Idle thoughts - the championship edtion

2020 Patriots Season:
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Dec 6th

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patfanken

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This one is going to be structure less. Just some disorganized observations that will help me digest what I just saw.

1. A family emergency caused me to miss the first half, and I'm sure that was one of the reasons my blood pressure remained so low. After looking at the stats and hearing about that first half, I image it must have been extremely frustrating, especially given how well the defense was playing.

2. I knew about the Brady pick, which after I saw a replay of it, wasn't as horrible as I thought. Coleman made a nice play on the ball, it gets deflected, and unfortunately falls right to the wrong guy. Deflections like that are usually what happens to the winning team. You just got to have them.

When the CJ Williams fumble just barely squeezed out of bounds before a Patriot could recover it, I got a bad feeling. Reminded me of the 2011 Superbowl, when the Giants fumbled 4 times and the only one we fell on was negated by a penalty. Usually fumbles are 50-50 affairs. THAT game would have changed if those odds had born out in 2011.

I thought before the game that we had pretty much gone the playoffs WITHOUT doing much in the TO battle. You don't often win playoff games losing the TO battle -2. like in KC. I had hoped that THIS game would mark a significant change. Instead right at the start of the game the Rams get a deflection TO when we were in FG range, and 2 plays later, Hightower makes a great move jumping a route, and drops the ball. Again, not a good trend.

3. I know how frustrated you guys must have been watching it because in the brief moments that I could catch some of the game on Radio, Zolak was getting really frustrated on the way the offense was going, making complaints about BOTH Brady and McDaniels.

4. In the end, much to my surprise (again) both the AFCCG and the Superbowl were games that the Pats should have won much more convincingly, but shot themselves in the foot enough times that they allowed the opponent to either stay in the game or get back into it. That is NOT usually a recipe for success when you are playing the best teams in the league.

5. OK raise your hand if you had 13-3 in the pool? :D Wow, what a slug fest. I was really impressed with the Rams DL. Michael Brockers doesn't get much national pub, but he made a number of significant plays for the Rams in this game. Granted they only had the one sack and 4 QB hits, but they definitely made Brady "feel" them for most of the night.

6. That being said, if you had told me the Pats would have 155 yds rushing, I would have expected the Pats to have won in a romp. Then again if you had told me the Pats would have 12 first downs in the first half to 2 for the Rams, I wouldn't expect the score to be 3-0 midway through the game.

7. The offense WAS moving the ball over the first 3 quarters, but never with anything like the consistency they did in the TD drive in the 4th quarter. It was about the only time the offense seemed to have had any kind of rhythm at all.

8. Speaking of that last TD drive. Brady has been to 9 superbowls and in EIGHT of them he has led his team to 4th Quarter drives that either won the game (in 6 occasions) or put his team ahead, only to have the defense fail to hold the lead. (sadly twice)

9. IIRC the Pats D was 7th in the league in points allowed, which is pretty good. But that being said, we NEVER saw the kind of pressure put on opposing QB's during the regular season that we witnessed over the course of these 3 playoff games.

I mean every was worried about Tom Brady's heath against their all star DL, while the no names not only sacked Goff 4 times, they got TWELVE hits on him. That was against an OL that allowed the fewest sacks in the regular season It was AWESOME. Not only that, the DL held the Rams to just 55 rushing yards, and literally half the 34 yards Todd Gurley managed came on a 16 yd run that looked like the Pats had covered at the hole, but a nice cutback by Gurley to go along with the backside over running the play allowed for the run. If not for that run, Gurley, one of the top RB's in the game would have averaged UNDER 2 yds per carry. :eek:

10. I was surprised to see that Brandon Gooks had 120 yds receiving. Pretty impressive since he was covered so closely all night. Most of the receptions he DID have required a really good throw and catch to make it happen. The only time I remember seeing him with any real space was when there was a bust and he was wide open in the endzone. Fortunately Jason McCourty came out of no where to make the play of the game.

