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Idle thoughts - the "a win is a win" edition

2021 Patriots Season:
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Pick Results: NO: 13.5% at NE: 86.5%

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Sep 26th

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KontradictioN

…with that said, Cam is a great teammate.
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continued...
Others may have mentioned this...but....anyone else think NE was roughing up Winston (2 roughing penalties) late in the 2nd in retaliation for all the shots Brady was taking....late hits , shots at his knees, twisting tackles?

Maybe. Those were uncharacteristically stupid penalties for any Pats squad outside of the 2009 edition.
 

skinnydog

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Not sure if the Seahawks and how their inability to drain the clock and their failure to properly play situational football in the SB against us are a good example for anything.
Uh, there's that small part about not being able to stop the GOAT. They lost because Brady. Because Brady is the best 4th quarter QB ever and no one is close. They would've beaten any other QB.
 

Nehalem

In the Starting Line-Up
I was a disappointed in the Offensive performance. But it really isn't too surprising. They had a 4 day week and lost their best offensive weapon to an injury in practice. So basically they had a short time to game plan, and then pretty much had to throw out their game plan anyway. Its a bit like the first 2015 NYJ game where they looked disjointed due to Dion Lewis sitting out.
 

RelocatedPatFan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Lots ogf good stuff and I'll try to pick some of the more obscure stuff

Hogan now has 4 TD passes in his first 4 games. The last one to do that was Randy Moss in 2007. And while Hogan should never be mentioned in the same breath as Randy Moss, he STILL has shown significant improvement in his 2nd year. Makes me look forward to what Cooks will bring to the table next season in HIS 2nd year.
Hogan is 5TDs in 5 games now, I like the pace. Also, last year he had perfectly matching stats with Julio Jones last year during the playoffs (8 catches for 170ish yards and 2 TDs). Not that we expect that from either player and more likely to get from Julio than Hogan, but Hogan definitely is working in the offense.
Secondary...
Definitely felt more comfortable later in the game, where last week you didn't want our D on the field to end the game. It was the offense that made me feel a bit uneasy and was a little surprised that Brady had 300+ yards.

I'm sure he's feeling 40 years old this morning.

That being said, I have a question. Wasn't there a time when a player could cross the neutral zone, and if he got back without making contact, or causing the offense to move before the ball was snapped there wouldn't be a flag. Has this rule change and merely crossing the LOS automatically triggers a flag?

I beleive you were correct about the neutral zone, but Bolden was so far over that he was practically in another end zone. Usually it's a DE call with unabated to the QB call. So maybe the call could have been better and the Bucs Special Teams coach should be pissed that none of their guys moved to bring attention to Boldens crossing the line.


Good luck in the casino.
 

Nikolai

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On a negative note - Hightower has yet to make a significant play this season in the 2 games he's played. He also got big bucks this offseason too. Last night he had just 2 tackles. I did like that Patricia had him playing in the middle on some passing down to mirror Winston. But we are paying Hightower to make some big plays and have an impact on the defense that goes beyond aiding in the communication on the field and having a green dot on his helmet. In comparison, Van Noy was in on 7 tackles with a half sack. Any QB hits at least?

I think good things are in the offing. He's moving faster. He chased down the guy Gilmore failed to wrap up after the hard hit, and also Winston (who wound up throwing the ball). It's the fastest I've seen him move since the Super Bowl.

c. Is it only me or have any of you ever heard of a "pealback block" penalty before tonight. Seems strange that almost every week see the Pats get tagged with some obscure rule. Solder is having a tough enough season as it is. BTW- I would like to compare what he did to get a 15 yd penalty to what the Bucs got with that so-called block in the back, which looked like a blatant clip to me and should have been 15. Just sayin'

I had to look it up: Illegal Peel Back Block | NFL Football Operations

The rule was implemented before the 2013 season and has been called a grand total of 8 times...yep, that's the definition of obscure.

d. After listing to Romo and Nance tonight the thought of knowing I will have to listen to Fouts and Eagle 3 more times this season fills me with despair. ;) Romo once again proved he's an A+ right out the box. Ideally, we'd like to think he'd only improve as he gets more experience, but it might do the opposite.

