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Snap Judgements --- Pats - Titans post-game review

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsBoy12, Sep 9, 2012.

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  1. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Well, Pats family, we just watched our boys play a meaningful 60-minute game on week one of the NFL season. I'm not an expert by any stretch and I've never actually done a thread like this (taking a page out of Patfanken's book), but here is my attempt to summarize some of what I saw today.

    OFFENSE

    The GOOD:

    - Ridley was an ABSOLUTE BEAST. The running game overall was very good, but Ridley was definitely the focal point. He pretty much did everything we were hoping they'd do on the ground. This allowed the offense to be balanced. In fact, we watched the Patriots become very pass heavy on a few occasions, and all of those drives stalled. It was only when they involved a heavy dose of rushing that the offense clicked and they were able to move the ball and get points.

    - Brady looked a lot like the Brady we expect to see every game. His pocket awareness was on full display, as the line was just decent. He extended a few plays and made some nice throws, and yes I'm even talking about the pass to Lloyd that the receiver completely misjudged. And I don't know if you all noticed, but he did a majority of his magic after what's being reported to be a broken nose.

    - The TE's were very good today. There was nothing overly spectacular or dominant, but they showed why NE tied them up 'til later this decade.

    The NOT SO GOOD:

    - I saw enough from the offensive line to feel a bit more at ease, but they still left something to be desired. Although I think they'll get better as they settle in and continue to receive coaching and practice, but they were not all that good today, while not being all that bad either. Solder was up and down, but I think he was beaten more than we like. The right side of the line looked fairly good. Overall, much improvement is needed and I think we'll see it.

    - I hate to single him out, but Solder is going to get Brady killed if he doesn't begin to step up more in games. He seems to be struggling with leverage and speed. He seems smart enough to know what to do out there, but something is keeping him from doing it. I don't know if it's foot speed or what. At any rate, the kid needs to do better.

    - Welker was somewhat of a non-factor. Granted, another poster said that they were bracketing him, but I didn't see it myself. Few times was he seen doing anything significant in the game. I feel pretty confident that that had more to do with game planning than anything else. We'll see dominant Welker when the defenses we see dictate it.

    DEFENSE

    The GOOD:

    - The ROOKIES were better than advertised and, to a lesser degree, expected. Man, they came to play today. Jones, after what looked like a possible injury, seems fine and should only continue to get better as time goes on. Hightower played very well and never looked overwhelmed. Tavon also didn't look overwhelmed. In fact, he was always in the right position and I honestly think he was our best safety today.

    - Although McCourty has become the new Maroney, I think he and the secondary collectively played extremely well, especially when comparing them to a season ago. They gave up a few completions in the 2-deep coverage, but they made plays on the balls thrown and they made timely tackles to jar balls free. The Chung recovery should not have been overturned. That was definitely a bad call.

    We were all clamoring for improvement, and today we saw it. It wasn't perfect and there were some completions given up, but it didn't look like the same porous defense of a year go to me. I'v encouraged and will continue to watch this group closely as the season progresses.

    - Jermaine Cunningham made a strong case for himself today and will reward BB and the Pats for keeping him on the squad. He showed that the preseason and TC was no fluke. The kid put in the work and is showing why he was drafted. He gives credence to those who feel that last year went down the way it did because he was injured to some degree.

    - Wilfork and the rest of the front seven were monsters. The run D looks stout. Basing this on just one game, I'd have to say that the D will be top 5 against the run.

    The NOT SO GOOD:

    - Rob Ninko looked bad for almost the whole game. In fact, I think BB replaced him in the base defense with Cunningham late in the game. I think some of what looked like ineffectiveness had something to do with the scheme. They wanted to keep Locker inside and not let him scramble outside. However, he was bad even on plays where you could tell both DE's were told to pin their ears back and get to the QB. I don't think he'll be horrible all year, as he's improved too much for that, but he was definitely horrible today.

    - The zone coverage still needs improvement. A lot of the really big completions occurred when the Pats played the soft zone coverages. Again, a lot of that was scheme-based to keep the play in front of the defense and prevent the first down, but some of it was simply break downs in coverage.

