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Content Post Idle thoughts: The "and this is why you DON'T play not to lose" edition

2021 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: at Bills
Pick Results: NE: 82.7% at BUF: 17.3%

Mon
Dec 6th

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:
This has an opening post with good commentary and information, which we definitely recommend reading.

Nunchucks

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By your logic if they went for 4th downs, they would be 4-2 with wins over 2 SB contenders, and an uncharacteristic fumble away from 5-1 and therefore a good team who shouldn’t have to go for it because they are a good team.
I dont know if they would make those 4th downs. I just know that not going for it would result in a loss, which it did.
 

VJCPatriot

Pro Bowl Player
What??!?!? We don't have more than a handful of plays with 2 TE sets?!?!?! Did BB just say that?

Then why did we load up on huge contracts for 2 TEs this offseason?!? Can someone explain?

One possibility is that Hunter Henry was the main target. But the Patriots put out two offers to the top two TEs in the free agent class. By the time Henry agreed, the ink was already dry on the Jonnu Smith contract. Thus the Pats shelled out 90m for tight ends instead of 45m. It seems like a horrible mismanagement of cap resources if this is what actually happened. I'm sure there's a rational explanation though...
 

Ring 6

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One possibility is that Hunter Henry was the main target. But the Patriots put out two offers to the top two TEs in the free agent class. By the time Henry agreed, the ink was already dry on the Jonnu Smith contract. Thus the Pats shelled out 90m for tight ends instead of 45m. It seems like a horrible mismanagement of cap resources if this is what actually happened. I'm sure there's a rational explanation though...
We play both TEs a lot. The propaganda about limited plays was referring to a lineup with 2 TE, Harry a FB and a RB.
It wasn’t used more because it was a gimmick
 

Sciz

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What??!?!? We don't have more than a handful of plays with 2 TE sets?!?!?! Did BB just say that?

Then why did we load up on huge contracts for 2 TEs this offseason?!? Can someone explain?
They're specifically talking about 22 personnel, which includes two tight ends, two running backs, and just one wide receiver. They have tons of plays for 12 personnel (a second WR in place of the FB) because that was their base offense for a while, but 22 has been significantly more limited. They ran 17 plays out of 22 personnel on Sunday, which is more than some recent entire seasons.
 

venecol

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What in the AF is that supposed to mean?
It's baffling because it was working and they abandoned what was working.

"The Patriots also mixed in some 12 personnel (1RB, 2TE, 2WR) on their second possession and 21 personnel (2RB, 1TE, 2WR) on their third. The Cowboys struggled to stop all three.

Over their first two possessions, the Patriots ran seven consecutive plays out of two-tight end sets. On those plays, they averaged 13.4 yards per play and scored two touchdowns. They stayed heavier on their third drive, running two plays out of 22 personnel, two in 12, one in 21 (a “pony” look with Stevenson and Brandon Bolden on the field together) and one in 11 — the three-receiver set that has been the team’s most frequently used personnel grouping this season."

But after that third series ended with a Randy Gregory strip-sack and a punishing hit on quarterback Mac Jones, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels abandoned what had been working early in the game. The Patriots ran 12 of their next 15 plays out of 11 personnel, and their offense stalled, generating just one first down over a span of five possessions."

 

venecol

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This article explains the multiple failures on the 3rd & 25 that led to game tying FG. Zeke was wide open on that play, easy TD. Pats D played poorly in the biggest moments. The secondary can't cover good receivers. Terrible play call by Lil Steven. He needs to get demoted!

 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
It's baffling because it was working and they abandoned what was working.

"The Patriots also mixed in some 12 personnel (1RB, 2TE, 2WR) on their second possession and 21 personnel (2RB, 1TE, 2WR) on their third. The Cowboys struggled to stop all three.

Over their first two possessions, the Patriots ran seven consecutive plays out of two-tight end sets. On those plays, they averaged 13.4 yards per play and scored two touchdowns. They stayed heavier on their third drive, running two plays out of 22 personnel, two in 12, one in 21 (a “pony” look with Stevenson and Brandon Bolden on the field together) and one in 11 — the three-receiver set that has been the team’s most frequently used personnel grouping this season."