I've heard people say the same about Simms when he first started in the booth, but then talked about how, as time passed and his knowledge became more antiquated, his value diminished. I recall thinking, as a teenager (when Simms started), that he was one of the good ones. Of course, I don't think so now, but I assumed it was because my tastes have changed as I've gotten older...and more fanatical.
 

patfanken

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What do you mean even ? You should rewatch some of his Panthers snaps and see that he has been pretty physical, excellent in support and consistently tries to punch the ball free on runs.

Calm down. My comment wasn't a criticism of Gilmore's effort, but rather a comment on ONE play where he didn't wrap when he tackled and merely threw a shoulder into the receiver and the guy bounces off the hit and gained another 6 yards and a first down

That thinking is what loses you superbowls. With 10 minutes left in the final quarter and 9 points up your opponent is the game clock and not the Bucs. As long as they dont gain yardage fast (i.e. the Jackson play) and you are milking the clock properly everything the other team gains in that period of time is less valuable.

Now, if the Bucs hit one of the FGs and it becomes a one score game things change again on offense and defense. I get that for some people situational football and playing the odds is frustrating and not particularly intuitive but it is all about risk management.
This was a 9 point lead, NOT a 25 point lead. There was plenty of time for the Bucs to overcome it, and they almost did. Now I get your point and you are not necessarily wrong. But clearly, the 240 yd 4th quarter yards are telling you that that strategy wasn't working. When they went to it the Buc had 3 long drives in the 4rd quarter. Fortunately, they only yielded 7 points.

Of course, if the offense could have managed just one first down in their last 2 drives, our differences would have been made moot.
 

p8ryts

In the Starting Line-Up
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I think I have mentioned that Bill Belichick has often told us that winning in the NFL is HARD, very hard; so no matter the warts on this one, it is still a beautiful thing. Besides as when the season winds down in December, no one will care about style points from the first week in October. BUT on the other hand, this isn't December and as longtime Pats fans, warts are ALL we want to talk about. So let us get started. I'm in my room at Foxwoods (a poker tournament) and I have to be up early.

I had a bad feeling about this game. On one hand, NO one gets his team more ready to play on a short week than Bill Belichick. On the other hand, there is no more built-in disadvantage in the NFL than being the road team on a Thursday night game. This is especially challenging when you have a defense in complete disarray due to communication issues. Hard to think that that would be resolved on such a short week. Also not only were they on the road they were playing ANOTHER team who seemed to have the "blueprint" to punish this defense, big WR's, speed on the outside, a mobile QB and a decent run game. Going into the game if you wanted to look at a worse case scenario for the Pats, THIS was it. And THEN we find out Gronk wouldn't be playing. :eek:

OFFENSE-

1. QB - With all the issues the defense looked like it was coming into, the last thing you would have expected was a very mediocre game (relatively speaking) from Brady. 2 Turnovers and a few missed open receivers really wrecked havoc on the offense. It also didn't help that the offense had HORRIBLE field position for most of the night, so drives of 50 yds ended in punts, and one drive of 89 yd ended in a FG. Not to mention the 12 penalties, didn't help either (but more on that later)

The bottom line - Brady had a decent game with a number of superb throws and decisions. But he also had his share of clunkers too, and 2 consecutive 3 and outs when you are trying to hold on to a 9 point lead was NOT impressive, to say the least. Add that to the things to do list for the next 10 days.

BTW- interesting note when I looked over the stats, IIRC last week by the end of the first quarter, Brady had hit 8 different receivers. In this game only 5 guys caught balls. I don't know if this was the game plan or what, but it could be an interesting discussion point.

2. RB- Best game yet for Lewis and Gillislee. Tampa has a decent run D and Dion and Mike combined to average a healthy 5.7 ypc on 19 carries. I thought in the 4th quarter Gillislee was grabbing the back of his leg after a run, so I was happy to see him on that last drive. BTW - When Mike was with the Bills he proved he was a very capable receiver. I wish the Pats used him more in that capacity if only to avoid repeating the LGB syndrome of if Gillislee is in there, it will be a run

Note to Josh - Even though he is having his best year as a RB, when given the option, please use Lewis instead.

