Week 7 Thoughts: I can't even come up with fancy adjectives any more

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Oct 22, 2007.

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  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    For better or worse, this set of thoughts is going to be a little more haphazard than normal. Between chasing after the kids and running to and from parties, I couldn't quite give the game as much attention as I'd have liked. I apologize in advance for what will most likely be a severe lack of continuity. Now, with that off my chest, onward we march!

    * Obviously Randy had two amazing TD catches that we will get to, but I wanted to point out a couple others that might not get as much attention.

    1) Moss had another back shoulder catch where the DB actually had excellent position on him, but he waited to the last second to "jump-stop" and have the ball come in behind the coverage. Since noticing it the first time, I have paid particular attention to this type of play, but I have yet to see any other reciever even attept it, let along do it.

    2) Randy had an absolutely crazy play where he nearly caught a ball with one had while falling OOBs. As I said before, continuity, I have no idea whether this came in the EZ (I think it did, but I'm not sure) but I'm sure someone remembers it. Even my wife jumped off the coach when he did that. The guy catches better with one hand than most WRs do with two. I am reminded of stories about how the boys of Led Zep used to roll away one of Bonham's double basses because John was that much better with one than most were with two, and they wanted to give him a challenge.

    * The TD's do deserve their own spot, though. Even though I think the first one was probably the more difficult catch, having to teap up and reach over the DB, the second one was certainly more visually impressive. I loved how Moss was the one guy left standing while DBs were sprawled on the ground around him. Does anyone have a picture of this play with the DBs on the ground at Moss' feet?

    * Further along the jump-ball theme, Brady isn't just an innocent bystander on these plays. To see the QB skill in action, all that was needed was to watch the Denver/Pitt game yesterday. Twice in that game, QBs tossed what were jump balls (I'm being generous to Cutler and Roeth because if they weren't JBs, they were terrible decisions) but both times they didn't get enough height on the ball. In both cases, the DB had postion on the inside and the balls were too low for the WR to make a (legal) play on it. INT. Had Brady made a similar thrown on Moss' first TD, it would surely have been an int.

    * I'll repeat what I said in another thread here:

    Why do some people get such a defensive reaction to criticism of NE's defense?

    They have been good so far, but not much more. I believe that a lot of Miami's success this past week was due to factors that won't happen regularly, namely

    1) Oppressive heat & humidity wearing down the team.
    2) Ridiculously successful offense somehow scoring 6 TDs and losing the TOP battle handily.
    3) Some complaceny setting in when Brown went out with NE in command.

    All that said, there is a trend line that is not favorable at this time. And every single team - no matter how terrible on offense - has had at least one long, successful drive.

    I do expect the team to get better as they usually do with or without Seymour, but they have been helped significantly by the offense. Optimism and concern can coexist.

    * I know that some have been really run up the rail for saying something similar, but here goes nothing: I don't expect Matt Cassel back next year. I know that it was only one play (really two because the first pass to Welker was way off too) but he just hasn't shown enough to invest another year in him, IMHO. PS practice reports made it seem as if Gut... was really lousy, but he only looks about a year gehind Cassel at this point - in his first season. Frankly, at this point, I would be surprised if NE was able to get anything at all in a trade for Matt.

    * I'm sure that it had as much to do with RB availability as anything, but I was surprised at how little NE ran yesterday. Miami had been ungodly terrible against the run all year and I was expecting NE to work in Eckel and Evans a little. We see those guys as bottom of the barrel type RBs, but Miami has let guys of similar stature run all over them this year.

    Back home to face Washington. I don't exactly have a read on this game other than to say I expect NE to win. ;) Washington has looked either very good or quite lousy this year - often in the same game. If they somehow piece together a full 60 minutes of their best ball, they could make this matchup a lot scarier than many expect. That said, with their OL issues and Campbell's experience level, I find it hard to believe that they can keep that up all game.

    As always, I welcome your thoughts.
  2. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Great thoughts....

    On the Moss points - Agreed, he is sick. Somebody should have called the Miami Police, cuz Randy just STOLE those balls from the DB's. I was in awe watching him.

    On the Defense - I also agree with your points. I didn't think of the "heat and humidity" factor as much as the other two. Watching them, it just looked like they stopped playing and were going through the motions in the second half. It was maddening to watch, they just looked like they were playing "not to get hurt". They were quite stout in the first half so you know they are good, but when they relax, they are just ordinary.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  3. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    The problem with judging Cassell is a very very small sample size. I'm sure BB was unhappy with the pick. That's why Brady went back in. But young quarterbacks will make mistakes. And Cassell was victimized by one of the best defensive players in the league, Jason Taylor. Far too early to read into a 2 snap performance imo. If he takes over for an entire quarter of the next game and looks clueless, then I might start to get concerned.