But after that third series ended with a Randy Gregory strip-sack and a punishing hit on quarterback Mac Jones, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels abandoned what had been working early in the game. The Patriots ran 12 of their next 15 plays out of 11 personnel, and their offense stalled, generating just one first down over a span of five possessions."


Exactly. oc reverted back to crappy spread shotgun after the first 10 scripted plays were done. Started off red hot in 2TE offense and then moved it away from it for no reason, did nothing on offense the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Jonnu and Henry only played together 3 snaps out of 22 snaps in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, when they went 3 and out about 5 straight times and messed up the defense's stamina.

.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
This article explains the multiple failures on the 3rd & 25 that led to game tying FG. Zeke was wide open on that play, easy TD. Pats D played poorly in the biggest moments. The secondary can't cover good receivers. Terrible play call by Lil Steven. He needs to get demoted!


I also thought that McCourty played Way Too Deep... He should not have taken even one fukcing step beyond the line to gain... Prescott would've either looked elsewhere (Elliot) or thrown an INC/INT.
 

Biffins

In the Starting Line-Up
They're specifically talking about 22 personnel, which includes two tight ends, two running backs, and just one wide receiver. They have tons of plays for 12 personnel (a second WR in place of the FB) because that was their base offense for a while, but 22 has been significantly more limited. They ran 17 plays out of 22 personnel on Sunday, which is more than some recent entire seasons.

Well why didn't they run more 12 then? How come the two TEs were almost never on the field together again? Point still stands
 

PatsFanInVa

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Can someone explain this quote to me? Zurleins range seems like it would be an argument to go for it. Or is bill saying they just conceded the game?
I think he was saying we punted because they have a longer field if we punt, but if we go on 4th and 3 and don't get it, it's pretty much game over man.

(Edit - oops, I thought I saw Ken said the same thing, but I dont think so.)

[it is incorrect to assume] we should all be filled w righteous rage about that 4th and 3. That's giving a gassed D no room for error not just late in the game, but in OT, if you go for it and fail.

Also agree with @amfootball that Mac has the same type of escapability as we've been accustomed to. He'll move in the pocket and subtly move the pocket at his best. He's not taking off running if that's the idea.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I think Mac has shown a lot of promise but people seem to ignore the bad completely and focus on the good. I keep seeing this "let him open it up" talk but I don’t think that is the answer. He still makes a lot of mental mistakes like most rookies so I don't know how just letting him go out there and sling the ball all over the place is going to be beneficial.
I agree, that's been my main point too. Look at the Boys game, you could tell he was having a lot of trouble deciphering the defensive looks.
 

PatsFanInVa

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I'd say one of the weaker analyses of the year, might want to wait a couple more hours next time.

1. Pats are 2-4. It is what it is.
so far so good
2. Pats offense only ran 50 plays, Cowboys ran 82 plays. Cowboys had 40 minutes time of possession. The Pats offense went 3 and out, about 5 straight possessions which really left the Pats defense out to dry. Pats defense held the Cowboys to only 10 points in the first half which is fantastic. Poor complementary football by the Pats offense led to defense getting exhausted and giving up the most passing yards ever by a BB defense.
"Poor complementary football" LOL... so they should only score to complement the D? Just messin' with ya. Yeah, the O wasn't chewing up clock and spelling them. Or actually on the field.
3. OLine wasn't horrendous but Cajuste got posterized and then Wynn got posterized. Keep Herron at LT and Onwenu at RT. And stop swapping tackles mid-game for 6 straight games. Harris ran for 100 yards and team had 2 rushing TDs.
I dont think we disagree here, although I think we should say Cajust got Cajusted. If one whole defensive line's players are having a field day it is legit to call them The Cajustment Bureau. If he ends up having to team-friendly restructure it's a cost of living Cajustment.
4. Bentley and Mills were torched all game long. Bentley's tackle numbers are inflated, can't cover anybody till after they catch it. Mills was torched all game long.
Ok
5. Only 4 total targets to tight ends. After the first 10 scripted plays that try to get TEs involved and a balanced run attack, team always lazily reverts back to spread shotgun. OC has zero clue how to use Jonnu, plays Jonnu like a FB.
Here we're getting into the tactical decisions that I think we only think we get (the constant drumbeat about playcalling.) You can literally look down a list of cognitive biases and find half a dozen with every playcalling complaint. Hey, we're humans, and worse yet, we're fans, which derives from a description predictive of logical fallacies. I mean, it's enough to say "4 targets to TEs." Okay. You would have liked more. What receiver wouldn't you target and when? Wait I know N'Keal Harry and Nelson Ahlgolong, ever.