Next note to Josh - Please don't run short yardage offense runs with your OL in a 2 point stance. It is a recipe for failure.

Last note to Josh: And for god sakes, NEVER run a 3rd and short down without at least SOME kind of run threat. Why make it easy on the defense.


3. OL - Best game of run blocking. Pass protection..... not so much. But I'm thinking it was NOT as bad as it seemed. I know the sack stats and the QB hit stats. But a lot of things go into a successful pass play than just the 5 guys on the OL.

A few times the pressure came from the guy the Pats had Duane Allen blocking one on one. Whatever matchup they were hoping to get....they didn't get it. Allen was overpowered a few times.

Shaq Mason will be credited with giving up a sack when Brady ran right into McCoy, who had been stoned by Mason near the LOS. There was another when Brady had plenty of time and time ran out. The 3rd sack (and most painful to watch) was the Blitzer who came in untouched, while Allen was being blown back by the guy on the other side. And some of the QB hits were more than a bit late, IMHO, yet they all still count on someone's "nextgen stats" blog and look bad.

Also remember that probably because Gronk wasn't there, the game plan often had the RB going out on a route immediately, leaving Brady with one less guy in protection.

Finally, it was mentioned again that they thought Solder isn't healthy. The guy is taking a beating in the media (as well as here). If he is gutting it out with some health issue, it would be a good time to let people know, so it will take the pressure off him.

4. Receivers - I think we call can say it now. Danny Amendola is a bargain. He's getting all the JE11 targets and has produced in spades. In a sense, he's shown that BB wasn't crazy to give him that money when he signed. Who knows what Edelman's career would have ended up being had DA been healthy his first year here. He had beaten out Julian to be the starting slot man out of TC, and had a 100 yd game in his first outing despite being hurt. This might still end up being his last season with the Pats, if it is, he's going out in style. The guy is not only clutch but fearless as well.

Cooks made the most of his limited targets, although he had one bad drop early. Hogan now has 4 TD passes in his first 4 games. The last one to do that was Randy Moss in 2007. And while Hogan should never be mentioned in the same breath as Randy Moss, he STILL has shown significant improvement in his 2nd year. Makes me look forward to what Cooks will bring to the table next season in HIS 2nd year.

Zero Catches by any TE, and a 1-3 record converting in the red zone. Coincidence? I don't think so. Add this to the other notes to Josh. ;)

5. Overall, it is heartening to see that the Bucs had only a 30% success rate in converting on 3rd down (4/13), its more than a little disturbing that the Pats were only slightly better at 4/12 (33%) That is NOT what you'd expect from the league's best offense. Add that to the growing list of things to get better at this week+

6 DEFENSE -

Front Seven - outside of that one series where Martin ran for 48 of his 74 yds, the run defense really wasn't that bad. Most of 48 yds came on great runs (along with missed tackles) from a 2-time pro bowler with two 1400 yd seasons. The rest of the game the Pats controlled the Tampa run game including one big 3rd and short stop.

As far as the rush goes, it wasn't as good as we'd like but showed continued improvement. Winston was corralled most of the time (11 yds rushing) and pressured and hit quite a bit (I'd be interested in seeing the final stats on that. All I know at this point is that they managed just one less sack on Winston than the Bucs had on Brady (2-3).

BTW- Wise had another sack and a man-sized hand to the face penalty. ;)

On a negative note - Hightower has yet to make a significant play this season in the 2 games he's played. He also got big bucks this offseason too. Last night he had just 2 tackles. I did like that Patricia had him playing in the middle on some passing down to mirror Winston. But we are paying Hightower to make some big plays and have an impact on the defense that goes beyond aiding in the communication on the field and having a green dot on his helmet. In comparison, Van Noy was in on 7 tackles with a half sack. Any QB hits at least?

