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Not time to panic...yet

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

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  1. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    I was pumped last weekend with the win over the Jets because I thought it got the Patriots to 3-0 going in to their bye. I didn't agree with the praise of Cassel's performance, but the bottom line to me was just getting the "W" and getting to the bye perfect in order to regroup.

    I rarely take a game for granted, but it never even crossed my mind that the Patriots could lose at home to the Dolphins. The same Dolphins that got destroyed by the Cardinals, the same Dolphins with no legitimate WR and a porous secondary. To not only lose, but to be blown off the field was the very definition of shocking.

    The defense didn't just get confused/destroyed by the "wildcat" formation. Before the Dolphins even broke out that formation, Pennington was finding wide open receivers for uncontested catches and some big gains after the catch. The "D" was awful in every aspect of football against a poor offensive team.

    The game started promising with a nice Hobbs kickoff return to start, but the Cassel led offense failed to put any points on the board. This has been a them since Cassel has taken over: great field position squandered. The Oline had a terrible performance highlighted by Joey Porter's 3 sacks. Joey Porter hasn't been relevant for a number of years, so that was completely unacceptable. There was no running game today, and certainly no passing game. Just like on defense, I can't point to one player who I can say played a good game.

    The Patriots are still 2-1, and it's more important to be clicking on all cylinders in December and beyond that in September.

    In my opinion the bye week is HUGE and the Patriots must take this time to answer 2 critical questions.

    1. Are they going to stick with Cassel? In my opinion, this decision has to be made by Tuesday at the latest. If the Patriots are going to try to bring in a veteran QB, they need to do it now and give him 2 weeks of practice going in to San Francisco. This team is not going to compete for a Super Bowl throwing for less than 200 yards per game and missing some of the throws Cassel has missed. Whoever the QB is, taking more shots down the field early in the game is an absolute must. The Patriots need to make the determination quickly whether Cassel is capable of making those throws downfield. Hiding the QB is not a viable alternative for the rest of the year.

    2. Does the defense need more speed? Bill Belichick must decide if the defense's troubles can be corrected just by scheme. My belief is that the run defense can, but I am not sure about the pass defense. It MIGHT be time to look at Bruschi and Harrison as part time players. This team needs to do a better job in the short/intermediate passing game and only the staff knows if the current starting defensive group can make that happen.

    To me it's time to panic if the Patriots come back from the bye and they still are looking to play conservative on offense. If they go in to San Francisco and don't get the ball down the field in the passing game, it's time to panic even if they win. If JT O'Sullivan slices and dices the pass defense with the same types of throws that Pennington did, it's time to panic even if the Pats offense looks great.

    If the Patriots do solve these issues then the Dolphins game will just be a missed opportunity as opposed to a sign of things to come. Plenty of teams have gotten deep in the playoffs with a very ugly loss on their resume.
  2. DisgruntledTunaFan

    DisgruntledTunaFan Rookie

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    Look-there's a LONG way to go this season. Sure, the Pats had a bad game, but throughout the course of this long season, so does everyone else. It's still early in the season, and everyone is still getting their feet wet.

    Pt being that the NFL season is a MARATHON, NOT a 50 yard dash. The Pats are a very mentally tough team, and they should pull through just fine.

    Look at my team(Cowboys) last year-they cruised throughout the year, only to crash and burn when it counted MOST. Ditto the Chargers the year before-they ate the cheese at the WORST possible time of the season.
  3. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan Rookie

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    Im not disagreeing with you. I just wanted to point something out to everyone, you included. Cassels year so far, is no worse than 2001 with you know who at QB. Its way too early for panic.

    please note, Brady had 6 games with under 200 yards. Three games under 213 yards. A 6.9 average for the year. Yes thats right, to say that Cassell doesnt have an 10.0 average is to say Brady sucks too. I doubt many would say that, but many on here are getting down on Cassell without knowing the facts. Let's give the kid some time. It was only one game, and clearly, it was a team loss.
    Take a look at Bradys 2001 stats;


    Regular Season Games Passing Rushing Fumbles

    WK Game Date Opp Result G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Sck SckY Rate Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost

