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Observations from being at the Washington game

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by shakadave, Aug 30, 2009.

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  1. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    I don't get to many games, and my kids have been asking to go, and the price was right during preseason. We sat on the Pats' side, around the 27-yard line, near the back of the lower level. Here are a few rambling observations, and maybe even a couple of my photos. I don't pretend I saw the game as well as a TV viewer would have, and our obstructed-view seats cut out the middle 15 yards of the field, but I kept a roster of numbers with me and here's how it all looked to me (in jersey-numerical order if you want to read ahead to look for mention of a certain player):
    • Gostkowski is automatic, from anywhere. He puts a nice arc on his field goals. His winning kick made a pleasant thump and floated through the air like a fat blimp.
    • Greg Lewis seemed as invisible in real life as he had when I watched and listened to the two previous games. And I'm rooting for him, too. I didn't see the Brady injury because I was watching Lewis not catching the long pass because he was so well covered.
    • Slater just ran into the punt catcher on that penalty early in the game. The punt returner drifted toward the sideline, surprising Slater, but still, that can't be the first time he's seen that happen. Slater later made a good play (I forget where) but when he's returning kicks, he has an uncanny ability to head straight into clusters of kick-coverage men, resulting in very short returns.
    • Fred Taylor looked like Corey Dillon if Dillon had played yet one more year. Maybe there were no holes, but Taylor just plowed into oblivion. Looked like 3 yards in a cloud of dust when I wanted 4 or 5. Couldn't see if it was just the blocking.
    • TACKLING: Wheatley was a bad tackler, at least in this game. Ditto for Bodden. Sanders is a very good tackler. He made yet another saving heel tackle, and made the tackle (I think) on the long play to Cooley. Meriweather did not look like a bad tackler.
    • Paris Lenon got so faked out by the QB's throw fake on the QB touchdown run, he didn't get a chance to show how he tackles. If he had played the run, I saw no reason any TD would've happened on that play. There were several times I saw a bad defensive play, looked up the number, and found it was Lenon.
    • Wilhite had a bad play early, but proved to be a playmaker. I'm a definite fan of his. I got a photo of him with Meriweather which I've titled Hair Club For Men.
    • Chung had some shaky return work before the great one at the end. When he won the game with that punt return, there was great energy on the bench. Wilfork congratulated him, Moss went over and did the same. It was clear that the Pats were glad to win, and hopefully this helped Chung bond with his teammates.
    • Chris Taylor ran like a beast, yes against backups.
    • Love got so smoked giving up a touchdown reception, I told the kids "it's OK, they didn't get it against a real Patriot; he'll be cut soon."
    • Maroney spent his first few touches doing the type of dancing he's long been accused of on this board. I finally put my finger on it: whenever a defender enters his field of view, he stops! Then from a dead stop he can't accelerate fast enough to get anywhere. Having said all this, I'll add that Maroney EVENTUALLY ran with power, and also looked good in the Faulk/receiver role. He made a very difficult fingertip catch of a low-thrown screen pass. I think he won't be cut. I suddenly think he can be Faulk's successor, though maybe never much running between the tackles.
    • Forgot to look for Ventrone. Did he play?
    • Didn't know who #45 was, but more than once saw a solid play, looked him up, and found it was Ninkovich. I'll try to attach a maybe-telling photo of a coach rapping with Ninkovich on the bench while Bruschi sits alone nearby.
    • Burgess looked good when I watched him. He would steer clear of O-linemen while making continuing rapid progress toward hurrying the passer.
    • I attached a Bruschi photo in the Bruschi Retired thread. Sort of a treat to have seen his last game in a Pats uniform.
    • Woods played a lot, early and later in the game. He talked with Ninkovich a lot out on the field.
    • Titus Adams made his presence felt in a positive way.
    • Wilfork was more amused to watch the wave going around than I would have expected.
    • Stephen Williams looked good. It took me a minute to figure out what Vollmer was doing on defense. (both #76)
    • Moss doesn't have to be wide open for Brady to find him. If Moss get's half a step on someone, Brady puts it right there.
    • Adalius Thomas seemed to provide some nice pressure that the box score won't record.
    • Redskin fans are average in their loudness.
    • Redskin cheerleaders have 7 times the pulchritude of Patriots cheerleaders.
    • It took a good 45 minutes to get to the stadium from downtown on the Metro, and it's almost a mile walk from the Metro to the stadium. Why did they put it so far from a Metro stop?
    • I wore my Wilfork jersey, and I met another Wilfork jersey at the concession stand. I said to him, "It's like looking in the mirror."
    • Walking back to the hotel from the Smithsonian the next day at 5 P.M. we noticed people starting to line Constitution Avenue, and eventually figured out it was for the Ted Kennedy procession.
    I don't know what it all means, but hopefully a Pats junkie or two out there will find an interesting nugget in these ramblings!

    ----Shakadave reporting

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  2. mac

    mac Rookie

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    Thanks for posting. Always good to get an eye-witness account.
  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks Dave.
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    good stuff, shaka. Thanks for the effort.
  5. Patstopia

    Patstopia Rookie

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    Had to look up 'pulchritude' before agreeing with you.:D
  6. Bertil

    Bertil Rookie

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    Seriously..."pulchritude"? That's a great word! My coworkers frequently chastise me for using obscure words, but that one sent me scrambling to Merriam-Webster online.

    I guess you DO learn something new each day. Thanks.
  7. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Nice post Dave. I enjoyed your observations and you have a nice looking family. Also, I was really touched by that last pic you posted.
  8. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Dave, that second picture, with your beautiful kids in the foreground, might be something even more meaningful (if possible!).

    Check the customary postgame prayer circle on the field in the background. Looks like a whole bunch of Redskins kneeling and praying........with a #54 Patriot (at around 4 o'clock in the circle) with his back to the camera.

    The last moments of a great career in benediction.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  9. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    I had to look it up too. I enjoyed this post as well and looks like some great memories for the kids.
  10. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    Thanks Dave, great report and pictures.
  11. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Geez Shemessy, that is an outstanding observation. Great post all-around, man.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2009
  12. Shoofyou10

    Shoofyou10 Rookie

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    To answer your question about Ventrone, he did not play. He hurt his leg in practice last week. Nothing major though. He will play this coming week.
  13. PatriotsFan86

    PatriotsFan86 Rookie

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    Thanks for the report!
  14. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    Thanks for pointing out the prayer circle, Shmess, which I had completely missed. Having the original photo I was able to zoom in pretty good, and it turns out there are these Patriots in the circle: (Question mark means I'm guessing because it's not clear.)

    4:00 Warren 94
    5:00 Watson 84
    7:00 Slater 18
    9:00 Seymour 93 (pretty sure)
    11:00 Rogers 43
    12:30 ?
    2:30 Connelly 63 ?
    standing to right of circle Ninkovich 45

    However, you'll notice there IS a Bruschi 54 jersey in the photo, next to the kids. Coincidence?
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