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NE/CIN observations

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by supafly, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I don't do many observation threads, but since I'm feeling down due to the loss and wish to kill some time while my wife watches the DAL/DEN debacle, I figured I'd give it a go on some of the things I noticed today:



    1. I've been speaking loudly about the fumbling issues throughout LeGarette Blount's career since the preseason, so it wasn't remotely surprising to me to see him put the ball on the ground at a very inopportune time.

    Coming into the season, Blount has historically fumbled at a 1/43 touch rate, and now has 10 (TEN) lost fumbles in a his career which spans a bit over 3 yrs.

    In comparison, coming into the season Ridley has fumbled at a 1/76 touch rate, and we all know the scrutiny that he's been under during his career here. Every RB fumbles at times, but Blount has had issues with this throughout his entire career so it's worth noting and something to keep an eye on in the future. I don't mind seeing Blount here to take some of the hits and keep our RBBC/Ridley somewhat fresh, but somehow I don't think that this is the last fumble that we see from him.

    2. While Vellano and Chris Jones have shown themselves to be adequate players on the DL which is obviously a positive, I can't help but feel that we should still explore bringing in another DT in the big body sense. This thought rings true even more should Tommy Kelly miss any time.

    The thinness of the DL was the biggest concern for many of us, and I think that the Bengals did a great job of exploiting this obvious weakness. Our concern as fans is that all of the other teams are going to attempt to do the same thing. The next man up philosophy is great and our team has a much better success rate than others, but it's not going to work all of the time.

    That isn't a knock on either one of Chris Jones or Joe Vellano, because I think that both have shown themselves to be adequate enough at DT's, but the concern is there that it may not be enough.

    3. Normally we don't have to hear about the term "trap game" very much with Bill Belichick at the helm, but this was a classic example even though I don't necessarily believe that they underrated the opponent.

    It was a back-to-back road game situation, with ATL last week and NEW ORL coming up next week. On top of that Cincy was licking their wounds after getting handled last week vs Cleveland. With the scheduling, the great defense that Cincy has, and the rain coming at a very inopportune time, it was a perfect storm of sorts for a loss.

    Normally I wouldn't care too much about a loss here and there, but Brees and company are coming to town with a very, very potent offense and a much improved defense. They are 5-0 for a reason, and my concern doesn't need an explanation. The thought of losing back to back games is a serious possibility.

    4. Leon Washington has proven to be an absolute dud at this point, which is a shame since he came with a 1.2 million dollar pact. In comparison, the Chargers gave Danny Woodhead a 2 yr pact worth 3.5 million, or 1.75 million AAV. I'm not normally one to complain in hindsight, especially since I think we did a decent enough job of retaining our own FA's last year, but it's a comparison worth noting.

    Washington's inability to get on the field has been more than annoying to me, and I didn't think he looked too hot during preseason either. Hopefully Ridley's injury is not serious, as the early reports do not seem to be too worrisome with a lower thigh/top knee bruise.

    This move also risked Devin McCourty to injury returning kickoffs, which has been something that we all didn't want to see. I expect that Josh Boyce was either inactive today (never saw the list), or that Belichick just feels that he's not sure handed enough for that situation, but it may be time to choose a poison---and Devin McCourty is obviously one of the key players who we cannot afford to lose. I'd rather have had Blount back there again today under the circumstances, so that should put it all into perspective.

    5. The offensive line didn't do a good job today, and that was disappointing. I think the most disappointing aspect for me was seeing Nate Solder get manhandled so frequently. Other than noticing that, I wasn't really able to pinpoint where the failure was, although the middle is normally the starting point for a lot of pressure. I'll be interested in hearing more specifics, and thoughts from those who are able to review the game footage later in the week.

    6. Kenbrell Thompkins looks like he can be an upgrade over Brandon Llyod not only for the future, but also for the present. The main beef I have with him is the fact that he double catches so many balls. Rarely do you see him make a nice, clean grab. They are normally traps into his chest, and there have been several times in the past couple/few weeks where he's gotten it on the rebound. That is something that needs to change if he's going to continue to progress.

    7. It was interesting to see the decision of holding out Collie today, and it's just hard for me to get a good read on what the future plan is with him. It's quite possible that even Belichick himself doesn't know until he sees him on the field in our offense. If he can contribute on any level, it'll be worth the low risk. I don't see too many scenarios where it can hurt too much, as much as I've heard people complaining about it this week. I don't think that it's going to stymie that development of the young receivers or anything like that, so I have a hard time seeing what the big concern is?

    8. It was ironic to see that Brandon Spikes made that INT in the subpackage that he's normally not a part of. The only reason he was even on the field was due to Hightower's hamstring issue. It was another good play this year from a defense that has shown itself capable of slowing teams down. The most obvious test will be against Brees, Jimmy Graham, Sproles and company; all 3 who are the kinds of players who have given this defense problems--even this year's improved defense. I don't like the matchup myself, and it will be interesting to see how well they hold up next week.

