Week 12 Thoughts: BizzaroPhilly!

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Aug 20, 2006
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    Where did that come from? Why was Dan Fouts wearing a AJ Feeley uniform? Since when is the defensive game plan based on avoiding contact with the QB and letting WRs run free? Did someone replace the stickum with vaseline in the NE WRs lockers?

    So many unanswered questions....

    * As bad as NE's defense played, I am not all that concerned about a "blueprint" after that game. First off, Philly has an excellent RB in Westbroook who commands a ton of attention regardless of the situation. Second, Philly may not have anyone like Moss or TO on their team, but their WR corps is deep. Just like NE's passing offense of 2003-2005, there is going to be a good matchup somewhere, it is just a matter of the OL giving enough time for the play to develop. And Feeley definitely had plenty of time.

    Put it this way, despite the dreadful performance out there yesterday, I will still be extrememely surprised if Baltimore scores more than 13 offensive points next Monday. No NFL team is completely insulated from matchup issues, but Baltimore's offense really doesn't have any that I see.

    * On the same token, Philly's defense gave NE some issues, but it was nothing that shouldn't be expected (heavy rush packages, doubling Moss, manning up on WRs to take away hot reads). Philly just played a great game, probably their best all year (yes, even better than the Detroit demolition). Early on it was apparent that NE's offense was going to have to slug it out a little. Even though they scored on all of their first half drives, the surgical-like precision seemed absent.

    One thing that I would like to point out is that NE really helped Philly's cause a little on this side. They had the ball on the 4 and didn't score. They had a whopping 3 dropping screens on a single drive all of which were set up for at least 7-10 yard gains. Moss dropped a tough catch he normally makes. Welker and Brady had a miscommunication on a quick slant with no Philly defender in position to make a tackle. Other than the Moss drop, not one of these plays was hurried or harried by the defense; they were entirely NE mistakes. Add in a pretty poor OL performance and I think it is pretty safe to say that NE played a D+ game at absolute best - and they still put 24 offensive points on the board against a decent team playing their best game of the season. Forgive me if I am not considering giving up on the team just yet.

    * Even the ST coverage was mediocre. Add in Gost's miss kick as well as only getting two KOs two yards deep into the EZ, I would bet that NE's STs actually negatively effected their team.

    * Hey TMQ, you might want to recind your Brady/Harrington comment. Put Harrington behind that OL yesterday and Philly wins 45-10. Can we please put an end this nonsense?

    * By the same token, Feeley was the perfect example of why pass protection matters. This is the one area that I have some worries about. I say it over and over again, but here it is: NE does not get a consistent enough pass rush. Most of their sacks seem to come after the game is already out of hand. I don't recall a single game where NE completely harassed an opposing QB in the first part of the game. Now that I think about it, they did a decent job against Dallas, and then dropped off as the game went on. But that is about it.

    * NE had some things go against them, but they had some luck, too. Feeley falling down killed one Philly drive and another one ended when they threw a pitch to Westbrook that never had a chance when NE had yet to prove they could stop the pass. That was a terrible play call.

    * Moss gets away with plenty of pushoffs, so I'm not as upset about the call as some, but I would like to know why Philly was allowed to push off themselves a couple times. I don't mind questionable calls as long as it is consistent. Once precedent was set by the other non-calls, you have to keep the flag in your pocket during the Moss play.

    * I was completely off the Favre-for-MVP bandwagon, but I have to admit that I was wrong. In the beginning of the year, it was my opinion that Favre was a caretaker and the defense was driving the team. I still think Brady should win, but now I think that Favre is a legitmate candidate. He has worse players at basically every offensive position around him yet they still pass extremely well. Brett was making some really nice plays that not many guys could on Thanksgiving. Admittedly, I have not seen them very often, so it could have been Detroit helping things along, but I was very impressed.

    * On the MVP thing, what I find funny is that if Favre does win over Brady, it will be the Manning/Brady thing in reverse. The only reason why Brady *shouldn't* win is the weapons thing, but virtually no one mentioned that as a negative against Manning.
  2. chrisfx811

    chrisfx811 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Oct 31, 2007
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    I've had the impression all season, that many of our sacks are coverage sacks.
  3. SVN

    SVN Hall of Fame Poster

    Sep 18, 2005
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    i think we had a lot execution problems with falst starts and drops on offense. People are blaming mcdaniels a lot today but if we didnt make those mistakes or minimized them then it wouldve been a perfect plan.
  4. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    Apr 28, 2006
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    The Pats need to revive their running game.
    I'm not sure how, but they can't abandon it the way they did vs Philly.
    Too unbalanced and the defense can load up against you.
    The Pats made life more difficult for themselves imo.
  5. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale In the Starting Line-Up

    Aug 23, 2005
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    Good post as always, Oswelk.

    I think the order of the day is to give Philly credit rather than critique the Pats. Obviously there's room for both, but I think one should lean heavily towards the former rather than the latter.

    I can't emphasize this enough: AJ Feeley was awesome. The Pats did their typical "take your best weapon away" tactic in minimizing Westbrook and dared Feeley to succeed by going to his other options. While forcing Feeley to throw to his WRs and TEs, the Pats blitzed heavily as well, expecting him to make bad throws while throwing to 2nd, 3rd and 4th options. He made the Pats pay. Despite other comments made in this forum, the pass rush wasn't all that bad. There were plenty of times the rush got close to Feeley and a lesser performance would have resulted in a scared scramble, a bad incompletion or horrible pick. Instead, Feeley routinely found all of his WRs and TEs, always finding the open man. Because he made plays under pressure, it made the other times he wasn't under pressure appear more prevalent.

    And I can't emphasize this enough, either: Tom Brady was awesome. I think McDaniels put him in a tough spot by all of the empty backfield shotgun formations. They were telegraphing their plays to the Eagles. Now against lesser opponents, who cares, right? The Eagles were not the best defense to try this against. The Eagles CBs Sheppard and Brown may not be their 2003-2004 best, but they can still play bump-and-run for 15 yards with the best of them and if their edge rushers like Trent Cole could get some pressure and the safeties could provide over-the-top help on the deep stuff, it was going to be tough finding open guys for Brady. There were a lot of times I'd look at the pre-snap D of Philly and wonder how Brady was going to find someone open, yet he routinely did. Welker and Gaffney came up huge in finding holes in the defense and Brady found them almost every time. That Philly D would have absolutely crushed most pass-wacky teams last night, but Brady was too much for them.

    And to wrap the above two points together...AJ Feeley wasn't awesome enough and that's why it's going to be so hard to beat this Pats team. Feeley made horrible bookend picks to Asante Samuel that ended up being the difference in the game while Brady never made the backbreaking mistake. Philly showed that even scheming up a great D with very good players to execute it wouldn't be enough to stop Brady, so to beat the Pats a team will need perfect quarterbacking. AJ Feeley was close to perfect, but close proved not to be enough.

    If the Pats' run at perfection is ruined by a perfect day from a QB, even in the playoffs, I can live with that. Because it looks like that's the only thing that's going to take down this team.

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