11. BTW - Goff had a "respectable" 223 passing yard, but remember about 50 of them came in the complete garbage time of the last drive of the game. CBS did a great job of showing us how often the Pats had everyone covered. It sometime looked like the DB's and LBs knew the routes better than the receivers.

12. I was a bit worried with Chung went down, but we REALLY have a lot of quality depth in our secondary which is only going to get better next year with Jackson having a year under his belt and a healthy Duke Dawson joining JJones in a very talented deep secondary. (and no I don't believe Devon is retiring, though I wouldn't shock me if his brother did.

13. The Pats have gone through stretches during this run where they have been crushed by injuries. Imagine the kind of Game Brady would have had against the Eagles if Edelman was healthy and Cooks had played more than a quarter of the game. But THIS season might have been the best I can recall in the area of injuries.

14. I waited all year to see HIghtower make a real impact on the defense and earn that big money. Tonight he earned every penny.

15. I have to say that I was more impressed with Sony Michel in THIS game than I have been in any previous game, even when he put up more yds. The Rams front seven pretty much neutralized BOTH the Dallas and Saints running game in their 2 previous playoff games. Tonight Sony averaged 5.2 ypc on 18 carries. And these were HARD yards.

In previous posts I commented that Michel doesn't impress you as big back, or a quick back like Deion Lewis, who makes people miss. But what I noticed and it was confirmed tonight was that Michel finds the hole. To me he doesn't have first round size, power, or elusiveness. But what he DOES have is first round "eyes". He is EXCELLENT at finding the hole and maximizing whatever yards are there. I think next season we will see him integrated more in the passing game and he will become even more valuable.

16. I think we have seen the last game here for Hogan, Claybourn, and Shelton. I actually see Gronk coming back, though it wouldn't surprise if he hangs it up. At best we keep Flowers or Brown, not both. It will be interesting on who they end up choosing to keep. If you could only keep one, who would YOU pick?

17. Miguel has the Pats roughly at $20MM under the cap. I can see another $15MM or so added to that number before FA. That's not a lot of room compared to some teams, but enough to begin building next year's group.

18. With 12 picks currently, this can be a seminal year for the Pats in the draft, much like 2010 was in building this latest iteration. I can see a significantly rebuilt WR group.

19 Amazing, but Tuesday's parade will mark the TWELVETH such event for the City of Boston since 2001. I can't imagine how the city is managing they current drought of about 100 DAYS. ;) Talk about being spoiled. Its like EVERY year, EVERY major sport is either winning a championship of competing for one in the playoffs. I know I have lost any perspective of what it must be like to live somewhere OTHER than the greater Boston area.

20. The fans at the game in Atlanta were LOUD. I mean, affecting the other team loud. You don't see that happening much in Superbowls. Very impressive.

You know for a team that everyone else in the country is supposed to hate, we have a LOT of fans across the country. Tom Brady's shirt is almost always one of the top 10 best sellers. I mean, think about it. Everyone has had 18 years to buy their Brady shirt. You would think that everyone who wanted one would have it already....years ago. Yet every year Brady is one of the best sellers. Maybe the haters are buying his shirt to throw Darts at. ;).

21. I hope there is a rewatch thread. I'd like to figure out just what the Rams were doing to disrupt the Pats early one, AND investigate what the Pats did to shut down the Rams so completely.

22. After watching that game, I have a feeling Miami fans are VERY excited to see Brian Flores coming to town. I just wish Romo mentioned his importance to the defense strategy more. I also wish we had another year or two of him being the DC.

23. Always love to read what the draftnicks have to say about the Pats prospect. But I have to say that because the Pats are always picking so low it takes away from the draft because you know that so few of the players that will get talked about, will NEVER reach the Pats. Though this year (as last) it will be interesting to try and figure out which QB prospect the Pats will bring in.