Secondary -

McCourty heard the criticism and responded with a great night. Not only did he defend the pass well, he had 11 unassisted tackles, and pretty much played like his hair was on fire. Chung was equally impressive. Even Steven Gilmore had 5 unassisted tackles, although he had one miss, a hard hit, but didn't wrap.

Butler had his best game of the year overall, although he too had one play where a bad angle allowed Jackson to turn a 15 yd completion into a 41 yd gain he was beaten badly by Jackson on an overthrown pass deep. Both he and Gilmore had multiple pass defenses, and best of all, there was only one pass that I can recall that didn't at least have a defender in the vicinity, unlike last week.

I'm guessing that when we watched the replay, we will find that Patricia simplified his defense, and played mostly zone coverages, which eliminated a lot of potential confusion that can arise in man vs certain formations and motions.

I know the Winston threw for over 240 yds in the 4th quarter, but I'd like to think that a lot of that yardage was the result of the Pats softening their zones in typical Belichickian style to lead the clock. It almost didn't work out. I would think that when you hold an NFL offense to under 70 yds in the first 3 quarters, you wouldn't back off that strategy just because you have a 9 point lead. Consider that a note to Matty P. ;)

It was a solid performance, and the point total is fine. But the last quarter also showed us that there is still a lot of work to be done and this long week should HOPEFULLY contribute to a continued improvement on tonight. This is the NFL so you get better or eventually you die.

7. Special teams - were in a word GREAT - From Gotskowski's 4 clutch FG's (especially the last 2) to Allen's precision punting, the great coverage on punts and KO's, and Ebner's fearless play on the onside kick. Special teams were pretty much flawless. Not much more I can add, especially this late at night.

8. Miscellaneous

a. I bet Koetter is going to get a lot of heat for not going for it on 4th and short and sending Folk out there to try and make a 49 yarder into the wind while he was having a bad night. On the surface, it is a defendable call, but given the all the circumstances, I would have gone for it.

b. The Pats once again lost the penalty war amassing 12 penalties for over 100 yds, including FOUR that gave the Bucs first downs, often on a 3rd down play. Now it should be notted the refs also called a fair amount on the Bucs (unlike last week) 9 for 70 yds. This will never be a championship caliber team unless THIS area of the game improves. The call on Boldin was a perfect example of this year's lack of mental discipline. There was no earthly reason for him to cross the LOS. I was surprised Bill's head didn't explode on national television.

That being said, I have a question. Wasn't there a time when a player could cross the neutral zone, and if he got back without making contact, or causing the offense to move before the ball was snapped there wouldn't be a flag. Has this rule change and merely crossing the LOS automatically triggers a flag?

c. Is it only me or have any of you ever heard of a "pealback block" penalty before tonight. Seems strange that almost every week see the Pats get tagged with some obscure rule. Solder is having a tough enough season as it is. BTW- I would like to compare what he did to get a 15 yd penalty to what the Bucs got with that so-called block in the back, which looked like a blatant clip to me and should have been 15. Just sayin'

d. After listing to Romo and Nance tonight the thought of knowing I will have to listen to Fouts and Eagle 3 more times this season fills me with despair. ;) Romo once again proved he's an A+ right out the box. Ideally, we'd like to think he'd only improve as he gets more experience, but it might do the opposite.

e. ON to the surprising Jets on the road followed by the Chargers and Falcons at home. They REALLY Need to be 6-2 at the bye because they will take on a horrendous road trip from hell over 5 of the next 6 games including road games against the Raiders, Broncos, and Steelers. The Jets are always tough at home, and the Falcons are off to pretty good start and will be on a mission to prove that the best team didn't win the Superbowl.

f. I really wanted to piss on Cam Newton's so-called apology. At the time he might have meant it as a joke, but it still doesn't make it right. I think it is another example of an althete not understanding the power of his words. I like that he didn't read from some PR flack's script. Instead, he winged it, and when he told kids NOT to be like him, but rather be better than him; he got me to believe it was a sincere attempt to make amends. Just my personal interpretation.

Summary - A win is a win is a win. The team is improving and will need to keep on improving as the schedule only gets harder as the year goes on.