    - Other than Tavon, the safety play wasn't mind-blowing. Honestly, I could have left out any critique of them, as they really weren't bad at all, but they weren't as good as some of us would have hoped, but it's only week one.




    Overall, I was more impressed with the offense than the defense, but it wasn't because of all the points scored. I loved the balance. This offense today looked less like that of 2007 and the years thereafter and more like that of the SB winning teams. They had balance, they were unpredictable, and everyone got in on the action. There wasn't this over-reliance on Tom in this game. I hope we continue to see this even in critical games.

    The D should continue to improve. Our LB's look like studs. Our secondary looks much improved. And, I'll say it quietly so the rest of the league doesn't get wind of this yet, but NE has a pass rush now. I predicted that Carter would have double-digit sacks a year ago, and I'm going on record saying that, barring catastrophic injury, Chandler Jones will have double-digit sacks this season.

    That's my analysis. Discuss if you'd like.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  2. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good analysis.

    Want to give a shout out to Chander Jones. In his first game, he gets three stuffs (two of them for losses) and a strip sack. You got to think he is the leader right now for defensive rookie of the year.

    I also don't get the McCourty hate. Other than one or two plays, I think he was pretty solid today. He got away with Pass Interference in the end zone, but he shut down his responsibility for most of the game.
     
  3. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

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    good post overall, only two problems for me; the Chung turnover was overturned correctly I thought, and I don't know what you mean here:

     
  4. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, that was the correct call to overturn that turnover. Washington never maintained control to the ground.
     
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice analysis. A few thoughts:

    1. The OL did a terrific job run blocking. Pass blocking was imperfect, but not horrible. Not a bad performance, especially given that Vollmer missed some time.

    2. Ridley was not only a beast running the ball, but also had 2 receptions for 27 yards. 35 rushes, 32 pass attempts is great balance, and getting the RBs involved in the running game will open up a ton of stuff.

    3. The secondary played well overall, and was very close to 2 more big plays (the McCourty dropped INT and the non-fumble). 6 PDs, vs. 0 for the Titans. The DBs were laying the lumber big time, and generally in good position. Sure, the Titans made some plays, but you've got to assume that the other team came to play.

    4. The tackling was exceptionally sound overall. Pursuit was terrific. And the run defense was extraordinary. The defense made Tennessee one-dimensional, and that one dimension was never a threat.

    5. The defense held the Titans to 5-14 on 3rd down, and forced an INT and held them to a field goal on 2 trips to the red zone. Not too bad.
     
  6. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Sorry, Ty Poole. I fixed it. I typed it incorrectly. Also, I think you're right on the overturned call. When I really think about it, I realize it was the right call. My reaction was of the knee-jerk variety.lol I'll go back and watch it again, but I think I have to overturn my viewpoint a bit as I sit here and think about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  7. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I meant to go back and add something about the tackling as I was typing it up and just forgot. Thanks for mentioning how good the tackling was in throughout the game. I don't think I noticed more than two or three missed tackles. It was a truly exemplary game in that area.

    Also, thanks for including the stat about the third downs. That was a big thing for this defense, as their ineffectiveness on third downs plagued them the past few seasons and many people believe that's what really cost them the SB. Thanks for adding so much in your short post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  8. hovis

    hovis On the Game Day Roster

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    This could be the most physical team, on both sides of the ball, since 2004.
     
  9. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    That physicality especially showed on D today. They were laying it down to any and everybody on offense for the Titans. They knocked so many balls free and they even knocked out Nate Washington. The sound of the pads clashing was loud!
     
  10. Big-T

    Big-T In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think that's down to people not understanding zone coverage and they assume just because McCourty was lined up on the receiver pre-snap it's his fault if that receiver makes a completion in the gaps between zones.