OK. I hit the 2am limit, Congratulations to us all. What an amazing run that shows no signs of slowing down. What a privilege to be a fan of this team, and in a community of people like yourselves.
 

luuked

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t best we keep Flowers or Brown, not both. It will be interesting on who they end up choosing to keep. If you could only keep one, who would YOU pick?

I dont think this is a question. Always go with Flowers over Brown.

After watching that game, I have a feeling Miami fans are VERY excited to see Brian Flores coming to town. I just wish Romo mentioned his importance to the defense strategy more

In the end this was BBs defense. Flores will be a good hire just based on his personality and as a culture builder. But whether he can come up with gameplans like that and instill them in his players on his own we shall see next September.
 

DarrylS

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As I peruse the press this AM there seems to be consensus that this was the most boring SB eva!! I spent the game literally on the edge of my seat, hacking away at my fingernails, not sure what game they were talking about..

This was one of the best defensive efforts I have seen from the Pats in a long time, now that I think about it all 3 games in the "Tournament" were stellar defensive efforts.. so many defensive players who played well.. Goff turned into a "deer in the headlights" for most of the game.

We even caught them with too many players on the field, the Rams had to have known that was coming..

I remember after the KC shootout with the Rams, Bertram queried " Can the Patriots play this type of football??" Yes Mark they can as they defeated both the Chiefs and Rams. Of course Zolak was silent as if to just walk away..

One of the overall best coached efforts by the Pats that I can remember.. there were some faux pas by the Pats, but they made up for it.

LA had 9 punts... that is a good barometer of how well the D played.

Did not know a lot about Brian Flores prior to this most recent run, but know much more about him now.. good luck to him and his family, this is life changing money for him and his family.

There are so many storylines that make me like this team more and more, we are lucky as fans to make this team personalized to the point that we know so much about them and how good these men really are. Really impressed with the wives of the McCourty's last week, their video was telling..

I thought there would have been more points scored.. but another reason why I do not gamble as I am a terrible prognosticator..

Pinch me again, after so many years of futility I am more than pleased with what happened last night.. I still remember the 80's and 90's when I would go to work and there would be all the fans of other teams with their team colors on "puff Starter coats", there was no Pats gear in those days and many home games were blacked out. FU to all those who made snyde comments about being a Pats fan, and another big FU to all those who thought I was a "degenerate" gambler as I would listen to the Pats games on my Sony Walkman.. another reason why I liked Gil Santos so much.. Enjoy this ride, enjoy this moment.. it has been better than I ever could imagine.. Amen.
 
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BaconGrundleCandy

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Flowers > Brown w/out question.

2 guys I'd like to mention that don't get nearly enough credit.

Thuney, I've been on this train since day 1. Had an unbelievable pull on a big Sony run. Always there on help. Probably our best combo blocking G & most consistent OL'm. His best year by far. Again I'd say our most consistent OL'm from a technique standpoint.

KVN. Like to say he had a great game. He did. But hes been doing this all year. Setting the edge, flowing to the sidelines, filling gaps to force a - play, flying to the QB, sometimes dropping. He's consistently been on the edge keeping his outside shoulder clean at < 255 I believe. Dude is such a hard worker. Had such a nose for the ball in college. Really happy to see him become a key cog on a championship team.

Unbelievable game plan by BB/Flores & Wade. Nothing wrong at all w giving Wade credit. He called an amazing game too. Moving Suh around which they did all year. Zone/Man looks, some pattern matching, that defense came ready & prepared. Seems like a genuinely good guy as well.

Best defensive performance all year & in some time. JMC made the play of the game.

Can't wait to dig into this one.
 

