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Seeking perspective on those five fateful turnovers

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Tunescribe, Jan 25, 2006.

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  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I remain haunted by the fact we lost to Denver the way we did in a PLAYOFF GAME, no less. Five turnovers for a BB-coached team is rare enough, but ending the season that way with so much at stake still seems incomprehensible to me. I'm left to wonder: Was this just a random string of unfortunate events, or was there an underlying factor (or factors) at work? Lack of focus, perhaps? Poor fundamental play? The former would speak to lack of preparation, which just doesn't seem possible with this veteran team and coaching staff. The latter MIGHT apply in four of the turnovers, in my opinion, but you'd think the players would be especially mindful of protecting the football in a playoff game. Suffice to say that the turnovers, much moreso than the questionable officiating, gave Denver the points to win that game.

    A closer look, one by one:

    * Faulk's fumble. Kevin Faulk has a history of putting the ball on the ground at crucial times. Was he protecting the ball as he should have? I don't know. But it didn't look like an exceptional hit that popped the ball loose, he just lost it getting banged around in traffic. What would have prevented this? Not having him carrying the ball altogether. I don't recall the down-and-distance situation with that carry. Is it fair to speculate that if the more sure-handed Corey Dillon was healthier, he might've been in there? Should BB have considered and compensated for Faulk's fumbling tendency in a game where every mistake is amplified?

    * Ellis Hobbs' fumble on the kickoff return. He fumbled on a perfect hit by the defender while struggling for extra yards. Should he have had two hands on the ball after initial contact? Hobbs is a rookie. Certainly, with Bethel Johnson on the shelf our speed on kickoff returns was limited. HOWEVER, I wonder if the best VETERAN tandem back there in this case -- with everything on the line -- would've been Tim Dwight (who has extensive experience with other teams returning kickoffs) and Andre Davis.

    * Troy Brown's muff on the punt. This one mystifies me. Totally. I'd guess you could count a career's worth of Brown's mishandled punt return catches on one hand. One unresolved question: Was Brown interfered with by the defender on his initial bobble? I see no way this could've been prevented, assuming it was just a rare physical mistake by Troy and not lack of focus. It just happened with too much at stake.

    * Brady's end zone interception to Bailey. A rotten play from the get-go. Poor blocking on the blitz leading Brady to rush the throw off his back foot forcing it to a receiver who wasn't open. Bad blocking up front, uncharacteristically awful decision by Brady. I had the feeling early in this game that Brady was ultra-"jacked and pumped" because he felt he had to win the game by himself. He was pressing.

    * Brady's second interception. It was a desperation throw, not as pivotal as the other turnovers.

    In summary, I think we still could've won this game with three turnovers. To me, the Faulk and Hobbs fumbles were killers. As bad as Brady's interception to Bailey was, Bailey's return the length of the field was a fluke and 99 times out of 100 he would've been tackled way before Watson got to him, probably in the end zone. Troy's muff was just plain bad luck. Brady's second interception occurred when Denver pretty much had the game in hand. The outstanding questions might be: (1). was it a mistake having Hobbs on kickoff returns? (2). would Faulk be carrying the ball in heavy traffic in our territory if Dillon was healthy, and considering his tendency to be fumble-prone, SHOULD his number have been called on that play with that field position? and (3). should/could anything have been done to keep Brady from pressing?
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Faulk fumble was not on much of a hit and he wouldn't even have been in the game if we'd had the real Dillon. I'm a huge fan of Faulk but I would have trouble giving him the ball after 4 fumbles in less than 100 touches last year. He had been better the previous couple of years, though.

    Hobbs - I have been saying all season that he's a fumble waiting to happen the way he holds the ball. Unfortunately it came at exactly the wrong time.

    Brady's first - There's no excuse. Just a bad decision and even worse pass.
  3. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    . . . .
  4. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Rookie

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    I have a really hard time believing Sauerbraun forced Hobbes' fumble intentionally. I think more credit goes to Hobbes dropping it than a good defensive hit.
  5. mtbykr

    mtbykr Rookie

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    well


    I have to agree with you here NEM. I mean how many times did we see them inside the 10 and use PA and throw to givens at the back of the endzone. Brady did make the mistake, but the play calling could have been a lot better there! This was one of those times where we missed charlie. Don't get me wrong, we had plenty of O in the game and the O's not the reason we lost.--- However it really could have given us a better chance in this instance!
  6. sieglo

    sieglo Rookie

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    Serious coaching errors here, IMHO. Faulk shouldn't have been carrying the ball up the middle in that situation. Troy muffed the punt because he was also on duty covering the receiver in the Broncos punt configuration and had to hurry back, which threw off his timing. And the Brady play should never have been called in the red zone (although the blame here could fall on Tom if he changed the play).
  7. checkedout

    checkedout Rookie

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    Agreed, and he was interfered with also but we had no challenges left.
  8. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    1) The playcall worked, Faulk just muffed it (no surprise). If he holds on to it, no guarantee we score, but Denver probably doesn't either that half. Even w/ the bogus PI call, the TD didn't hurt us that much until...
    2) Hobbs' fumble, something I've been dreading all season finally happened. This is IMO, THE pivotal turnover of the game. Instead of having a chance to re-take the lead or close the gap, NE finds itself down 7 just like that. Changed the whole course of the game.
    3) Brady's pass wasn't the backbreaker, it was the aftermath. Faulk should've gone for the tackle instead of the ball and Watson's play should have resulted in a touchback. Tom has thrown picks in the end zone before in the playoffs, so it's no surprise one of the top CBs snagged one this time. Plus if Givens doesn't drop the pass on the play before that pick never happens.
    4) Squarely on the coaches. The Pats NEVER block kicks EVER. Regardless of the apparent interference, it was a gamble that backfired. Game over at that point.
    5) Desperate times, desperate measures, obvious result.
  9. p8ryts

    p8ryts Rookie

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    Offensive line and maybe (gulp) coaching was the problem

    The Pats were edgy from the git go, with Brady going beserk at Lynch on the first play and the team chipping at the refs all game. It seemed like the pressure got to them for some reason and the pressure was no more for this game than others they have been in, its inexplicable.

