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Week One Thoughts: The Ascention Begins

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I know that this may be merged with some other "game review" type thread, but I ask that it stay seperate for a day or two. Since I am incapable of being brief in these things, sometimes they get completely bypassed when they aren't on their own.

    Well, that was fun, huh? I never really doubted NE would win that game, but I didn't expect NE to come out and run roughshod over NY either. Oddly enough, it probably should have been worse. NE was in command of that first half, but they left some points on the board (not just the muffed snap). As I told my buddy following the TD FO, "that's what the score should have been anyway." Here are my weekly smattering of semi-lucid thoughts.

    * Was it me, or did it seem that, while NY was throwing everything but the kitchen sink out there, that NE did nothing out of the ordinary? Not to be too arrogant or anything, but it almost seemed as if NE treated that game as a glorified practice compared to the Jets. NY was out there using formations that it seemed as if they specifically put them in the gameplan to surprise the Pats (some did), but I never got the feeling from NE that they did the same. Oh, sure, they used different formations and personel groupings, but it just seemed like they were thinking, "Let's just see how NY defends this and whoever gets open gets open". Even on defense (caveat: I can't be *too* sure about this since the secondary is usually off camera) it seemed like the only thing even remotely tricky that NE did was a few fake blitzes.

    * As an adendum to that point, I did get the impression that NE used that game to specifically show off Welker and Moss. Obviously Brady throws to the open guy, but it just seemed to me that NE wants future defenses to have to think a lot.

    * I'm sure that having better WRs altered the way the defense played, but I have never seen such dominant pass blocking. Brady had more plays where he had 7+ seconds than he did with 3 or less. There were a few plays where Brady could have gone well over 10 seconds had he been so inclined. I don't remember the result, but there was one play where NE knocked two rushers completely on the ground and were left blocking just one man. If NE blocks that well all season, there isn't a single team in the league that could hold them under 30.

    * The run game looked good, but I will reserve judgement until they have success against a halfway decent run D. Morris looks better and better every week. It was too bad when he got knocked out.

    * For a while there I was worried about Maroney. I kind of expected NE to ease him into the season with regard to carries, but there was one point where he was off the field for a couple entire drives, IIRC. When he came in to replace Morris, I was very relieved.

    * I still say that Thomas looks like he isn't comfortable yet. He made a nice play that should have been a pick, but it still looks to me like he is a half second behind where a great player would be. There was one play that Thomas was given credit for breaking up the pass by the announcers, but it was really more a drop than anything else. I should say that I fully back him playing the Mike and I am not worried at all about the latter part of the season. I just don't think he is there quite yet.

    * I have been one of his biggest supporters, so I'm not going to bash the guy, but it is clear that Samuel definitely needs a little more work.

    * I can hear BB doing his best impression of the coach in Major League following Willie Mays Hays' basket catch, "Nice runback Hobbs. Don't ever f*cking do it again". No way BB was happy about the decision on that one.

    * After the game, Gresh tried to explain the first Jet TD and he kinda blamed Bruschi for that play, saying that it was a good representation of Tedy's diminishing skills. I couldn't disagree more. Colvin clearly expected a screen or swing pass, because he raced to the spot where Coles reached the LOS and immediately turned to face Pennington. He probably should have knocked Coles off of his route, but he may have been thinking the ball was in the air already. Once Colvin let Coles go by, there was no way even a CB was going to stop the TD. Bruschi was just too far from the play to make a difference. If you want to say that Bruschi made a mistake by not covering that part of the zone, go right ahead. But there was no way that you could infer a lack of speed from that play.

    * Two other defensive plays stood out to me, both of which included Baker, the Jets' TE. On NY's second TD drive, he caught two consecutive passes that made up most of NY's yardage. On the first one, it looked like Tedy was expecting Baker to sit down in the zone as he seemed to have a bead on the open area and beat Baker too it. But Baker just cut back to his left and ran through the area that Tedy just vacated for an easy catch. Does that sort of play happen all the time and I just don't pay enough attention to it?