Doctor DDS

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  • I think the Brady did not play well narrative is overblown - not his best game but Rams defense blanketed everyone not named Edelman. Do not recall many missed throws on open receivers. His throws to Gronk were incredible and he led the team to 10 points when it mattered most.
  • The more aggressive defensive game plans at the end of the season really changed things up and highlighted the exceptional secondary.
  • The ability to run it down their throat from own 4 yard line and basically run out the clock was a thing of beauty and a shining moment for Fears and Scar.
  • Games like this make me realize that pre-game analysis is basically useless. What happened throughout the season rarely seems to come true in the Super Bowl.
  • Brady - 30-10 (.750) record in post season is insane. Has same number of wins as Montana (16) and one of Elway/Bradshaw/Manning (14) combined. As many Super Bowl wins as Steelers franchise and more than any other team.
 

borg

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Quarters 1-3 felt like a long torturous root canal. Tedious, Painful, helpless, ....but when it was over, we have a shiny new tooth and a brand new toothbrush.
My Patriot hater friends were unrelenting for 3 quarters with the usual biased schtick.....but then the commentary abruptly stopped. Perfect

The game: In my mind, LA's fortunes rested on Gurley and I never once believed Gurley was healthy enough to impact this game. And a few hours before the game it was announced that Gurley would split reps.......boom.......he wasn't healthy enough and NE had a major advantage.
And maybe I'm reading too much into the subtle signals emanating from NE......extreme confidence, cancelled walk throughs, relaxed atmosphere, etc.....but I have to believe NE was well aware of Gurley's true condition. Few secrets last in the NFL (outside NE of course)
In my mind I also felt LA's front four play would cause Brady big problems similar to Baltimore and the NYG back in the day. I also feared Talib who is such a great shut down corner. The lack of WR weapons for NE was certainly on display last night.

It was an ugly dog fight but we all knew NE was going to have an offensive breakthrough eventually....and Brady connected on two amazing plays with the Gronk, ultimately sealing the deal.

Bullet point thoughts:
NE lucked out playing the overwhelmed Rams. Brees would never have shrunk like Goff did.
Hogan has to go. All season, the man only got open on broken plays.
Trent Brown...I apologize. Early in the season I labelled you an inept Baby Huey proving once again my lack of everything. The question now becomes: How much $$$? This guy likely doubled his value in a few short months.
Enshrine Dante in the Pats HOF this offseason ...and never let him leave the building.
Gronk is done: You don't declare a decision will be made in a few weeks without knowing it's over. Players on the fence would wait as long as possible. Hope I'm wrong as usual.
Older fans likely still feel the sting of losing to the great '85 Bears and their arguably best ever defense. The vaunted Bears D gave up 10 points in that SB......the 2018 Pats D bested them. I get some satisfaction out of this.
Well done Ghost.....I didn't have complete faith....till after the kick :)
Pats punt team was spectacular...across the board. Little things that add up.
Big money for Gilmore, Butler exits....BB gets it right....again
And lastly....It was awesome to have NE's defense be the story of SB 53. In this era of pinball offense, NE's D ***** slapped their playoff opponents in 10 of 12 quarters this postseason. I never saw this coming. Well done boys.

As a fan, my second most satisfying SB after 2001.
Three point wins are awesome....but this team clearly demonstrated it was the far superior team...both on the field and on scoreboard.
One team caused the other team to be inept. No gray area on this one.
 
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Gwedd

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I was having Deja Vu sessions all through that game. I saw it as a bookend to the 1st SB in 2001.

That year, we played the Rams after going 11-5, and everyone thinking that the "Greatest Show on Turf" would disassemble the Pats. Didn't happen. Pats won.

This year? New England goes 11-5, people saying the "Dynasty" is dying. The Pats play the Rams, and win.

Seeing Chung go down with a right arm injury (likely broken) gave me flashbacks to Rodney Harrison having his arm broken.

I am so looking forward to seeing how this team rebuilds itself.
 

reflexblue

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As I peruse the press this AM there seems to be consensus that this was the most boring SB eva!! I spent the game literally on the edge of my seat, hacking away at my fingernails, not sure what game they were talking about..

This was one of the best defensive efforts I have seen from the Pats in a long time, now that I think about it all 3 games in the "Tournament" were stellar defensive efforts.. so many defensive players who played well.. Goff turned into a "deer in the headlights" for most of the game.

