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Content Post Idle thoughts - the "a win is a win" edition.

2021 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Bills
Pick Results: NE: 81.7% at BUF: 18.3%

Mon
Dec 6th

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patfanken

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At the end of the day they don't give you anything extra for looking good while winning, and nothing shows up in the standings for coming close against a more talented team like last week. It's a simple matter, like ones and zeros Come December no one will remember how ugly this win was, and how it was accomplished. Over the last 20 years we've had a LOT of ugly wins, and no ever talks about them when the season was over. Almost every year there was some come from behind win vs bad Jets and Bills teams over the years. When the division was crap there was always a loss or two somehow, and too many close wins. It all comes back to the fact that the worst guy at the end of the bench of any NFL team, is a great football player. Sure some teams are better than others of course, but the phrase, "on any given Sunday....." Is the truth. A truism that shows up EVERY week,

Side note- I haven't been around much the last two weeks. I stayed away the entire Bucs week, simply because I didn't have the heart to hear the same crap I've heard here and in the media for the 3 months leading up to the game. So much unnecessary drama played over and over again. While pleased with the effort, I didn't like the 4th down call at the end of the game, mostly because even if Folk made that very difficult kick Brady STILL would have had over 50 seconds to go 40 odd yds to put HIS team into position to win the game. I was also pissed about the Gilmore trade, but more on that later. Lets get back to TODAY's game.

General offensive thoughts

a. I don't think I ever heard of a team that was going into the following week with FOUR new OLmen. 2 would generally be considered a catastrophe, so I don't know what 4 would be described as. So even though the Texans are among the worst teams in the league, they still suited up 46 NFL players AT HOME, so I thought, (as most probably did) that the OL did yeoman work in creating enough running room that as a team they averaged 4.2 ypc, and protected Mac Jones to the tune of 1 sack and only 4 QB hits.

Now the OL has taken a LOT of hits the first 4 weeks of the season, including the coaching staff. Well after watching the job these 4 back ups did, after only one week of practice together, I would have to say the coaching staff should take a bow for a job well done, and the player should take 2 bows for their effort.

If I had one major complaint, it would be that I would FINALLY like to see the screen game become more productive. WAY too often we have seen one LB after another slip through the screen and blow up the play for little or no gain. I know the new rules make it more difficult for OLmen to block, but I see other teams making hay from this play. I'd REALLY like us to finally join the party.

As we enter the 2nd quarter of the season, the offense is still a work in progress. And I think progress is being made.

b. QB- Jones looks like he is starting to find some connection with his receivers. He still continues to go through is progressions well. Good touch on his passes. But what stood out to me in this game was his quickness within the pocket and his ability to move outside it as well. I have long opined that although he isn't an uber athlete, Mac Jones is a very good one. I'm hoping that the longer he plays, the more he will feel comfortable to use his athleticism to escape the pocket when necessary. This comfort has been slow in coming, but the more we see it, the fewer hits he's going to take.

Also it looks like he's more willing to throw the ball downfield. I don't know the exact number but IIRC there were at least 4 receptions of over 20 yds today and he might have gotten his first 300 yd game if not for the rare Myers drop. But I see bigger numbers coming as his comfort level grows with his receivers.

c. OL - It only took 3 years, but we can finally say that YCajuste really is an NFL caliber OT, now how GOOD an NFL caliber OT he is, is still a question that remains to be seen. To the naked eye, I can only recall twice where I thought he lost his battle with the DE, and neither time resulted in a QB hit. One early in the game where his great 2nd effort and Mac's stepping up allowed him to recover and push him past the QB.

The only sack came on a play action pass where the G pulls to further look like a run, and is charged to pick up the opposite DE. unfortunately the Texan DE (Greenard) came blasting across and blew up the play, and the G (Karras I think) really didn't have a chance.

