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Thoughts on the weekend

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    First off, I want to give major props to the Jets. Going into this game, I thought that as long as NE played an average or better game they would beat the Jets. Well, they stepped up their play in a big way yesterday, and it took nearly all of the B+ game that NE played to finally put them away. I was most impressed with the resiliency that NY displayed. NE was killing them on both lines for almost the entire first half, but NY regrouped and actually fought to a draw for the first 20 minutes of the second half. I would actually say that their OL won the battle during that time. That was by far the best that I have seen the Jets play all season, and I watched quite a few of their games, including the second NE game and the demolition of the Packers. For the entire season I have thought that NY was a prime candidate to make a major step back (think 6-10), but I am reconsidering that now.

    Anyway, here are my thoughts:

    * He didn't do much, but Troy Brown's two third down catches, on 3rd and 12 (?) and 3rd and 8 were huge. Even now, Brown keeps making 2-3 under-the-radar key plays that change the complexion of games.

    * On the Jets' second rushing play, NE stopped Washington for no gain. By that time, NE had already held NY to 1 yard or less on rushing plays twice as many times as they did in the entire second game. And by that time Jet fans realized that any data retrieved from analyzing the last matchup was completely meaningless.

    * As I said before, NE won the battle of the trenches on nearly every play of the first half. Most games that one team beats the other so soundly on the lines would be 17 or 21-3 going into the half and just about a formality. Credit the Jets for much of why they were still in the game. They made the absolute most of the two plays that they clearly won, getting a TO on one and a 77 yard TD on another. Neither play was flukey in any way.

    * I went outside to play with my kids at halftime and my neighbor came up to me ranting about how terrible NE was playing. My jaw hit the turf and I told him that if NE kept outplaying the Jets as soundly at the LOS as they had NE would win 31-16. Oddly enough, the Jets stepped up their play tremendously...........

    And NE won by an even larger margin. The game is funny sometimes.

    * I credit the Jets for much of why they stayed in the game for so long, but NE deserves some criticism too. Gafney, while he had a great game, made a huge mistake giving up a first down when everyone watching knew that NY couldn't stop NE. I know that had he not done that, that NE would have gone up 14-0 and the route would have been on. Another stupid move was the body slam Wilfork gave Washington. That gave the Jets the field position they needed to get off an unreturnable, inside the 20 punt that led to NE's predictable run and subsequent fumble.

    * I didn't see anyone but the NFLN go into why Faulk was so wide open on his TD; everyone just called it blown coverage. It actually wasn't, it was great play design. NE had their hot read go out wide just outside two WRs. The WRs essentially formed a double pick (without it being an illegal pick because they were running routes) on the LB in coverage. He never had a chance. Had the Jets instead covered Faulk with one of the CBs, the LB would have been on a WR - another mismatch.

    * I loved how NE just ran the exact same Faulk run three straight times, same formation and everything. It always feels sweet when your team can just line up and push the other guys back like that.

    * I think NE's tendencies stopped them from getting a TD after the Wilfork rumble. On the 3rd down pass that Barret almost intercepted, not one defender was in the middle of the EZ. Even Barret himself was totally out of position had Gafney simple broken inside rather than out. Smart defenses are going to take away what you do most.

    * Gostkowski had a very good day, but when his first kick left the tee I little said aloud to no one in particular, "that's a return to the 40." Every other kick, however was on the money.

    * It is probably another case of tendencies, but I have not seen Jackson open on a fly route since the Chicago game. I hope that he has a couple other routes down that they just didn't think they needed because even the worst CB in the league can cover a guy if he runs the same route every game.

    * One down note that worries me for this coming game. I thought that the LB's coverage (particularly Vrabel) was pretty poor. Baker seemed to be able to get open whenever he wanted to, which is not a good sign when they face Gates next week. What gives me hope is the fact that both starting WRs on NY are better than anything SD puts out there. I'm sure that NE will have different coverage packages for Gates than they did for Baker.

    * Jets fans may have been lamenting the lack of any real trickery, but they shouldn't. It seemed pretty clear to me that they did try a few times to do things but NE snuffed it out well. One play in particular was an obvious double pass to the combo QB-WR-RB guy that was so well defensed that Pennington just tossed the ball out of bounds. Can anyone tell me why that wasn't grounding? Penny was clearly still in the pocket and NE WR was anywhere near the area.

    * BB's tackle of the photographer was funny. Eisen on NFLN actually did a "breakdown" of that "play" that was quite humorous.