    9. Our TE's are nonexistent in my opinion. Aside from the position of the DL, and maybe the choice not to bring in another WR early in the summer after hearing of the Hernandez news, this is one of the more perplexing issues of the season to me. To say that Gronkowski is needed would be a huge understatement. I'd still like to see a better TE2 brought in/back, but that doesn't seem to be much of an option at this point in time.

    10. Watching the Broncos is maddening, especially the precision that they have and how no one ever even gets a hand on Manning. I wasn't part of the club who complained too much about the loss of Welker, since I felt that Amendola could have been upside for the future (not the present). Couple that with the old IBBWT mantra, and I learned to live with it. After seeing him effectively use so many weapons to his advantage by getting rid of the ball so quickly, I am starting to become rather bitter about the choice to give an AFC rival such a weapon. Maybe it's just a moment of pessimism or weakness, but if you claimed that you weren't ever bitter about it, you'd be lying.

    Their schedule is incredibly easy, and the have great weapons in every facet of the offense (for skill players) so that even IF you're able to cover the bigger named WR's, you'll still get torched with the TE's/RB's. If/when Tamme comes back, it may get even "worse" for us in that regard. Normally I wouldn't even bat an eye at the stupid article from SI this week about the SB being set already, but we'll need to get some luck along with major improvement from some areas of our team in order to beat them--at least in my opinion. They are "that" good...don't shoot the messenger, I'm just telling it like it is. I don't mind the loss of Welker as much as I mind the improvement of the Denver Broncos.

    11. I noticed Amendola favoring him lower abdomen/upper groin area a bit during the first 1/3 or so of the game, and I was worried that he wouldn't be able to make it through the game. Hopefully it's an injury that continues to improve and cannot be worsened too much by activity, or else I doubt he'd be out there. It was good to see his reps limited, but I hope that he's ready to go next week a bit more.

    12. It was great to see a good game from Mayo. He was all over the field today and made some critical plays. He's become one hell of a leader on this team.

    13. Ryan Allen looks to be a good choice so far, and had another decent day. Just thought it'd be worth noting since so many were very concerned about choosing to move on from our punter Mesko, this summer. To this point it's proven to be a very good move.
  2. Mark.

    Mark. Rookie

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    I thought this game had trap written all over it. Lots of emotional energy expended last week in Atlanta, 2 roads games in a row, etc.

    Couldn't have said it better.
  3. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    This observation, to me, is the only one that counts.

    Not that your other observations were off, but if you can change this one, Brady puts up enough offense to win.
  4. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Yeah, it was disappointing for sure--although we also have to give credit to the CIN defense, which is known to be pretty stingy.

    Another aspect to consider is that in the past we'd have been able to go with bigger packages for blocking with our TE's and had been more effective. Although I only saw the game in real time (and limited at that, due to the stuff that they show), I don't think our TE's are able to contribute nearly as much as in the past---and that's just with the blocking obviously.
  5. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Nice observations brother!

    The offense can look like this in Sept/Oct what matters is how they look in Dec/Jan/hopefully Feb :D It's a game of inches and as bad as it looked it's the little things that take you from that performance to a 20+ point performance. Bolden dropped a play that surely would have went well into Cinci territory IIRC, at least 3 points there. DA drop on the first drive of the 2nd half, another 3 at least. DA just missed rolling into the EZ and the pathetic GL sequence, another 4 points. Blount's fumble, at least another 3 points off the board. That's a minimum of 13 points added to our score on plays that should be made 100% of the time. Obviously that doesn't mean improvement is needed (AWFUL on 3rd downs and pass protection) but I'm still confident in our offenses ability to develop.

    Can't agree more on not making a move at DT. Kelly was already getting winded at the end of last week's game and now there's no Wilfork, you need to make a move there whether it's a moderate level trade or as simple as promoting from the PS. Overall though I am loving this defense, this was probably the best I've ever seen a BB defense play in a losing cause. Reminded me of the 7-6 loss at Pittsburgh in the 1997 divisional round (I'm already in a sh**** mood so I might as well revisit traumatic memories).

    I do not understand why you guys are so maddened by watching Denver's offense. Are you not watching their defense? :) I would honestly take our roster right now over theirs, regardless of if Denver pulls this off to be 5-0.