    1 09/09 @ CIN L 17-23 0 0 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.0 -- -- -- -- -- --
    2 09/23 NYJ L 3-10 1 0 5 10 50.0 46 4.6 0 0 0 0 62.9 1 9 9.0 0 -- --
    3 09/30 IND W 44-13 1 1 13 23 56.5 168 7.3 0 0 1 9 79.6 1 2 2.0 0 -- --
    4 10/07 @ MIA L 10-30 1 1 12 24 50.0 86 3.6 0 0 4 17 58.7 2 9 4.5 0 2 2
    5 10/14 SD W 29-26 1 1 33 54 61.1 364 6.7 2 0 3 19 93.4 1 0 0.0 0 2 0
    6 10/21 @ IND W 38-17 1 1 16 20 80.0 202 10.1 3 0 0 0 148.3 2 -2 -1.0 0 -- --
    7 10/28 @ DEN L 20-31 1 1 25 38 65.8 203 5.3 2 4 2 20 57.1 2 -1 -0.5 0 1 0
    8 11/04 @ ATL W 24-10 1 1 21 31 67.7 250 8.1 3 0 3 14 124.4 3 0 0.0 0 -- --
    9 11/11 BUF W 21-11 1 1 15 21 71.4 107 5.1 1 1 7 36 78.9 4 -1 -0.3 0 2 1
    10 11/18 STL L 17-24 1 1 19 27 70.4 185 6.9 1 2 2 6 70.8 2 6 3.0 0 -- --
    11 11/25 NO W 34-17 1 1 19 26 73.1 258 9.9 4 0 4 17 143.9 4 14 3.5 0 2 0
    12 12/02 @ NYJ W 17-16 1 1 20 28 71.4 213 7.6 0 0 3 22 93.3 3 0 0.0 0 1 0
    13 12/09 CLE W 27-16 1 1 19 28 67.9 218 7.8 0 2 3 9 61.3 4 -3 -0.8 0 -- --
    14 12/16 @ BUF W 12-9 1 1 19 35 54.3 237 6.8 0 1 5 31 63.6 3 13 4.3 0 -- --
    15 12/22 MIA W 20-13 1 1 11 19 57.9 108 5.7 1 0 3 14 91.6 3 -5 -1.7 0 1 0
    16 Bye -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 0.0 -- -- -- -- -- --
    17 01/06 @ CAR W 38-6 1 1 17 29 58.6 198 6.8 1 2 1 2 62.1 1 2 2.0 0 1 0
    TOTAL 15 14 264 413 63.9 2,843 6.9 18 12 41 216 86.5 36 43 1.2 0 12 3
  4. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan Rookie

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    Its pretty bad, when a cowboys fan is acting smarter then we Pats fans on this board. :rolleyes:

    oh, no offense tunafan :D
  5. DisgruntledTunaFan

    DisgruntledTunaFan Rookie

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    Believe me-even when we WIN, it's FAR worse on our board. Yes-when we WIN, the board ends up going into an utter meltdown like we lost the game, FWIW. Of all the message boards I've been to, we're prolly the only one that can NOT even enjoy a win.

    Our fan base is pretty classy, but to me, it's pretty weird to be with at the same time. I mean we expect to win games by 40 pts, holding other teams to next to nil first downs, 40 passing yards, etc, etc. If not, then tons of players and coaches get thrown under the bus(i.e. Can't tell you how much flack Wade Phillips CONTINUES to get...not only from the fans, but from the local media as well. And, of course, there's our bi-weekly Roy Williams thread bashing).

    Anyhow, don't mean to hijack this thread-getting back to the topic, where ESPN goes WRONG is that they end up crowning champions et al just based on what happened in the CURRENT week. How many times in recent years have we seen teams left for dead, then just somehow make a run out of nowhere, and vice-versa? Personally-I'd like to know what's going on in these teams' locker rooms rather than what some yapper-mouth pundit says on ESPN/NFLN.
  6. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What is it that leads people to believe that you backup or replace a HOF QB with a similar player...

    Belichick told them last week that this was the way it was going to be just before he gave the game ball from that JETS game to Cassel. A scrappy team that grinds it out and allows fewer points than their offense can score. That team didn't show up this week with few exceptions and some of that is on the players and the rest is on their coaches. They better fix that or it won't be pretty because they aren't going to change QB's for very good reason - there isn't anyone available capable of running this offense any better than the guy they have running it, for a whole littany of reasons, whether fans can accept that or not. They are taking what they are given by design and because the OL can't block well enough to open up the deep passing game or running lanes and the OC knows the HC won't tolerate unnecessary turovers. He expects his defense to be able to play the field position game, only this week they couldn't stop a sneeze.

    Belichick has said that Cassel knows the playbook and can make all the throws. He just can't make them from his ass. Neither can Brady (well except for that once...and the second time he tried that he got picked). You aren't going to win if your QB is pressured all day long and your DL can't get any reciprocal pressure from the front 3. BB can coach some of it up defensively, but Kaczur minus Neal may be beyond coaching up. Particularly augmented by TE's who can't block well. If they can't pass or run block consistently then it is what it is.