    Other NFL thoughts include:

    * Romo is getting all the blame, but IMO Terry Glenn did more to lose that game than anyone. When you are on your two yard line and you trip on a pass play that is dependent on you being able to juke the first tackler, cover up the damn ball! Also, what was he doing on the hail mary? I can understand why he was behind the play; that way he could sneak up behind the defense without anyone boxing him out. But anyone who has even played catch a few times can tell when they are 5 yards off of the trajectory of the ball. Had Glenn simply walked behind the D as the ball was in the air, it would have landed right in his arms. Instead he sat there 5 yards off the the left and 4 yards back of where the ball landed and never moved. If a Patriot player ever did that they wouldn't be back next season.

    * Was that the most embarrasing offensive performance in the history of the game by KC? And note to Herm Edwards, who was *clearly* trying to deflect blame when he made his "that's the same offense we have run all year" comments..... we know that you idiot! That is why you lost! Even a recently lobotomized person knew that Indy would put at least 8 men in the box on nearly every play of the game. Where were the play action passes? Basically every series of downs was LJ on 1st and 2nd and Green on 3rd. (Note: I just checked and 4 of the first 6 drives were exactly this. And on the others no PAPs were used.) Frankly, when the Chiefs did not use a PAP on the first play of the game, a historically opportune time to use a PAP - literally, I knew that they were no match.

    On to San Diego.

    * Gates worries me. LT worries me, he has just killed NE recently - although the team he faced last year and the one he saw in 2002 are nothing like the one that is coming to town. I am not sold on the SD defense, though. Oh sure, their LBs are sound and the DT is one of the best in the game. But if NE can stop the pass rush, I don't see how SD holds NE to under 24 points. And, other than Denver last year, history has shown NE to be a very good pass blocking team in the playoffs.

    * I see many people refering to the 2001 SB as the blueprint of how to stop the Chargers. I couldn't disagree more. NE played in a dime defense almost the entire game, basically conceeding the run but knowing that StL wouldn't have the patience to rush all game. If the Pats play the exact same way, they will get killed. Not only that, but the receiving threats on StL were little quick guys rather than a physical beast like Gates. The only similarity that I see is how NE keyed on Faulk, hitting him every time he went into the flat. Other than that, though, I don't get the comparison.

    I think that is it.
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  2. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Rookie

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    Excellent post Oswlek....PatFanKen would be proud.......
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    When I started a thread on it, the Tomlinson-Faulk thing was what I meant as a beginning of a game plan. After that everything changes.

    Although you hinted at it, you maybe should have specifically called out our OL for a GREAT game. Solid run blocking and a flat out perfect pocket on about 75% of Brady's throws. The pocket was so big that he could throw, consistently, with such perfect mechanics that you almost knew it would be complete before the ball was even released.
  4. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I thought my post was long enough as it was :blahblah: , but you are right. :agree: The QB, OL and DL all played nearly flawlessly - in that order of quality IMHO.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  5. The_Dragon

    The_Dragon Rookie

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    Good point on Troy Brown Oswlek - he obviously still is one of Brady's most trusted targets - and with good reason. Something I hadn't considered watching the game.

    Planning for the Pats offense must be tough. Look at the game yesterday and the varying personnel groupngs they used. They have no one obvious threat that you can take away. They can run and the passing game is improving all the time.
  6. Gumby

    Gumby Rookie

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    #11 Jersey


    Yes, that was not grounding because when the referees accept the extra 5 $100 bills from the NFL commissioner they cannot then welsh on the agreement to stick it to the patriots when they have a chance.

    Good news. This game had only about three egregious calls / non-calls. Thank god they had the visually indisputable evidence on the VW return or they would have tried to call that one back.
  7. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    Really nice post. I almost think it's a strategy with Brown, to not overuse him, not wear him out with a lot of catches over the middle, and by keeping him from being a prime target, it allows him to show up on key plays. He's terrific at finding the soft spot in the zone and catching the low ball thrown 2 feet beyond the sticks, or beyond the goal line. No need to spend the gold on 2nd down.
  8. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Rookie

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    Nice analysis. The Chargers are a FORCE, that's for sure. They have power, they have speed.

    This game will, as all games, be decided in the trenches. Do the Pats' front-liners want it more, or do the Chargers??

    The line of scrimmage is the dividing line between heaven and hell. Whoever owns it will have the choice to decide where he wants to go.



    //
  9. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    On Glenn standing in back of the end zone. One player always stands there waiting for the ball to be bounced into the air. That was by design.
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Just a few other things that, amazingly enough, I missed in the first post:

    * On the play where Maroney was leveled on the goal line, what was Heath Evans doing? I looked to me that he chose to double a guy that was already engaged rather than block the best LB on the Jets. Unless someone can explain to me what I am missing, that was potentially a big mistake.