I'm not sure what's going to happen next week with the OL. We know Brown is out until game 7 at best. I read where Mason could be back next week, and you'd like to think Wynn, and Owenu would be back as well, but who knows.

d. RB's - I really like Harris as a RB, despite the fumble. I hope that whatever his injury is, it isn't long term, though my instinct says we won't be seeing him on the field next week. Now after getting his feet wet this week, Stephenson is likely to be the lead back next week against the Cowboys, assuming he can be trusted to pass block. Also a JJ Taylor sighting could be in the offing. And of course all of us who called for Brandon Bolden's retirement (I think I led the charge on this one). we FINALLY understand just why Bill loves him, and we are really lucky he's on this team.

e. TE's - We heard that Hunter Henry and Mac Jones are neighbors and carpool together, and I am hoping they could get JSmith to move closer to these guys. Clearly Mack and Hunter are gaining a feel for each other, while JSmith still seems to be finding his niche. Still Like I said, a work in progress.

My appreciation of Gronk only grows when I compare his blocking skills against our 2 TE's. Both Henry and Smith are willing blockers who show great effort, but neither guy is someone who can actually MOVE a defensive lineman or LB, What Gronk was able to accomplish was really so rare, and we all came to take it for granted until it was gone.

f. WR's - clearly still not where we'd like it to be. Bourne again showed flashes of the explosiveness he possesses, and we'd all like to see Agular get more chances at deeper balls, but he certainly has shown his hands are consistent. Meyers has been very consistent and Harry is.....well I don't know what he is, since he isn't getting many targets to find out. Here's my beef with Josh. With big tragets like Henry, Smith, and Harry on the field, WHY aren't we throwing the ball into the endzone more when we are in the red zone. What did we have 5 or 6 times in the red zone today, and I only recall ONE pass actually going into the endzone, and THAT was the TD to Henry. Given all the problems we are having in the redzone, you'd think that we'd take more shots. Given how accurate Mac is, you'd think Josh would give him more chances to hit those big guys on one on one balls. We really need to start to open up more.

2. General defensive thoughts - FLAT would seem to be the go to description of the defense today They didn't play awfully, but always seemed a foot too short and just not making "plays" to get off the field. Allowing the Texans to make so many 3rd AND 4th downs was so frustrating to see. I'm sure that this fact will drilled hard this week. Dallas has one of the more dynamic offenses in the league, so being able to get off the field when you have a team 3rd and long will be critical. They HAVE to get the that number under 50% though under 40% will probably be necessary to win the game next week.. And I probably speak for everyone when I say, if I see one more slant pass converted into a first down, I will go nuts. It's so easy to take away that pass just by alignment, Granted it will make it easier for the opposition to throw side line passes, but so WHAT. A sideline pass is much more difficult to throw than a slant, which could be the easiest pass a QB can when a DB is aligned outside. MAKE them throw the harder pass. And that's all I have to say about that!

a. Front 7 - I have to admit I was kind of surprised when I checked the stats and found out the Texans only ran the ball for a 2.6 ypc average. While I was watching the game is seem a lot worse than that. But it is what it is and clearly you have to tip your cap to the front seven for a job well done. This wasn't as good an OL or RB's as they will face next week, but 2.6 ypc is a great number against ANYONE.

If you look at the 2 sacks that Judon got, you seen the intelligence of the man. In neither of those 2 plays did you see Matt blow by an OLman, or put a spectacular mover on a defender. In the first he simply stayed and wasn't fooled by the bootleg, and the second he sort of just slip slided into the backfield and wound up with the sack. I like the way he plays. On the opposite end of the scale was the complete disappearance of Josh Uche. He was no where to be found of the defensive stat sheet, so I wondered if he was on the inactive list, but no, he dressed. I will be interested in seeing the snap count results later in the week. Uche has by FAR been my most disappointing player of the years so far.

b. Secondary- They gave up too many long plays this game. Too many 3rd and 4th down conversions. This is NOT going to be the film that JC Jackson is going to be circulating to other teams as he enters FA. Some guy off the PS made him look bad too often. Even Devon McCourty will be wincing when they see the film of him overrunning the play that turned into a 65 yd TD. Being the secondary that allowed Davis Mills to record his first 300 yd game isn't something to be proud of. It will need to be MUCH better next week.