Well I hope you are happy. It's past 3AM and if I get knocked out tomorrow I will have a ready excuse. Regardless of what happens now, it WON'T be my fault. (just like the president). Fortunately, I'm in the money so I will at least win something. I got that much going for me...at least. Good night ;)

Very good job by you:
I agree 100% on the following two notes to Josh. These calls drive me crazy. It seemed like the off tackle runs were doing well and so far this year every time we get short yardage we run the stupid shotgun will the back flatfooted and the line in the 2 point stance.

"Note to Josh - Even though he is having his best year as a RB, when given the option, please use Lewis instead.
Next note to Josh - Please don't run short yardage offense runs with your OL in a 2 point stance. It is a recipe for failure."

The peelback block, looked like a good block to me, they guy had a jump, Solder "peeled" back and made a block on mid thigh. WTH!

Off side getting back. Yes, what happened with that rule.

As a long time McCourty complainer, he has really improved the past couple years, tackling and toughness.

Lastly, if the run game seems to be working, DO WE HAVE TO PASS ON SHORT YARDAGE?
 

luuked

Hall of Fame Poster
Calm down. My comment wasn't a criticism of Gilmore's effort, but rather a comment on ONE play where he didn't wrap when he tackled and merely threw a shoulder into the receiver and the guy bounces off the hit and gained another 6 yards and a first down

Sorry. The last week and the absurd Gilmore hate here makes it difficult to approach this in calm matter.


This was a 9 point lead, NOT a 25 point lead. There was plenty of time for the Bucs to overcome it, and they almost did. Now I get your point and you are not necessarily wrong. But clearly, the 240 yd 4th quarter yards are telling you that that strategy wasn't working. When they went to it the Buc had 3 long drives in the 4rd quarter. Fortunately, they only yielded 7 points.

Of course, if the offense could have managed just one first down in their last 2 drives, our differences would have been made moot.

Except the yards are completely deceptive because the Pats were in a position where they let the Bucs drain their own clock twice without any consequence because the FGs were missed. Despite 160 yards being generated in a span of 7-8 minutes it resulted in 0 points and zilch value for the Bucs. Making them have long drives is the entire point.

I dont understand why you think they would have kept playing that conservatively if the first long Tampa drive would have cut the deficit already. That was textbook situational football.
 

DarrylS

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The most concerning thing to me, by far, is how badly the team is getting dominated on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Solder is clearly not where he needs to be, Thuney is not where he was last season, Andrews has struggled early, and Cannon has regressed thus far. Cannon and Solder are likely dealing with injury issues. The only one that has played better this season vs. last season is Mason. The hits are very clearly beginning to take a toll on Brady, too. The INT came on a throw that sailed on him because the pocket was beginning to break down. The throws he missed on last night usually seemed to come when pressure off the edge was getting to him because the pocket was breaking down and he had nowhere to go. And this was a team that couldn't even do much as sniff the quarterback in the first 3 weeks of their season. One sack coming in. They were, and have been, piss poor. TB12 Method or not, you cannot, CANNOT, have your 40 year old QB getting hit like that. The body simply doesn't recover like it used to. And we're seeing evidence of Brady being beat up in some of these throws. Meanwhile, the coaching staff is stressing longer-developing routes in the passing game which, as of right now, is basically just trying to force a square peg in a round hole since the OL hasn't shown the ability to hold up in pass pro for that long.

On the defensive side of the ball, Flowers is getting doubled and nobody else is able to consistently stack and shed. Wise has been a pleasant surprise as a rusher, but he's getting moved against the run. Hopefully that's just a rookie issue that will get corrected. Butler is also a rookie and is nowhere near the toilet clogger that Branch was last season. On multiple occasions where Martin busted through the line of scrimmage on 6-8 yard runs, Guy was either freelancing or he was getting blown off the ball and moved in whatever direction they wanted to take him. Hard to tell without seeing the All-22. But the 3-techs, from what I've seen, have been a source of their trouble on that side of the ball. When you couple that with the communication issues, tackling issues, and overall questionable game plans re: coverage concepts that we've seen in the secondary, you get the **** sandwich we saw in the first four weeks. Two of those were corrected last night (game plan and communication) and two were still an issue.