    Offensive line didn't handle the blitz.

    However, Brady rushed his throws and didn't set his feet all night. He felt the pressure, real or perceived. He missed a lot of wide open throws, important throws that he has made in the clutch before.

    Fauria on the 4th down, open, thrown behind.
    Watson crossing at the 10, underthrown
    Twice Branch and Brown were open going into the corner of the end zone and he was even close.
    There were others.

    The early pressure got to him, the offensive line didn't do the job, the coaches didn't adjust the blocking, hence the pressure that caused Brady to throw the interception. Still the smart play was not to throw the ball. If it had been to the deep corner, there was a play.

    I don't blame play calling. The past few years it was Charlie's fault, now its because Charlie wasn't there. It was execution plain and simple.
  10. shatch62

    shatch62 Rookie

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    NEM is WRONG

    NEM stated that Brady’s BRUTAL interception in the end zone was the result of “piss poor offensive play calling†as he so eloquently puts it. Per his observation the Pats “had a first and goal on the five yard line, but instead of using first down with some sort of play action or option roll out, they did exactly what the Broncos expected and we got stuffed.â€

    WRONG

    The Pats did have 1st and goal on the five BUT Branch got called for a false start which made it 1st and goal on the 10. At which point the Patriots ran a PASS play for a 5 yard gain. The next play was an incomplete pass which made it 3rd and goal from the 5. Now Brady throws the pick.

    If you want to complain that the Pats DIDNâ€T TRY AND RUN fine but don’t say they got stuffed on 1st and goal from the 5 when that did not happen.

    Also, if you want to say the play calling sucks – and I myself am not a huge fan either – you need to put some of the blame on Brady. He needs to stop with all the Manningism before the snap and just run the f_ing play.
  11. mtbykr

    mtbykr Rookie

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    ya

    i don't think brady does much "manningism" at the line! I think it may look that way, while what he is really doing is calling out the protection not changing the play!

    Also i think the point NEM was trying to make was that we should have used some PA instead of 3 strait passes!
  12. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    bad day brady. faulk, hobbs in wrong situations

    1. the "manningisms"--i've come to believe that all the pointing & waving is the QB and OL calling out blocking assiignments. basically it's what we did in touch football--"you take 59, i'll take 93, who's got 28?". it clarifies the blocking no matter how much opposing players move before the snap.
    2. brady had a bad day. 5-6 balls well thrown but went short or too long. at some point boomer (sims?) said the thin aiir was making him miss on familiar routes. if brady didn't get enough pre-game time on the field, shame on him, and shame on the coaching staff.
    3. IMO if you take out any 2 turnovers, any 2 at all, patriots win the game. our offense moved the ball every time we had it. BUT
    4. hobbs should not have been returinig kicks in a playoff game. c'mon, we all know that. rookies get taken advantage of in those situationst; everbody's kick coverage team does that. someone made a fundamentally poor decision.
    5. i can't remember anyone calling plays as creatively as charlie weis. it was there in ND's games this year---many times i had NO IDEA what weis was gonna do next. but i also remember a lot of complaints about his play calling, loike the end of the 1st half in the miami game. with creativity also comes eccentricity. i miss his eccentric self.
  13. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I watched this in slow-mo since it was really the catalyst that was the beginning of the end of the 2005 season. It appeared to me that Faulk saw the defender lowering his helmet and approaching from his left and started moving the ball to his right arm when he was popped almost simultaneously.

    After the game plan (which had worked perfectly for the first 27 minutes or so of game play) started to unravel as a result of the turnover and the made up PI call there was an urgency to regain the lead before the half. Which was definitely a strong contributing factor to Hobbs trying to make the extra yards and get into a decent position. He was speared by the Bronco helmet to ball. It's the best trick in the Broncos bag. It's how they got to play-offs. By lowering their helmets and forcing balls loose. If they have to rely on Plummer to make a big play their done. As we saw in the first quarter with the Samuel pick.

    Again they never believed they would be fighting from behind at this point in the game. They were confident the game play they devised and utilized until the bogus PI call would allow them to control the field and maintain the lead. Here they used a desperate play that left Brown in an awkward position to get the ball.[/QUOTE]

    Look at the two plays preceding that pick and you'll see why Brady had to try that.
  14. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't have the balls to watch any of that game again but Brady didn't "have to try that". Yes, a TD would have ruled but being down by a point, by kicking a FG, with lots of time left and our defense giving up nothing was a perfectly fine place to be at that point in the game.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  15. sieglo

    sieglo Rookie

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    The fact of the matter is that that ball is one of the worst in Brady's arsenal. He just isn't that good at throwing it. The coaching staff needs to be aware of that in a playoff situation.
  16. bogey888

    bogey888 Rookie

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    i am still depressed and its not getting much better
  17. OldEnglandPatriot

    OldEnglandPatriot Rookie

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    <<After the game plan (which had worked perfectly for the first 27 minutes or so of game play) started to unravel as a result of the turnover and the made up PI call there was an urgency to regain the lead before the half. Which was definitely a strong contributing factor to Hobbs trying to make the extra yards and get into a decent position.>>

    That's exactly what I felt. There was such a raging feeling of injustice among the team that I felt Hobbs tried to do something special on the return where he might normally have gone down.
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