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OK - Time to Bring it Back together. Some thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ian, Nov 7, 2011.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    The team just lost a game in November against what will likely be a very good playoff team. Obviously it sucks the way they lost, but let's face it - aside from the fact they were on the wrong end of the outcome - that was a great game yesterday and they played well. It just didn't turn out the way we would have liked.

    Here are some things I wanted to point out:

    - I thought it was interesting after the game that Belichick was extremely positive, saying, "It came down to the last few seconds, we just came up a play or two short, that’s all – across the board.” - and it sounded like that's exactly what he said in the locker room after the game. I think he was pleased to see some of the progress from some of the changes they implemented. Overall the execution defensively was decent, and save for a couple of penalties the game could have easily gone the other way. I thought they did a good job, especially considering the fact they bailed them out after some key turnovers. He genuinely seemed encouraged by what he saw, and I think some of you may want to take a step back and actually look at a lot of the little things that did go well yesterday.

    - Speaking of the defense, keep in mind they shut the Giants out in the first half and still did a decent job keeping them from moving up and down the field on Sunday. They also held New York to 250 NET yards passing, which is an improvement considering how bad they were in recent weeks. The other thing worth pointing out is the fact they did a good job of bringing pressure and even though they didn't sack him, they still forced some bad throws, including that key pick to Arrington that stopped them from going up 17-3. They were obviously also much better on third down, which was obviously a big issue last week. Those PI penalties were brutal, and Belichick didn't seem thrilled about those either.

    - I thought the secondary and the play from the safeties was much better this week. I'm sitting down this morning to go back over the game in a bit, but one thing I noticed yesterday was the fact guys were in much better position throughout the game and we didn't see anywhere near the amount of broken plays that we saw last week against Pittsburgh. You didn't see guys making wide open catches in space and making it look easy. It certainly appeared the communication was better, and you could actually see some pre-snap adjustments on the defensive side of the ball.

    Overall this is actually a loss they can build on, as opposed to last week when they came out of that game looking like they had a million questions with very few answers. Granted I know they're heading into the Meadowlands where they haven't beaten Ryan since he took over there, but as we know every streak seems to end sometime. If all goes well, just like every other loss, this will be just a bad memory in a few weeks :cool:
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  2. QB12

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    #12 Jersey

    Re: OK - Time to Bring it Back together. Some observations.

    Very well said Ian, and as painful as the loss was, I agree.

    Now, how far in the rearview mirror will the Pittsburgh, and Giants loss be, if we beat the Jets next week?
  3. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For me Ian its not the loss of one game, or two or even if they lose next week. Its the way they lose and have lost for the last three years or so, its a pattern. The team places to much emphasis on Brady, and has been for years. If Brady has a poor game theres a good chance they'll lose. And winning since 07 has been placed mainly on Brady's shoulders. The team philosophy has gone from having a very strong defense where 17 -20 points would win a game, to one of trying to out score the other team with a one dimensional attack. And from what i've seen i don't see that trend changing.
  4. QB12

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  5. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    The issue is you have to look at it the same way they payers and coaches are looking at it, and don't think big picture in November.

    Defensively my feeling is the thing they're going to have to try and do is get the guys who do possess some talent (ie: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Kyle Arrington, etc.) playing at the level that they need to be at consistently, and making sure they at least have the lesser guys (Ihedigbo, Adams, Molden, etc.) in the right spot and covering the right people. That was something we really saw them do a better job of yesterday, and hopefully that continues for the rest of the season.

    Offensively they're too good to not work out their issues and start playing better. I hate to say it, but I do think that Ochocinco will eventually get it and they're going to have to keep forcing that development and get him where he needs to be - because they need more from him. Watching the early part of this game he was running better routes and getting open, now it's up to Brady to build trust and start letting the ball go sooner. Obviously Taylor Price isn't there yet and Julian Edelman seems to be a headcase right now, but the talent is there on that side of the ball and I expect they'll play better. But between Welker, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Green-Ellis, Branch, Woodhead, there's enough for Brady to work with for them to be effective. They've certainly obviously done more in the past with less.

