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Things that I learned on Sunday.....

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    .....which confirmed most of what I already knew (except for one)

    1. Count me among those who vastly UNDERESTIMATED the effect Junior Seau had on our run defense. When he came here I thought it was a nice pick up....couldn't hurt....ho humm. I was very impressed with the run defense over all, but I didn't really tie in Seau's contribution as highly as it clearly was. Prior to his injury the Pats were allowing NOTHING in the run game to the Bears. They were COMPLETELY one dimentional. AFTER his injury the Bears managed to gain decent yardage throughout the game. Nothing gashing, but enough to present a problem.

    I think that having a week's preparation at ILB Vrabel will improve his efforts and given the competition the next several weeks we should be OK as we were last season. HOWEVER as he is probably sitting on a plane heading to SD to decide on his future let me say this to Junior Seau. I was one of many who thought you a talented but over rated LB in this league. I appreciated your passion for the game always. However after watching you for 11 games, you leave here with my full respect. You were a productive part of a very good football team, Junior, and you will be welcome back this year (I hope) or next. You were an asset to this team, and for the short time you were here...a true Patriot....and that's the best compliment I can give you. Thanks.

    2. I thought the Pats were 2 TDs better than the Bears, and NOTHING I saw last night changed my thinking. The only 2 things that kept that game even close were the Pats constant fumbling in the Bears red zone, and the GD referees who called the worst PI call I have ever seen (yes, even worse that last year's call in Denver) on Artrell Hawkins, and the one against Samuel later in the game was only marginally better. First there was NO significant contact. Hawkins had a better shot at the ball than the receiver, and NEVER interferred with the receiver's ability to get to the ball. IT WAS RIDICULOUS. My only regret was that Tommy Heinsohn was'nt calling the game. (YOU CALL THAT A HARD FOUL!!!!!! BTW - the "so-called holding" against 27 was right up there as well. He chucked him well inside the 5 yard limit with a forearm and that was it. It was like the refs were going to make a call on that play no matter what.

    Those calls were particularly eggregious given the NON CALL face guarding AFTER those call on Watson (IIRC). Now I'm not a big believer in the face guarding PI call. I think it should be legal, however it is in the books and NEITHER call that they DID make was even close to PI as that face guard play. ESPECIALLY since the ball was right on target.

    Also for any Bear's fans who think those were just make up calls for the 2 that weren't called earlier, FORGET IT. While there was sufficient contact, IMHO, to POSSIBLY justify a call, NEITHER of those passes were even close to being "catchable balls", which was why no call was made. Besides the contact on those plays were incidental and both players.

    3. The Bottom line here is the league has got to make some changes to their rulings on PI, otherwise it will become more and more a structured play that will send out WR's deep to creat contact and draw a flag. RIght now it should be a play. Only 3 things mody likelyu will happen. You catch the bal, You draw the flag, or you have an incompletion. The odds of a positive event are in the offense's favor. NEVERTHELESS we see week after week the refs REWARDING offenses for what are essentially bad plays.

    In the ref's defense, both the challenges they awarded the Bears WERE the correct calls. Both plays were ALMOST great catches.

    4. This is not to say the Bears aren't a good team, BTW. I have never seen a team go after the ball SO SUCCESSFULLY as the Bears did. ALL of those fumbles were caused BY the BEARS as a function of technique (the only exception possibly being the Dillon fumble which seemed to be caused when a random knee hit the ball as Dillon was struggling for a first down. AND they ALMOST got Brady to cough it up on his QB sneak. It will be a great teaching tool for the staff....for both side of the ball.

    I was also impressed with the Bears WRs. Both Berrian and Mohammad went up an GOT the ball and maintained it. They caught a number of tough catches throught the evening.

    I was also not as down on Grossman as many are, especially in the media. Those guys can't wait to cut down some poor guy that they themselves built up to heroic proportions just a few week before. But here are the facts as I see them. First this kid hasn't started 20 games yet as a pro. NONE of his picks were the result of a poor decision. He WAS throwing the ball to the correct receiver. All but the last pick were essentiall on target throws. Maybe not the PERFECT throw, but not bad given the CONSTANT pressure Grossman was under. Then of course you have to concider the great play of the defensive player. Samuel make GREAT breaks on the first 2 picks, and was in perfect position for an overthrow on the last. If that ball is UNDERTHROWN, for example, it mostlikely would have been a catch.

