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Thoughts and notes on today's game

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  1. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    Obviously, it was a good win against an opponent with momentum. While I think that ATL was given far too much hype, they were a decent team. While everyone knows that the offense left a lot of points on the board, they executed better as the game progressed and generally seemed to improve. I thought the defense was it's normal, stingy self. My predictions on the defense earlier in the year are beginning to prove true and that is certainly a good thing. Overall, good win. Here are some of the notes.

    Offense:
    - Matt Light doesn't suck. Matt Light doesn't suck. Matt Light doesn't suck. Abraham was completely shut down for the entire game. In fact, did anyone hear is name called once? The entire offensive line as a whole played quite well, both in the running and passing games. Logan Mankins was a freaking beast today. He is taking his game up another level this season in the running game. He is reaching the second level quite well, and finishing his initial block with ease.

    -I can has fullback?
    Did the New England Patriots lineup in the I? Yeah, I think they did. They did so effectively at that. Sammy Morris was double deadly as both a blocker and a ball carrier. He did an excellent job of getting his hands on the breastplate on his blocks, and kept his hands outside of the defender's. Fred Taylor was exceptional cutting off of his blocks. I like this set a whole bunch.

    -Let's leave the zone to the Big 10.
    No inside zone, no outside zone at TE. Well designed, well executed directional and pull based blocking today. By far the best run schemes we have seen all year.

    -Our OC recovered from the coma!!!
    I had to rub my eyes in the first quarter. It seemed like there was a hint of creativity to this team. Screens of all permutations, misdirection plays, play action, routes of every tree. Holy vintage Patriots offense, Batman! They looked creative.

    -The passing game.
    Durp durp Joey Galloway durp durp dee durp durp. Randy Moss. Chris Baker. Ben Watson, come on man! He's almost there.


    Defense

    -The secondary can flat out ball/Please resign Leigh Bodden.
    23 is teh legit. Physical, cuts with any reciever, fluid transitional footwork, can run with anybody. Offseason resign priority #1. Brandon Meriweather is emerging rapidly as an elite safety in the league. He is all over the field and finally seems to have the leg drive to compliment his exceptional pop. Sanders is same old consistent Sanders. McGowan was the under coverage on Gonzales, and he had plenty of help from rolled overs and brackets. He executed his assignment quite well. He was physical, and he knew his coverages at all times. I cannot over emphasize how well McGowan played today from an awareness standpoint. He felt his over coverage and did not allow Gonzales to enter the voids. Outstanding game from him today. Terrence Wheatley is still a mystery to me. It seems like he needs to trust his all world footwork a little better and not allow himself to be driven so hard off of the ball. If he is going to allow a clean release, he needs to utilize his superior agility to stay in the hips of the recievers. He also needs to understand the difference between cover 4 and cover 2 man under. His confidence needs to improve, but the physical traits are all there.

    -I like our backers as it stands right now.
    In general, they played well. Guyton is improving week to week in his ability to not only read the play, but to get off of the blocks. Manning the middle is different than playing Will in either scheme. He was used to a more free pursuit and flow to the football, but he is beginning to adjust quite well to engaging and disengaging blockers. He even stoned some momentum quite well. When Mayo comes back, this unit is going to be one of the best in the NFL.

    -Tully Banta Cain is a good football player.
    TBC had another standout game today. I know that he wasn't featured prominently in the discussion, but he dominated Baker. I was more so impressed with his new found pass rush moves. He showed a swim, a spin, and a bullrush, all perfect for their respective situations. He is playing like a veteran pass rusher right now. Very impressive. Myron Pryor is going to be a player in this league. A fine one, at that. He kept his pad level low, played with exceptional leverage, and displayed fine awareness on the batted ball. I like 91 a lot. The rest of the line also played quite well. Wilfork before his injury was flat out dominant. People really underestimate how explosive this guy is, and he dominated the line when he was in there. The rest of the line was predictably stout against the run, and suprisingly quick in their pursuit.

    Synopsis
    The offense is beginning to show signs of life. I am in love with some of the new sets and most importantly their desire to run the football. They displayed the ability to execute when they wanted to on the ground. I haven't seen d-linemen get stood up and moved by this offensive line in quite some time. Very impressive. 12 is beginning to get back in touch. Some balls sailed on him, but this will improve with reps. Galloway...whatever. Sam Aiken also needs to understand how to run a post. It's going to feel good to get Welker back whenever that happens.

