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Week 4 Thoughts: A Slow Smothering

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I want to take a moment and throw a big compliment Cincy's way. Despite being undermanned at the LB position and beat up at CB, they fought very hard and likely would have beaten 20 or so of the teams in this league. Despite NE having decent rushing success, Cincy made it a lot harder than most predicted and they got good pressure on Brady. Their OL was excellent, stifling NE's pass rush for nearly the entire game after their first series. NE had to work very hard to put their points on the board.

    On to the thoughts:

    * Did anyone see Parcells go after Steve Young when Young tried to get preachy about cameragate? He talked about how two straight years, SF's coach to QB communication went down during their scripted first 15 plays. Since this mandated that neither team use that system, Parcells was insinuating that SF was intentionally leveraging their lack of playcalling need to hinder the other team's ability to call plays. I would say that is pretty nefarious. And considering that Young just sat there with a stupid smile on his face I would say it is likely true.

    All that said, ESPN's discussions of cameragate were reminiscent of a conversation where one person thinks he has something witty to say, but the opportunity doesn't arrive until well after the comment is still relevent. And yet he says it anyway. Akward and uncomfortable.

    * Does anyone else think that Emmitt Smith feels that Morris' "eyes lead his feet"?

    * Brady's int was terrible. Not only was it a bad throw, it was a horrendous decision. Welker was blanketed, but what makes it such a strange throw is that the coverage seemed pretty basic. Leon Hall was running underneath Welker with help over the top. Brady could have thrown that ball 100 times and it probably wouldn't have been caught once. Frankly, for most of the game, Brady looked like he wasn't feeling well. If this were last year, we might have to suffer through hoards of people talking about his body language because he really looked phbysically like he did at the beginning of last season.

    * How in hell did Moss catch that first TD? He is a complete freak. I love how, not only does he get the ball tucked away immediately, but he is excellent at twisting his body away from the DB to ensure that the ball cannot be stripped.

    * More on Moss, this was a game that nobody expected from him going into this season. Someone on the postgame show talked about how "Moss gets so open" but that wasn't the case. Unlike the first couple games, Cincy did an outstanding job of taking away the deep ball, so Moss had to run a lot of comeback routes and slants to get his catches. Not that we really needed to see any evidence, but we got it. Teams can't do much better at covering Moss than Cincy did and he still went for 100 and 2TDs.

    * Some notable blocks. On Morris' 4th down TD, what looked like a defender filling the gap ended up being a guy getting dominated by Ben Watson. The defender did an OK job of bakcing into the hole, but Watson held his block the entire time and threw the guy to the ground so Morris could just step right over him. That might have been the best block of Watson's career.

    Also, I didn't see who the RT was on the opening drive, but he did a nice job of peeling back and taking out a guy who looked like he had an open shot at Tommy. That was the play were Brady slid up in the pocket and hit Faulk who ran for about 20 yards up the middle of the field. It is pretty amazing how close it was to being a strip sack.

    * Hey, Brandon come over here. Listen Meriweather, you are winning by three scores late in the game. Settle the **** down. Don't act like the punk that people accused you of being.

    * Meriweather still hasn't shown the "instincts" in coverage that so many people described, but he certainly can tackle. And it isn't as if he is totally out of position, he just isn't making big plays.

    * I was a firm believer that Stallworth would prove worthy of his contract, but I have to say that he has yet to help me out any. Sure he looks quick out there, but with all the attention that Moss and Welker got yesterday, he should have done a little more, IMHO. And he definitely should have caught that ball that went right through his arms. It was tough, but does anyone belive that Moss misses it?

    I'm sure that I am forgetting something, but I have to run. As always, I welcome your thoughts.
  2. amazinPats

    amazinPats Rookie

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    Great comments! I was drinking too much beer during the game to notice anything special. :p
  3. thomas144

    thomas144 Rookie

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    you're posting this both here and on Patriots planet? that's 2x too long to read!
  4. ArmyPatsFan

    ArmyPatsFan Rookie

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    Yup...that Brady to Stallworth ball that was dropped was an INCREDIBLE throw. At first prior to seeing the replay I though it was a poor throw and likely to be intercepted....but Brady put that ball right in the basket for Stallworth....he flubbed it.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  5. Ethan 55

    Ethan 55 Rookie

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    I don't know about that...it hit Stallworth in the breadbasket, but he was crumpled on the ground at that point, meaning he had to do a lot of contorting to get to that ball. It's not as if he was hit in the numbers on a curl or hit in the hands on a fly pattern. That would have been an amazing catch if he had held onto it.
  6. Robdude

    Robdude Rookie

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    See now i had a different take. I left the game thinking that the Pats are finally starting to find ways to use Stallworth. He was not really needed in the first 3 games but Cinci's D played better then anyone else has so far. Stallworth looked quick when he had the ball and seemed to be where he was needed. He is pretty much our third option (or fourth) so he is not going to see a lot of balls but I thought he did well with what was thrown his way. Along with this it was nice to see more balls thrown to him in this game.
  7. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    FANTASTIC post, as usual.

