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Content Post Idle Thoughts: a ray of hope, or false hope?

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patfanken Supporter Supporter
Jul 11, 2005
Phillips has been a very good player for us. But Dugger and Peppers are both better players.
I think the word is faster rather than "better" and the Pats are building a defense based on speed.


Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Jan 17, 2007
I think they're going to be in every game. I question if they'll have the juice to close many of them given the OL. I've been beating this drum since last season but until they fix it the point stands.

I feel like once they had a lead yesterday Bill took his foot off the gas in pressuring Wilson and it almost bit them in the ass. I don't know why teams wouldn't just blitz them all day. That said I'll give him credit for not becoming a turnover machine like we've seen in other games against him. When he fell down giving himself up with nobody there to tackle him all I could think was Sam Darnold ghosts are back!

Gonzalez as noted has been everything we expected only better. Garrett Wilson is a good guy, I certainly wish we had him, and it seemed like he and Gonzalez had a lot of respect for each other. When we draftedGonzalez and White with the first two picks I said to a friend those are both going to be home runs and in a vaccum I love the picks. I'm still shocked they didn't the OL with one of those picks but those guys have been monsters.

I'd love to see if a Patriots defender basicaly kept punching an opposing QB in the face on a QB sneak again and again and then a different player threw the QB to the ground after the whistle. I don't see how those weren't unnecessary roughness calls.

Schooler is the heir to Slater. That guy has it. I know it was wet but the long snapper needs to be better. Those were costly. The Pats seemed to have found their P and PK of the future for sure.

To this point and I know it's 3 games but Zeke > Cook. I definitely wanted Cook of the two. Pleasantly happy and surprised to be wrong. Hopefully I'm thinking the same at the EOY.

I was hoping the Cowboys would beat up the Cardinals only because I wanted them fat and happy on their own success facing the Pats. So much for that. Still I think the Cardinals gave Bill and BOB a lot to take advantage of. I can't wait to see what they scheme up to take advantage of their overly aggressive approach.

Why are the Pats not using play action more especially on first down? I feel like teams are keying on the run on first down and they need to take advantage of it.

Pharaoh Brown. Come on, be honest. How many of you when he caught the TD thought who the hell is that and then holy crap I forgot he was still in the league never mind on the Pats.

That afternoon slate of games might be the least compelling Sunday afternoon window ever.

Hyped Supporter Supporter
2021 Weekly Picks Winner
Sep 15, 2004

1.) @patfanken , you should watch the other games. Yeah, 345 Park Avenue is full of schitt...but there are compelling things to see in other games even the Bears @ Chiefs could see how bad the Bears' offensive line is in comparison to the Patriots' and stuff like that. Maybe I watch them all because I am big on fantasy football which brings a "game within the game" element to any NFL game.

2.) The lack of RPO and Play-Action play calls likely stems from our OL still trying to gel. At least, yesterday before Strange got hurt...we saw our "top 5" starting lineup of Brown, Strange, D. Andrews, Onwenu, and Lowe. We have now faced 3 straight solid defensive lines....with a 4th next week. And I thought we had a better running game yesterday. It is a work in progress.

3.) Color me disappointed in JJSS. Yeah, he is coming off an injury...and didn't get a lot of reps in camp...but this guy should be putting up Jakobi Meyers' numbers (16rec/166yds/2TDs in two games on 22 targets vs. 10/66/0 in three games on 16 targets).

4.) IMO, we need to settle on a WR//TE target pecking order. I think we spread the ball around too much. Guys need targets to get into a rhythm, IMO. Then again, I am not sure who our #1 WR is.....but at least I'd make Hunter Henry our #1 target and draw up plays for him, IMO.