    The second play was when Baker was left completely wide open on the outside. It seemed that Samuel was lined up opposite him (pretty far off of him, though, and not really looking in his direction) and just ran off to cover someone else leaving Baker uncovered. I can't imagine that that was the plan, even if they expected quick pressure.

    * I have to give NY's OL, particularly the C, some credit. As well as NE's DL looked in the PS, I fully expected it to be a total mismatch. NE was in control and clearly won the war, but the Jets OL did a decent job of pass protecting. Run blocking was the mismatch that I expected, execpt for a few plays.

    All in all, a good win for NE. I do think that the D still needs some work, but that is the one area that always starts a little slow. The new guys need time to acclimate themselves to the system, and the coaches need more game film to use some of their more exotic stuff. Still, NE did let up a few too many 2nd/3rd and longs for my taste. The D that I expect on the field come December would have turned NY over 2-3 times and ended that game by halftime. We will have a better feeling for this team in a week, IMO.

    As always, I welcome your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  2. shakadave

    shakadave In the Starting Line-Up

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  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the midst of our fan-fueled disdain for rival teams, it never hurts to stop and think that they may have hidden gems and dependable journeymen hiding behind the bright glow of their "stars." Baker did an excellent job for the Jest last season, I'm not surprised that he'd get open working against linebackers. As for possibly leaving Baker uncovered, the greater threat on the Jest roster is Coles/Cotchery/Washington, if those three release into a pattern I'd choose to leave the TE open and allow the limited yardage vs. allowing their game-breakers to scorch the secondary. I need to go watch the entire game and run some slow motion looks, but my feeling was the Pats did a much better job of YAC containment.
     
  4. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    First of all, I appreciate the analysis. I particularly enjoy reading posts that detail some of the less-noticed plays that bring out details I'd otherwise miss.

    On the DL pressuring the Jets, it seemed they ran primarily a 4-man rush and got decent pressure. They didn't blow a hole every down through the RG, but the left Pennington and Clemens with little time. When they pressured with 5 men, they got knock-downs or sacks. So I thought it was pretty good.

    In the Coles TD, the Jets fooled the Pats D by lining Coles up as a RB. I think it was partly a Pats coaching error and, I agree, Colvin should have jammed him. Once he got past Colvin, all Coles had to do was catch the ball.

    In any event, Coles on a LB is a mis-match -- that's a coaching error. Score one for the Penguin.

    I'd like to hear more thoughts on the run-blocking. I thought the Pats were inconsistent, despite using some pretty heavy packages against a weak run-defense. I'm concerned about their ability to run on a Colts-like fast, agile defense. This, I'm sure, will take time to develop.
     
  5. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I like Baker quite a bit. If I gave the impression that I wasn't giving him any credit I aploogize because that was not my intent.
     
  6. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    My thoughts above
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  7. Vern

    Vern Practice Squad Player

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    What is interesting about Bruschi's role in this play, is who was responsible for calling the coverage. No defense is ever constructed to just allow an easy TD if the offense lines up a certain way. Someone's "read" skills were in question there. But yeah, I've never seen age be a factor in the mental part of the game, so I think attributing that to "diminishing skills" is a big stretch. More likely due to week one communication issues.
     
  8. The_Dragon

    The_Dragon Practice Squad Player

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    Always enjoy the post match analysis Oswlek.

    If I remember this play correctly the Jets had Baker split out side and 4 other WRs. I think the Pats just got caught out by the formation and Samuel was left covering two players. When the ball was snapped Samuel covered the slot on that side, who ran infield I think, leaving Baker open. The D did get a little caught out here but I'd agree with BOR that Samuel picked the lesser of 2 evils in letting Baker free rather than the WR he decided to cover(can't say I know who that was).

    On the 1st Coles TD didn't the Jets break from the huddle, line up and run the play in the space of seconds? They didn't really give the Pats D time to assess and cover the situation. Not sure if you'd put this on the D or good play from the O. As always in these these types of things it's probably a combination of both but I have to say I was really impressed by that play from the Jets.

    As for it being a confirmation of the decline in Bruschi's play, I wouldn't imagine many LB's in the league would do a good job covering Coles in a foot race, which it essentially turned into.
     
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