ST's. Well they only punted once, but covered KO's very well. I'm guessing the plan was to allow the Texans to run at least some of them back. Gunner was OK I guess in his KO's and Punt returns. Nothing special, nothing bad this week. It's confession time again. I have to admit I was one of those guys HOPING that the kid would knock him out of the FG kicking job, but that being said, I understood that he was a very solid guy from the 45 in. Well I think he now has 3 or 4 plus 50 yd kicks, and both the ones he hit today would have been good from 6 yds deeper. I never knew Folk had that kind of leg. He has been the Pats best if not the most important offensive player so far. Simple as that,

3. On the Gilmore trade. I don't bet on football games, though I joined a pool to pick 5 games each week. Its fun. But while I know a lot about football, I know enough that trying to pick games against the spread is a fools errand. Though I was 4-1 this week. ;) But I DID make one football bet this year. I bet a poker friend that Gilmore would be on the Pats in week 7, I thought it was the easiest $100 I would make all year, :rolleyes:

Well like everyone else I was very surprised how it all ended, and I was trying to figure out just WTF happened. It was my belief that Gilmore wanted to be here, and the Pats wanted him here, for this year at least. In the end it all came down to this conflict. The Pats wanted to see what he looked like when he came off the PUP. They weren't going to pay him more money until they were convinced he was healthy. Clearly the Gilmore camp wasn't cool with that position, though I don't understand why it was such a big deal. The Pats had dealt with Gilmore more than fairly over the years he was here.

There had been a lot of rumors that Gilmore had been healthy all along and this was a "hold in". However he is STILL on PUP with Carolina, and hasn't been practicing with then as yet. So I don't think those rumors are true. I think the truth of the matter is that Gilmore is coming off a very serious injury, coming off a year where there was clear signs of a slippage BEFORE the injury. The very lack of a large number of teams who could have used even a Gilmore-lite CB to inquire about a trade is telling. So yes I am disappointed the Gilmore won't be playing for the Pats this year, and yes I am going to miss that $100, and yes I am disappointed tjat we only got a 6th for him. But I'm going to wait and see what kind of player Stephon Gilmore is when he finally suits up for the Panthers before I make final judgements on this transaction.

4. I read some time ago that Bill "likes" this team. Likes coaching them. Likes they way they work. Often times you only get to know a team is how they react through adversity. Well this team has seen its share of "adversity" in the first month of the season. They have lost 2 very frustrating close games mostly because they made very untypical mistakes, and then they fell behind by 2 scores to one of the worst teams in the league on the road. That's adversity. Well they came back from that adversity to WIN that game, ugly as it might have looked. I'm sure Bill likes them even more now. And like Bill, I think this will be a much better team as time goes on.

This is year 2 of Bill's third "rebuild" of this team. If it is to be as successful as the first 2 we will need to see progress. Be close to .500 as the season reaches the half way mark, and then be a "good team" the rest of the way.

OK lets put this to bed (literally) I await your comments.
 
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DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Agree completely and well written as always.

Texans were up 22-9 and then punted into their own player. Huge play goes to Lawrence Guy who bull rushed the blocker to then block his own punter's punt. Huge huge play. Gutsy (ugly) win by the Pats.