    For my observation, Grossman is a keeper. He is very tough. He hangs in there well under extreme pressure, and makes a lot of good throws...and some bad ones...just like EVERY OTHER QB in the league. The only thing I'd do differently is perhaps, like Charlie did with Brady in his first years starting, shorten the play book a bit and give him some easier throws to make in the short and intermediate areas. However with Berrian's and Mohammed's size and ability to go get the ball, I wouldn't give up going deep 3-4 times a game.

    We could very well see the Bears in Feb. If we do, I think we DO beat them by 2 TD's (assuming relative health) JMHO .

    5. I can't say enough about the OL's pass protection last night. It was the best its been all year, especially when you concider the defense it was playing against. One play in particular was fun watching Kevin Faulk STONE Brian Urelacher on a Blitz, especially since they gave us a good replay on it. Bottom line Brady had more time to throw than he's had all year.

    6. In the media, when they talk about great defenses, you constantly hear about the usual top three. Baltimore, SD, and the Bears. You never hear about the Patriots, though very quitely, and despite missing 3/4 of their secondary for a good part of the year, the Pats have put up stats that are the EQUAL to ANY of those defenses. I think it is time to acknowledge that the Pats have a GREAT DEFENSE this season. The only weakness I can see is the potetential for depth problems at LB as well as the secondary. Hopefully we'll get back Wilson, Harrison and Scott in the coming weeks.

    7. Nice job by the kicker. Big game.....Big kick.....which he calmly made after being nicely frozen by a favorable time out by the Bears. Bodes well for the future. BTW - after watching the Robbie Gould kick for the Bears, it's pretty clear Pioli's staff has a good feel for kickers, since they had this kid all last training camp as insurance for AV. From what I have since heard, they were reluctant to let him go, but in the BB system, you don't waste a roster spot for a second kicker.

    8. Has anyone heard what exactly was the story with Jim Miller. He was having a great year before the last game he played. Its just that he went on IR so suddenly, and without a lot of explaination. Unfortunately Ken Walter has a great first name, but it is a step back in the punting game.

    9. I've been critical of Brady from time to time this season, but although it wasn't his best statistical game, it was his best passing game as far as accuracy goes. I bet some time later in the season they might change that pick on the Watson pass to a catch and fumble. Ben had caught the ball, brought it in, and was hit right on the elbow as he hit the ground. Anyway, I thought it was a catch/fumble. The ball was right on the money. BTW- Brady now has 11 picks this season, I would be willing to bet that over half of those picks were deflections. Between the 2 last night and the 3 the Colts got, makes 5. So by and large Brady is taking care of the ball pretty well, though some of those deflections were caused by errant passes, as well as missed receptions.

    10. QUICK THOUGHTS -

    a. You appreciate this team more when you see how seemlessly the Pats OL worked despite losing O'Callahan mid-game. You noticed no drop off when his replacement came in.

    b. I heard an interesting comment worth mentioning the other day concerning the inconsistancy of the Pats coverage teams. It is worth noting that no fewer than 5 players who were brought in specifically to play special teams are on the IR, most of them, including old friend Tebucky Jones, landed there BEFORE the season opener.

    c. Reche Caldwell would have been a more than adequate replacement for David Givens if Dion Branch remained with this team. He has proven to be more than most had predicted, even without him. Doug Gabriel is still among the missing.

    d. Speaking of WRs, here's hoping that Chad Jackson eventually steps up. His effort on the long pass to him last night wasn't criminal, just less that one would have hoped

    e. Assuming Seau ends up on the IR, anyone want to start a pool predicting who they will bring in to replace him. Monte Beisel anyone???? couldn't hurt.
  2. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    Patfranken, you took the words right out of my mouth, a whole post's worth of words.

    The fact that the Patriots won this game yesterday, despite the calls against them and their own errors, speaks very highly of the team.

    I agree that the Pats are two touchdowns better than the Bears and Chad Jackson almost provided both of them. I was waiting for the third attempt, which would have resulted in a score.

    I am troubled by Seau's injury and hope that our run defense holds up.

    What happened here was that luck was against the Patriots yesterday and they were playing a very good team, and on a field that was new to them. The result was gratifying.
  3. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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  4. shmessy

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  5. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    He is a big loss, both quality and quantity wise. One less good linebacker, and the run D will likely be less stiff with him gone. Run wise there was no "bend but don't break" going on with this D. They didn't even bend. All the third down conversions were through the air.

