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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    ...or the continuing thoughts of a man who woke up at 5:30 this morning and has nothing better to do... ;)

    1. There are a lot of reasons to be optimisitic about this season, however as for THIS particular game, my optimism has had to be tempered. If the Jets are ever to beat the Pats this year, this game has got to be IT. Let me count the ways

    a. Its the Jets home opener
    b. Seymour is out
    c. Harrison is out
    d. our DL depth is further weakened with Wright being out
    e. Samuel, even if he plays, will be limited in how well and how long he can perform. Like I have said in previous posts, Asante is will not fully earn his check this week.
    f. Moss has missed a month of practise and won't be fully in tune with his QB
    g. The Pats are notorious slow starters
    h. Brady's eventful preseason might have effected his focus, as well as the fact his perrenial "arm problems" might actually have some validity this season.
    i. Because its the opener, Mangini has had a lot of time to prepare. He has proven in the past if he has extra time, he and his staff will come up with some interesting and challenging schemes to overcome.

    Have I left anything out? So if you are a Jet fan, this game would look like the Jets best chance to steal a win from the Pats

    2. I am a little surprise that we cut Torrey James. That will leave us thin at the CB spot, with only Hobbs/Gay/and Samuel true CBs This is particularly troubling since since we have no idea how long or well Samuel can play.

    I know this is mitigated somewhat by the fact Merriweather, Wilson, and Andrews all have had SOME experience playing CB, however Wilson didn't play CB at all this camp, and I'm a believer that Merriweather is best utilized if for the rest of this year he concentrates on being a safety. Its a steep learning curve for ANY rookie coming into the league. Its even steeper trying to learn the Pats complex and arcane schemes.

    Cutting James and Wesley also eliminated the only 2 "big" CBs on the roster. Gay, Hobbs, and Samuel, are all 3 great cover guys, but they are also positively TINY. Am I the only guy who has noticed that the 6'+ WR is NO LONGER the exception in the NFL....he's the norm. So when you keep trotting out CBs who barely get to 5'10 you are at a distinct advantage, especially in the red zone. Don't think that opposing OC's won't try and take advantage of this.

    All this and Matt Guttierez and Cory Mays are both on the roster. How do you figure? But then again, BB recently has lost my number and no longer calls to ask MY opinion on roster matters, though I still get emails, asking about the way I got my defensive backfield to rotate to reverse motion against Quincy in 80' :D

    3. Gearing up for the game on Sunday I was thinking about the relative positions of the Jets and Pats and the differences between the two teams, and why I think the Pats will prevail over the long haul of the NFL Season. Its not that complex, nor is it the kind of unique and insightful nugget that I wish I could claim. In a word its DEPTH.

    Think about it. Right now the Pats are favored even though its a division away game. Even a good many Jets fans think that, while the Jets will be competitive, they will ultimately lose, even though the Pats are missing a perennial all pro DE, and their leader in the secondary. THAT's the differnce between the 2 teams. Concider for a minute how the Jets would look if Rhodes and Ellis were not playing this Sunday. Are there serious Jet fans who wouldn't think that those would be CRIPPLING injuries to ovecome. Would you seriously have confidence in their replacements (whoever thye would be...do you know?) There would be no way that the Jets could compete under that scenerio.

    Certainly the Pats will not be as good as they COULD be because Seymour and Harrison won't be on the field, however their defense as a whole will still be positive factor because the Players that will replace them are both proven to be effective starters in the NFL (Sanders & Green). Most teams just don't have that luxury.
     
  2. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    3. HOWEVER, despite the previous 2 items, I DO believe the Pats will come home winners of this game. The key reason is because of the talent gap between the Jets OL and the Pats depleted DL, and the Pats OL and the Jets DL. though the gap over the Jets DL isn't as big.

    a. The Jets STILL will be starting and undersized NT who hasn't proven, even in preseaon, that he can be consistantly effective in stopping the run and playing the NT position as it was intended in the BB system.