    I'm not sure I agree so vociferously with you on Meriweather. I don't mind the fire, I have no doubt TJ was being a tool, and I like the fact that Meriweather has the confidence to not back down. That said, he does need to dial it down a notch, and as I said last night, the end-result is a harmless (and penalty-less) teaching opportunity.

    Couldn't agree more on the props to the Bengals. I thought they played quite well, especially so undermanned. That was a tougher game than the scoreboard indicates - in the same way that the first three games were EASIER than even those lopsided scores appeared to suggest.

    The ESPN after-the-fact camera-gate wrap-up - right on the nose. It was so bizarre and even MORE disingenous, if that's even possible. God bless the Tuna.

    Nothing will make me laugh harder today than your deadpan question about Emmitt Smith. That guy is so F-ing dumb, he said it the first time (a good observation) and some producer tried to encourage him (because he is otherwise so F-ing dumb) and he just kept flogging that point, wild-eyed, excited to be right for once. HILARIOUS.

    Great work on the post, thanks.
  8. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Agree with some of the others re: Stallworth. I think that was a tougher catch than it may appear ('though probably still should've caught it), but I think he had a really good game, and I love the fact that his lack of touches doesn't seem to bother him, as long as we keep winning.
  9. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    Great post, Owslek. Agree completely on Cincy's effort and toughness in the first half (before the game got out of control). They made a game of it. ESPN must have been delighted about that.

    Parcells was great. Just great. He can vacation in Nantucket this summer, now that Eric is banned from the island.

    I disagree a bit on Stallworth, not so much on the one catch, I'll have to look at that, but on his other catches. He showed effort and grit making the catches and running for hard extra hards. I think a bit of Welker is rubbing off on him. He's a handful for the DBs to tackle. It almost seems as if the WRs are working as a team, much like the RBs, helping each other play as tough as possible and celebrating their wins together. Stallworth was first down the field to congratulate Moss.

    This morning, I thought I heard Holley saying on WEEI that Kaczur had a tremendous play where he pulled across the LOS and executed a devastaing block. So it looks like Kaczur had a great game. Overall, the OLine did nicely, again. I'll have to watch again, but it seems that Watson had another good game and K.Brady was in there for most of the snaps, so the TEs are looking great. Unfortunately, Thomas went out early with a leg injury. Hope he didn't re-injure his foot. If he did, they'll be thin on TEs and we'll see O'C back out there again as a blocking TE.

    Love that BB puts Vrabel in for TDs. Vrabel does anything and everything BB asks, playing ILB, playing hurt, playing deep in the 4th qtr even in pre-season. I'm guessing this is a bit of candy BB likes to toss his way. Of course he wouldn't do it if Vrabel wasn't such a great goal-line TE.
  10. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I fixed your post for you. :D

  11. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    stallworth's route running abilities seem suspect to me...almost all his catches are sideline ones and one wouldve thought it would be him running inside and curl routes instead of moss who is doing them effortlessly.
  12. VJCPatriot

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    I think the Bengals made a game of it in the first half but that's it. The wheels came off in the second half and it became apparent that they were playing out of their league. The Pats decided to stuff the run down their throats in the second half, and it worked repeatedly. I almost felt embarassed for how bad Cinci looked in the second half. So I've got to disagree, it was not a close game, except for the first half.
    Asante's big interception in the second quarter eliminated the Bengals only real threat to make it a game.

    And look at the final score
    1st half Pats 17 points Bengals 7 points
    2nd half Pats 17 points Bengals 6 points

    The Pats offense kept consistently producing and the Bengals, ocho cinqo or not, simply could not keep up. I was expecting somewhat of a shootout, but the Bengals just like the other 3 victims of the Pats this season could not break through the Pats defense.

    I've got to give a game ball to the Pats secondary for that. They did an excellent job of containment and they made Palmer pay for any mistakes that he made.