    On the TD CBS showed the safety was late getting across into position too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  11. randomk1

    randomk1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think it's because of last season everything he does sticks out. That dropped INT, a few 3rd and longs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  12. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Yup, that's definitely a big part of it. And then there is also the group that believes a corner is only good if he allows 0 catches in a game, something that is almost impossible in professional sports. That maybe happens in high school and college, but the professionals are really good at what they do. Even the great Ty Law allowed some receptions. McCourty should be fine. After watching him today, I walk away feeling very encouraged and optimistic about a rebound this season. I just can't believe he'd flash so much his rookie season and then not show anything ever again. That just can't be.
     
  13. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

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    I also liked the overturn of McCourty's interception. I prefer that the referees get the call right, even at the expense of my team a couple of times today.

    Overall, a gr8 team like the Pats will benefit with the plays being called correctly.
     
  14. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

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    How about the overall play of special teams?

    No big returns on punts or KOs against the Pats, Edelman had a couple of decent punt returns, Ghost was perfect on FG and PATs and was booming his KOs, and Mesko was pinning the Titans deep consistently.

    KO returns for the Pats weren't gr8, but we already have our solution set for next year on IR.
     
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have the solution to our 2012 kick return game in the tub.

     
  16. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, the TD was definitely on Gregory. People complained about McCourty on the Cook big reception on that drive because McCourty was the first one to him but if you looked McCourty had the outside coverage and was covering Washington and broke the coverage when he saw the ball was going to Cook.
     
  17. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    you mean a diving interception attempt and the third down conversions when he was wearing Dowling's or Gregory's jersey? He gave up a few short passes and that is about it other than the should have been pass interference.

    Yes, he should have held onto the INT, but it wasn't an easy catch since he had to dive for it and people aren't on other players who drop easier receptions (on offense) or INTs (on defense).

    Even Gresh and Tanguay got that McCourty had a pretty good game. Why can't his haters?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Haters gonna hate.
     
  19. Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM)

    Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM) Banned

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    I am not so sure that it was the correct call. IMO, Chung had posession and went to the ground, untouched, with that possession. When he went down, the ball came loose and IMO, it was a fumble. Unforced, but still a fumble. He then, made the recovery.

    He should have personally had three individual stats on that play.... interception, fumble, and then fumble recovery.

    There was another play, and I cant recall it at this time, where I thought we got shafted.
     
  20. SEA_Pat

    SEA_Pat On the Game Day Roster

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    Yeah, just LOVED the new-look Defense. Fast, physical, aggressive, laying wood. And completely stopped the run.

    The offense had a bit of rust, but was more than enough and given it was the first game I reckon they're on schedule. The OL held up better than I thought they would, and the running game was wonderful to watch.

    Some other things that stood out to me:

    1. Chandler Jones has crazy closing speed. Once he's by his man, he's almost instantly on the QB. This is the BEAST we've been waiting for. With Cunningham starting to show some strength on the other edge, we're in for some good ol' fashioned Patriots D a la the early 2000's. Just loving it.

    2. Big Vince was huge in every respect, as he always seems to be. With Kyle Love and Brace to help out on the inside, there was nowhere for the Titans to run so it was easy cleanup for the linebackers. The edge was set beautifully. Just textbook run defense, even when they were expecting pass. I put the gold star on the interior DL.

    3. The so-called PI penalties - I thought McCourty's defense was borderline but okay. I think that the ball hitting him and never getting to the receiver made the difference. The others would have been ticky-tacky calls, let 'em play I say, and well done to the replacement refs. They also got the snot bubble fumble and McCourty muff calls correct on review.

    4. Special Teams - was concerned a bit about the pressure on Zoltan, caused him to put one punt deep into the end zone at least. Gostkowski was solid, but hate to see him making tackles ever, then shaking it off on the sidelines.

    5. Ridley - nice hard running, shifty and powerful. Gronk's blocking was very impressive as always, how can anyone seriously compare him to Jimmy Graham?

    6. Lloyd - like his athleticism, played as advertised. Looking for more production as his comfort zone with TFB expands. Afraid WWW may be in for a letdown season and then let go. Hopefully with a Super Bowl ring as a souvenir.

    Overall a very satisfying start to the season. Can't wait for Game 2, and boy it's nice watching a tough and physical D in the silver, blue and red again.
     
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