Some thoughts - Chargers/Colts

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Brownfan80, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    I've been away from the board for a week or so besides a few drive-by posts, so I thought I'd jump into the fray of the Chargers aftermath and then offer some thoughts about the Colts game as well.


    What a tough, hard fought game. As a fan, that was one of the most exhausting games I've watched. From the Trolls that showed up here running mad smack, to the media outlets all picking the Chargers, to the quotes from the Chargers launched last season and then leading up to this game.. It was just one of those games that I, as a fan, NEEDED the Patriots to win.

    And they did, in huge come-from-behind fashion. It was great. But it was draining as hell.

    They've gotten flack about their post-game celebration, but come on... get over it. I've never seen so much attention given to crap that doesn't matter then I have this season around the Patriots. Brady's body language.. Belichick's behavior towards Mangini, BB throwing the cameraman, and now this boohoofest over the Chargers game.

    Who cares? Football is not about any of those things. This league has been TOified.

    Besides, the Chargers got exactly what was coming to them. If they felt disrespected watching us do that dance, then can't they imagine how the Raiders must have felt seeing it 14 times? If you aim disrespect at your fallen opponents (what else is a 'sack dance' but exactly that? I just crushed you, now watch me dance about it), then please don't be a pvssy about it when it's turned on you when you fall. That's weak.

    And that's all the energy I'll spend talking about a team that is now elminated from the Playoffs.


    Throw out all the "Peyton can't get past the Patriots" crap, as he's already exercised that demon. The Colts have won the last two meetings, both in Foxboro. This game is now just about the Patriots vs the Colts. All the hooplah from past games should be gone.

    That said, it's fitting that if Peyton is going to make his first Superbowl that he should have to go through Tom Brady and the Patriots.

    I think the fact that both teams now in the AFC Championship played in the WC is a really evening factor. Neither team has had a rest. They're both running on the same fuel, each having faced a rested team in the Divisional round.

    Looking back at the meeting from earlier in the season it's easy to see reasons why either team would have the edge in this meeting. The Colts made defending Tom Brady look easy. In Foxboro.

    I can't comment for the Colts, but the Patriots are a much different team today than they were back in early November. I can't see Tom Brady throwing 4 INTs and 0 TDs again. I can't see that their pressure will be as intense this time around, as we've faced several 'pressure' defenses in recent weeks that we've found a way to handle. Not since the Dolphins debacle has a 'pressure D' actually been able to affect the outcome of the game.

    Then again, Freeney and Mathis are two of the best in the game, so it'll be a huge challenge, but I just can't see the Patriots playing as badly this time around. And even with as badly as the Patriots played in November, the Colts only had them by seven.

    It'll be a great game, and it's one that could go either way.

    Does the Colts Defense keep up this new Playoff performance, or revert to the regular season woes against the run? Does Peyton keep playing as poorly as he has so far in the Playoffs? Does Tom Brady have two back to back poor games? Do the Patriots give up on the running game if the Colts slow it down as they did in November?

    The questions are many. But this is a familiar opponent. The two have seen alot of each other through the past few years both in the regular season and the post season. It will come down to execution.

    I hope our defense is ready for that offense. I hope our offense executes better this time around...

    I'm not sure what to think about this game. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. It's a chance for the Patriots to make right a game that they could have won earlier in the season, but it's also a chance for Peyton to finally 'get there'.. It'll be another playoff classic.

    Sunday at 6:30 pm is too far away.
  2. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

    3rd down defense has cost us the game the last 2 times more than anything else..the INT's were obvious but even without that it was a shootout...we havent been able to get the colts to punt in the 1st quarter or so last 2 times ...getting a lead is a big part of the colts gameplan
  3. richpats

    richpats Banned

    The key to beating the Colts is keeping them from sustaining long drives early on. Even though they haven't lit up the scoreboard so far in the playoffs, you'll notice they have sustained a few drives in the first half and gotten points out of them. Their last 3 playoff losses have involved a lot of 3-and-outs in the early going. If the Pats let Manning get a few 1st downs and gain confidence early, it's only going to snowball from there. The Pats have only forced 1 turnover and ZERO punts in the last 2 meetings...and those games were in Foxboro.

    I've noticed 2 similarities between our last 2 meetings: the Colts manage to get a 40+ yard completion on their first possession and Belichick will go for it on 4th down when faced with a makeable FG. I believe these moments have demoralized our defense against the Colts. The Pats need to dictate the game while on D, as they did in the last 2 playoff meetings.
  4. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    3rd down offense and defense, as usual, will be huge.

    I also think it'll be interesting to see the game come down to Gost or AV. Gost already won us one that the opposing kicker couldn't match last week, so it'll be interesting to see how Gost performs compared to the Traitor.
  5. Lockdown06

    Lockdown06 On the Game Day Roster

    while i generally agree with this idea of play action slowing down a pass rush, if i remember correctly Freeney basically always pass rushes no matter what the down/situation is - if thats the case then play action would just make brady an easier target for him.
  6. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    This would have been right up until two games ago, but Freeney and Mathis have been sliding into the middle of the field on running plays in the playoffs.