    As I said, you can't drive yourself nuts and think big picture in week 8, as frustrating as it might be. But looking at this current team as it stands right now they have enough talent to win games as long as the guys that should play well actually start doing it consistently. I think we saw a glimpse of it yesterday, and hopefully we'll see more in the weeks to come.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  6. Dutchmaster617

    Dutchmaster617 Rookie

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    Actually when Brady plays poorly they play solid D, not all the time but lately they have. When Brady plays well they start to quit and leave guys wide open. Even in one game you saw that take place, bad o and good d one half, followed by good o and bad d second half.

    The defense is good enough to hold up until Brady gets hot, then they are toast. Anyways it is 2011, even the 8-0 Packers can't win scoring 17-20 points, I would say they rely on Brady just as much as most teams rely on their QB in 2011. All we need is a receiver to get more than single digit yards on a play here and there, and a secondary that can cover correctly and not play cheap when they get burned. That is the difference between us and the mighty Packers.
  7. KoolAid

    KoolAid Rookie

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    I wasn't completely dissappointed with the defense in this game compared to the Steeler game. The PI's were killer mistakes but I think I saw some progress in coverage and QB pressure.

    The issue not getting much attention is the O-line. I think they shoulder a large helping of the blame in this one. Why were they not able to run the ball on a suspect Giant team. It is also obvious that Brady is not confident in their ability to hold the pocket. He is ducking and expecting pressure before it even gets there. I think the absence of Koppen is starting to show. The big uglies need to get their $h!t together before Sunday night if they want to sweep the Jets. There were mistakes in every phase, so enough blame to go around but the O-line is the key to getting the offense back on track. I also wish they would sprinkle in more screen plays into this offense.

    Here is to hoping for a good week of practice and a mistake free victory in the Meadowlands to get this thing on track.
  8. Seacoast Fan

    Seacoast Fan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I am not giving up on the team, but the reality is, this is the second week in a row they have lost to "what will likely be a very good playoff team", to use your phrase. One of those losses came following the bye and one came at home. And, I wouldn't put either the Steelers or the Giants at the top of the list of "very good playoff teams".
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The offense played a terrible game. Obviously, they can play better. However, I would note that the offense has been trending downward for weeks.

    The defense is better every week. We do pay for the chosen lack of depth at LB, FS and nickel back. However, Adams is definitely getting better, and the defensive line is very solid indeed.

    BOTTOM LINE
    We've lost game to three teams in the playoff hunt. We almost always improve in the second half of the season. We are currently in the division lead.


  10. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The defense certainly started out of the gate playing better. But let's not discount too deeply the fact that Eli was without his starting Center, #1 WR, #1 RB and starting TE...

    Were there some positives? Sure...but in perspective there weren't enough of them. And there were too many negatives on offense starting in the trenches and extending to the drops and picks. And there is simply nothing special about this ST unit. Can Bill still coach 'em all up to some extent, sure. But will it be enough against the better teams? Who knows, will depend on what kind of day those teams are having...because at least in the AFC no one is truly seperating themselves from the pack. We can't seem to dictate much of anything anymore. Nothing about us scares teams anymore, including Brady because offensively this team seems to be losing ground weekly...as if film and maybe early reviews are it's undoing. For all the talent accumulated the OL isn't boasting any pro bowlers 8 weeks into this season IMO. And as teams scheme to ramp up the pressure up front rushing only 4 while maintaining tight coverage, lack of consistent execution seems to increasingly be the result on our end. Receivers not named Welker aren't making the tough catches, and they're wiffing on some of the gimme's...

    I think while Brady and Chad may yet connect against the little sisters of the poor, all that will do is mask the issue that they cannot connect against the kind of teams we will face in the post season. Price clearly had finally won the battle to replace Chad last week in the coaches game planning, then he somehow managed to reinjure his hammy in a walkthrough...

    No one ever said it would be easy, but I think too many of the players on this roster developed the mindset early on that it would be. Gut check time now because two of the next three games on the road aren't going to be although most of the rest should be a relative cake walk. This team has to learn to perform each week like nothing is a given and hope there is either enough talent or character on the roster to carry them through. I have my doubts there is quite enough of either.
  11. JFK

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    The Giants offense wasn't at full strength.
    Nicks & Bradshaw
  12. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FYI actually we are not. Buffalo is by virtue of head to head. If we split with them we should have a leg up by virtue of division record, but that remains to be seen...
  13. goheels22002

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    #50 Jersey

    Great post(s) Ian. It was a fantastic football game between two good teams.

