.

    * Does anyone else wonder what might have been had Brady seen Evans uncovered out of the backfield on the final play? He would have at least gotten to the 25-20 and he would have gotten out of bounds, too. So NE could have been on the 20 with 14 seconds left still holding a TO. Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhh!!! C'mon Oswlek, don't do this to yourself.

    * After a bad night's sleep, I am still feeling a little negative right now, but eventually I, and most here, will be able to look at this game as part of NE's run. Even if Samuel, Graham and TBC are gone after this year, NE is not going anywhere for a while. Frankly, unless Brady goes down, I will be surprised if NE missed the playoffs in any of the next 3 or 4 seeason and they will almost certainly be a serious contender in at least one or two of those. We still have to remind ourselves that every team with the exception of two (and even the loser of those two) would kill to trade places with us now.

    I am sure that I forgot a few things, but I need to get to work. Thanks again.
  2. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Reading this was just too painful. Makes me realize more than ever that we had it all but sewn up and just blew it. To think it all came down to Troy's offensive pass interference call drives me mad.
  3. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    You were a great addition to the board this season, I've been very glad to see you stick around and share your thoughts. I do hope you'll find your way back next season, as it looks like the offseason is truly 'off' for you.

    Agreed agreed agreed. Every point. Agreed. The offense came out strong and then just wilted in the second half. As Manning geared their offense up, ours fell apart. It was disturbing to watch. Infuriating. I felt so bad for our defense. Desire wasn't enough, they needed rest.

    There were several instances in the final five minutes where NE 'coulda/woulda/shoulda' but didn't. It was hard to watch. I felt that they should have played for the TD on the first drive that resulted in our three point lead. And then on the final drive it was just... oh, too easy to second guess, but damnit, it could have been different.

    When they converted that play, I knew it was going to be a hard game for us to win. The rest of the game went exactly like I thought it would after they converted that down. I agree completely about that play.

    I still am not sure how I feel about that OPI call. Yeah, brown ran into the DB, but it was after five yards and the DB just stood there blocking the route that Brown was apparently running. If a WR runs a go route and the DB just stands there and they run into one another seven yards up, is that always the WRs fault? I didn't understand that play.

    Manning sliced and diced us. He played a great second half. And our offense didn't do enough to bail the D out in that second 30 minutes. It was really, really hard to watch.
  4. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    I wonder what changed for Maroney during the season. Early on he was reading his blocks well (from appearances) and was really hitting the hole fast and going upfield. At first a 'short gain' for him was a four yard run. As the season went on things changed fast around the midpoint and he just... well, stopped. He'd stutter step well in the backfield, he'd never hit the hole full speed unless the hole was huge... I don't know. Maybe the rookie wall for him was a big one, but you've gotta hope that he's more the player that he was the first six or seven weeks than the one he was for the rest of the season, otherwise we're going to be regretting him.

    I have no idea. I think it was partially that the LB didn't want to let Manning just stand there and scan the field with no pressure, as he's a surgeon when allowed to just stand back there. Also maybe the LB thought he had a safety to help him or a CB back there. Who knows. Bad play though.

    I was so upset on that PI that wasn't called on Reche. HOW can you call PI on Ellis for faceguarding when he barely touched the WR, but then NOT call it when Reche simply gets MUGGED. It's insane.

    They had a lot go right for them, but then that's what Championship teams do.

    Reche let me down big. If he'd caught that 'too open' pass then that drive might have resulted in seven. But as it was, we took the 3 and lost by four. Bummer.

    Brady seems to have had an off year this season. He's missed alot of open guys and thrown a lot of picks that just leave you scratching your head. Championship teams don't do that, and I guess that's part of why the Colts are playing for the SB and we're not.

    I agree about the longterm outlook of this team, but man it's still hard to swallow today. Just brutal. Brutal brutal feeling today. Part of that is the hangover, but still.

    It was great chatting with you this season Oswlek. Thanks for the quality you helped sustain here, and thanks for your educational insights into the games.

    Again, hope to see you back next season.

    Take care.
  5. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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  6. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    Oswlek

    Great stuff. I too love your posts. You seem to be dead on with most of your stuff, including this one.

    I might add, there MUST be some stuff that has not come out yet. Personally, I think Dillon must have been hurt or something. He disappeared and at one point they panned over to him and he looked like he was in space (concussion??). Anyway, it was maddening watch LoMo bounce around ineffectively.

    I think that put the ball in TB hand, which ordinarily I don't have and problem with. But last night going one-dimensional killed us. With Reche's crappy play, it looked like Tom lost confidence in receivers and automatically went into the early season place of comfort and was looking almost exclusively to his TE's. Particularly on that last drive.

    Perhaps I'm digging to deeply to try to explain TB bad decision on that last throw, but as was noted.......... he tried to force one into a bad spot and totally missed Heath underneath who would have at least advanced the ball 10-15 (if not more) and got out of bounds.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  7. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    You're probably right. It's my 'pats bias' thats making it hard to believe that it was really OPI. Dang, Brown let us down in the end. Bummer.

    Yeah, it was just a drunken rant that I never should have posted in the first place. I would have been much better served just sitting on my feelings until the morning.

    Live and learn.
  8. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    i can only sum all this up as lack/loss of playmakers .The play where addai fumbled the ball on the goal line and saturday recovered is the best example.
    Two yrs before this play happens..bruschi wouldve gotten the ball no question.
    We just ran out of gritty playmakers like wilie,rodney and it showed down the stretch when the defense was fatigued and the offense was struggling.
    i cant blame caldwell for what he did for this season but you put david givens in there , he makes those catches. Iam not advocating they should have been kept but at some pt championship game experience matters and these guys didnt have it
  9. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I totally agree about Bruschi recovering the fumble. I actually rewatched that play and he probably should have this time. Saturday still had the ball between his knees and Bruschi must not have seen it because he was reaching underneath him. Had Brushci just reach out he could have easily gotten the ball from Saturday.

    As far as Givens, I seem to recall him dropping an easy swing pass that would have been a TD just prior to Brady's most famous interception. Nobody is infallible.
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A fine diatribe to start your morning, well done.
  11. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    you are right. my memory is just not as good :). But the bruschi play...you noticed the other defenders ?.They were just standing and pointing...looked completely out of gas to do anything...
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  12. SVN

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    Its ben watson phobia. When brady sees him slightly open he thinks he is tony gonzalez. Unfortunately its been so predictable that passes thrown to watson are usually tipped on intercepted.Maybe its watson routes or he maybe gives indication that the play is coming to him by putting his hands up quickly ..i dont know.In my opinion ,brady needs to work with him or else we will see more INT's from brady.
    Brady's trademark 4th quarter comebacks have been when he finds who is open. Right now he seems to lock in on Ben .Even in the charger game when he throw at watson's feet.
  13. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Bump for the afternoon crowd.
  14. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Bump one last time for the nighttime crew.

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