    As for the Redskins, I find them to be one of the most overrated teams in football every year. Every year they sign big free agent 'names' and think they are going to be awesome, but every year they disappoint their fans. I have seen this yearly, some of my friends are Redskin fans. The only constant thing about the Redskins is they field a pretty good defense. There still remains the fact they are starting basically a rookie QB and their receivers drop too many balls to maintain a consistent offense. Portis could give us problems but I just don't see the Redskins shocking the Pats.

  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Good stuff, as always. On the point about defense and defensiveness...I think those of us complaining don't take issue with the criticism generally - it's the "we're doomed"-ness of it all, and the refusal of some (not you) to see that there are good and bad reasons for what we saw yesterday.

    Sloppy tackling - Roger that. Lack of intensity - check. Aging LBs - pretty likely. All of these "bad" reasons are fixable except the latter. Then there are things like heat and humidity (unlikely to reappear this season). Richard Seymour's absence (that's sure to change). The opposing offense's lack of long, sustained drives (a "high-class problem," as BB puts it). A 1-4-6 alignment that "gives" a little in exchange for clock-killing.

    I think most of us would have no problem discussing the only aspect of the team that is thus far a legitimate concern, but there needs to be a sense of perspective here. And the chicken littles with their "we're screwed" mantra, people acting like giving up 21 offensive points AT MOST is not enough, the folks who say the defense needs "major" fixing, it just gets silly. And so we get ornery. That's all.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  5. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

    #12 Jersey

    Very well said.

    Also, on the focus and intensity front...it's the hapless Dolphins. I have to think this D will get a chip nf its shoulder playing teams like Indy or the Steelers. Or in the playoffs. They always have before (notwithstanding last year's playoff collapse for which they are not entirely responsible).

    But when you are up 42-7 at the HALF against a winless franchise well, I can see the intensity ebbing a bit. Not to mention they were out there quite a bit. I'm sure BB won't be giving the D any game balls over this, but some of the reaction is just annoying. And some of those with the stupid reactions (read PF1996) have in the past said some of the most moronic things you will ever read. Some people just live to see the negative.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  6. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Perhaps this is wrong, but I kinda got a weird feeling as I was watching the game again this AM.

    It kinda reminded me of preseason game...... Come out, do the things you wanna do and then when you felt like you've got them accomplished, pack it in and waltz through the rest of the game. Perhaps that's not accurate, but really, that's the feel I get watching the game over today (with NO beers in me this time :cool: ).

    EVERY one was going through the motions in the second half (offense & defense), with the exception of Brady "back in the game" drive. It was weird to watch in a regular season game.

    Not justifying it either, cuz it kinda pisses me off to play like that in a regular seasn game. It's just what it felt like.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  7. PatSunday

    PatSunday Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    The defense likes Brady, but he has new friends this year to focus on. The defense also lost their other captains Harrison and Seymour. When they're both on the field, expect them to contribute on the field as well as get the defense in shape during winter practices.

    Edit: Wow. Harrison and Seymour were captains in 2005 and 2006, but have been replaced by Seau and Vrabel this year. Sucks to be injured.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  8. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Always enjoy your thoughtful posts, Os. Just a few comments:

    1. Did you notice how many times TB threw underneath to a zone that Moss had just cleared out while being doubled? I wonder how BB would defend our passing attack, since nobody else has found an answer yet.

    2. Props to our much maligned punter and our under-appreciated OL.

    3. I'm glad the defense had a sub-par game so that the coaches will tighten them up for the Skins, and especially, the Colts.

    4. It's been a pretty sweet gig for Cassel, who has hardly played since high school. I wish I could get 20% of his salary to hold a clipboard. But It can't be easy to come into the fourth Q cold like he did yesterday. I'll trust the coaches to evaluate whether he has any future with the team. As many have said, the only thing standing in the way of a fourth Lombardi would be (God forbid!) for #12 to go down.
  9. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Oh yeah, that Fish QB Lemon looked pretty good. Showed some poise and athleticism, and only made a few mistakes. I never heard of him, but he may have a future.
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Thank you.

    2) Ditto. I meant to mention Hanson, but forgot. Thanks for mentioning him.