    I myself never considered him overrated; to do what he has done in this league for so long is HoF material. I just wasn't sure if he was smart. His game seemed to be mostly about speed and fury. He spent most of his career in the San Diego defense. What sure showed me was him stepping off the plane at the end of training camp and instantly acclaimating himself to the league's most complex D, to which he had half-a-year precursor to with Saban in 2005. That's functional intelligence right there, and that's pretty much the last checkbox on the HoF application.

    To fully give credit where it is due, Lance Briggs was the master thief behind most of those. Nothing on the field is safe with that man around. I was surprised he wasn't flitching Patriots' jerseys from off our players' backs and sneaking into the offensive huddle. Maybe he was, hard to say. Would certainly explain why he was always in on the play.

    I don't know. He had all day against Cincinatti as well. Course, like you said, you have to consider the defense. I remember the Faulk play as well, and say what you like about their hands, BB has always demanded the backs do their part to keep Brady upright.

    They do. Follows on from what they got going at the end of last year.

    He said on a radio show that he found out he had a bone-on-bone condition in his shoulder, and that he can't recall what might have caused it. Might even be a chronic condition, but that's just my speculation, nothing he said. It progressed from a nagging injury to something too painful to overcome.


    To be fair, his replacement, Nick Kaczur, is not just another guy. In fact, it would probably be more correct to call him and O'Callaghan a platoon at this point.

    I posted this in another thread, but there are so many now it shouldn't hurt the board to do it again.

    Unlike defensive back and O-line, the Pats don't have much of a shadow roster at LB. The Pats worked out two veteran inside linebackers during training camp - Orlando Huff and Chris Claiborne - but each is now with the Cardinals and Giants, respectively. The following is a list of linebackers the Pats cut in training camp:

    Monty Biesel: now with the Cardinals
    Chad Brown: now with the Steelers
    Jeremy Mincey: 49ers practice squad
    Freddie Roach: Lowe's

    No doubt Pioli's rolodex is thicker than that. However, going off the most recent dealings of this team, the thing to do now that Seau's on IR is either:

    1) sign Mincey off the 49er's practice squad to our active roster
    2) bring Antwan Spann back to the active roster, and sign Roach to the PS

    Or maybe Ted Johnson and Roman Phifer are feeling frisky.
  6. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    I loved getting Seau from the start. Except his two seasons in Miami, he has never been overrated to me. I think he is great, and I will miss his leadership and tackles. I will miss his celebrations as well. Somebody needs to be fired up all the time.

    I know that Vrabel can adjust, I wonder about how well Tully will do on a full time basis. He is a little like Jarvis Green, he looks good in limited roles. Hopefully he can look good for the rest of the season if he starts!

    The Pats need to execute better and hold onto the ball before they are two touchdowns better than the Bears. But the game could have gone that way. Just like they could have beat the Colts if they held onto the ball. Or Denver in the playoffs. They are better, but they need to execute! Story of the season, eh?

    Napolian will never address the PI rules. He loves it the way it is.

    The O-line did a great job this week. Unfortunately the trend is for them to regress again into mediocrity. They need to do a great job EVERY week. It would go a long way towards improving Brady's performance.

    Brady has had a year which would send other QBs like Manning into the tank. Only a elite QB can keep a team together with so many unfamiliar WRs and such inconsistent pass protection and play calling at times. Somebody like Manning will never have to deal with such challenges, since he travels first class while Brady travels coach.
  7. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for a marvellous post, Ken.

    I agree completely with what you say about Seau. It was astonishing to see the difference in the game, although, as you say, there will be a week of practice for MV to get adjusted. But just think back to last year. Monty Beisel as a replacement? Even if he weren't lighting things up in Arizona, you'd have to be kidding. It's Mike Vrabel and heavily crossed fingers from now on.

    I also agree with what you say about Grossman and about the atrocious refereeing. It isn't a matter of changing the rule but of applying it properly. The announcers seem to me to have made an excellent suggestion: make PI calls reviewable. They are, after all, almost all very big plays. Certainly, there is an element of judgement in PI calls, but it was clear to me that there was, for example, indisputable visual evidence of Watson being face-masked, whatever you think of the rule, and equally clear evidence that Hawkins' contact was incidental to his going for the ball, as he is entitled to.