    Mistakes killed the Patriots - penalties, fumbles, interceptions and the missed field goal all contributed to this loss. Takeaways continue to be a key to winning or losing.

    A few days ago I wrote in response to a post that a win against the Giants would make everything better:

    "It depends on how the game goes. If the Patriots win Sunday and the defense turns in a good performance against the Giants, things can calm down. My definition of "good" is 20 or fewer points, under 40% 3rd down efficiency by the Giants, under 300 yards passing, and time of possession in favor of the Patriots - keep Tom Brady on the field!"

    Well, the Patriots did not win, but the problems went far beyod the defense.

    Overall, the Patriots defense did a good job against the Giants:
    24 points allowed
    250 yards passing (73 under their average)
    Time of possession virtually identical
    29% third down efficiency - fantastic day!
    Two takeaways - Patriots' average, and
    Yards per pass play just 6.4 for the Giants - down 25% from the Patriots opponents' average to date.

    Miscues killed the Patriots on the day including on the final drive. 7 penalties for 81 yards was okay but the two pass interference calls in the final 90 seconds were fatal. Four turnovers - two interceptions and two fumbles lost also killed the Pats, and, the missed Gostkowski field goal altered the early momentum and ultimately the final score of the game.

    Some good here, but a lot of poor execution on both sides of the ball that is hard to overcome.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  14. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    Ian, your positive spin on their defense is appreciated, but we just played a Giants team that was decimated by injuries leading into the season, and for our game were also without their starting RB, #1 receiver, and their starting center. Do you ever play a team, and look at their roster for a potential weak link on defense here or there? Perhaps, and late round pick, or undrafted free agent, that isn't too highly thought of? Our total defense doesn't just have 1 or 2 of those, it's practically made up of that type of player: Brown, White, Adams, Ihedigbo, Love, Deaderich, Arrington, Barrett, Nickovich, Guyton, Fletcher, and so on. I'm trying not to be negative, because I love my team, but while BB can coach them up, I don't have a warm and fuzzy for a Super Bowl type defense.
  15. chris66

    chris66 Rookie

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    Head to head only applies for 2 teams that are tied for the division. in a 3 way tie best divisional record is first. both pats and jets are at 2-1. Pats have a game in hand against the jets. pats are first, then jets and bills
  16. Dutchmaster617

    Dutchmaster617 Rookie

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    You can't credit the defense for Giants return man dropping an easy catch, on SPECIAL TEAMS.

    Stats don't say much with this team, they can gain 300+ yds and lose because of turning it over like yesterday and @ BUF, the defense can stop 3rd downs and end drives all day but its situational, when the offense came to play the defense sat down and vice versa.

    Stats say 350 yds for Brady, and holding the Giants to like 2/12 3rd down conversions. But when the defense was doing that Brady had nothing, and when Brady was doing that the defense gave up whatever Eli wanted. This team is pathetic at situational football, they pad stats but can't adjust to the current situation.
  17. Rob0729

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    Jake Ballard played yesterday. He had 4 catches for 67 yards and a TD. He is their best TE and the league leader for TEs in TDs.

    Also, as I pointed out in another thread, even though Bradshaw is their best RB, he and their running game is nothing special. The Giants are a pass first team and Bradshaw was on pace for 1,000 yards before his injury (he is currently 21st in rushing yards per game played in the league) and the Giants are 29th in rushing. People are overstating the loss of Bradshaw. Jacobs is hot garbage, but Bradshaw is no prize.

    Lastly, Victor Cruz is on pace for just under 1,200 yards receiving. He is still a well above average WR.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  18. Elijah T.

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    #12 Jersey

    Thanks for the well thought out post Ian!

    My concern is that offensively there seems to be a limit to what the Patriots can accomplish without a consistent threat on the outside in the passing game.