    Where playaction might have the biggest impact is on Bob Sanders. In the second half of the last Indy/NE game, Sanders was in the box on every single play that wasn't an obvious passing situation.
  7. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    I'm sure that the Patriots will come up with a better gameplan this time around, having the benefit of seeing how their original plan did and didn't work.

    I'm sure that they'll figure out a way to keep the pressure from the DEs to a minimum and to keep Brady upright for as long as possible so he can avoid those 'pressure INTs' that plagued him the first time around.
  8. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    Expect to see a lot more of these...


    ...this week.
  9. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I have to think long and hard to remember the last time NE had to do anything more than just give Light some TE or RB help.
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I am not that worried at all about Indy's pressure. Unless they play completely out of their minds, history has shown that NE can minimize Indy's edge rushers. Even this past week, the plays where the pash rush really affected the play were when someone snuck through up the middle.

    Indy's DTs, particularly McFarland, are not very good pass rushers.
  11. The_Dragon

    The_Dragon Practice Squad Player

    I remember that well. Sanders practically lived in the box. However Indy could be in trouble implementing the same strategy this time around give the emergence of Gaffney, the improvement in the offensive line's blocking and the continued improvement of Caldwell. Also the Pats seem to be employing a lot more 3-wide sets which would mitigate against stuffing the box with 8 defenders.
  12. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    So far the refs have been non-factors in the playoffs.

    Let's all bow our heads and pray that they continue to be.
  13. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    You are correct. Caldwell is playing better than he did at that time and Gaffney is playing much better than anyone not name Brown was then as well.
  14. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    Good points. Our defense will, once again, have their hands full. Last week we had LT and Gates and the #1 scoring offense, now we've got the Colts and their offense which has given us problems in the last two meetings.

    Agreed about the early goings. Those early drives really set the stage for the rest of the game. If Manning gets to work early he'll tire the defense. If the D can hold Manning to a few short drives and then our offense can put some drives of their own together it'll keep our defense fresher and really help later in the game. It'll be a chessmatch.

    The Patriots have gone for it on 4th down a ton this season, so I'm not sure that speaks anything towards the confidence of the defense or not.. I think it's just the coaching staff realizing that the percentage of successful conversions is higher than the percentage of successful kicks from that distance, so they risk the difference in field position for a longer sustained drive from the offense. More often than not it's ended up a smart decision, so I can't complain about that aspect.

    But on your other points - I agree completely about the 'one big play'. If the Patriots can avoid giving up that one big play that changes field position so drastically, then that'll help matters immensely.

    Also, one thing that will really change the game depending which way it goes is our pass rush. Manning has struggled against us when we've been able to pressure him. If we can get in his face as we did Pennington and Rivers then you can expect him to struggle. If he stays upright like he has for most of the last two games, then it'll be a hard game for our offense to keep up with and win.

    Main factors:

    Our offense vs their pass rush.
    Our defense vs their protection.
    Third downs on both sides of the ball.
    Time of possession.
    Turnover battle.

    Those are not ranked top to bottom by importance. I think all of those factors will define the game.
  15. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    I've noticed that as well. No one is talking about the refs right now. And that's the way it should be. I hope it stays that way this week.
  16. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

    So, when they line up, Light's got Freeney?
  17. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    I'm mainly recalling the last game.. Brady was off, but I recall that many of his bad throws were under pressure (though I might be remembering the last regular season Jets game or Dolphins game accidentally).
  18. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    As Oswlek pointed out, great post.

    I think our offense has really matured since the last Colts game. Our passing game certainly has. Gabriel is gone. Gaffney has emerged. Caldwell has continued to improve. We've weened our dependancy on Watson somewhat.

    And the use of the three-wide set is certainly something that has ramped up as of late. And it's unsurprising to me that it's only come out as much late in the season and into the playoffs. Until there were 3 WRs that could consistently do what they were supposed to do that set wasn't very realistic.

    Given the time together that they've had through the season I'm glad to see that the passing game is now clicking a bit better.
  19. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    That is what they have done in the past.

    In the 2003 reg season game Light played 1:1 the first two plays and was smoked both times. NE then just brought Graham over and Freeney was never heard from again.

    In the two playoff games (admittedly in slop which minimizes Freeney's speed) Light took on Freeney and beat him 1:1 on most plays.

    In this past game I don't recall NE sliding that much help over.

    In the 2005 game Kaczur played more than half the game 1:1 and was given some double help.

    The only game that I don't have a good recollection of NE's attack on Freeney was the 2004 season opener. But historically, NE forces Freeney to prove that he is going to be a game changer before they adjust their game plan. Admittedly, the only time they played in Indy they adjusted after two plays, so I suppose I could be wrong.
  20. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Brady's worst int was devoid of pressure. The Watson tip could have been pressure, but it wasn't "getting hit as you are throwing the ball" type pressure. And Faulk's throw was a designed underneath quick throw so no one was near Brady.

    For most of that game Freeney spun himself out of position to make plays.

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