    In order to protect DRob, the Jets have to keep him on the move at the snap. While that might make him look good with a couple of big plays now and then, it, opens up running lanes and makes it a lot easier to attack the Jet LBs. Johnathan Vilma has gone from a DROY to irrelevent since the Jets switched to the 3-4. So while DRob had a lot of tackles for the Jets last year, their run defense ranked in the bottom ten in the league. NOT A GOOD TRADE OFF.

    b. The Jets STILL will be starting a DE who has never started before, and is still a big question mark as to whether he can become the as good as Warren and Wilfolk already are. It took Warren a good 3 years before he broke out. Coleman is a mystery, and the preseason hasn't given us a clue as to whether he is the answer to the Jets DL problems

    The Jets STILL will be asking a Mike LB, who is in his first year must play what could be the most difficult defensive system to master in the league. Do you guys think its just a coincidence that BB hasn't drafted a LB in the first day in 7 years. Do you think its mere chance that nearly ALL his LBs were DLmen in college (only Seau wasn't), and only became starters after several years of apprenticeship. I have few doubts that Harris will be a fine runstopper for years to come. However on Sunday, he will see many things that he's never seen before, and be asked to do a lot of things he isn't familiar or comfortable with.

    All this leads me to believe the Pats will have success in running the football, and have similar success in protecting Brady.

    On the other side it gets worse. I don't think the Jets have the personel to run the ball well enough to control the clock and keep Brady off the field. Jones is a fine NFL RB, but his lack work with his OL this preseason, and the fact that THIS OL bears NO ressemblence to the one he ran behind last year, will limit his effectiveness on Sunday. Thus putting more preasure on Pennington to win the game.

    I'm sure it will get better as the season wears on, and Bender with his experience in a triple option offense, should be a decent run blocker, but HE TOO will see things on Sunday he isn't going to recognize. Its not his fault. The fact is there is a steep learning curve for ANY college player coming into the NFL, especially for a late round guy with no major college experience. ESPECIALLY when have to play your first game against the multiple schemes the Pats will throw out there. Believe me he is THE marked man on the Jets OL, and its a mismatch.

    4. Then we come to the obvious differences. The QBs. Pennington is a good solid NFL QB....but one with limitations, and because of that, he plays with a slimmer margin of error than most. He can, on any given day be dazzling, but he also can look like sh!t. Perhaps the best evidence of this is in the last 2 games Pennington beat the Pats. IIRC on both winning TD passes, the ball could have JUST as easily been picked off as caught. Each time the defender was right there, and the ball SOMEHOW managed to get through to the receiver. There was NO margin for error.

    How will he fair on Sunday. I would think... not so good. While Bender might be somewhat effective in the run game, he will be overmatched in pass protection. Also I have heard here how Fergeson hasn't been pass protecting as well as last season, and I have no clue as to who is even playing on the right side, though I'm sure they have no plans to be in Hawaii in Feb.

    BOTTOM LINE- The Jets first offense have 24 drives this preseason and only scored 3 times. That's not good.

    5. Do the Jets have a chance to win. OF COURSE they do. In fact they have everything that could happen going their way. Seymour is out. Harrison is suspended. Samuel won't be at his best. Moss hasn't played a down in preseason. The game is the home opener. The Pats historically start slowly. Have I left anything out. Yeah, the Jets are a pretty good team in their own right. So certainly the Jets can win the game. Hell Appalachian State beat Michigan. Upsets happen for lots of reasons. However if the Pats bring at least their B game, and don't lose the turnover battle by too too much, they SHOULD win the game for all the reasons given above.

    6. All this talk about DEPTH has gotten me thinking about the Colt game the other night, and despite their VERY impressive victory, I don't fear them like I do teams like the Ravens, Chargers, and Denver. The reason.....good old DEPTH. It was recently posted here that that the Colts have 14 players on their 53 man roster who had NEVER played a down of football in the NFL, thats 26% of their team, and about twice the usual number most teams carry.

    If the playoffs were to start tomorrow, the Colts would be an awesome force to deal with, however the NFL season is a war of attrition, and unless the Colts have Jet-like good fortune with injuries, their defense of the Lombardi, is going to run into some trouble down the road.

