Random Midseason Thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by brdmaverick, Nov 9, 2012.

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  1. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick In the Starting Line-Up

    #32 Jersey

    Gostkowski miss vs ARIZONA - When Gost missed what would have been the game winner against Arizona, many claimed he was no Vinatieri. The rebuttal to that was that Vinatieri did the same thing in 1999 at Kansas City. I was thinking about this some more, and there is a better and more recent example of a Vinatieri blunder. In the week following the Pats-Colts historic bout in which only the Pats remained undefeated, the Colts travelled to San Diego. The Colts behind 21-23 were deep in SD territory going to 'clock killing mode' with the expectation that AV would make a chip shot. Guess what, AV missed a 29 yarder and the Colts lost.

    Baltimore FG kickers - won't harp on this too much, but it would have been great if another Baltimore game came at the result of a missed field goal. New year, new kicker, same result. Unfortunately the refs called the controversial kick as being good.

    Pats OT win vs NY Jets - When Gostkowski split the uprights in OT, at that very moment I'm sure we all wished the old OT rules applied (as the game would have been over). I don't know about you guys, but I actually like the new OT rules. I'm surprised it hasn't led to a tie yet (that's the only downside) but I love that you should play for a TD otherwise both teams get the ball. Not sure how you guys feel about it?

    Pats OT win vs NY Jets - With the OT win I believe Brady is still perfect in OT, right? The only OT loss I can recall in recent memory was the Cassel/Favre shootout at Gillette in 2008, but of course Cassel was the QB.

    Pats OT win vs NY Jets Part III - speaking of this game, it's odd that it was somewhat similar to Bill Parcell's first game back at Foxboro Stadium after leaving for the NY Jets. If you recall, the Pats were leading the entire way through only to see the Jets tie the score with less than a minute to go. On the ensuing kick off, Derrick Collours fumbled the ball with the Jets recovering. The crazy part though, the chip shot field goal attempt was BLOCKED by the Pats (want to say Bartrum but don't hold me to it). The game goes into the OT with Adam Vinatieri pulling out the game winner.

    Other Team's Special Teams - two kick attempts gone wrong by the opponents. Seahawks punter fumbled snap leading to a big tackle for a loss. Rams FG holder couldn't bring high snap down, also leading to a loss.

    Talented Young Players, or just Young PLayers? - in games in which they are active, the Pats have seen FOUR rookies on defense get significant time (Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Alfonzo Dennard). Hopefully this is a sign that the defense will get better as the season goes along and they have more experience. Or they hit the rookie wall and the defense gets worse. Of course, I hope it's the former and not the latter, but we shall see.

    Pats/Rams injuries - Rewatched the game recently and one of the things that stuck out was how many injury time outs there were (mostly for the Rams). There had to be at least six injury time outs. Not to make light of injuries, but it was sort of ironic that it happend during the London game. After all, this was the one aspect of football that these soccer fans could identify the most with. Soccer players are notorious for diving and putting on Oscar worthy performances for even minor contact.

    Rumbling Ridley - the Pats are 4-0 in games in which Ridley reaches the 100 yard line. Keep giving him the rock.

    Rushing Tds - Five Pats have reached the endzone with a rushing TD (Ridley, Vereen, Bolden, Brady, and Woodhead). Five Pats recorded a rushing TD last year too (Ridley, Green Ellis, Brady, Vereen, and GRONK).

    Brady in Seattle - This year marked the first time Brady played in Seattle. What's unfortunate, is that now the only place that Brady hasn't played is San Francisco (his hometown). The Pats travel to San Fran once every 8 years, but of course Brady was injured in 2008 when the Pats last played in SF. The NFL could have done him a favor when they tweeked the schedule for travelling accomodations. Instead, they kept the same at Sea, home vs. Ari from 2008 instead. SPeaking of which, I feel bad for any Pats fans living in St. Louis. As noted, it's only once every 8 years the Pats play in St. Louis, but with the game going to London the Pats next trip to St. Louis will be 16 years since their last one (2004).
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  2. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

    --I think the concern with Gostowski was that the track record wasn't/isn't there for last-second kicks. Not his fault, he just hadn't had the opportunity. So it was too bad he missed, but I've got confidence in him going forward (and he already showed some clutch bona fides against the Jets.)