    The defense is beginning to show signs of dominance. Will it be a lights-out smothering defense? I don't think so. However, to expect this unit to be a consistent 3-17 point defense is perfectly reasonable. The secondary has moved from a weakness to a strength, and is on the cusp of becoming an elite unit in the NFL. It will be very interesting to see how Butler develops as the season progresses. If he blossoms, the DB's will be amongst the best in the league. The defensive line is playing well, but let's hope that 75 can recover quickly as his presence and ability is truly undervalued. TBC has been a revelation on the defensive line. He has become more explosive, more aware, and generally is starting to emerge as a high level player with his hand in the dirt. The linebackers are going to improve week to week, and I am beginning to think that Guyton and Mayo are going to be a better tandem than Johnson and Bruschi.

    This was a good game to build upon, but they will need a much better offensive effort against Baltimore to come out with the W.
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the analysis. As always, I value our insights. The game wasn't televised locally, so I didn't get to see it.

    Some thoughts:

    The Defense

    Like you, I've been predicting a strong defense since early in the preseason. Not many were on that bandwagon early on.

    1. Mayo's absence is causing Guyton to elevate his game considerably. That bodes well for when Mayo comes back.

    2. Did Derrick Burgess even play today? I keep waiting for him to be a factor. I would have taken any odds imaginable when we acquired him that he would have had a bigger impact on the pass rush than TBC. Imagine what this defense could be like if we could generate a consistent pass rush, especially from multiple players.

    3. I've been on the Leigh Bodden bandwagon since the day we signed him, and think that Butler and Bodden could be one of the best CB tandems in the league next year if we manage to keep him. I really hope we are already discussing a possible extension with him. While he turned down a multi-year offer, the impression he gave when he joined us was that he was tired of bouncing around and hoped to find some stability, so I'm hoping that he will resign if we can come up with a reasonably competitive offer. I think Butler will be a stud and the kids from 2008 will be ok, but Bodden offers long term stability at the CB position. I'm hoping that after last year's debacle BB will be willing to spend a little for that stability.

    4. Where was Ron Brace? Has Pryor passed him on the depth chart? He played great this pre-season and I considered his early development as one of the factors behind the Seymour trade, but I keep waiting to see him get some serious playing time.

    5. Baltimore will be a great test of our defense next week, with a balanced attack somewhat similar to Atlanta's. So far they're average over 34 PPG. If our defense can keep the score in the 3-17 range, I like our chances.

    The Offense

    1. Thrilled to hear we finally showed a little creativity in our offensive game plan. Screens, play action, misdirection, etc. unning 3 WR sets out of the shotgun all the time was killing us.

    2. Especially thrilled to see the return of a power running game. We will need more of it next week against Baltimore.

    3. I don't expect TB's timing to be fully back until around the bye week, but it sounds like this week was an improvement. I'm not looking for spectacular stuff against the Ravens next week (though their secondary is vulnerable), but would really like to see us avoid major mistakes - no INTs for TDs by Ed Reed, please.

    4. More than anything else, I love the time of possession in this game. This team is not the Miami Dolphins - we can score quickly if need be, and have a solid defense. If we can control the ball as well, we will be very hard to beat.
  3. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    That would be nice, but Springs was signed to a 3 year contract.. The size of his contract, I think, prevents him being relegated to the bench.
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Springs is likely to be at least the nickel next year.
    I don't expect to see Bodden back.

  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not at all. Spring's 3 year deal was for around $10.5M (with incentives which he will not likely attain going up to $13 M). His cap hit this year is just over $2.75 million. That's not chump change, but it's not prohibitive. He could easily deserve that much for being an effective nickel back.
  6. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    That's what I was thinking. I think one year is all we need for Butler to emerge.

    Bodden turned down a multi-year contract for a reason.
  7. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    As always, the feeling is mutual.


    Line by line agreement.

    If he did, I didn't notice. I don't know if Burgess is dinged up, if it's a mental thing, or if he is truly over the hill. As with all things, time will tell. I'm right there with you hoping that he does develop, bringing that additional level of schematic complexity.