1. Mac Jones is the real deal. Down 13 points to come back and win. We have a keeper, just keep this kid healthy and fix the OLine. Tied the rookie record for most completions in his first 5 starts. Those not yet on the wagon after what he's shown in 5 weeks are just stubborn haters who can't admit they were wrong 7 months ago.
2. Judon is mini-LT. 2 sacks and 3 QB hits. Best player on defense.
3. Herron showed me something today. Left tackle was OK today granted the Texans are absolutely horrible. Maybe Herron has a chance as a backup LT, he's a very very bad RT.
4. Barmore should just always play over Godchaux. He's a much better pass rusher and Godchaux is not better in the run game. Barmore is just a better player. Make Barmore the starter over Godchaux.
5. Jamie Collins didn't play much but already registered a sack and 1 QB hit. Give all of Bentley's snaps to Collins. Bentley still sucks.
6. I'm not worried about the secondary. JC is still good, fluke plays happen. Maybe offer JC a contract extension asap while he just had this off game. JC also just had a new baby join their family so maybe he was tired. SloJuan still sucks, he should never play again when Mills returns.
7. Hunter Henry can do this every game. Team still has no idea how to use Jonnu Smith. The oc uses Jonnu like a fullback.
8. Offense continues to be 31st in red zone, 31st in run offense, and 24th in points scored per game. The staff around BB is not good.


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StrawHatPatriot

Practice Squad Player
How you win says a lot though. Teams like Denver and Carolina beat up on bad teams, and then lost to good ones.

Teams like Buffalo and the Rams and Chargers manhandled bad teams, managed to win or split good teams.

The Pats? We've won very unimpressively to bad teams who gave us the game, and have choked against non-bad teams. A win is a win, but it also can indicate how we will be going forward. Just look at how the Giants were last year, where they lost competitive games to good teams, and struggled to bad teams.

Is sound pessimistic, but this is why I have us pegged at 6 wins st best. One of Atlanta or Carolina might choke to us, and we'll probably win 2 of the Jets/Jaguars/Dolphins games.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
How you win says a lot though. Teams like Denver and Carolina beat up on bad teams, and then lost to good ones.

Teams like Buffalo and the Rams and Chargers manhandled bad teams, managed to win or split good teams.

The Pats? We've won very unimpressively to bad teams who gave us the game, and have choked against non-bad teams. A win is a win, but it also can indicate how we will be going forward. Just look at how the Giants were last year, where they lost competitive games to good teams, and struggled to bad teams.

Is sound pessimistic, but this is why I have us pegged at 6 wins st best. One of Atlanta or Carolina might choke to us, and we'll probably win 2 of the Jets/Jaguars/Dolphins games.

Curran just posted the Pats are 11-16 since Thanksgiving'19. The Pats lose to good teams and barely beat bad teams. They don't get better as the season progresses and don't peak anymore in Nov/Dec. The staff around BB is not good. This is looking way too much like the Denver'10 Broncos.
 

borg

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Bullet points...

If Harris didn't fumble in the end zone, we'd all be more optimistic right now
And if Harris didn't fumble vs Miami, we might be giddy right now
OL was a much needed pleasant surprise, go figure
Mac carved up the Texans zone D
Mac's lack of arm strength becoming more apparent
Patriots CB depth issue came to light today without Mills. Texans targeted Duggar playing corner with much success
Are opponent QBs batting 1.000 on slant passes?
Pats TEs on pace to catch 119 balls / 10 TDs
Mac to Henry 77% comp rate
Roster has no solution for loss of James White. Bolden 4 catches/6 yds.
Folk leading all kickers in total points
PUP does not become optional when traded
Bill did great clock management in last 2 minutes......head coaching experience in action
Lack of experience for Texans HC was evident all game though I admired his 4th down guts early on

Glass half full: Pats #2 in AFC East.......Pats have same record as mighty KC
Win drops Pats draft order from #7 to #9 using tie breakers
Tankathon | 2022 NFL Draft Order

NE plays a real NFL team next week....Pats +3.5 at home
 

PF_SU

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Lack of experience for Texans HC was evident all game though I admired his 4th down guts early on
Found it curious that his guts left him in the 4th quarter. Attempting that 56 yard FG with a shaky kicker on a 4th and 4 up 7 while you were getting easy 4th down conversions all game was questionable to say the least.
 

holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
Sure, a win is a win. No style points. I got that. What’s going on here is the things that led to this being an ugly win are the same things that have been there all season. It’s hard to think things are going to turn around for the better, when they can’t clean up the mistakes. The team has a few promising spots, and a lot of spots needing some serious work.

