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Week 3 Thoughts: A Dirty Demolition

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    After losing the first 12 minutes by a healthy margin, NE dominated the next 30 so much that nearly the entire 4th quarter was garbage time. Remarkable.

    Anyway, here is my weekly semi-lucid ramblings. I apologize in advance for any time wasted reading this that you will never get back.

    * Chris Collinsworth of "Football Night in America" touched on how brilliant Tommy has been so far, and both Tiki and Mr. Detroit deflected a good amount of it by saying some variation of, "well, look at the weapons!". We all know that Brady has certainly had plenty of accolaids tossed his way, but I got the feeling that they were going out of their way to discredit him somehow. Because of this I enlisted the Oswlek Research Staff to dig into some numbers for me. What I did, was to go back to 2003, when Peyton Manning became Peyton Manning (it is my contention that Manning was severely overrated prior to 2003, but since then he has been historically good) and look for games where he was over 70% completion %. I chose Manning because he is the concensus best QB right now and because he has plenty of weapons at his disposal. Here is what I found:

    Since 2003, Manning has gone over 70% comp a whopping 27 times, with a handful of high 60's that I didn't add in - not as many as you would think, though, for how often he goes over 70. In those games this is his average line:

    Comp / Att / Yards / Comp % / YPA / TD / Int
    23.6 / 30.9 / 297.8 / 76.4% / 9.6 / 2.9 / .6

    Here is Brady's average line over the first three games:

    Comp / Att / Yards / Comp % / YPA / TD / Int
    23.3 / 29.3 / 295.7 / 79.5% / 10.1 / 3.3 / .3

    Remarkably similar isn't it? And Manning had the benefit of playing with all his wideouts for several years going into that season. This is not a slight at Manning. He has been incredible for some time now and with a small sample size for Brady, we could be looking at his best three performances of the season. That said, the time to drop the "Brady is a QB, not a pure passer" or "Brady can't throw the ball deep" garbage is rapidly approaching. A couple more games like these and hopefully people will realize that Brady was always this good, he just didn't have Randy Moss.

    * I thought Maroney was excellent in this game. He was more decisive and the one time I saw him stutter-step, it was the right move as the line shoved Buffalo back four yards and Laurence just stolled onward for 6 yards. Could someone who knows football better than I give their opinion of whether this was improved play, worse defense or possibly Maroney runs better against a 4-3?

    * I was discussing it on another thread late last week, but NE's 3 wide/one back offense is downright unstoppable. Shockingly enough, BB and JM seemed to agree with my assessment because they ran that set for at least 80% of the plays that I saw (had to take the kids outside for most of the 4th quarter). Seriously, the only way to break it is to get excellent pressure with minimum rushers. If you double the outside guys, you have LBs on Welker and Watson. If you choose to single Stallworth/Gafney to use a safety on Welker, you have that weakness and Watson is still covered by a LB. If you go DB heavy, NE runs at 5-6 yards a pop. As long as NE's OL keeps playing as well as they have, I can't see a single defense holding them under 24 points. Frankly, I have a hard time seeing less than 30. In good weather, of course.

    * You all know how I feel about Welker, but I do have a serious concern. In Miami, Wes habitually slowed down in December. He is not a big guy and since he stays in the middle mostly, he is prone to taking some shots. I really hope that NE is cognizant of keeping him fresh as we go forward.

    * That said, how do you keep him off the field? I was very surprised that he stayed in bounds on the long punt. I could have sworn I saw him step out around NE's 40.

    * Another OOB play - how did the official not see Edward step on the line for the safety? It seemed damn clear to me. In addition to that, was I the only one who saw a Buffalo pass was called complete even though it hit the ground about a yard ahead of the receiver and then bounced into his arms? :confused:

    * I figured out the next Patriot scandal. Miniature, industrial-strength vacuums on the fingertips of Randy Moss.

    * Last week Bill Simmons had this to say:

    I never mentioned this because I didn't have a great example to dispute it, but I never agreed with the sentiment. In the NFL, it is more "honorable" to just call an obvious run play in that situation; teams do it all the time. Bringing in the FG unit is "running up the score" and a QB kneel is a slap in the face. Running the ball is the "classy" thing to do.

    Fast forward to Buffalo and you see the same thing, but with a longer distance to go. The Sports Guy was offbase on this one.

    * Despite the end result looking like a moth meeting a car on the highway, I thought that Buffal acquitted themselves farily well in that game. They won the LOS for nearly the entire first quarter and I love that Lynch kid. He is the real deal. I wouldn't be surprised to see him become the best back in the AFCE as early as next season. I also was impressed with their rookie QB, Edwards. Frankly, the Bills would be better off, IMHO to scrap the Losman era immediately and move on. Despite it being his first ever game as a pro, Edwards kept his head up and did a nice job of moving through his reads. Granted, NE helped on that first drive by looking like the Jets out there, but he still had to make a couple plays where his first couple of options were covered. I never felt that they would win, and it certainly didn't help where guys started dropping like flies from their already depleted roster, but if SD or Cincy would play with the heart that Buffalo did, I would be worried.

    * I have no opinion on the Wilfork hit as I didn't even see it live and the replays were a little too quick for me to get much out of it. The only thing I could tell was that Vince does stick his elbow out, but there is no way to tell whether he has malicious intent of if he is just breaking his fall.

    * While my wife and I were watching the Chi/Dallas game, she surprised me by remarking at just how discombobulated both teams looked compared to NE. Of course I noticed it myself, but it was the phrasing that struck me. She said something like, "when I watch these teams play, it looks like every play is its own little event. What I watch NE, it looks like every play is part of a larger whole".