    They won't bring in Culpepper because the only throw he could ever make is to Moss on a jump ball and he'll be back in surgery before he gets that throw off. Garcia is not available and they aren't going to waste a draft pick to take a flyer on an oft injured 39 year old in October who has never played in anyting but a West Coast offense.

    I guarantee you they are going to continue to play conservatively on offense unless the OL can pass block, so adding a QB to the mix who doesn't know the offense would be a waste of time, effort and money. If they can't get it done in Brady's absence it will be due in large part to the simple fact that the OL simply isn't good enough and they rendered this team one dimentional absent a HOF QB. They might have even done that to Brady.
  7. NJPatsfan26

    NJPatsfan26 Rookie

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    Very well said Mo....

    We shall see what occurs over the next two weeks....
  8. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    You're on a roll today. Thanks for the reasonablenessitude.
  9. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    Belichick also mentioned multiple times that they would not change the offense for Matt Cassel. Every player is expected to step up and do there job, which Matt Cassel clearly is not doing. There may be some Patriot fans that expect a Brady-like performace, but I am not one of them. If you give a QB Randy Moss, Wes Welker, an offensive system that averaged 38 pts a game last year, and (for the most part) great field position, that QB should put touchdowns on the board. If this team wants to contend for a Super Bowl it's going to have to put points on the board by throwing the ball down the field. The coaches make the decision on whether Cassel is capable of making those throws and whether he is or is not capable should determine the next course of action. If the staff has confidence in Matt Cassel's ability going forward, then that's good enough for me.

    I completely agree that the line has been poor and stated it in my post, but every member of that offensive line (maybe with the exception of Yates) has some very good film to point to in their careers. The same line that was terrible on Sunday was very good against the Jets and we only put the ball in the endzone once.


    I appreciate the comparisons to Brady's first season under center, but I see some signifcant differences. The first is that Cassel has better weapons around him than Brady did at that time and the second is that Cassel is a 4th year NFL player who's had longer in the playbook than Brady had when making his first starts.
  10. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Rookie

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    i agree, the problem is that it is very hard to see the POTENTIAL in Matt Cassel. i was at the game, and he literally locks onto the primary receiver and will throw it there no matter what happens. he has a lotta development to do....
  11. 102 Pat

    102 Pat Rookie

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    #85 Jersey

    What I'm going to say is a sports cliche, but maybe, just maybe this lopsided loss is what the team needed especially going into the bye. Make some changes either by tweaking this or that or maybe something drastic?

    Would you rather the loss happen now or late december? I'll be rooting for the Rams to beat the Bills next sunday. Hopefully they can as I'd rather not see the Bills at 4-0...
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  12. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    There are differences...but I really do not see either as changing what was said..one could be a 2nd year player or a 4th year player..experience is just that..knowing and undesrtanding the playbook does not GIVE a QB experience. Same with the supporting cast..one can have more weapons, but having those does not change a QB's leraning curve at all. How does having better weapons change that learning curve?? If anything it might cause a QB to push harder and in fact impede their own progress. I don't see any correlation with either having a large difference with the comparison.
    How does having better weapons or a longer studying the playbook REALLY change the comparison??
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  13. stcjones

    stcjones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey


    Blitzfritz and DocE....you guys have it right.....the OL has not played well.....but Cassel just isn't the answer. Our defense is NOT one that can grind out a tight game like we used to win in the heart attack era of 2001-2004 where on average we won by 1-3 points.....and we have NO running game......this forces Matt C to make some big time throws....and make quick reads.....two more things he DOES NOT do well.....As you say Fritz, when you watch the slo mo of cassel.....you hardly ever/never see him check down to other WR's....he LOCKS ON the receiver that the play calls for him to get it to....and no matter what....it IS going there......this is not what we need.....time to shake it up with at least a tryout with a vet QB.....I would rather see Culpepper in there than what we have going on now......at least he can think quickly and take off running if need be......Cassel gets that OH SH%%...look on his face and either does the Eason "turtle" move.....or reacts so late that he has nowhere to go but down.......Again, in fairness the OL has sucked a## as well.......
  14. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    Didn't watch the game. Followed it on Yahoo.

    it's interesting that everyone is dumping on Cassel but have any of you guys realized that the defense like GAVE UP 21 POINTS IN THE FIRST HALF.

    We scored 6 points last week. Also 3rd and 16 should have been a run and get the FG.

    This was all on the defense. 38 Points, 400+ yards offense. Does anyone remember 200+ yards rushing?
  15. kbbluepits

    kbbluepits Rookie

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    Throw Randy Moss the friggin ball!!!!!
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