    * Gafney had a drop in the EZ, but he was clearly shoved in the back as he was diving. A mistake, but forgivable.

    Sounds good to me, but eventually someone will realize that he needs to be covered on 3rd down.

    I was legitimately worried that the ref would find some ridiculous reason to reverse that call.
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    That thought crossed my mind, but it seems to me that he could have been closer to the area just in case the ball goes through (like it did) and still be able to catch a tip ball.

    I could be wrong.
  12. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    If you're doing a do over on The Hut, you should mention he Watson-armed a potential long TD pass. A good NFL wideout makes that catch. None of our players have managed to snag those this season.

    And speaking of Watson, he made two diving catches that were'nt. On the 2nd drop (a difficult but makeable play) Brady looked disgusted, and not at himself as he'd looked after missing a wide open Reche early in the game. Watson continues to need eye hand coordination reps. Graham went through a similar stage in his career and has become OK as a ball catcher.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  13. BelichickFan

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    #24 Jersey

    That one, I wasn't worried about. It was so clear that it would have been reversed had it been ruled incomplete. It was physically impossible to overule that one.

    Now, the late hit on Bruschi - that pissed me off.
  14. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Watson did not have a good receiving game. In fact it was poor enough that I think Dave Thomas might get a few more reps next week. And the drop by Gafney should have been caught. No disagreement there. I was just pointing out that the guy was shoved in the back and I think he would have caught it otherwise.
  15. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    This is a good observation. It seems to me that catching the ball is easier to teach (see Graham and Givens) than the speed and agility to get open and the power to run after the catch. As long as Watson continues to improve, he'll be fine. This season almost seems like a sophomore slump, where making him a prime target exposed flaws in fumbling and catching. What matters now is how aggressively he addresses them in the offseason.

    He seems to have solved last years problem of getting to the right place at the right time.
  16. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    Great play designed to beat the all-out blitz, too. As the Jets continued to bring more and more pressure as the 2nd half wore on, I kept waiting for the Pats to kill it. Faulk's TD was the play I was waiting for all day. When the replay was shown, it sure came close to a pick...close, but no cigar.

    I couldn't believe how wide-open the middle of the field was. Indeed if Gafney slanted inside, it's an *easy* TD.

    I'd like to give props to the Pats on the biggest play of the game - the TD to Graham just before the half. With only 14 seconds left, 3rd down and no timeouts, the Pats were only getting 7 if they scored *on that play*. There was no margin for error. If they ran and got stuffed, the offense would have been forced to run a *hurried* 4th down play since the FG unit had no time to make it onto the field...good luck with that. If they passed and it was incomplete, the FG unit would have given them the lead, but it would have been a victory of sorts for the Jets, allowing only 3 after a 1st-and-goal at the one. Kudos to Brady and Graham for closing the deal on the one play the deal had to be closed on.

    Regards,
    Chris

    P.S. I believe the Pats had a play called for 4th down in case things went wrong on 3rd down (e.g. fumbled snap, Brady sack). I'm sure the coaching staff knew bringing in the FG unit was off the table if the clock was running and had already sent in the 4th down play on 3rd down so no time would be wasted.
  17. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    ...because the 2 refs that had a 5 yard view of the 'hit' didn't pull a flag?
  18. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Those are four pretty good examples of constructive self-scouting.
    Beats bleating about OC playcalls ... by a good distance.

    About the Faulk TD ... interesting to see that neither TB nor BB seemed eager to discuss it candidly in their postgamers.
    "I didn't really see it. Someone may have missed a peel",
    is about as far as Bill would allow.
    That adds to my suspicion that your discovery of a carefully devised play
    ... is correct.
  19. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Wasn't that call actually defensive holding? I remember being angry that they would call a PF on that play, but it ended up being a totally different call.

    I can't really take that much credit for it. I just threw it out there because only one media source had run through that play with the detail that the NFLN did. Even my wife (who doesn't really care for football) commented on how all the other guys (radio, NECN) sounded like unintelligent fools compared to them.

    Amazingly enough, Deion Sanders has toned down his schtick to the point that he is a positive. Hopefully the NFLN will stay with their current manner in letting the product sell itself.
  20. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    No, this was on a play where the Jets got a few yards to the left and Bruschi hit him in the midsection about half a second after he was down (not sure when the whistle blew) and they gave them 15 yards on it. Definition of ticky tack.

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