    I think that he was in there for some sets, and did nothing to show a poor effort. Conversely, he was not prominent in the line play.

    Again, line by line agreement.
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't buy it. We need more than 1 CB. If Butler emerges, resigning Bodden would give us one of the best CB tandems in the league. Imagine what that could do for our overall defense. Plus the depth at CB that we have with Wilhite, Springs and Wheatley.

    It may well happen. Bodden may price himself out of our range. But I would hope the FO makes a serious run at keeping him and doesn't just settle for 1 year stopgaps. I would personally rate resigning Bodden as the #2 defensive after Wilfork.
  9. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    These are true statements, however the Patriots have a track record of retaining players who perform on their "prove it" deals. Letting Bodden walk would be a heart breaker, and is something that frankly I don't think will happen.
  10. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    Bingo, they're not going to overpay for Bodden when they have Wilhite, Butler, and Wheatley on the cheap.
  11. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Don't use retarded phrases like "23 is teh legit" anymore. That was the first thing I saw and I didn't read anything else you wrote it was so irritating.
  12. jays52

    jays52 Rookie

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    Thanks for the constructive criticism. Too bad you didn't keep reading, you may have learned something.
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    DEFENSE
    Welcome to Pryor! He has indeed past Brace on the depth chart, but I think that happened in the preseason. Pryor's injury has kept off the field.
    Burgess has been invisible.
    Banta-Cain has been an excellent addition (
    This defense is getting better ane will be great when Wilfork and Mayo are both playing.

    OFFENSE
    TAYLOR! TAYLOR! TAYLOR! Just give him the rock!
    Morris can indeed play fullback!
    Brady should be 100% by the bye. Maybe Galloway will still be on the active squad.
    Belichick calls plays better than Brady or our "OC".
    The OL is indeed a solid set of linemen!

  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Bodden turned down a multi-year contract because no one offered him a decent deal, and he decided to take a 1 year deal to prove his worth. I think he's doing that. He won't play for pennies on the dollar, but there's nothing to suggest that he's a mercenary who will only go to the highest bidder. If the Pats want to keep him for nothing he's gone. But there's some evidence to suggest he may value the opportunity to remain in a stable situation with a winning program.

    Consider this piece from the Globe from March 11, shortly after Bodden signed:

    Bodden in it for the long-term? - Reiss' Pieces - Boston.com

    Bodden stated, on an interview on Sirius radio: "It just didn't come to terms with the money that both of us could agree to with a long-term deal, so we just got the one-year deal done," Bodden told hosts Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan on Movin' The Chains. "[It's] pretty much go play there, have a solid year. The Patriots always are destined to make the playoffs. Finally, I can hopefully shoot for that, make the playoffs, play good in the playoffs and hit free agency again. But Iā€™d rather not. New England is a great team. I would rather just re-sign with them, and hopefully we can just come to terms hopefully during the season, if not, then after the season."

    Sure, it's just words from a newcomer. He's not going to say he's just here for the money for 1 year. But he has talked openly about wanting stability after playing for 3 teams in 3 years, and about relishing playing for a winner. And I sure as heck hope the FO is taking him at his word and discussing a long term deal with him now, rather than waiting until after the season. We could have resigned Asante Samuel for what would now be reasonable money if the FO had addressed it sooner.
  15. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Well one thing to Bodden's credit, as well as the other CBs, is that we pulled a lot of bracket coverage in the dime on Gonzalez up the middle which left a lot of one-on-one matchups on the outer edges, stressing the CB's, but they did a great job because Ryan never really was able to exploit that.
  16. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    That would be great, based on what we have seen from him so far.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very concise. Thank you. I still have hopes for Brace (not that I mind Pryor excelling, mind you).
  18. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    I have to say, I've been a pretty outspoken supporter of the defense, and was pretty pleased today, but I remain a bit wary, despite the stats. Just from what I'm seeing - which, obviously, was much more impressive as the game went on - I still am not sure I'd come close to calling this defense "dominant" or even approaching dominant. Still need convincing, especially with such a piss-poor pass-rush.
  19. amhunt2

    amhunt2 Rookie

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    it's funny how fan's opinion's change literally from week-to-week
  20. amhunt2

    amhunt2 Rookie

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    regardless, 23 is nto legit yet
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