5.) Defensively, I am happy with where we are at... the Eagles dropped 34 on the Vikings and the Dolphins dropped 36 and 70 on the Chargers/Broncos. We limited both of those offenses to 25 and 24 points respectively. And we have a major shortage in the secondary with Jack Jones on I/R, Marcus Jones on I/R after week 2, and Jon Jones not playing since week 1. Gonzalez is a day 1 starter at CB and taking #1 WR's already....and I dare to say it...Myles Bryant has filled in admirably. We also lost Godchaux and Ekukale yesterday.... we need to get at least two of the Joneses back in 2-3 weeks hopefully...then I think we will start seeing more single high safety coverages with the other safety(ies) dropping down in run support thus further solidifying our D.

6.) Not too worried about yesterday's offensive performance ...or lack thereof. That was all situational football...if Ryland makes one more figgie...that game isn't a close one. The Jets got a solid D....and Josh Allen lost to them 2 weeks ago because he kept forcing things. But yeah...we will have to be whole lotta better next week against a very good Dallas D. I worry about Micah Parsons mowing down Lowe at RT......


Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Apr 6, 2009
The Pats knew how good Gonzales was on draft day, which makes the trade-down to 17 all the more amazing.

I was so worried about that, but thankfully it worked out. He was my number one target in the entire draft. As soon as I watched him play I posted in the draft forum that we should trade up for him. Glad Bill was smarter than I am and still managed to pick him up after trading down! He's going to be a superstar.


In the Starting Line-Up
Mar 3, 2017
As I think about the many questions in the air re the 2023 Pats, I begin to think the answer to nearly all of them is "We don't know."

I'd say this is not a good thing. It offers a potential silver lining, I suppose, in that it means we don't know that they are irredeemably awful.

If we really don't know and such indeterminacy is indeed a bad state of affairs, whose fault would that be? It may well be that by year's end, this will be the only question remaining, or at least the only one worth asking.

patfanken Supporter Supporter
Jul 11, 2005
well we've had a few days to get over the initial reactions and think about the knee jerk reactions we've all made and to take what's happened over the course of the week into some sense of context, and here are a few observations.

1. What Miami did on Sunday to the Bronco's was mind boggling. It was a shameful performance by Denver, but a great one by the Phins. Time to give a tip of the cap for what the Dolphins are doing on offense, especially in their usage of motion and how it is freeing up their speed receivers allowing them to attack deep without holding on to the ball long.

It will give them a well deserved advantage for the first 3 month of the season. But here's the thing. We've seen these offensive explosions on and off throughout the years. THe Bills of the late 90's, the Pats of 07. The Pats again in 2010. Houston, SD, SF, etc I admire what McDaniels has done, but I know this for a FACT. Defenses WILL catch up. It will be be harder for them by the end of the season and even harder still after defenses have a full off season to work on it.

2. I would like to see the Pats get a LOT more credit for the defensive job they did vs Miami given the injuries on D and the OL situation. For as great as the game plans were for the Miami offense so far, that one one great Defensive game plan AND execution. NO offense is going to look forward to playing them.

3. One of my main hopes, as the season goes on, will be that there will be a LOT more consistency in the refereeing. What is and is NOT an illegal formation or movement prior to the snap can change from game to game and sometimes from snap to snap. There needs to be some kind of direction from the league office on this and it NEEDS to be public and transparent.

4. Looking back now, this preseason was kind of disaster development wise on offense. Key people missing key reps all throughout the offensive roster.

5. Pharoah Brown will be a key addition when all is said and done. Not so much in the passing game, but in the run game and how it sets up the play action passing game.


Practice Squad Player
Jan 21, 2023
Not sure how long this one will be. There are a lot of subtleties to dissect even though many will want easy black and white answers. I know it gets tiresome, but it IS the way of the world these days.

Bill will tell you that a win in the NFL should be cherished. They are hard to come by and ALWAYS well earned. I don't think that I ever played or coached in a game that I lost that in retrospect I didn't think we should have won. If we ONLY did this on that play, or if the ref had only called it this way, or if I had only read my keys correctly, etc. We do a lot after loses, and we are often even MORE critical after wins. I have a feeling that my commentary might tend to be on that side, mostly because when you win, you team accepts the criticism a LOT more readily. So lets get on with it.