    Allen and Ghostkowski have been stellar thus far, 2 more reasons to feel confident.
  6. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron On the Roster

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    #24 Jersey

    If we are going to criticize the OL for all the pressure, I think we also ought to note that they were very successful running. We averaged 4.6 yards per rush compared with the Bengals 4.2. But they rushed 39 times to our 18, while they passed 27 times to our 38. This gross imbalance in these run/pass is typical if one team is way behind for most of the game, but here it belies a closely contested game in which the Patriots simply abandoned the run. Many on this board have been critical of the coaches for this tendency, and it is pretty stark here. Even without Ridley, they had success running and difficulty protecting, yet time and again they asked Brady to drop back and throw with poor protection, in bad conditions, to unreliable receivers. I think the result goes as much to the coaches strategy as it does to the OL.
  7. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I understand what you're saying Patsy, and I too would take our entire roster over theirs. It's the offensive skill position weapons that I would question, and as much as I hear your point about their shoddy/suspect defense, I honestly am not sure that our offense is capable of scoring almost 50 points, which is what DAL did and somehow still lost. At this point in time I think that DAL actually has a very good offense. It's their defense and stupid mistakes that prevent them from becoming a better team.

    I'm actually starting to wonder if Allen is a better holder than Mesko, and if that has anything to do with Gostkowski's return to dominance as a kicker on FG's, although that would admittedly be nothing but sheer speculation on my part.

    We've now heard Gost praise Allen's holding on multiple occasions, and he's shown the ability to dig some low balls out of the dirt. Definitely looks like a good move thus far.
  8. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #95 Jersey

    i just want a pass catching TE on this team..hopefully next week
  9. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I wouldn't mind some better talent at the blocking TE aspect either. Obviously Gronk will offer both when he returns to health, but I haven't liked our TE2 and TE3 since day one.
  10. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Thing is, would you rather have your issues on the offensive side of the ball (when you have Brady nonetheless) or on defensive side of the ball?

    Their D has been a weakness each of the last 2 playoff seasons they got lit up and proved to be their achilles. That has not appeared to change and believe me you don't want to be counting on your 40 year old QB putting up 40 PPG in January. Our offensive skill positions were a revolving door this offseason and they've struggled early(mostly without arguably their top 3 weapons most of the season thus far). And really only 2 of those games have been bad performances by the O. Otherwise we've put up 23, 26, and 30 points - not too shabby at all minus arguably the most potent weapon in the league.
  11. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Certainly fair points.

    It's great to see the defense improve, and I think our offense will improve within time too. They have been able to be adequate enough to this point, and you're right--they have shot themselves in the foot several times this season which has left pts on the board in key situations.

    We need Gronk and Amendola both healthy and with the rust knocked off. Next week's game is somewhat concerning to me. Let's hope for a good week of practice and film study.
  12. coolguy

    coolguy Banned

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    No he won't.

    Gronk looks skinny and not the power house we're used to.
  13. Deus Irae

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

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    Disable Jersey

    Put down the pipe.
  14. coolguy

    coolguy Banned

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    but he's right :rolleyes:


    offensive execution is the only thing denver is doing better than the patriots.
  15. Deus Irae

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

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    Yeah, you go with that.... That's the "only" thing.
  16. Danger Zone

    Danger Zone On the Roster

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    I think its about time you trade in your Patriots "fan" card for the Broncos.. I hear they've got Welker.
  17. MassPats38

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    #87 Jersey

    Denver cannot afford off days on offense right now. It can say the world will be better when its missing pieces return, but I wouldn't be so sure. The Packers had plenty of talent, and could never fix that defense.

    I agree with the observations of the OP for the most part, but the problem with DT transactions is what are the options? Without Kelly, there are two rookies in the middle. Adding a broken veteran doesn't help. Teams typically don't trade good players in week 5, so if Armstead doesn't help I fear we are where we will be, for better or worse.

    It's funny - a bunch of people on the Board last season were pining away for a return to the better defense of 2003 and 2004, and for moving away from the Colts-like offense. We tended to be happy simply with wins back then, and many were close. That appears to be where we are now. Drops and disconnects take their toll (while there were plenty of drops again, Brady appeared to throw some bad balls before the rain, when he was not getting hit (which was too often)). I believe the offense will continue to improve (not sure how gimpy Thompkins, Amendola and Dobson were, but that may not have helped either), but this offense needs to continue development as Gronk alone will not fix its issues. I take this one as a bad game, much like the Hawks game last season was a bad game. I agree the emotions of the Falcons game may have caused the offense to come out flat.
  18. coolguy

    coolguy Banned

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    The patriots defense is better than the broncos
    the patriots receiver position is deeper than the broncos
    special teams is better
    patriot running is better

    The only thing the team sucks at is execution.
  19. Deus Irae

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

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    When you start making claims about the Patriots receiver position the way you did, you might as well just admit that you're just a shill for the team.
  20. SoCal Pmen

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    #54 Jersey

    I'll give you the defense and running game is better(by a hair). But not the receiver position.

    With that said, Denver has yet to play an opponent that will punch them in the mouth. I want to see them go against an aggressive defensive team like KC, Baltimore, Indy or the Pats before I crown them champs. I'll reserve my judgement for December when it starts to get colder.

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