Idle Thoughts - the AM edition

2020 Patriots Season:
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Dec 6th

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patfanken

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I was comfortable losing this game as long as it was fairly competitive and I saw improvement to the offense. I mean, no Gronk or DA, a hobbled Seabass, going down to play a good team, in a dome, who was the “desperate team”, and rarely loses at home. That’s a lot to expect from a team playing with 14 rookies and an offense in transition. So I didn’t set my expectations too high. Clearly I was mistaken. For 54 minutes the Pats were in complete control of a game I thought they’d have trouble keeping competitive, I might have to upgrade my goal of a 5-3 first half start. ;) …..And here we go

1. The defense went up against the first quality offense of the season, and passed. Probably worth a solid B to B+

2. The Secondary was the strong suite. It was the exception seeing a receiver wide open. I would say that a great majority of the Falcons receptions were highly contested by Pats DB’s Almost all of Gonsales’ catches were simply remarkable individual efforts, and the last long pass to Jones at the end of the game couldn’t have been covered any better.

With the exception of the Gregory miss on the first Gonzo TD, the tackling by the secondary was also excellent. No mega hits by this group, just good fundamental tackling.

3. The front 7 was also solid holding the Falcons to under 60 yds rushing while playing most of the game without Vince Wilfolk. The pass rush wasn’t horrible, but against a team playing without its starting LT, you’d think it would have been better, even though the rush was a fairly vanilla 4 man rush most of the time.

Jones had a few decent rushes, and Valano’s quick move on his sack was a thing of beauty. This was Rob Ninkovich’s most quiet game in the last 2 years. I hope all that new money in his pockets isn’t slowing him down.

4. On the offense, it was better. It was our first 30 point game. There were more “chunk yardage plays” and people were getting open. The most important improvement in my eyes was the Fact we vastly improved our average yards per completion to almost 16 ypc, and over 10 yards per attempt. Those would be big numbers last season.

5. The running game continues to look better every week. Its certainly more explosive that what we are used to. I should also mentioned that while Lagarrette Blount is not one of my favorite players, and anyone could have run through that hole on his TD run, I thought he ran the ball much harder tonight. Still not the pile pusher you’d like in a 250 lb RB, but improvement is improvement and should be acknowledged.

BTW - he definitely got screwed on that first down attempt. He was clearly over on the replay. Also did anyone else notice that when the side judge put his foot down to mark the spot, it seemed like when he put the ball down it was about 6 inches short of where his foot was.

6. Not to sound too much like a Jet fan, but the Pats were on the wrong side of several bad officiating calls. The bad call on that first down, the bad PI call on Talib, the non-call on the Jones push off, etc.

I would contend that Brady threw that 3rd down pass on the GL at Dobson just because it was so clear that Dobson was being tackled right in front of the ref

7. Like I said it was good to see us be throwing the ball deeper down field this year and getting improved results, but I still would like to see more passes to the TE’s and RB’s for some easy receptions.

8.Genreral thoughts on the weekend since I got to see some games before the Pats came on.

a. While I don’t want to slow the Peyton Manning crusade to sainthood, byr it should be noted that they HAVE played 3 of their first 4 games at home. And hat the Giants, Eagles and Skins are among the worst defenses in the league and the Ravens weren’t much better at the time.

b. BTW- its not gong to get much better in October either. In November they play a rough 4 game stretch against the Chiefs, Pats, Chiefs and Titans, all 4 have tough D’s. But before that there is very little that looks like they can slow Peyton down with the possible exception of the Colts

c. It will be frustrating to see how long the media pukes try to keep the “Gronk is ready but refuses to play” story. Even Florio has a post which set out all the rumors and then basically tells you that there isn’t much going on here.

I got some more thoughts, but its almost 3am and I’m having a tough time keeping awake. I’ll add more in the morning.
 

supafly

Suddenly sad and Brady-less
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I agree about the officiating.

I am not a fan of Walt Coleman, even though IIRC he was involved in the snow bowl game. I think Walt needs to fill out his retirement papers and spend precious time with his grandkids.
 

Kulko

Practice Squad Player
Totally Agree with your general sentiment, this was a test which would only need to compete against, and they passed with flying colors.


2. ...
With the exception of the Gregory miss on the first Gonzo TD, the tackling by the secondary was also excellent. No mega hits by this group, just good fundamental tackling.
Yep, I have been missing that soo much for the last few years. Surprising how easy the fundamentals are, when you can keep playing in your comfort zone.


3. The front 7 was also solid holding the Falcons to under 60 yds rushing while playing most of the game without Vince Wilfolk. The pass rush wasn’t horrible, but against a team playing without its starting LT, you’d think it would have been better, even though the rush was a fairly vanilla 4 man rush most of the time.
I am not sure, why you are so down on this, I felt they got pretty mice pressure all game long, with one of their biggest names outr for the game.