I hope BB is active before the trade deadline in getting some young, athletic pieces with an eye toward the future. He hit on this years draft, and quite a few of the FA pickups have proven to be good investments. One more offseason of that, continued progression by the young players, and this is going to be a solid ball club.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
1. Agreed about Uche. He flashed a few times, enough that many already coined him star player, yesterday he was invisible vs below avg OL/tackle.
My disappointment is not so much about his situational edge play where he will have his moments and hopefully even sustained impact; I really hoped he could step into Collins' shoes as 3-down swiss knife LB this year esp. with little depth there - now they brought Collins back.
He is still a young player and should grow more - but the fact that promising offseason as potential 3-down player is nowhere to be seen - on an uninspiring LB group at that - is not the best sign.

2. This is year 1 of rebuild. Last year was not even transition - more of a disbandment, saving resources & riding with what was left.
 

DarrylS

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When the Pats entered the 2nd half I pretty much thought they had crapped the bed, their comeback was not Bradyesque, but a sign of life. Mac Jones is the real deal.. I wonder if BB's idea of not giving the title of DC is hampering this team, allowing Miles to pass for 300+ yards is inexcusable, even though Cooks was somewhat neutralized.

McDaniels penchant for rushing on 1st & 2nd then leaving Jones to a passing sitz is more than predictable. Need to take the training wheels of Jones and open up the offense.

Does Caserio know our tendencies too well?? Lovey Smith's long white beard is weird.

Almost walked away in the 2nd half, glad I didn't, a win is a win, perhaps they can build on that. Cowboys and Chargers coming up.. may prove interesting. The D needs some impact players to step up aside from Judon..
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Win drops Pats draft order from #7 to #9 using tie breakers
Disappointed?

It's comments in this line of thought that sharpens the divide between posting personalities. Where seeming sadness is derived from the team's winning because they might get a worse draft pick after the season is over. Like the better draft pick is the goal of an NFL team. (especially puzzling given the other aspect that the entire team cant draft - "We want the team to lose to get a better draft pick that they'll end up mis-using"...wait...huh?)

I simply have no understanding of such an approach because it ultimately means rooting against the Patriots' success in the current season (which is why from my perspective I watch - to see the team play the game of football and hopefully succeed in doing it).

Especially living through the Rust year, the Grier GM years and other truly horrible Patriots iterations where BOTH on-field and team building aspects were terrible in concert where watching every game had zero joy because you knew before the coin flip that the Patriots probably had zero opportunity to win the game.
 

TheRazorsEdge

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
It was a roller coaster of a game and I feel like there was an emotional hangover from the Bucs game. Defense was playing like they did not want to be out there to start the game- got beat up from 20 to 20.

I thought we were doing well in responding but that goal line fumble by Harris was a total sucker punch to the team. We were out on our feet until half time after it. I don't want to spend too much time on the play (so naturally I will..) but I did not see a any definitive video evidence to overturn the call on the field. I thought that was needed to reverse a decision. All angles showed it was a 50/50 call at best - rule on the field should have stood. Major momentum shift. Im happy once the game was cooking again late they brought him back in...hoping his injury is minor.

Meyers catches everything until... He doesn't. Ugh..tough drop.

Agholor and Bourne continue to make plays when called on. Hunter Henry has emerged at the TE1 of this offense. Jonnu Smith is a work in progress. I think he will get his time but right now mac operates at his best with 3 wrs on the field which will likely limit his ceiling for now.

Judon is the best Patriots player on the field every Sunday.

Next week will be a true indicator of where we are at.
 

sb1

Hall of Fame Poster
Another sign that playoffs might be a pipe dream in 2021…I think the Pats drew the short straw on the schedule. That “third place schedule” looks a lot harder than it did a few months ago that’s for sure. I think it’s the hardest in the division.

Cowboys, Browns, Chargers. All really good teams.
 

sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
This is the kind of win that I'm glad happened, but gave me only slightly more confidence than a loss.

