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Things I learned on Sunday...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    ...after a day or two of perspective, and some time reading the media and posts.

    ON THE JETS GAME

    1. With very few exceptions, this was a serious butt kicking, even though the game WAS in doubt as late as midway thru the final quarter. I thought the Pats O & D lines were better than the Jets', but not THAT much better. It really gave me hope for this Sunday.

    2. Despite the fumble, anytime I hear this crap about Dillon being old and decrepit, I cringe. The fact is that Dillon as running as effectively as he's ever done with the Pats. The only complaint I have with him is his tendency NOT to be able to stay on the field for more than 3 plays at a time. To me that speaks of some unnamed injury where the pain compounds in consecutive plays. Like a shoulder or arm.

    I remember seeing a stat on Dillon that was most telling why he is so happy here in NE, and it was surprising. Unfortunately I DON'T remember the exact Stats so someone can correct me, but its the idea that will make the point. IIRC Dillon had something like 45 TDs while he was in CINCI, and in just 3 years he's been here, he's well over 30.

    BOTTOM LINE: With all due respect to Mike Felger..... SHUT UP ABOUT COREY DILLON. He's been one of the best pick ups of the BB/Pioli administration, and one of the most productive. With Maroney here, he can continue to be productive for another year or two, as he becomes our version of the Bus.

    3. Artrell Hawkins had a bad game, plain and simple. His missed tackle on the TD pass/run, was a simple matter of taking too deep a drop, and compounding the error with a bad angle back to the ball. However beyond that play, Hawkins was the invisible man, by and large, in the secondary ALL game. Everyone has a bad game, so given his track record, I guess he's entitled, but it won't cut it next week.

    4. Another player who is finally showing some wear and tear is Tedy Bruschi. For the last part of this year, I have noticed how rarely he makes an IMPACT play. He certainly doesn't suck as a LB, but he is no longer one of the best. JMHO>

    5. Is it just me but everytime I see Rosie Colvin on TV he reminds me more of an insurance agent than a football player. Have you ever seen an NFL linebacker with LESS muscle tone? Aside from being tall, I don't think you'd think he's an athlete. I've seen BASEBALL players with bigger arms and shoulders. ;)

    BTW- he is one of the more insightful guys to listen to, and I'm real glad he came here, perhaps he can convince his replacement with the Bears (Biggs) to make the same trip. :D

    6. While the mentor beat up on the student, the student didn't have anything to be ashamed of in this miss match. Mangini FAR exceeded my own expectations of him. In one year, he managed to do the 3 most important tasks ANY HC has to do.

    A. He changed a losing culture in NY
    B, He got his team to believe in him, his staff, and play hard EVERY GAME.
    C. He prepared his players well for each game.

    There is just one trial left for him and it could come next year. How does he do when things go bad. THis year a lot of things went right for the Jets. They were extraordinarily healthy, They hit a number of teams JUST at the right time, and they had a "somewhat" easy schedule. Next year, there WILL BE higher expectations, so a very tough schedule and and injury payback, and some bad bounces, could combine that even though the Jets may be a better team, they could have a worse record. How he handles that problem, will be a big test for him.

    ON THE SD GAME:

    This is a great cliche game for the Pats, and although there are a NUMBER of factors that DON'T favor them, it is almost a perfect match up. BTW - WHAT a couple of great matchups in the AFC. Its the immovable object vs the irresistible force in Baltimore (I can't figure out which team I hate more). And the golden team of the moment vs the overall best team of the decade.


    ON the PLUS SIDE:

    1. THEY ARE THE UNDERDOG - and if ANY team in the NFL lover to be the underdog, its our hometown heroes. They will get GRUDGING respect from the experts and media, and while everyone will say they "wouldn't be shocked to see the Pats win" all of them pick the Chargers. They'd be crazy not to.

    Its 9 probowl selections against 1 - Its 5 all pro selections against 0 Its the team with the bye vs the team that had to play a tough physical game THEN travel across country to play in a hostile enviroment. In other words, a perfect game for the Patriot team's mind set.

    2. Strength against Strength - LT is the best RB of this generation, if not one of the best of all time, vrs one of the top 3 rush defenses in the league. While I don't expect the Pats to shut LT down, I can only hope they can keep his total yards to under 125 and 2 Tds. If any team other than Baltimore do that, its the Pats.

    3. Brady vs a relatively weak secondary - THIS is why I think the Pats will be able to move the ball this week. While they will see a formidable pass rush, the Pats SHOULD be able to find some separation from the SD secondary. So if Brady is able to get reasonable time to throw the ball, IMHO there SHOULD be people open.

    The last time the Pats played a defense which had as good a front 7 as this one, it was vs the Panthers in the 2003 superbowl. Somehow the Pats managed over 350 yds passing in that game. Unfortunately they don't have the 2 weeks they had then to prepare for this game, but I think our OL has improved A LOT since then, talent-wise. (no disrespect to Russ Hockstein)

    I believe that the Pats will scheme well enough to marginalize the SD pass rush. Remember the league high 60 sack total SD managed is only about 3 per game, and baring TO's the Pats could allow 3 sacks and STILL pass well enough to win this game. Also remember the key to rushing Brady ISN'T pressure on the edge, its pressure right in his face.