    In the end, there isn't much you can do, though, if the refs are one-sided. Walt Coleman, Walt Coleman -- now where have I heard that name? ;)

    Thanks again.
  8. BelichickFan

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    Even more concerning to me is the flags for hitting QBs. I've seen several instances of players not hitting QBs in case they get a flag and then having the play continue because the QB was never tackled. It's a terrible difficult position for defensive players.

    We're 7 points behind the Bears in points allowed. The media can call our defense what they want, I love it :)

    I'm with you there, the re-inforcements in the secondary should offset the loss of Seau. although in a different way.

    I'm not going to call Tommy mean names like I did last week but my point was proven (to myself anyway), he simply was more bothered by the bad turf than other QBs. So although both QBs played on the same field it dragged our guy down a lot more than their guy.

    Yep. I think the grand plan was for Caldwell to replace Givens and Branch to play this year with Jackson ready to replace him next year. That got messed up when Branch chose not to honor his contract.

    Which reminds me : GO PACKERS

    Definitely needs to catch it - although with him so open, Brady could have made it easier on him with a little more loft for him to run under. Anyway, the more he's out there the more he's learning and the sooner the light will go on. Seeing him wide open was exciting, we'll complete those more often than not.
  9. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Many words and good ones...and I will try to comment on them all..
    1---Seau played really great on the D and it is a shame he is on IR. I would love to see him return next year,,just hate seeing a player of his caliber going out like that..injured.
    2---I agree..the Pats are better..the flag happy officials all of a sudden gave up allowing contact and startied calling ticky tacky things. Really stinks..and they basically gave the Bears their only TD. VERY poor.
    3---Yes..the league has to do somthing about it..,especially when so much is
    changes from week to week or even in that game from one half to another..if one calls a close hgame it also has to eb against both sides...and allowing a QB just to toss it long and far and hope for a flag is NOT good football..no flags for making a real play..THAT is not football..sorry.
    4---As for these set up plays for the Bears D..What ever happeend to forward progress and blowing the whistle?? Yes a few were legitimate..but this set em up and gran the ball from them is a bit baloney. The solution??
    Dince the play is NOT being blown dead..see a player go to strip the ball, if I were a lineman he's fair game and if a few helmets went into forearms quite hard, I think it would stop. Hey..he's a defender and fair game...THAT would stop it..and other tactics like that. As for the receivers?? They were pretty good..but Berrion's pleading all the time was hard to take..play football
    no Oscar for you!! Grossman is OK..but he must manage a game and not Favre it..you are NOT that good..and your bad passes lost the game for the team.
    5---O line was great!!! No doubt.
    6---yes I agree..this D is VERY much a top D...
    7---Yes..Guts did a great job..did something that AdamV did not do..kick one greater than 50 at home. GREAT job Guts!!
    8---Josh's shoulder wasn't too good and his drops were bad..so the bad kicks.
    Good luck Walter!!
    9---Yup..Brady is much better..improving.
    10---A) yes..what a great job Dante has done...
    B) Agreed
    C) Yes..imagine if Deion had stayed..but he didn't wish to be here..his loss...
    D) Jackson will be fine..he is coming on
    E) We shall see..Bisel is in Az...
  10. FloridaPatsFan

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    I also agree that Vrabel will make a good adjustment to ILB but losing Seau is being much more appreciated now.

    As for TBC...I think this guy is ready to start for a number of NFL teams right now. But he's an OLB and he's had Colvin and Vrabel ahead of him...kind of hard to justify taking them out to put in TBC. But he is going to get his chance now. I'm cheering for ya TBC.

    The other alternative for BB and Co. is to go to a 4-3 defense and play Vrabel-Tedy-Bruschi for running downs then go to the 3-4 and bring in TBC as the 4th LB for 2nd and 3rd long yardage situations.....At least we still have options.
  11. MoLewisrocks

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    He could have made it easier on himself if he hadn't rubbernecked most of the route. I hope the light goes on. Bethel used to get wide open too. Until his inability to run more complicated routes precisely or remain engaged and focused throughout a game limited his usefulness to this HC. CJ needs to catch that pass against tight coverage too. BTW BB said on WEEI it isn't face guarding unless the defender contacts the receivers grill, and on that play he didn't. The hand was a distraction, but not an impediment if you are focused. Those are the only plays he's in there for, aside from the reverse and some blocking. He won't get more plays until he starts nailing the few opportunities his limited playbook allow.
  12. PatsFan37

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    Great post, as usual, PFK.