    As for Stallworth's drop, yeah he was in a position where he should have made the catch but that looked like a pretty hard play. I think his timing and chemistry with Brady is not quite there yet. Right now i can see that Brady has a lot of chemistry with Moss. It's amazing. Who would have thought these two could develop that so quickly in their first season together? Moss is simply awesome. And Brady is showing the WORLD that he can take advantage of big play weapons. As one ESPN announcer said, this could be the year Brady finally wins the MVP award.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  13. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    I love your title: A Slow Smothering. On my way to work this morning, I was thinking that the Pats were like a python. They coil themselves around the opponent and start to squeeze. They did this the whole game last night, the entire 2nd half vs. San Diego & Buffalo and the 4th quarter vs. NY. Their time of possession shows how well they run the ball with a lead...a very underrated feat. As to the particulars of last night:

    1. The empty-backfield shotgun the Pats have used extensively is best attacked by how the Bengals did to mixed effect last night: Zone blitz. The Bengals did a decent job hiding where the blitz was coming from and dropped linemen into passing lanes, causing early confusion for Brady.

    2. Of course the way to beat the zone blitz is to run it down their throats, as the Pats eventually did.

    3. I thought the Bengals DL fought like warriors, for they made plays in both the running and passing game when the back 7 was clearly overmatched.

    4. The Pats CBs were playing most of the night 8-10 yards off the big guns CJ and TJ, so I was surprised to see only one quick WR screen to CJ. As that play showed, he's a physical mismatch for a much smaller guy like Hobbs and was able to scramble down to the one. Marvin Lewis should have tried to get the ball into their hands on such plays more often.

    5. I didn't even notice Colvin didn't play. So let the record show that the Pats allowed 13 points in Cincy without Seymour, Harrison and Colvin. Anyone else I'm forgetting?

    6. We may joke about the Pats not scoring 38 ("aw, what's wrong with them?"), but the truth is that this was the offense's 2nd highest scoring output of the year. The O scored 31 vs. NY and SD, getting return scores for the other TD.

    7. That final TD to Moss is why the Pats are the team to beat. Champ Bailey couldn't have stopped that pass. With Moss, the Pats are always just one play from the endzone on every down. Over 60+ plays per game, it's just a matter of time before they strike...and strike they will.

    8. TJ runs his mouth, but he's a damn fine possession receiver. He first caught my eye in the 2004 matchup and I've been impressed with his game ever since. The Pats focused their energy on taking CJ and TJ out of the game, yet TJ still ended up with 10 catches, many in good coverage.

    9. Without Seymour and Harrison, did anyone before the season predict a 4-0 start? I know I didn't.

    10. Pundits and fans may try to downgrade the Pats four wins by saying things like, "These four teams aren't as good as we initially thought in the preseason. The Pats haven't beaten anybody yet". Okay, I'll be extremely gratuitous and not argue the point much, but here's the thing. We're four games into the season. There's game film on what the Pats are doing this year. Between the spread formations and running game, pretty much everything the Pats have done is on film. Yet nobody has figured out a way to stop them. They continue to chug along at 34+ points per game. Their D continues to hold teams to 14 or less. For comparison's sake, the 2002 team started out 3-0 scoring in bunches, but the game film caught up to them (even in that 3rd game vs. KC). Does anyone see that happening this year? I don't and think that's amazing.

    Regards,
    Chris
  14. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    A couple more forgotten thoughts:

    * I wasn't really listening to the commentary when there was a review after the long Morris run, so I don't know whether they were reviewing the touchback possibility or if Morris stepped out earlier. What I do know is that I was scared sh1tless of the touchback. It was clear as day that the ball didn't go OOB inside the pilon, but you just never know.

    * This morning, I turned on D&C (I know, I know) just to see if they were interviewing anyone. Of course I was almost immediately driven away when they were discussing Kyle Eckel and Meter said, "well they released him and resigned him like three times already. So he must like something about him!"

    Guys, it is you job to provide knowledge on NE sports. Can't you at least have some idea what happened with Eckel? I am amazed every time I convince myself to give it a shot that they know less then your average message board poster.

    * My wife said this while watching Moss yesterday - and I swear she never heard anything about the colorful quote by the Jet player after week 1:

    "He's like a spider monkey out there!"

    Edit to say that I don't necessarily mean that Stallworth is useless. Far from it. I just don't think he has come even close to earning the rest of the contract. He was very quick on that play where he broke a handful of tackles, and he is blzing fast. I just would have expected him to do more with 1:1 coverage than he has. I certainly wouldn't kick him to the curb, I just don't think he deserves getting paid $6mm/year like I thought he would.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  15. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wilfork on the radio said the Pats strategy was to stop the run with only 6 players vs the normal 7. That way the extra DB could be used to help prevent the long game changing YAC plays that the Cats' WRs are capable of. BB always takes away something the enemy likes to do best. Sometimes the approach is subtle, like not attempting the impossible (few catches) but preventing what you can (long YACs).
  16. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They reviewed whether he stepped out at the 7 not whether it would have been a touchback.

    If they had reviewed the latter they would have lost as Morris was down by contact before the fumble. Watching live it looked like it went through the end zone although on replay I'm not so sure.
  17. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I went OOB at the one. I am sure of it.

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