We even caught them with too many players on the field, the Rams had to have known that was coming..

I remember after the KC shootout with the Rams, Bertram queried " Can the Patriots play this type of football??" Yes Mark they can as they defeated both the Chiefs and Rams. Of course Zolak was silent as if to just walk away..

One of the overall best coached efforts by the Pats that I can remember.. there were some faux pas by the Pats, but they made up for it.

LA had 9 punts... that is a good barometer of how well the D played.

Did not know a lot about Brian Flores prior to this most recent run, but know much more about him now.. good luck to him and his family, this is life changing money for him and his family.

There are so many storylines that make me like this team more and more, we are lucky as fans to make this team personalized to the point that we know so much about them and how good these men really are. Really impressed with the wives of the McCourty's last week, their video was telling..

I thought there would have been more points scored.. but another reason why I do not gamble as I am a terrible prognosticator..

Pinch me again, after so many years of futility I am more than pleased with what happened last night.. I still remember the 80's and 90's when I would go to work and there would be all the fans of other teams with their team colors on "puff Starter coats", there was no Pats gear in those days and many home games were blacked out. FU to all those who made snyde comments about being a Pats fan, and another big FU to all those who thought I was a "degenerate" gambler as I would listen to the Pats games on my Sony Walkman.. another reason why I liked Gil Santos so much.. Enjoy this ride, enjoy this moment.. it has been better than I ever could imagine.. Amen.
They're wrong, like you said the game was close right thill the end, the 'boring' super bowls were the ones that were totally lop-sideded with scores such as 46-10.
 

sb1

Pro Bowl Player
The pick was a tip ball. Brady has a lot of those this season. Didn’t care for the play call as the Rams hadn’t figured out yet how to stop the ground game - they did shortly after that but still. Oh well :)
 

mosi

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I really wonder how much of that game was Flores. That is the defense we have wanted to see in a SB for the last 18 years. Just amazing.
 

1960Pats

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On the topic of bounces, it sure looked like the Rams were getting them. Even their punts were rolling along for 20-30 yards after they landed.

I don't get to say this often enough but... de-FENSE, de-FENSE, de-FENSE.

I wonder if Brady is already working on next year. We know that Bill and Ernie are.

NOW the season is over.

The biggest drive of them all was the clincher at the end and it was successful because of the running game. It's difficult for a team to run the ball like that when the opponent knows it's coming.

They weren't seriously considering going for it on 4th down rather than kick the clinching FG with a minute left, were they?

Now that the game is over it looks like the non-call in the NFC title game helped us. I just don't believe that Brees would have folded the way Goff did.

If the Boston sports teams continue the run they're on then the DPW will need to repair the roads that are used for the parade.

Speaking of the parade, looking at the weather forecast for this week tells me that Mother Nature is a Pats fan.
 

luuked

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I think the Brady did not play well narrative is overblown - not his best game but Rams defense blanketed everyone not named Edelman. Do not recall many missed throws on open receivers. His throws to Gronk were incredible and he led the team to 10 points when it mattered most.

That one vintage drive with the 2 beautiful Gronk passes sandwiched between an Edelman reception was the only thing that separated Brady from the same level of ineffectiveness as Goff last evening.

He had a bad day dealing with Wade's defense and I don't think there is any reason not to acknowledge that. That being said at some point him and McDaniels finally found a mix (the 22 personnel against a tired Rams defense) that gave them the mismatches they were looking for and then he feasted. And this is what makes him such a dangerous QB to play against. You can almost gameplan the entirety of the matchup perfectly but he can rip your heart out at any point if he finds the right mismatch.
 

The Brandon Five

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I dont think this is a question. Always go with Flowers over Brown.



In the end this was BBs defense. Flores will be a good hire just based on his personality and as a culture builder. But whether he can come up with gameplans like that and instill them in his players on his own we shall see next September.
The contrast with Matty P's defense from last year couldn't have been more stark.
 
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