    I'm not worried about the run defense yet. From what I understand, BB's defense depends on fits, which requires everyone trusting where everyone else will be. Once Seau went out, TBC came in, Colvin switched sides, and Vrabel moved to the inside. Only Tedy stayed in place.

    That's not unlike the situation where Ty Warren went out, Green came in, and Seymour switched sides and only Wilfork had the same role.

    Give these guys a week to practice against the Lions and it'll get better. Not as good as with Seau, but better than the 2nd half yesterday.
  13. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, Kaczur has started the last couple of games at RT. O'Callaghan and him switch off every drive or so, therefore O'Callaghan was actually Kaczur's replacement.

    Still great to have two adequate RT's like that though.
  14. PatsFan37

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    I'm not worried about CJ yet, since he missed TC (enough acronyms?). I do see some dangerous parallels with Bethel. Same body type and speed (good), a few startling plays that make us want to see more, and good football sense.

    After the first Watson interception, when the ball shot straight up, CJ was quick to make the tackle (ok, he didn't recover the ball, but he wasn't in position for that). Just like Brady fumbled once (where? Houston?) and Bethel was lightning in recovering the fumble. Good football sense.

    So a lot of us kept hoping and hoping that Bethel would break out and he never did. That doesn't mean for a second that CJ won't and I draw some hope from the efforts Brady and McDaniels make to get him the ball. In pass plays. On that ridiculous double-reverse. They're trying to get him the ball and steady his rookie nerves.

    I say give him time.
  15. lobster

    lobster Rookie

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    I wonder what the Bears were thinking to see the Pat's reverse the ball and run it right back to where most of front 7 were standing - for a loss of 8 yards!
  16. BelichickFan

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    That's fine but there's not a single number to back you up. Fine, you use the all encompassing "it's not just about the stats" - but stats are what they do.

    In his first year with the team, Caldwell's YPC and #catches rivals what Givens did last year. No Branch to compete with ? No. But we're also throwing less. He's not making a LOT of catches, neither did Givens, but he catches a lot of big ones.

    Football Outsiders' rankings are interesting.

    Last year Givens' DVOA (This number represents value, per play, over an average WR in the same game situations) ranked him 35th in the league with a 5.5% mark. His Catch% (not 1-drop%, this accounts for bad throws too but it's the same QB) was 61%.

    Caldwell this year ? DVOA ranks him 34th with a 7.7% and a 60% Catch%.

    Is that conclusive ? Of course not. But neither is your "it's what he does not what the numbers say he does" argument. What the numbers do say, though, is that Caldwell is as productive as Givens was last year. As we've been saying. What is needed is for someone to step up to that level to give us two of them. Troy is just a little behind but Gabriel is 48th at -1.5% (slightly below average WR).
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  17. italia44

    italia44 Rookie

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    PATFANKEN........GOLD STAR

    Great post....reasoned,intelligent,to the point.

    Wish I had written it,glad I read it.

    Well Done!
  18. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    a couple of things I forgot to add....

    1. I'm pissed that the Bears adjusted their running attack to the one I suggested for the Pats, while the Pats ignored my advise. ;)

    It was kind of ironic. Before the game I suggested that the Pats run directly at the Bears using trap blocking and motioning TE's to create gap in the Bear's line. I felt that counter play or other slow developing plays would play into the Bear's strength. Well, for most of the evening the Pats consistantly ran what seemed to be the old Redskin counter trey, with the running back starting in one direction then countering back to the other direction. In other words a VERY slow developing play....which met with very MIXED results. I found it very frustrating. Not only was the best running play we had, (the Dillon 26 yd run) a quick developing off tackle play, the Bears ran the exact running offense that I wanted to run.... AT US. They ran fast developing runs that attacked specific holes and didn't slow down for the RB to read.

    They hit hard, fast, and relatively effectively in the second half. Of course the loss of Seau had its affects, but the Bears simply attacked the natural soft spot running right at the LBs. They didn't go for the big gainer, instead settling for the 3-5 yd run that was being given to them. I would like to see the Pats do this more often with Moroney and Dillon.

    2. This has probably been discussed, but the term "out thinking yourself " is ever talked about and you wonder what that means, just think back to the double reverse on Sunday. :D That's it.