    The passing game is predicated on Brady being sharp between the numbers. Teams can sit on the underneath routes and force Brady into long drives where he 'dinks and dunks' tightly contested throws all game. This forces (as we saw yesterday) errant throws into coverage. Brady can't be perfect every game and we rarely get seperation from our receivers. Brady has to put the ball on the outside shoulder, or hip, or above the head of the WR in order to make completions. There are no in-stride seperation throws (unless coverage is busted) in space with our receivers.

    The safeties don't have to respect the deep half of the field with Welker and Branch. Welker is capable of a big play downfield on missed assignments, play-action bites, or occasionaly when he beats the jam; nowhere near consistent.

    Gronkowski is always a threat because of his size. But he isn't a big play weapon outside. You can bump Gronk with a LB and then drop a safety on him when he tries to run the deep seam. Which gives us a 50/50 shot to complete the pass in tight coverage.--Not great odds play in and play out, game in and game out-- Hernandez gives us less of what Gronk gives us but the same basic package.

    Aaron Rodgers is successful because he has outside weapons to compliment the middle of the field. We don't. We don't have a 'dangerous' player outside the numbers, or even in the running game. Our runners are solid. Capable of big plays 'only' if blocking is near perfect.

    My question is where's Shane Vereen? He was a big play runner at Cal. He played in a pro-offense under Jeff Tedford. He was a reliable blocker. He can run between the tackles better than most people know. Didn't we draft him in the second round? It's been 8 weeks and he hasn't had one carry.

    Defensively, as been alluded to by other posters, our success against the Giants had alot to do with the absence of Hakeem Nicks (top ten player at his position) and Ahmad Bradshaw. We had success against the matchup. But when it counted, we couldn't stop Jake Ballard with a LB and a safety playing the deep seam. Had we been playing a spread team with speed (Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh) I don't think it would look as bright.

    I'm staying optimistic, because I've seen Belichick do better with just as bad or worse in the secondary. But offensively we have a below average running game, and unless Brady can complete 35 passes a game for 7-15 yards without mistakes in protection, accuracy, or timing, we can't beat good teams without at least two turnovers.
  19. E Belichick Unum

    E Belichick Unum Rookie

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    There were some positives from yesterday, mcCourty played well, Chung played well, the O line played respectably considering how well the Giants rush the passer. Other than that, yesterday was very disappointing. I can understand losing to a superior team, but not losing to a team that was superior due to bad personel decisions, and why wasn't Chung on the field for that play?

    So, what do you think, would James Sanders look good in a Pats uni today? How about Merriwhether? How about somebody like Wilhite or Earthwind Morland? Dose anybody think that the Patriots couldn't use a Larunitus or Shaun Lee? How about Ray Maualuga? How about a secondary coach who actually, you know, played in the defensive backfield?

    To say that this defense playe well yesterday is giving them too much credit. It is easy to succeed when there is no pressure, but when the game was on the line, this defensive secondary gave the game away. One could argue that that last PI was actually uncatchable, and I would agree, but the penalty was called and the same penalty is going to be called 95% of the time. What that showed is that Sergio Brown isn't Sherlock Holmes and he doesn't have a clue how to play safety. Arington runs into a reciever after he had gotten beaten like a rented mule, but at least he didn't cry for the cameras after the game. Serhio was let down by the Patriots coaching staff, they placed him in a situation that he easn't prepared for, didn't have the talent to succeed in that situation and got exposed in the worst possible way, he just f'up up. But the loss was a team effort, Sergio.

    The Patriots got what they deserved yesterday, they lost to a decidedly better team. It is time to start looking at Bill the GM and personel guru. If I were Bill the head coach, I would be pissed at Bill the GM.
  20. Bonzo

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    Two weeks in a row hurts, but in itself, I'd say yesterday's loss was not all that demoralizing.

    The D is clearly on the uptick. Even if it's not as dominant as we thought it would be, the offense will be good enough to keep us in any game. And to those pointing out the Giants were not at full strength - the Pats gave up 4 turnovers, serving the Giants their first 10 points on a silver platter (kind of an equalizer if you ask me), missed a chip-shot field goal, and still manged to lose by a meager 4 points on a last-second score.

    Not time to throw in the towel just yet.
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