Okay so is your thesis to reduce by two guys the receiving corps, throw those balls to the TEs, and forget the spread sets? Is it your belief that Jonnu Smith is some kind of transformational talent? Henry is getting a little more love, including the TD throw. I'm just interested why 9% of the plays isn't enough for the TE targets. Or what, do you think every TE is Gronk? We double dipped in FA, and I don't think they're there for show, at what they cost. They're signed on for I believe 3 and 4 years respectively. Henry's got a TD in each of the last 3 games, so despite your complaint, by that measure we're making pretty good, if economic, use of him. (Not of Smith, granted.)

On the Harry point - was that some attempt to test whether he's actually on the roster for a reason or something? Apparently Mac could be heard telling him "You've got the out route." I didn't hear that, if it was audible on the broadcast, but it's not like I was glued to every play. So I read that ex post facto. That's embarrassing. Bring back Chad Jackson.

Ahlgolong is worth bringing along. Jacobi Meyers is money as is Bourne. Mac's got targets, including at least 1 of the TEs.
6. Team misses an elite CB1. No BB defense ever did much without being able to play physical cover man1. The moment you see the CBs play 10 yards off the ball it's like deja vu for 2005, 2009 lost seasons. JJones is a slot CB, JC is good but maybe not a true CB1, and if Mills is your CB2 then the secondary can be attacked.

.
Yeah I hate that we came in 3rd or 4th in the division, lost more games than we won, and missed the playoffs in 05 and 09. Wait that's right, that's just what a "lost season" is to every other fanbase in the NFL. Oh shut up (just on that "lost seasons" point).

So our most recent messiah CB wasn't a messiah CB by the time we traded him. Okay I'm with you, we "need" an elite shutdown CB, although I'd put it more in the category of "can't have a great D without a shutdown guy." Sorry but you don't get to "need" an "elite" guy. I mean, everybody else wants the elite guys too, that's why they're elite. There's a cap, there's free agency. You can beat the league to some best personnel outcomes, just not all of them.

So yeah, put the elite shutdown guy on the wish list. I would not be too sure we won't look back at Jones or Jackson after their departure and moan about how we need a CB like X, but nobody was covering himself in glory by the end of the Cowboys' 40 minutes of possession this game. I was particularly unhappy with Meek Mills but who wasn't.

I mean, it was a night when you're pleased that your QB is coming along, with his 2 TD, 1 int. (cough pick six cough cough) 225 yard effort, and yes, we have ourselves a decent NFL quarterback. But in terms of a GREAT QB, he ain't one, yet. He might be one day, just not now. So you look across the field and you see Dak with 440+ passing yards and you go, okay, Maybe one day. I do anyway. I think you look at him and think some Josh McD ordered him bound in chains with a vulture perpetually pecking out his liver.

Reality? Right now, there might be more pick 6s where the ones we've seen come from. We only see what we wish the guy were doing and we hypothesize some antagonist keeping our hero from succeeding.

I can just see McDaniels saying "holy crap look at what this Dropkick Flutie guy is saying, they'll tear Mac apart if we give him too many chances to F up."

