September 23, 2009
Grogan's Grade: Week 2 - New England at NY Jets
BY: Steve Grogan
MB: When Bill comes out and says we failed on every level, that's not something you see everyday. How many games do you see the Patriots play and not even score a touchdown?
SG: I think I read it was 2006 against the Dolphins, I think that's what it was. They had their chances and they played pretty good in the first half, but the red zone offense couldn't get the ball in the endzone and that killed them. Defensively they didn't play well in the second half and they let the Jets take the game to them, and that was their downfall.
MB: I guess I have to ask, when I heard Rex Ryan was calling season ticket holders and telling them to be as loud as possible, and the Jets were talking about Brady going down six times, that can not only rile up players - but fans as well. That can make a difference to some degree, yes?
SG: I think it did to the Jets. Sometimes the team that is being talked about - in this case the Patriots - want to say the right things, and that it doesn't bother them, but they really want to go out there and stick it down their throats. That's kind of what we wanted to see the Patriots do, to shut the Jets up, and they didn't do it. The Jets came out and were far more physical than the Patriots.
MB: Why so many penalties, can you explain some of that? Was it all the crowd noise or lack of preparation?
SG: Well, holding calls are just holding calls, the delay of game penalties were what frustrated me. That's just slow play calling from the line of scrimmage, not getting it in from the sidelines, Brady trying to be too perfect with his protection. You see him walking up and pointing at different people, sometimes you just have to line up and play football and if a guy gets through, you get rid of the ball and move on. I think they were just trying to be too perfect and that cost them some penalties, especially the delay of games.
MB: Could this be a chink in the armor for the Patriots? Last week they just squeaked by a Buffalo Bills team, which is really not on the same plateau that they're at, and this time it was the Jets which most people didn't consider a Patriots type team either. Is there something going deeper with the organization right now?
SG: I don't think it's time to panic. Buffalo won yesterday so they're a decent football team. The Jets have a very good defensive football team and they're playing emotionally for Rex Ryan now and I think they're going to win their share of games. I think offensively the Jets came after Brady and I don't care who you are, it rattles you. You can't throw as accurately as you should, and I think that's what happened to Brady. I didn't see a lot of wide recievers running open so it wasn't that he was flat out missing people. I really think it's got to do with the play caller. They don't technically have an offensive coordinator this year, and whoever is calling the plays just doesn't have a feel what he wants to do and what these guys can do yet and that will come as the season goes on hopefully.
MB: There is talk of Brady trying to develop a rhythem during a game, how can he establish that rhythm if the play caller isn't calling the right plays? It would be almost impossible, right?
SG: As a quarterback, if you're not on the same page as the guy sending the plays its hard to be successfull and comfortable out there. Until you see them get on the same page and get that rhythm going together it's going to be a struggle for them. For example: they came out yesterday and ran the ball extremely well in the first quarter, and suddenly they went to five wide receivers and started throwing the ball all over the field and hardly ran it in the second quarter, then threw it all over the field in the third quarter then started running it and having some success only to go away from the run again. So I think he's trying hard to find an identity for this offense but it's not going well.
MB: Well, there are also some problems with communication. I read that Edleman who came in for Wes Welker (knee) said he had trouble knowing where to line up with the no huddle offense. That's the kind of communication breakdown that we're not use to seeing with a Belechick offense.
SG: You're not but you have to remember that Edelman was a quarterback in college that is being converted into a wide receiver and he didn't know until yesterday morning that Welker can't go and you're in. So I'm sure Welker had been taking most of the snaps in practiceand now I'm sure Edelman has a million things going through his mind as a rookie. I think with eight catches the kid did a pretty good job. You're seeing a lot of things, dropped ball by all receivers, Brady's missing people, it just doesn't look comfortable right now.
MB: I agree it's not time to panic. They're only 1 - 1, do you think we as fans, we have to readjust how we look at other teams because we're used to other teams not being up to their level? Maybe it's not going to be a cinch this season, do you think that's correct?
SG: It may not be for awhile, but they are still a good football team. I think when a lot of teams play the Patriots, that is their "Super Bowl". Teams are more fired up to play the Patriots than any other team in the league because of the success they have had over the last 5 years, so you're going to see the best performance of their opponents every weekend. Until these guys get their best game face on and start playing the way that they are capable of playing, there will be struggles.
MB: Do you think the Jets/ Pats rivalry is overtaking the Dolphins/ Pats rivalry?
SG: Yes, probably. I've always thought that with the proximity of New York and Boston that the Jets have always been a bigger rivalry than the Dolphins. There are so many people from New York that live up here and so many people from Boston that live down there, it's a big game for everybody including the players.
MB: So What Are Grogan's Grades for this week?
SG: I give the Offense a D, because there was no rhythm to what they were doing. They had three red zone scoring chances and only got three field goals. Brady wasn't accurate, which was partly due to the pressure and partly due to the protection. They were also sloppy with penalties.
I give the Defense a C-. The first half wasn't bad. They forced turnovers and had a couple of good stops. But the 2nd half they let the Jets have their way. They definitely need to be more physical.
I gave the Special teams a C-. The coverage was not very good on kickoffs and punts. They also had no return yardage to speak of when they had the chance.
Overall I give them a C-. There where a few good things, but overall I just think they were beaten by a team that looked like they wanted it more.
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