    I was happy we continued to use the play action passes, and they are becoming more effective, and over all the play calling IMHO was better. There was more "flow" to the calls.....the for mentioned double reverse being the exception and the head scratcher for this week. ;)

    3. BTW - with Ben Watson still in all pro development, still matching every remarkable catch with an inexplicable drop, lets not forget Daniel Graham who proved he get down field as well as any TE in the league and is showing more maturity in his catching skills than ever before. His catch on sunday was superb. I hope we see more of him in the future.

    4. Just so I'm not misinterpreted, I fully agree that Junior Seau is a Hall of Famer right now. My over rated comment has more to do with the Media OVERHYPING a player, and my own personal preference NOT to see a lot of arm waving and chest thumping EVERYTIME you make a tackle. As a good examples see Ray Lewis, a great LB and future HOFer whom I am sick and tired of hearing about EVERY FREAKING WEEK. Will someone please take this guy's mike away. BTW the media machine is ready to annoint Sean Merriman, the next Ray Lewis as he has been miked up several times already this year. I guess this makes Joey Porter and the lowly Steeler's yesterday's news. :D

    5. There has been a lot said about the AFCE being one of the weakest divisions in football. IMHO that needs to be relooked at. Just for grins I added up how many wins each division has right now. The AFCW leads with 25 wins. The AFCE has 24. All other divisions HAVE FEWER WINS....that's ALL OTHER DIVISIONS HAVE FEWER WINS. Maybe the AFCE is better than we originally thought.

    6. OLD FACT WORTH REMEMBERING - Watching the Steelers fade from the spotlight, like so many teams who make it to the superbowl; makes the run the Pats have made the last 5 years even more remarkable. I heard one stat on the pregame show that struck a cord with how good the Pats were 2003-4. In those 2 years the Pats played 21 teams with winning records and and won all but to of those games. In 2004 (or was it 2003?) they won TEN games against team who won MORE THAN 10 games in that seasokn (including the playoffs). THAT IS AN AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENT. Consider the 72 Dolfins only play two or three teams that had winning records that season.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  19. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Re: a couple of things I forgot to add....

    You rightly bring up the expression of the season for our playcalling there, Ken.

    Added to that could be the missing reason why we quit calling any running plays against the marshmallow Colts D in the second half and why BB benched Big Sey in the second half of the Jets game when we could have used him big time (btw, losing THAT game 17-14 at home may be the difference in the end between having a bye or not in January).
  20. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What I look at to justify what I said is what did Givens do in 2004 in his third year in the league in the absence of a #1 for half of the season - and the answer is a 7th rounder stepped up. In a year when we had an excellent running game to boot. These WR's aren't being asked to play on a 2005 team that had no viable running game due to injury, and a defense that was putting them behind the 8 ball every other week until the last month of the season. It was what he did in 2004 that got Givens that contract, not 2005 which for this entire team was something of an injury riddled aberation.

    Caldwell is a former 2nd round selection in his 5th NFL season with a full TC under his belt being asked to step up in the absence of a #1 on a team with a different but still productive running attack and more talented TE support and a solidly performing defense compared to 2005, yet through week 11 I just don't see performances bordering on what Givens brought to the table in 2004 - a year that all but the WR corps more closely resembles performance wise than 2005. And I believe that is because Caldwell has a ceiling lower than Givens did. I think he ends up being a very good 3rd WR and an adequate #2 if we had an above average #1. But we don't.

    That Givens was an elite #2 as opposed to merely adequate was clearly demonstrated in 2004. Ergo he has not effectively replaced Givens even if at the end of the season his 2006 stats machup against Givens 2005. 2005 is not the kind of performance we were looking to replace, and I see no indication Caldwell could come close to providing what Branch did even in that aberant season which unfortunately is what we need someone to start doing or this will end up 2005 revisited - when we get to the playoffs but simply can't get past the rest of the AFC.

    I think it's becoming obvious that the guys we ended up with were available for a reason, and it wasn't because they were merely underappreciated or poorly coached or in the wrong system. I think Brady has the patience of a saint and the determination of a warrior and he will continue to strive to make the most of the hand he's been dealt. I just don't know if in the final analysis that will be enough. That will depend to some extent on how well the rest of the contenders perform or hold up as we head down the stretch. And that's frustrating because I think in all other respects while thin and susceptible to injury there is just enough talent here to get to Miami and probably more than enough to prevail if they can. With a viable #1 WR added to our mix I think we would be virtually unstopable.

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