1. General Comments about what I saw this Sunday:

You know when I say it is hard to win ANY game in the NFL, a lot of people here think of that as being a cliche, or just coach speech. But it isn't. This isn't HS or college where there can be tremendous talent or numbers differences and there ARE easy games. This is the NFL where the worst guy at the end of the roster was on of the top 5 guys on his college team and already a great athlete. In the NFL he gets the finest training, coaching and nutrition, and are paid well enough that they can do nothing else all year but get ready for a 6 month season. You get get SOOOO much better AFTER you come into the league...IF you are smart and tough enough to take advantage of your athletic abilities and learn your craft as a professional.

Also, since I'm in the preaching mode here. I always thought I was a student of the game when I played. I would watch film back in a time where most of the time you would only watch the last week's game once and some film of who you were going to play once. Well I would come in and watch during the week and try and find something that would help a 210lb college NT get an edge. So it would come as a shock when I first starting coaching back in 1969, just how LITTLE I knew about the game of football.

One of the beauties of the game was that over what was close to 2 decades, just how much there is to learn. Being a football coach is like a constant lesson in humility. Every time you sat down with another coach or at a clinic or college spring practice there was ALWAYS something you could take away. And NOW with all the data available, one of the more difficult things for a coach to do is to EDIT all the minutia and put it into a teachable format to give to your players. Now I'd like to think that I know more about the game than most, but I will ALWAYS believe that I know about 10% of what an NFL coach does......ANY NFL coach, even someone only in the league a few years. Great coaches are great listeners. You don't get to that level if you woke up one morning and thought there was nothing anyone could teach you about the game. Bill Bellichick might be the best in history, but I KNOW he doesn't believe he knows it all.

But just like any fan, I can second guess with the best of then, and I DO. There are no hard object allowed in the TV room when I'm watching games, though throw pillows are widely scattered around to minimize damage to the TV. But AFTER the moment has passed, I have to admit that whatever decision was made, the coach who made it, did so with so much more information than I had making mine. I know that won't stop anyone from voicing their thoughts, nor should it. But it SHOULD make everyone more understanding about why those decisions were made. What we DON'T know as fans is massive. And with that, I will now give you my opinion on everything I THOUGHT I saw this afternoon. I think Thelonius would tell us that that is "irony" ;).

2. I no longer watch 3 games every Sunday like I used to. All the hypocrisy of the league along with just getting old, I have become less of a football fan and more of a PATRIOTS fan. Now and then after the Pats have played, I will catch a few plays of one game or another and even stay want watch for a bit if the game is compelling. 2 games stood out with lessons to be learned. After hearing the Dolphins put SEVENTY up on the Broncos, just maybe the Pats put up a much better defensive game against the Fins than we gave them credit for. Get ready for the wave of attention they will be getting. The other game was the Cowboy Cardinal game. Think next week's game is unwinnable? I bet you don't now. EVERY game in the NFL is hard to win.


a. General: What was it Bill said at the presser. Points are the most important thing in a football game and turnovers are #2. I ready about half of the GDT and one poster wrote something that stuck with me (and I apologize for not remembering who it was). He said, we forget sometimes that football games are "SITUATIONAL". It matterswho you are playing and what the conditions are. So yeah, 13 points is a HORRIBLE number. AND there were several opportunities where that number could have and should have been larger. BUT.....let us not forget that the Jets have what many would call a "championship level" defense who were playing AT home, IN the rain and wind, and as much as we want to rant and rave about the offense, it should be noted that the Jets are good at defense too and it had a factor in the amount of points the Pats put up. It should also be noted that 357yd of total offense isn't as horrific a number as the 13 points. The Pats DID move the ball, but there always seem to be a "timely" holding call that killed drives. The kind of calls the networks don't want to have reviewed for the audience....if you know what I mean.

The offense in general was painfully boring and uninspired but I haven't any clue how much of that was dictated by the Jets defense, the weather, or the flow of the game. Until the Jets last drive (aided by the refs) there wasn't any reason to take any chances and the strategy needed to be "minimizing chances of losing the game". That won't work every game.