2-3 with a rookie QB isn't that bad in a vacuum. But this team was bad all of 2020 and is under .500 now. Heck, the bad overall team play arguably goes back to late 2019. Mac Jones is ahead of schedule but still fundamentally a rookie. Everything else is treading water or backsliding. More than anything, there's still a fundamental sloppiness here that's getting tiresome.
 

borg

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Disappointed?

It's comments in this line of thought that sharpens the divide between posting personalities. Where seeming sadness is derived from the team's winning because they might get a worse draft pick after the season is over. Like the better draft pick is the goal of an NFL team. (especially puzzling given the other aspect that the entire team cant draft - "We want the team to lose to get a better draft pick that they'll end up mis-using"...wait...huh?)

I simply have no understanding of such an approach because it ultimately means rooting against the Patriots' success in the current season (which is why from my perspective I watch - to see the team play the game of football and hopefully succeed in doing it).

Especially living through the Rust year, the Grier GM years and other truly horrible Patriots iterations where BOTH on-field and team building aspects were terrible in concert where watching every game had zero joy because you knew before the coin flip that the Patriots probably had zero opportunity to win the game.
Exactly which word in "Win drops Pats draft order from #7 to #9 using tie breakers" denotes my "sadness" or "rooting"?

Sorry if relaying an updated stat triggers your delicate sensibilities.
Look away if such updates elicit memories of the darkest moments of your life.
 
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archstanton543

In the Starting Line-Up
Another sign that playoffs might be a pipe dream in 2021…I think the Pats drew the short straw on the schedule. That “third place schedule” looks a lot harder than it did a few months ago that’s for sure. I think it’s the hardest in the division.

Cowboys, Browns, Chargers. All really good teams.
Not to mention the super late Bye for the Pats and having to play a bunch of teams coming off theirs.
 

Rob0729

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It's time to take the training wheels off of Jones. I mean seriously, he easily works the ball down the field between the 20s throwing to longer short and intermediate routes and the second the Pats get into the red zone, McDaniels calls three straight screen passes?!? What is that?

I cannot blame that on Jones and that the Pats cannot trust him passing into the end zone because he has never had a chance to prove that he is a liability to do that. In fact, the few rare times he has thrown into the end zone, he has either thrown a TD or thrown the ball to places only his receiver had a chance to catch the ball like you would want from a QB.

As for the RBs, I think it is time to call Todd Gurley's agent. Gurley is no longer the dynamic RB who can dominate games. He is isn't even top 10 RB anymore. Possibly not even a top 15-20 RB. What he can be is one half of a dual headed RB tandem (assuming Harris isn't injured long term) who is a legitimate receiving threat especially on third downs.
 
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sb1

Hall of Fame Poster
It's time to take the training wheels off of Jones. I mean seriously, he easily works the ball down the field between the 20s throwing to longer short and intermediate routes and the second the Pats get into the red zone, McDaniels calls three straight screen passes?!? What is that?

I cannot blame that on Jones and that the Pats cannot trust him passing into the end zone because he has never had a chance to prove that he is a liability to do that. In fact, the few rare times he has thrown into the end zone, he has either thrown a TD or thrown the ball to places only his receiver had a chance to catch the ball like you would want from a QB.

As for the RBs, I think it is time to call Todd Gurley's agent. Gurley is no longer the dynamic RB who can dominate games. He is isn't even top 10 RB anymore. What he can be is one half of a dual headed RB tandem (assuming Harris isn't injured long term) who is a legitimate receiving threat especially on third downs.
Gurley has degenerative knee problems. There’s a reason why teams like the Ravens said no thanks. Pass.
 

SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
On the opposite end of the scale was the complete disappearance of Josh Uche. He was no where to be found of the defensive stat sheet, so I wondered if he was on the inactive list, but no, he dressed. I will be interested in seeing the snap count results later in the week. Uche has by FAR been my most disappointing player of the years so far.

Uche only played 14 snaps. But then Collins only played 3. :)

Interesting that Godchaux and Barmore each had 30.

 

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