    --Good question on Brady's OT record. I think you're right. Which I sort of hate; my superstitious side would prefer he'd lost one already.

    --I like the OT rules as well. It's funny, for all the possibilities thrown out there to change them, this in retrospect was clearly the way to go. Takes away the win the toss/kick a fg cheap win people wanted to get rid of, while still making it feel like real football (as opposed to the college OT rules).
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  3. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    Overtime rules are great. Fair as can be IMO.
  4. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

    Brady lost in OT in Denver in 2009. The Broncos were off to a hot start with Josh McDaniels at the helm. The Broncos got the ball first and scored. So, Brady is not undefeated in OT, but he is undefeated *when he touches the ball in OT.
  5. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick In the Starting Line-Up

    #32 Jersey

    Ah, that's right. No need to be superstitous about an unblemished record anymore.
  6. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    One of my overall random midseason thoughts turns to Brandon Lloyd's performance at WR

    I don't think he's blown anyone away as some perhaps thought he might having experience in McDaniel's system

    with 37 catches its not like he's been bad - he just hasn't surpassed Welker or our TEs as primary options - which is an unfair expectation

    But when it comes to being a deep threat the question is, is Lloyd enough of a deep threat to keep defenses honest

    And with 4 catches thrown over 20 yards I think the answer to that has to generally be a "yes"

    One expects that as he develops a better rapport with Brady that will improve - and one shouldn't expect the high risk high reward deep pass to be a routine throw - but I think Lloyd has shown he can beat his defender and catch the deep pass - enough so that that we don't have the problem of defenses collapsing on Brady that we've seen in some past seasons.

    So while I look for Lloyd and Brady to improve their numbers, I'd say I'm satisfied with his performance thus far.
  7. Damm I remember that game vividly .. I remember fat Tuna always pumping his fist with that evil smile throughout the game .. :eek:
  8. Gumby

    Gumby In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    ummmm, sorry to disagree, but IMO that generally would be a RESOUNDING NO.

    "4 catches thrown for over 20 yards" sounds maybe a little nice. But lets look at that:

    8 games gone and you have 4 passes for 27 (tenn) 25T (buffy), 22 (bal), 23 (Sea) yards. with only one for a score. You claim satisfaction with that as a deep threat, but not really in my book.
    [ To be generous on the flip side he does have one 19T yd (stL) and 2 20yders as well (Sea).]

    His total avg yd per catch is only 11.8 and his rec per game has tailed dramatically down to 3 per game over last 5 games after doing well the first 3 games. so while I hope as you say he and brady will develop a repoire; the actual trend line says he is catching LESS passes not MORE as time goes by. (would like to compare the target #s to see is it more drops or TB looking elsewhere)

    But anyway, that 11.8 is not scaring anybody as a mark of a dangerous deep threat. Note 3 of those 7 passes came in ONE GAME, which OH BY THE WAY, WE LOST (Seattle). If you can't do it every week; or at least SOMEWHAT CONSISTENTLY it really doesnt make anybody game plan against it.

    Finally, I doubt without looking at tape that all 4 (or 7 as you chose) of those had 0 YAC. So your use of the word "thrown" is disingenous. And if several of those were 8 yarders run for 25; HOW DOES THAT IMPLY A DEEP BALL THREAT????????.

    The point of needing a deep ball threat is that we need to run the Safeties out of the box where they can interdict the throws to Welker and the TEs or slow down the run breakthroughs.

    I LOVED the Lloyd acquisition at the time. While I have been disappointed at the speed of his assimilation with Brady, I too thought it was coming along-but the dropsies are perturbing. And I have been OVERJOYED at his recent display of OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD RUN BLOCKING. So overall I still Love [a few less caps] the pickup, but I had hoped for more.

    He is NOT a SPEED DEMON who is making anybody take notice or who they are DOUBLE-TEAMING deep like a Randy [when he wants to play]. So lets not pretend he is something he isn't.