BOB ran a LOT of RPO's at Alabama. He knows it well. Mac was successful in it. I THOUGHT it was going to be a part of the offense, but I'm not seeing it. A lot of Mac under C. Regular play action passes, but there doesn't seem to be much RPO action. Anyone have the stats for how much RPO the pats are running percentage wise?

b. QB- This was clearly Macs worst statistical performance of the year. But it was a game where I thought he made strides in his game. The "stats" say the Jets had no sacks and 2 QB hits. Seemed like a lot more hits than that. The OL improved (especially before Strange went down) a bit and I thought Mac had marginally more time. There is STILL a misconnect in communications with JJSS and Douglas on the kind of plays that require the receiver and QB to be on the same page when he has to adlib. I think those throws to the outside that went incomplete to both Douglas and JJSS were examples of that. Those are the kind of plays that only time and reps can create.

My favorite play by Mac was his 8 yd sprint. He saw and opening and he took it. He needs to do that a BIT more often. My biggest complaint was that Mac's ball handling on play action passing wasn't nearly as crisp with the RB as it should be. There was nothing even close to a mesh between the 2. It needs to be cleared up.

Listen the haters are going to light Mac up. Whereas his good completion percentages from the last 2 week didn't matter, THIS week it does and just over 50% just show how bad he was. The Jets defense didn't matter. The weather conditions don't matter. It's just Mac.........and Bill :rolleyes:

c OL - STILL a work in progress.....that made some progress. 157 rushing yds against that front 7 is good work. Best yet, for the 3+ quarters that I watched I NEVER heard the name VLowe mentioned once, and for an OLman that is music to your ears. Now I have no idea how good or bad he actually played but its a start. The Strange injury sucked. We won't know how bad it was, but just when it looked like they were going to get the band back together, we take another step back. The OL is NOT where it needs to be, but each game seems to be better than the last.

d TE's - The Pharaoh Brown Project. I say about time. This isn't a dish on Mike Gisiki, it's about the need for a blocking TE which is what Brown is, and I think it showed in the running game. The fact he had 71 receiving yds is a bonus that shouldn't be overlooked. It showed that there ARE simple routes that a primarily blocking TE can run and be effective, We see it all the time. 2 or 3 targets a game and solid run blocking more than makes up for any route running pluses we gain from Mike. Let him play in passing situations. We need a solid run game if we are going to compete and to do that we need a good blocking TE who can occasionally catch a 10 yd pass. Brown can do that and he showed it today. There will be situations for Gisiki. I don't think next week he'll be featured.

e WR's Bourne and Adams seem like they could be the guys Mac can count on, not that anyone looked great today, but I like what I'm seeing from Kendrick. JJSS WILL be the main topic of "conversation". I'd like to think that he's still working out the kinks with the new offense and QB. He DID miss a lot of preseason time and it will get better. However every game that the status quo remains his results the din will grow and in a few weeks be justified. Just not now, imo. I like Douglas as much as the next guy, but it's a really big jump for SEC WR's to make impacts their rookie years, let alone someone from Liberty

f. RB's - BOB still insists on running the ball right up the middle most of the time. I am hoping that they start to break that tendency starting next week. The run blocking was better and thus the RB results were better. Couldn't help notice that Zeke's long gain came when he cut back against the grain and caught the Jets overrunning the play. I would mind seeing more of this in the future, if only having the RB's looking for it. I'd like to see the RB's used more in the passing game and not just on screens.
Did you mean to say Parker? We don't have an Adams on the roster. ;)


2nd Team Getting Their First Start
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
Jan 11, 2010
Did you mean to say Parker? We don't have an Adams on the roster. ;)
The Lexington natives appreciate this mixup. Unfortunately we definitely come up quite short in the Devonte competition

Rob0729 Supporter Supporter
Nov 14, 2006
One thing about Smith Schuster. Some receiver take a bit to catch on. I remember people hating Amendola much of his first season. He turned it around. Gaffney didn’t do anything until the playoffs his first year here.

There is still a chance JuJu turns things around.

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