Seriously, I had high hopes of squeaking into the playoffs. Sad to say, I don't think we're there yet.

that saddens me. The expectations and the blame game annoy me sometimes, because people phrase everything as some undeniable absolute. It's mainly just wahhhhhhhh what I wanted to happen didn't happen... whose FAULT is it! Get him!
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
so far so good

"Poor complementary football" LOL... so they should only score to complement the D? Just messin' with ya. Yeah, the O wasn't chewing up clock and spelling them. Or actually on the field.

I dont think we disagree here, although I think we should say Cajust got Cajusted. If one whole defensive line's players are having a field day it is legit to call them The Cajustment Bureau. If he ends up having to team-friendly restructure it's a cost of living Cajustment.

Ok

Here we're getting into the tactical decisions that I think we only think we get (the constant drumbeat about playcalling.) You can literally look down a list of cognitive biases and find half a dozen with every playcalling complaint. Hey, we're humans, and worse yet, we're fans, which derives from a description predictive of logical fallacies. I mean, it's enough to say "4 targets to TEs." Okay. You would have liked more. What receiver wouldn't you target and when? Wait I know N'Keal Harry and Nelson Ahlgolong, ever.

Okay so is your thesis to reduce by two guys the receiving corps, throw those balls to the TEs, and forget the spread sets? Is it your belief that Jonnu Smith is some kind of transformational talent? Henry is getting a little more love, including the TD throw. I'm just interested why 9% of the plays isn't enough for the TE targets. Or what, do you think every TE is Gronk? We double dipped in FA, and I don't think they're there for show, at what they cost. They're signed on for I believe 3 and 4 years respectively. Henry's got a TD in each of the last 3 games, so despite your complaint, by that measure we're making pretty good, if economic, use of him. (Not of Smith, granted.)

On the Harry point - was that some attempt to test whether he's actually on the roster for a reason or something? Apparently Mac could be heard telling him "You've got the out route." I didn't hear that, if it was audible on the broadcast, but it's not like I was glued to every play. So I read that ex post facto. That's embarrassing. Bring back Chad Jackson.

Ahlgolong is worth bringing along. Jacobi Meyers is money as is Bourne. Mac's got targets, including at least 1 of the TEs.

Yeah I hate that we came in 3rd or 4th in the division, lost more games than we won, and missed the playoffs in 05 and 09. Wait that's right, that's just what a "lost season" is to every other fanbase in the NFL. Oh shut up (just on that "lost seasons" point).

So our most recent messiah CB wasn't a messiah CB by the time we traded him. Okay I'm with you, we "need" an elite shutdown CB, although I'd put it more in the category of "can't have a great D without a shutdown guy." Sorry but you don't get to "need" an "elite" guy. I mean, everybody else wants the elite guys too, that's why they're elite. There's a cap, there's free agency. You can beat the league to some best personnel outcomes, just not all of them.

So yeah, put the elite shutdown guy on the wish list. I would not be too sure we won't look back at Jones or Jackson after their departure and moan about how we need a CB like X, but nobody was covering himself in glory by the end of the Cowboys' 40 minutes of possession this game. I was particularly unhappy with Meek Mills but who wasn't.

I mean, it was a night when you're pleased that your QB is coming along, with his 2 TD, 1 int. (cough pick six cough cough) 225 yard effort, and yes, we have ourselves a decent NFL quarterback. But in terms of a GREAT QB, he ain't one, yet. He might be one day, just not now. So you look across the field and you see Dak with 440+ passing yards and you go, okay, Maybe one day. I do anyway. I think you look at him and think some Josh McD ordered him bound in chains with a vulture perpetually pecking out his liver.

Reality? Right now, there might be more pick 6s where the ones we've seen come from. We only see what we wish the guy were doing and we hypothesize some antagonist keeping our hero from succeeding.

I can just see McDaniels saying "holy crap look at what this Dropkick Flutie guy is saying, they'll tear Mac apart if we give him too many chances to F up."

Seriously, I had high hopes of squeaking into the playoffs. Sad to say, I don't think we're there yet.

that saddens me. The expectations and the blame game annoy me sometimes, because people phrase everything as some undeniable absolute. It's mainly just wahhhhhhhh what I wanted to happen didn't happen... whose FAULT is it! Get him!