    AGAIN that's a strength vs strength thing. Koppen, Neal, and Mankins are generally great giving Brady a chance to step up and avoid the outside rush, while SD has the best NT this side of Vince Wilfolk. Very interesting.

    ON THE DOWN SIDE -

    1. DO NOT expect Marty S to somehow give us this game. People seem to forget that it wasn't Marty to FUMBLED the ball on the GL, prior to "the drive", and it wasn't Marty who missed a 30 yd FG in his last playoff loss. Shottenheimer is one of the BETTER NFL coaches. So stop listening to idiots like Felger, and people who should KNOW BETTER like DiOssi, and think that the Pats have a huge coaching advantage here. Granted I like my coach better, but the players will ultimately decide who wins the game.

    2. Rivers vs the Pats defense- While I think it will be to the Pats advantage in this matchup, I don't think it will be to the extent we saw, vs Rothlesburger in 2004. Remember Rivers ISN'T a rookie. He's been in the league 3 years, and although this is his first year starting, he's been seeing NFL defenses for a lot longer than 16 games.

    3. going across the country - this is the hardest thing to do in the playoffs. That is why I would have rather have played Baltimore this week. On the other hand, we eventually would have had to make the trip at some point, it might as well be now. If we win, it will mean a short trip for the AFC championship.

    Thanks for the ear, I'm really looking forward to this game, and I think the country will be too. Its a great match up
  2. lander

    lander Rookie

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    Good post. Interesting what you say about the key to pressuring Brady.

    Not sure how many of you guys saw the week 15 Sunday night game (Chargers vs. Chiefs), but it was pressure up the middle that yielded 4 of the 6 Charger sacks. Everyone knows about Merriman and Phillips on the outside but keep an eye on Godfrey and Edwards coming on the inside blitz.

    And who will be blocking Luis Castillo? He was hurt for most of the second half of the season and, if healthy, is our best pass-rushing DL (7 sacks in 10 games). He's also a critical part of our run defense. If he had stayed healthy I think we would have finished in the top 3 against the run.

    IMHO Castillo must be a factor in this game if we are going to slow down your offense.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  3. The-Beast

    The-Beast Rookie

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    The Chargers also had 70 hurries, 21 coming from the interior lineman, of course our starting OLB had 32
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  4. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    1) Don't expect SD to dominate the predictions. I wouldn't be surprised if more people choose NE than SD.

    2) I totally agree with you about the pressure on Brady being the key. Good point about up-the-middle being more important.

    Thank you for your contributions to this site.
  5. Patriot Artist

    Patriot Artist Rookie

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    Nice post Patfanken.

    After a few days of sitting with the Jets game, I had an observation, too. I think the Pats staying power was fantastic in this game. For a fan it is hard to fathom the difficulty keeping up that intensity thru the fourth quarter. Those guys are getting pummeled and football is very much a mental game as well. The players who tough it out and maintain their control will win the game. The Pats did just that with the Jets. They did not come undone.

    That's what I like about this team. They make good decisions through the end of the game.

    Will the Pats beat the Chargers? Let's see if they can maintain their physical strength and their good decision making thru 4 quarters. I believe the Patriots have the stuff to do it.
  6. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    Nice post, Patfanken.

    This will be a tough game! I think so much is riding on whether Brady's skill players can get open and run the right routes. The O-Line usually rises to the occasion against good teams. If Brady can move the ball, which I think is going to depend mainly on what his WRs do, we will have a fighting chance.

    What concerns me about the Chargers match-ups is that Marty seems to find a way to shut down our WRs. That is what hurts us most against them. So that is my key to the game.
  7. JoePats

    JoePats Rookie

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    No but it was Marty who ran the ball 3 straight times when the whole world knew it was coming to set up a 40 yarder against the Jets in the rain on a sloppy track. It wasn't 30, almost positive. But of course you can't go into a game expecting the other coach to give it to you. Except Herm.

    Looking forward to it.
  8. Trot

    Trot Rookie

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    Good Post PatfanKen..

    Also

  9. teamplay

    teamplay Rookie

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    Here's what I think is the KEY QUESTION about the Chargers: Are they an "impose-our-will" juggernaut or are they an "adapt-and-outsmart" juggernaut? The Pats are the latter and, in the past, have used their arsenal of weapons and schemes to undo seemingly irresistible force (i.e. Rams 2001, Panthers 2003, Steelers, Colts). In each case, the Pats schemed ways to get these teams to play outside their comfort zones and each lacked the practice or skill to adapt. These teams dominated opponents all season playing one way, and never learned how to adapt and adjust.

    SD appears to be an irresistible force in 3 ways: LT, Gates, and its front seven pass rush. The Pats will have a curve/plan to make them uncomfortable in each area. Will SD doggedly stick to "what's worked all year" or will they adapt on the fly? IMHO, the outcome of the game rests on the answer.

    Although the Jets lost last week, they showed they were ready for the chess match. Will SD be ready or will they grit their teeth and redouble their commitment to their initial game plan? What is their track record and "personality" in this area?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    This is a very good point and I would have to say that IMHO SD is much better than the Colts and Steelers of 03 and 04, but not on NE's level yet.
  11. teamplay

    teamplay Rookie

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    Oswlek: I really enjoy reading your posts! Thanks for replying to mine.
  12. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Astute observations, PFK. Great minds must think alike.

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