5. The running game continues to look better every week. Its certainly more explosive that what we are used to. I should also mentioned that while Lagarrette Blount is not one of my favorite players, and anyone could have run through that hole on his TD run, I thought he ran the ball much harder tonight. Still not the pile pusher you’d like in a 250 lb RB, but improvement is improvement and should be acknowledged.

BTW - he definitely got screwed on that first down attempt. He was clearly over on the replay. Also did anyone else notice that when the side judge put his foot down to mark the spot, it seemed like when he put the ball down it was about 6 inches short of where his foot was.
Well I think today he was actually playing pretty good all around. Most impotantly, all of our RB could have hit that hole, but only Blount has the closing speed to turn it into a touchdown. Ridley will get caught after 20 yards, as he has shown time and again. That doesn't make up for it, if he does not churn out the consistent yards, but lets give him credit where its due.

Also I do totally not understand the placement of that 3rd Down attempt. The Referee running into the picture from the lower left, had ot perfectly spotted with his foot and then he places it half a yrads backwards from there. And given what irrefutable evidence means in other decisions, I would guess they could have caught their mistake in the replay booth.
 

ewg_gestalt

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Also I do totally not understand the placement of that 3rd Down attempt. The Referee running into the picture from the lower left, had ot perfectly spotted with his foot and then he places it half a yrads backwards from there. And given what irrefutable evidence means in other decisions, I would guess they could have caught their mistake in the replay booth.

It makes more sense when you see their replay assistant:
 

DarrylS

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I'm tired and pleased, from my couch this D backs were much better than we have seen in the past... did not notice any blown coverages or DB's chasing down wide open WR's...

Thought the move towards the end of the game of double teaming Tony Gonzalez was brilliant, to not allow him to get off of the line of scrimmage we brilliant.. Jamie Collins and another player were involved in that....

Polian is gonna hear about this though, and can see another rule change coming..

Thompkins is making nice strides, Boyce was noticeable... Dobson seems to have lagged behind, but overall some nice route running...

Zudfield is more of a project than originally thought, not a bad win for this team with no "true" tight end...
 

Kulko

Practice Squad Player
Thought the move towards the end of the game of double teaming Tony Gonzalez was brilliant, to not allow him to get off of the line of scrimmage we brilliant.. Jamie Collins and another player were involved in that....

Polian is gonna hear about this though, and can see another rule change coming..
You might be right, but I doubt, its a valid long term strategy. Having a player double teamed by two guys, who can't even remotely help on other areas of the field comes with a steep price. And it should also be possible to wriggle out of that one with some pre-snap movement. Actually its pretty weak by the Falcons not to have tried to exploit this more, when they saw it the second time.
 

102 Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I agree about the officiating.

I am not a fan of Walt Coleman, even though IIRC he was involved in the snow bowl game. I think Walt needs to fill out his retirement papers and spend precious time with his grandkids.

With the Pats playing last night, it gave me a chance to watch a lot of the games yesterday and there were a lot of bad calls/no calls being made. One of my casual football friends even noticed this.
 

UK_Pat37

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
With the Pats playing last night, it gave me a chance to watch a lot of the games yesterday and there were a lot of bad calls/no calls being made. One of my casual football friends even noticed this.

Whilst I can't stand Suggs and his big mouth, did anyone think that call on him was a tad pathetic in the dying stages of their game against the Bills?

Manuel decided to wait a few seconds before taking the knee, Suggs went to take him down prior to the knee, his helmet (which clearly wasn't on tight enough) came off and he got flagged. Stupid call. Stupid Manuel for being a dumb rookie. If you're going to take a knee you take it and don't p*** about taking three steps back before doing it.
 

Brewskies

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Nice recap I concur with all the thoughts re: last nights game.

Improvement is happening.

Wilfork is a big loss.
 

pencilneckgeek

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I think the officiating was bad, but the bias wasn't that great. The PI call on Talib was legit, if tight. That's hard to see, but the ref saw it and called it. I'm Ok with that. The bad ones were that spot (it was close, but the wrong line judge marked it and should have known better), the hold on Dobson, and the non-fair catch interference call when the Atlanta gunner lowered his shoulder. (I expect to see a small fine levied for that last one.) It's not like Atlanta didn't get bad calls, too. The drive killing holding call against the Atlanta LT early on was BS, and there were others that I can't quite remember this morning, because I'm such a homer.

The one observation that seems to have been overlooked, because we're so spoiled:

TFB - :rocker:

Tom got comfortable back there and ran through his progressions, even when pressure was coming, and spread the ball around nicely. Those touchdown passes were brilliant - the inside out throw to Mulligan, the sweet lofty to Thompkins. That downfield throw to Edelman in the 3rd was pretty, too, although that's surely expected. I like the way he delivered the ball under pressure, too, which is not always the case. That ball to Boyce as he got lit-up was perfectly on the safe side of on-target and Boyce made the most of it. I even liked the way he shook-off pressure to heave it downfield to Thompkins on a first down, largely because KT made a great catch on what was a rather underthrown ball, but mostly because I liked his aggression and desire to take advantage of the opportunity presented when the kid had beat his man so badly.

