Watching NE vs. Indy replay today, some thoughts: 1) The draw play has always been an essential part of our game-plan against Indy. My question here is why do we keep using it, and why are we often successful with it? The answer here is the draw concept exploits the main weakness in the tampa 2, along with exploiting the dependency of the tampa 2 on speed over size. On the draw plays that were successful, our OL was consistently getting over to second tier blocking, stoning the LB corp and creating avenues for Faulk. I am excited to see what role Hernandez will have in this, in terms of spelling Faulk. 2) I am envisioning a matchup nightmare with Gronk in the mix. The Colts at present do not have anyone who matches up anywhere near the physical assets that Gronk brings to the field. I would not be surprised to see Gronk have a 10/100 type of day, if he works the seams which is the other flaw in the tampa 2 because the safety has to run up to contain it out of zone schemes. 3) We need to have more misdirection plays that force overrunning. Once the Colts D get caught in overpursue, they're much more likely to break down. I think that what really works is playing out of a formation that allows us to option to draw or screen pass with a minimum of motion especially when Welker lines up right in the CB/LB gap in the tampa 2, to force the safety to "commit" even though he cannot press as he is in zone by default. 4) I believe a big part of our defensive failures was underestimating how well Manning plays the slant game. It was almost as if we went in there expecting him to resort to the slant at some point, but not expecting how well he executes it. That was a great learning experience for the backfield. I am confident that our D will be much more on their toes next time around. One thing I noticed was Manning going to the sluggo slant and go, time and again. This kept them in the game. 5) Late in the game when Butler was put in the game over Wilhite, Manning jumped all over that and abused him for four gains in a row, leading up to the Addai TD. Nothing wrong with Butler's technique. He just has to understand he's playing in the NFL where QB's can thread the eye of a needle with a football any time of the day. We were in nickel at the time and this is where Chung's inexperience really flared out- Manning is very meticulous, very planned and very prepared, but one thing he is not, is imaginative or improvisational. If he sees something that works, he will keep resorting to it. So when you see a thing done twice in a row, count on it happening again, next time, and Chung should have resorted to an old vet's trick: spy on his own CB, because when a QB is exploiting a CB he believes is inexperienced, he is going to key off what signs he gives in coverage and Chung should have read off Butler and cheated accordingly. 6) I personally think we lost the game with that errant timeout. We had the wrong personnel on the field and I think we should have switched out of the draw immediately because they were looking for it right off the bat. Faulk gets neutralized, next play fake draw to short welker post, good for 8 yards gain. Next two plays were great pressure plays with full press. Not going to go into details over that because it's already been discussed to death here. It will be exciting to see what happens this season. Our defense is older and wiser, having been baptized by the top QB's in the game (e.g. Brees), so they are most likely to follow their instructions to the letter this time around. I am also hoping they are going to be allowed to be much more aggressive, because I believe that is when they are at their best, when they have that swagger going. They are a hard-hitting (even more now) and physical corp, and for them to play conservative, or with a buffer, is to take away from their identity.