But if you want to look at the reasons why this team has struggled thus far in 2017, start by looking at the trenches.


Wise only played 29 snaps, Flowers played 70 out of 72 defensive snaps.
 

DarrylS

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All of the penalties are killing me, gotta fix that.
Did D. Harris play at all? At least he was active.
Without Gronk, I was hoping to see Hollister do something.

According to Pats Pulpit, Harris did not play one snap last night.. not sure what is going on.
 

tasmlab

Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired
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Frankly we didn't win this game. Tampa Bay lost it for us. I have no idea what the hell is wrong with the OL. It's not just Solder, it's also Cannon and the IOL just giving up pressure after pressure, sack after sack. This makes it just about impossible for Brady to have time to connect on the longer routes.

There needs to be a Nick Folk appreciation thread. The last thing he ever did in the NFL was to gift this game to us with a big fat bowtie on top.

Hopefully Tampa cuts Folk this week and he signs with whomever the Pats play next.

Call me crazy, but the Pat's strategy can't be to count on the opposing kicker missing three field goals. Add nine points to the Buc's score and the game doesn't look good at all.
 

Brady_to_Moss

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I just wanted a W..no matter how or what happened...then get 10 days to get more **** right. We got it and the communication on D got much better.

Did it feel to anyone else we were playing in the 4th to not lose rather than strike? I mean the O seemed just off all night
 

Ring 6

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Hightower had the game winning sack on 3rd down last week. Turning a 4th and 4 or 5 into something like a 4th and 15. Wiped out by a hands to the face penalty on Gilmore.
HT had the prior sack that led to us tying (also on 3rd down)the one wiped out was by wise.
 

Ring 6

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I just wanted a W..no matter how or what happened...then get 10 days to get more **** right. We got it and the communication on D got much better.

Did it feel to anyone else we were playing in the 4th to not lose rather than strike? I mean the O seemed just off all night
Well we didn't lose so it worked.
 

Ring 6

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Hopefully Tampa cuts Folk this week and he signs with whomever the Pats play next.

Call me crazy, but the Pat's strategy can't be to count on the opposing kicker missing three field goals. Add nine points to the Buc's score and the game doesn't look good at all.
I'm pretty sure that's not their strategy. 2 of the 3 were long FGs
If the FGs were made the game plays out differently.
 
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Doctor DDS

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I thought this was a solid team effort with contributions from all units. A couple observations: 1. I thought the offense was more concerned about running the clock down at the end of the 21st half instead of scoring a touchdown. Run up the middle, short pass to White in the flat, then Brady going down after some minor pressure and a short run vs maybe holding onto it a little longer to take a shot in the End Zone (hard to tell if there were any viable throwing options from tv angle) Appeared we really did not want to give the ball back to TB with enough time to score even to the detriment of lessening the chance of a TD.
2. TB's strategy at the end left a lot to be desired. Should have kicked to the goal line with the hope to stop the Pats inside the 20. With 2:09 left they could have done this and still had the 2 minute warning. Pats were 95% going to run on first down to get to the 2:00 warning so if they'd kicked off deep they are likely looking at a 2 and long while holding a time out. TB should not have called a Time Out with 2:03 left after the run. By doing this it allowed the Pats to throw on 2nd down as the clock was going to stop either way when the play was over. If they let if go down to 2:00 the Pats play call becomes much more difficult to make as their desire to run clock would still be high. Pats threw incomplete on the 2nd down so it did not come back to bite TB but it certainly could have. 3. Having to challenge the last sack/incompletion on Winston vs having it called on the field really hurt as it stopped the clock, allowed TB to re-group and once the ball was re-set TB hiked it within 2 seconds. If he was initially ruled down by sack TB ends up burning another 10 seconds and the play is rushed. 4. Was fine with the defensive & offensive strategy late - play conservative yet still hope to make plays/stops - if any of those FG's had been made they would certainly have changed tactics on both offense and defense.
 
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