    4) I think the coaches agree with me. I am in no need of a jump-to-conclusions mat as I have been formulating this opinion for a while. I just think that Cassel has leveled off at a 3rd QB type level. There is nothing wrong with that, I just think NE goes in a different direction next year.
  11. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    All good points. When Andrews hauled in the KR, amidst the excitement I was already thinking "oh man, now the defense has to head right out onto the field!" It's 88 degrees and humid and the Patriots keep scoring on long bombs and kick returns while the Dolphins are run-focused. So you're sweaty and miserable and have to try to keep up the intensity while you're up by a bucket of touchdowns. Not easy.

    This defense isn't perfect by any means. They've seemed vulnerable to the run. But on the rare occasions so far when it's actually mattered, they've stepped up. How will they do if somebody actually slows down the offense? I have no idea. But will anybody slow down this offense?
  12. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great comments. Watching Ratsburger and Cutler throw picks into coverage last night was in extreme contrast to Brady. Both these teams are racking up Ls that will help in any playoff seeding. The Colts and JVille have 1 L between them but fortunately that has to change tonight.

    I agree that Cassie just lost any trade value that he may have had.

    Brady benefits from his wideouts' skills in that he knows that he can make risky throws this year that he couldn't think of making last year. Less balls thrown away, and mega stats result.
  13. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

    Cincy, Dallas, and Cleveland are top 5 in scoring offenses. Miami, believe it or not, is top 11. No shame giving up points to these teams, especially when Pats were in prevent mode in the 2nd halves of all these games. The scheme has seemed pretty vanilla, and when they have decided to blitz with safeties, they have been successful. If Seymour ever gets back on the field, I expect this D to tighten up. Remember, Green was starting yesterday and his strengths don't include run stopping. The DLine was not deep yesterday, and they were clearly winded in the third quarter.
  14. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

    Another telling stat over the last 2 games is the tackle totals by the DLine. Against Dallas, the DLine recorded 4 tackles(2 Warren, 2 Wilfork) and 2 assists. Against Miami, 3 tackles by DLine total (2 Green, 1 Wilfork). Considering that Miami ran 33 times, 3 tackles seems a little weak by this group.
  15. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale In the Starting Line-Up

    Good post as always.

    I made a comment earlier this year that Moss provides "cheap" TDs and his two yesterday were further proof of that. The guy pulled down long bomb TDs while double-covered TWICE, with bodily contact to boot! The Pats have *never* had this type of weapon.

    Imagine a tight game vs. Indy in two weeks. Suddenly it's 3rd-and-15 on the Colts 45yd line and Brady simply decides to lob one into the endzone to a double-covered Moss. Touchdown Pats and some breathing room. Does Manning have that luxury with Wayne and Harrison? No. Who does? And having that ability to pull down the cheap TDs in double-coverage means that Moss will *always* draw at least double-coverage deep, leaving Stallworth and Welker to tear teams apart underneath.

    This is one scary offense.

  16. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Oh wait! Flag on the play! Offensive pass inteference! Now NE is backed up to 3rd and 25. :bricks:
  17. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks so much, Oswlek. Terrific points.

    * On Randy Moss.

    I'd like to propose a nickname: Wow! Just Wow!

    That was my first reaction to his play yesterday and my jaw drops looking at the highlights as often as I see them. If it were any other receiver, I'd be watching Brady throwing into double coverage and yelling at the TV -- "Who the f*ck do you think you are, Brady? Brett Favre?" And, of course, a lot of receivers will make a wonder catch like that once in a while. But who else would you EXPECT to make those catches on a regular basis so that it is sensible to throw the ball there time after time?

    I have to say that on the basis of what I saw of RM yesterday and what I've seen the rest of this season, he is the BEST wide receiver that I have ever seen. OK, I can't judge his route running, etc. etc. but I doubt that Jerry Rice or Michael Irvin would have made both of those catches (not to mention the fake-spike-it's-out-of-bounds-but-I-may-as-well-make-an-astonishing-grab-anyway-just -in-case).

    And he's playing for OUR team! Now! Amazing!

    * The Defense.

    I need something to worry about and the passing game yesterday was as perfect as you could ever wish to see -- not just Moss, but Stallworth and Welker were quite outstanding.

    But the D. certainly is a concern, for the reasons you explain. One thing that worried me that you don't mention, is how little pressure the front three/four were getting with the pass rush. Perhaps we're spoiled, but our mantra has been that we have the best defensive line in football and that Jarvis Green would be a starter on most other teams. Yesterday they didn't look as scary as we want them to.
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