    Just look at the Pats in 2002. They started their defense of the Lombardi, like gangbusters wiping out both the Steelers and Jets, both highly regarded teams that year. Then in the 3 game KC revealed some basic flaws in the Pats run defense. Even though they won that game, they then lost their next 4 enroute to a 9-7 playoffless disappointing season. While IMHO the Pats were a more talented team in 2002, they were not as deep. Injuries piled up and the replacements weren't nearly as good. (there were other reasons as well of course, but the point I'm making is still valid) IMHO the "basic flaw" with this year's Colts is their lack of depth and quality personel at the bottom of their roster. Example, if they were forced to play without Sanders and Freeney for 5 or 6 weeks their chances of their starting out well would drop dramatically

    Since the margin for error is so small in the NFL, it doesn't take a whole lot to take you from the penthouse to the outhouse. the Pats were just NOT good enough to overcome the injuries and a couple of bad FA signings. They WERE deep enough in 2003 and 2004 and because they were; and they won it all.

    BOTTOM LINE- The Colts were impressive as hell last night, but I still think that their cap situation has forced them to bring on too many weaker players at the bottom of their roster. The Colts don't have a RB who has played a down in the NFL (prior to last night) outside of Addai. And running back isn't the only position where this kind of lack of depth shows up.

    7. Personally I'm kind of glad the Colts won so impressively. Perhaps it will take some of the media's attention away from the Pats. A loss would have been nice in the race for the AFC bye, but because of the Colts' such an easy schedule, they have a good chance to be undefeated before the have to play the Pats and SD in early November. So I have no problem with them or some other team being the media's darling for the first 2 months of the season.

    8. Grade inflation: I was thinking the other day that back in "my day" any game a QB's completion percentage was higher than 50%, it was a good day. Recently 60% became the new "Mendoza" line for NFL QBs. Now if an NFL QB throws a mere 55%, he becomes a source of ridicule. AND NOW it looks like 70% completion rates will become the next norm, as some of the better QBs start to make that incredible number become realistic. Woody Hayes is positively spinning in his grave. ;)

    My question is, at what point will the NFL start to reverse the trend of slanting everything towards the offensive team's favor? I expect the number of times we see a 17-14 game will diminish dramatically as the scoring trends ever upwards.

    OK that's it. I got nothing left. Its now 7:15 and I have to go take a nap, enjoy
     
  3. ParrotPaul

    ParrotPaul Rookie

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    Amen! Today is the beginning of the greatest year in the history of the Patriot franchise. Book it.:rocker:
     
  4. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Lots of great stuff, Ken! On the comment above, I'm taking BB's willingness to enter the game with only 3 CBs as an indication that the week's practice left him with full confidence in Asante for this game.
     
  5. amazinPats

    amazinPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Great post Ken!

    I think we'll be picking up Wesley (no one grabbed him, did they?) after the game. Pats just didn't want to give up the pick by keeping him before the game.
     
  6. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    A loss is a loss and I wanted Indy to lose to chalk up that first loss. I don't buy this garabage that they will take away the limelight from the Pats. This league is what have you done for me lately. If Indy gets crushed next week people will automatically jump off the band wagon or if the Pats dismantle the Jets people will be in awe and start hyping them up saying just wait until Seymour and Harrison come back. I think small bench marks will be the Pats/San Diego game and then the Pats/Indy game, but ultimately it's how you are playing after Thanksgiving. But you have to win the games now to put yourself in position.




    I think Indy's division has gotten alot tougher. Jacksonville has always given them a run for their money, but JAX has also been incosistent. Tennessee is on their way up as we saw in the preseason and thankfully they've gotten rid of a distraction in Pacman. Houston will be a sleeper in my opinion and do some damage. The running game and passing game should be upgraded and they continue to improve the defense. Hopefully their first rounder pans out. So I don't think things will be so easy for Indy. Also will Addai last the entire season just like we wonder if Maroney will.
     
  7. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    As always, great read Ken!

    OR that despite media and fans insistence and assumptions... Merriweather is more of a CB than a Safety in BB's eyes. Who knows, but 3 CBs is certainly odd.

    He's a Panther now.
     
  8. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I feel confident that the Patriots wouldn't have cut that complete and total JAG (Tory James) were they not utterly confident in Samuel, Hobbs, Gay and whoever else (Andrews?) at corner. THEY knew even better than we do (imagine that) about the CB depth at the time they chose to cut him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  9. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Especially impressed by your comparison of the lines.
    That's where my thoughts have focused.

    My only worry in that area
    is that our on-again / off-again O-line
    be On today.
     
  10. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    That's agreat point, but I think it will be James. Wesley in unfortunately with Carolina
     
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