November 19, 2008
Grogan's Grade: Week 10
BY: With Steve Grogan & R.R. Marshall
MB: As a result of the overtime loss to the Jet it only makes this weeks game even more important against the Miami Dolphins and the ramifications of that game, correct?
SG: Correct. The division is tightening up right now so they have to win every division game they have left.
MB: Sunday was like two games. The Jets took it to them in the first half, then they fought their way back to tie it, only to lose it in overtime. I almost feel like you have to weigh the game on two seperate fronts.
SG: Yes, you're right, the first half was awful. The Jets came out and ran the score up and it looked like it wasn't going to be much of a game. I was at the stadium and I know a lot of people were leaving at half time because of the night game and going to work the next day and all that, but the second half was a whole lot better. I thought the last drive Matt Cassel put together to score with one second left was one of the most impressive drives in the last two minutes that I've seen in a long time. To have them get the ball and drive down the field to score in overtime was terribly disappointing.
MB: Is Cassel's success more from the system or is he just turning out to be that good?
SG: I think he's turning out to be that good. I think he got all the skills. When you watch him play he's got great mechanics, he's got a good arm, he's got all the throws. He has the ability to run out of the pocket and put some pressure on the defense. I think he's a very skilled young man.
MB: As disappointed as I was at losing I was equally excited about them showing the character to come back.
SG: Yes, it's nice to know they can do that but when you come that far back and get that close, you really want to go over the top and they couldn't do that. Defensivley, that last drive in overtime they just gave up the 3rd down and 15 which you just can't do, and they just made it too easy for them to win.
MB: Do you like the way the NFL does overtime where a field goal most of the time ends up winning it? I almost prefer the college method, what do you think?
SG: I think they should play the fifteen minutes or do it like basketball. I heard Bill Belichick on the radio say 'Do it like basketball' where you have an alloted time to just continue the game you've been playing and if there's no winner, then it's a tie and you go to next week. But the way they have it now just isn't fair to either team.
MB:Taking Matt Cassel out of the picture, what's the biggest thing the Patriots have to work on?
SG:Thats a tough question. One week they stop the run well, and the next week they don't stop the run well. One week they run it really well, the next they can't get anything going on the ground. I think they need to find a way to become more consistant.
MB:As far as looking at how the division is shaping up, it looks like the Patriots will have to win this week against the Dolphins. If they don't they may be in real danger of losing the wild card, am I understanding that correctly?
SG: I believe you're right. This time every year is when teams are making a push for the playoffs and every loss is detrimental. So they have got to be on their game from here on out.
MB: Well as far as Grogan's Grade goes for this week's overtime loss to the Jets, what do you think, I think its going to be tough because it was such a split game.
SG: I would say a C+. They game up a big kick return on special teams which they haven't really done before either. It was just better a little better than an average performance.
I gave the offense a B-. They made some great drives at the end of both halves and scored touchdowns. But they still attempted too many field goals and I'd like to see them get into the endzone more consistantly. The running game wasn't very effective during this game either.
I gave the defense a C. The first half wasn't very good. The second half was better, but I thought that not shutting them down on that 3rd and 15 in overtime was inexcusable.
As for special Teams, they get a C. They had good coverage most of the time, but you can't give up kickoff returns for a touchdown. That is a killer every time.
Overall as I said I give them a C+. They must be more consistant as a team. If not, this week against Miami will seal their fate in the division.
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