I appreciate the time you put into this.

.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
They ran 17 plays out of 22 personnel on Sunday, which is more than some recent entire seasons.
Watching through again an additional reason they morphed wasn't just being "out of plays"; it was keeping either or both a TE and a RB in to block (not just run, also pass). Many times it wasn't chip and go either, it was max protect with only the WRs in patterns.

The OL remains the Achilles heel of the team. When they play well - the entire team plays well, when they don't - less than zero offense and a whipped defense on the field way too long to be effective.
 

203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I agree, that's been my main point too. Look at the Boys game, you could tell he was having a lot of trouble deciphering the defensive looks.
I haven't loved all of the play calling this year but I like the approach they're taking with Mac. I would rather be conservative and maybe end up losing a few close games than take the Jets approach with Kyle Wilson and just have him chucking the ball all over the field and end up in a hole because he throws 2-3 picks. Mac looks like a rookie at times but I think he shows some poise and we have already seen how tough he is with some of the huge hits he's taken this season. I think we definitely have someone to build around but Bill is going to need to draft better to get the right pieces together on offense.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I haven't loved all of the play calling this year but I like the approach they're taking with Mac. I would rather be conservative and maybe end up losing a few close games than take the Jets approach with Kyle Wilson and just have him chucking the ball all over the field and end up in a hole because he throws 2-3 picks. Mac looks like a rookie at times but I think he shows some poise and we have already seen how tough he is with some of the huge hits he's taken this season. I think we definitely have someone to build around but Bill is going to need to draft better to get the right pieces together on offense.

I think they already have the makings of a really good offense, just need to shore up the Oline a bit, but even that group is starting to come together. I don't know that they need much more than one or two pieces on offense to be great once Mac has a full year under his belt.

Defense on the other hand is a different story, there's a lot of holes at inside linebacker, DMac at safety will probably need to be replaced next year or the year after, the Dline needs another good playmaker, and the secondary is not playing to the level it should be. I'm way more concerned about defense than offense.

I agree with you too about being competitive. I mean, every game has been a really down to the wire loss except for the Saints. Mac is making strides and it's only a matter of time before he starts making plays for game winning drives. Also, his RB"s really failed him the first few losses.
 

203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I think they already have the makings of a really good offense, just need to shore up the Oline a bit, but even that group is starting to come together. I don't know that they need much more than one or two pieces on offense to be great once Mac has a full year under his belt.

Defense on the other hand is a different story, there's a lot of holes at inside linebacker, DMac at safety will probably need to be replaced next year or the year after, the Dline needs another good playmaker, and the secondary is not playing to the level it should be. I'm way more concerned about defense than offense.
I think they need a legitimate number one receiver which would push the other guys down the depth chart to more appropriate spots and I agree shore up the line like you said. I also agree about the defense because it looks like it will need an almost complete overhaul as far as the starters go. We need to start seeing more snaps for Uche, Wino (now on IR for at least 3 weeks), and even Perkins. Get Wade some reps and see if Dugger can actually develop into a guy who can cover. The tail end of this season needs to be dedicated to seeing which young guys on defense will be part of the equation moving forward and less about trying to sneak out another win to make it 7 instead of 6.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I think they need a legitimate number one receiver which would push the other guys down the depth chart to more appropriate spots and I agree shore up the line like you said. I also agree about the defense because it looks like it will need an almost complete overhaul as far as the starters go. We need to start seeing more snaps for Uche, Wino (now on IR for at least 3 weeks), and even Perkins. Get Wade some reps and see if Dugger can actually develop into a guy who can cover. The tail end of this season needs to be dedicated to seeing which young guys on defense will be part of the equation moving forward and less about trying to sneak out another win to make it 7 instead of 6.
if they can start a run with the Jets this weekend, I want to see them play their hearts out for the rest of the season. If they lose 2 of their next 3 games. I'm on board with your idea.

On the number one receiver, I don't know. I think Mac will have the Brady like ability to recognize the coverage and get the ball to the open guy.
 

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