    On to Cincy. It is hard not seeing NE winning this game, but I expect to see a better Cincy team than the one that took the field these past couple weeks. Monday night at their place with their backs already up against the wall will certainly charge them up. As pitiful as their defense can be, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the week someone holds them under 38 points. Even if they do, it is their offense that runs the show and I do have some concerns. Every week so far, NE has allowed at least one long, methodical TD drive. For as few points and yards they have allowed, the D has a ways to go to get where I think they can be. I won't be surprised at all if Cincy slaps at least 20 on the board next week.

    I won't be all that surprised if they get shut out, either. How's that for fence straddling? :cool:

    As always, I welcome your thoughts.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  2. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    iam also a little worried about our D. We havent faced exactly light it up passing games and teams still have been able to throw on us a bit without great QB's and elite receivers. Cincy is a different test.
    Plus - we need to get off the field on 3rd down!! - its so frustrating to see 1st and 20 and 3rd and 13 getting completed...
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    These games have been so lopsided it's almost boring to even talk about them ;)

    Buffalo did look decent for a while but they shot their (***) in the first quarter and had no staying power especially once Poz was out. Once again, despite missing some scoring chances it was evident when we were down 7-3 that we were about to blow it open as two drives ended with a fumble at the goaline and a 4th down miss by six inches.

    I guess we'll get a better test next week but our pass defense (especially deep) will be good enough to limit (not stop) Cincy's scoring enough that we should win - right now I think 75% of teams simply cannot beat us and the other 25% teams would have to play a damn good game to do so; we do play several of those 25%, though, in Indy, Pittsburgh, Dallas (although the NFC teams still have serious proving to do). As long as they stay healthy, Samuel, Hobbs, Gay is a very solid CB trio.

    I wonder how many points we'd have scored this year if we'd really tried . . . I think we'd be looking at 150 points in 3 games if we'd needed them.

    One of the little things which keeps our run going is not only guys like Brady who aren't satisfied with three but bringing vets like Moss and Seau in - we saw it with Dillon, now we have a new group of vets desperate for a ring; I can only imagine how those guys are feeling right now - so close yet SO FAR.

    Which Punters are in this morning ? Scott Player looked good for Cleveland yesterday and he'll be on the street soon when their punter returns.

    For those talking about peaking, until/unless bad injuries happen we're only going to get better. Moss, Welker and Stallworth are still new. Maroney is getting back into the swing of things. Adalius is still new. Harrison and Seymour are still out . . . :eek:
  4. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Great work by the Wizard of Os. As far as Maroney... As long as he stays healthy he's going to get better and better. I think he'll run for about 130 next week and 150 the week after that. He's a very intelligent player and he's trying to apply lessons he's been taught in the classroom, but his instincts haven't quite meshed with those lessons, so he seems a bit out of rhythm at times. When his intelligence and instincts mesh, which is beginning to happen, he will be tremendous. The key with him is simply staying healthy. Other than that, the only possible flaws I see: injury bugs down the road, an arrogant attitude among the young bucks reveling in the ease and dominance of their victories, and older players on the roster getting slower and creakier as the year moves along. Fortunately the staggered returns of Rodney and Seymour, and then the bye week, will bring successive jolts of energy to the roster. Also, Hanson and Gostkowski do not inspire confidence at present.
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gotti's FG don't - although we're basing it on preseason and one missed kick in the regular season - but his kickoffs have been better than last year which has been a big bonus.
  6. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Hanson looks like he is getting worse as the year goes on. And NE eschewing a viable FG for a long 4th down says that they agree with you about Gost.

    NE's KO coverage looks quite solid right now, though. When NE faced the Jets, Washingtoin looked like the worst KR in the league, but he returned one for a TD vs. Miami this week.
  7. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Man, Oswlek, you are really bringin' it - - good job

    Not a bad NFL observation by your wife, either!
  8. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Somewhat agree on the defense, as the softness underneath on the long drives can be a little aggravating. Have to feel, though, that the team has been so dominant, there's a bit of a running out the clock mentality there. Saw this morning that the red zone D would be a point of emphasis going forward, which is timely going against cincy.

    Hate nighttime games, by the way, but whaddya gonna do.
  9. PlattsFan

    PlattsFan Rookie

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    Cincy's offense maybe will be the first genuinely good unit on either side of the ball that the Patriots have faced, with the possible exception of the Chargers O. The Jets are no better than average on O or D, and the Bills are below average on both. The Chargers D doesn't look close to where it was last season, and, frankly, their offense doesn't look much better than average, either.

    So, while I think the Patriots will control the game with their offense and win pretty easily, it's getting so ridiculous I'm starting to look for interesting match-ups wherever I can find them. Maybe the Patriots will have to extend themselves to stop the Bengals offense. Maybe.

    Or maybe they'll crush them 41-3, and I'll just give up looking for any challenge whatsoever until they go to Indianapolis.
  10. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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  11. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't know if I agree with this assessment. It was 4th and 7 from the Buffalo 29. That makes it a 46 yard field goal. If they miss, the Bills get it on their 36.

    While it might be "viable", the Pats offense has been such that they can afford to take a chance early in the game like that. I don't think it says that the Pats aren't confident in Gostkowski. If they weren't confident, he'd be gone and another kicker would have been brought in.

    I think its more of a vote of confidence for the offense than a lack of confidence in the kicker.
  12. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    On the topic of the kickers, in his p.c. today Belichick had high-ish praise for both Gost and Hanson, especially Gostkowski. He felt, what with the wind, Gost was hitting the ball great yesterday. He says they eschewed the FG because it was a lot of field position to risk and the wind was in their face. He also indicated that, while Hanson could've hit his punts further, "he did EXACTLY what we asked of him yesterday," or something like that. He followed that up with "If we could've kicked off out of bounds, we would've done that, too."
  13. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sounds like they should be worrying about their jobs, then. :)

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