    He is a vast improvement over Ocho and I wish we had him a year earlier; but he isnt scaring any Safeties into overcommitting the wrong way. Throwing Slater out there for one play a game would actually do more to do that; if they would just run Ridley on the play instead of actually throwing it deep to slater into dbl coverage.
  9. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #24 Jersey

    Agreed, it's also the fact that he stretches the field horizontally and commands either a good CB or S help. He's a WR that can use the whole field, which unless the Pats could get a physical freak like Moss, is more useful to the Pats. I think he's slightly off pace of what reasonable expectations were, but he hasn't really been a disappointment. I'm with you and still hopefully we see some more of those highlight reel catches in the second half.
  10. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    I agree, esp with the pro v college difference.
    Because of the "first to 6" rule, I wonder if teams, esp at home, would consider kicking-off
    instead of receiving, similar to baseball teams getting last at-bats.
  11. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

    Right, that's another reason why it's good--minimizes the importance of winning the coin toss a bit.

    Ultimately,you still take the ball, of course. You score a TD and you win. So you have to take it. But if you're on D and you prevent the TD, then you have an advantage, because you know exactly what you need to do. Going for it on 4th down, say, isn't something you have to think about.
  12. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    There's some good points here... and don't get me wrong... He and Brady need to improve their rapport and decrease the number of misses, though whether they are over/under throws by Brady or wither Lloyd isn't where he's supposed to be is up for debate.

    But focusing on an average per catch without looking at his proven capabilities as a deep threat would be dangerous for a defensive coordinator, let alone any fan.

    Having Welker catch passes thrown 5 yards and then gaining 20 YAC (often helped by good blocking) doesn't make him a deep threat. We seem to have to remind fans this every season - but the defensive coordinators know the difference.

    Likewise having Lloyd average 23 yards on his deep catches, but no YAC would not undermine whether defensive coordinators give him credit as a deep threat. As far as wanting the best deep threat this offseason I was more interested in Mike Wallace than Lloyd, but in terms of the cost and compensation, and Lloyd's ability to run more diverse routes than Wallace, I'm not complaining.

    Lloyd actually has more passes caught thrown over 20 yards than Wallace. Even the fact that Brady has targeted him more often than that is actually a help in stretching he field as well, since one expects he and Brady will improve. Sure Wallace had those two big bombs (which were also thrown over 40 yards, the biggest also coming in a loss) but that doesn't negate him as a deep threat.

    In fact, any defensive coordinator that looks at Wallace's 13.5 average per catch and fails to play him as the deep threat he is will likely be looking for a new job next season.

    I certainly HOPE defensive coordinators will also focus on Lloyd's average of 1.7 yards less than Wallace and defend to his average, rather than his capability!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  13. Froob

    Froob Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #32 Jersey

    You mentioned you're surprised it hasn't led to a tie yet in OT. I believe if the other team matches the first team with a field goal they will kick off to the team who originally received the ball and sudden death rules apply.
  14. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #12 Jersey

    Exactly why he took a low salary. The main worry was he'd demand too much cash. He was never intended to be a Moss like focal point in the offence. We just needed a guy who could get down field, adjust to the ball and make those tough grabs.

    So far, he's more than earned his worth.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  15. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

    That's true, it's just that with a greater likelihood of multiple posessions in the quarter, there'd be greater likelihood of a tie. (I assume. I now await a math PhD to explain that that's wrong!)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    He could very well surpass his career high 77 catches if he stays healthy and only slightly improves.

    Those that expected him to catch 120 passes with a 20 yard average are bound to be disappointed - but those of us with realistic expecations that know he only needs to keep defenses honest are accepting of his performance thus far and know that he's yet to hit his stride with the Patriots.
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    Your assumption has been verified. First OT tie since Philly-Bungles in '08, with the infamous
    Donovan McPuke "I didn't know OT games could end in a tie" comment afterwards.
  18. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick In the Starting Line-Up

    #32 Jersey

    Ah yes, classic. It's terrible when a game ends in such a 'blah' fashion. Even if ending in a tie, it would be nice if it ended on a hail mary attempt or long field goal attempt. The Rams were not in position for either though, so the game ended on a regular completion.
  19. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick In the Starting Line-Up

    #32 Jersey

    I realize this is reducing my 'called shot', but when I made my tie prediction it was based on the fact that trading field goals chews up clock with the teams still tied and therefore increases the liklihood of a tie.

    The Rams-49ers game, in all fairness, would have been a tie in the old format too.
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