KT obviously had a giant game, and the OL and TEs did as well. There were big holes from timely wham blocking and some nice outside runs, which means we won the battle on the edge. Ridley makes it easy on them though. The speed wth which he gets through the line is impressive. Even mediocre blocks are sometimes enough to spring him, because he hits to hole so quickly, once he makes his cut.
 

shmessy

Northern VA/Retired
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I know I sound like a broken record, Ken, but great stuff as always (I'll have to probably acronym that to GSAA from here on out!)

Now to a nitpick:

""... I might have to upgrade my goal of a 5-3 first half start."

Why do so many set the bar at the halfway point?

To me, the true border to rail is the BYE. My goal has been (and may now need to be upgraded also) 6-3 at the BYE.

Halfway means nothing.

The BYE after week 9 will be the true chasm between the early and the stretch run. THAT is when they'll pick up Vereen and (hopefully) get Armstead active - - not to mention some other moves with the self-scouting.
 
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Dagg

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
7. Like I said it was good to see us be throwing the ball deeper down field this year and getting improved results, but I still would like to see more passes to the TE’s and RB’s for some easy receptions.QUOTE]

Agree 100%. I mean we cant run one or 2 plays for sudfield to try and get his confidence up some simple TE routes? Bolden and Ridley can both catch it would be a great way to take some pressure off rookie wrs and edelman by doing so.
 

shmessy

Northern VA/Retired
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BTW, the 3rd and 19 completion to Thompkins was GREATNESS PERSONIFIED.
 

shmessy

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7. Like I said it was good to see us be throwing the ball deeper down field this year and getting improved results, but I still would like to see more passes to the TE’s and RB’s for some easy receptions.QUOTE]

Agree 100%. I mean we cant run one or 2 plays for sudfield to try and get his confidence up some simple TE routes? Bolden and Ridley can both catch it would be a great way to take some pressure off rookie wrs and edelman by doing so.

Hell, he even got a nice early completion and gain in to my personal whipping boy, Develin! :D

(....who STILL can't block worth a damn).
 
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patsfanboy

On the Game Day Roster
Although Thompkins had a good game, i have some issues the way he tries to catch the ball, i am not expert but it always seems clunky.

Disappointed we haven't seem much of Boyce yet, but he did show a few flashes, well relative to how many times he played.
 

patfanken

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Hell, he even got a nice early completion and gain in to my personal whipping boy, Develin! :D

(....who STILL can't block worth a damn).
I think throws like that are there for the taking almost every play. Notice how late he came to Devlin on that throw. He was like the 3rd of 4th receiver he looked at. Devlin was uncovered for a while before Brady went to him, and then surprisingly never did again. :eek:

With the Pats morphing into a physical run team, plays like that one will be open over and over again in the future. Its not a big deal right now, but down the road as the weather turns throwing to our running backs off of play action could be a real staple of our offense.
 

PatsDeb

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Thanks for the thoughts. Here were some of mine last night:

1. We have a down field passing game. Yay!!

2. What a great game to watch, start to finish. The Pats and Falcons gave football fans a good one.

3. Walt Coleman, we thought you were our friend! What horrible officiating! No call against the guy who intentionally launched himself into Edelman after he signaled fair catch?! (BS he was blocked into him - the Pats player pulled up). PI against Talib when the receiver held & shoved him?! At my house we were clapping because we were sure that was going to be offensive PI. What a joke. No call on the Dobson debacle? Two fouls committed there - held all the way and then shot to the head of a defenseless receiver, and when Brady complained - did you see the look of absolute confusion on the face of the line judge? DOOFUS. The spot, or lack thereof on the Blount 3rd down carry?! And a review confirming it?! Are you kidding me?! I even thought it looked like, in slow motion, that Boldin's knee was never down, just bent, before he launched himself into the endzone on his TD that was overturned (luckily we got it back 2 plays later).

The only paybacks we got were the personal foul call on the Thompkins reception (I didn't see any helmet to helmet or hit to the head - Thompkins managed to duck it) and the fact that the replay wasn't working on the challenge by BB, as that WAS a catch and we would have lost our time out.

4. Aqib Talib is the man. Great coverage on that last throw and an INT in a most needed spot.

5. Tough night on injuries. So sad to read this morning that Big Vince is likely done for the season. We'll miss him. And, how are Boldin & Dennard this morning? Go away injury bug.

That's all I have for now. So glad to get this win. I was actually never worried we wouldn't until Sudfeld muffed that on-side kick.
 

BradyFTW!

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2. The Secondary was the strong suite. It was the exception seeing a receiver wide open. I would say that a great majority of the Falcons receptions were highly contested by Pats DB’s Almost all of Gonsales’ catches were simply remarkable individual efforts, and the last long pass to Jones at the end of the game couldn’t have been covered any better.

It also illustrated McCourty's value, for anyone who doesn't see it yet. In years past, Jones would have walked in that touchdown with nobody within 5 yards of him. McCourty made him make a jaw-dropping catch and even then saved the touchdown.
 
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