2020 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: at Chargers
Pick Results: NE: 0% at LAC: 0%

Sun
Dec 6th

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:
Status
Not open for further replies.

patfanken

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Well that one was interesting. Maybe not as interesting as a lot of other games this week, but in a parochial sense there is a lot to talk about annual Buffalo beat down in Foxboro. Same old beat down, but with a lot of different moving parts.

1. General Offensive Observations - Kind of sucked again, at least for what we are used to seeing for the last 15 or so years. Kind of a different look you might say.

b. Brady is clearly hurt, and least to my mind. He has zero mobility within the pocket. He was constantly throwing (inaccurately) off his back foot, and rarely stepped up in the pocket. He passing stats have been ugly and getting worse over the last few weeks. It is not a coincidence that it all started from the game where some people were thinking he dinged his knee.

There might be those who will ring the "cliff" bell, and hope that THIS time they are right, but I don't think so, despite the title of this tome. Rather it's less about the cliff, and more about the injury that we will never know about until well into the off season, and then maybe not even then. That makes next week's game so important. IIRC they can clinch a bye week with a win, and they are going to need to be able to score given the Jets put up 38 against GB. Brady will need the time, or at least I HOPE its the kind of injury that time can help.

c. As usual I watched bits of a few of the games today ( NO/Steeler, KC/Seattle, and Houston/Eagle games) and ONE thing stood out in all of them. Every team on both sides made big passing plays throwing the ball to well covered receivers and allowed their receivers to make plays on them. That is something the Pats have RARELY done over the years and it seems in particular THIS year. If you aren't clearly open, then Brady isn't throwing you the ball.

It's not like he CAN'T throw a back shoulder fade, or the like. We've seen him do it and more than once. Wilson threw for 2 TD's on throws that Brady would have never made and not just to big receivers. Baldwin and Lockett each pulled down a rainbow thrown by Wilson. Check out the replays if you want to see what I mean.

Gordon is gone, but Hogan, CP, and Gronk all have some size and have all caught their share of 50-50 balls in their times. I'm thinking that the Pats need to throw more of those kinds of balls if they are going to go far in this post season.

d. All that being said, I think Josh did a good job setting up his game plan. Clearly he protected Brady with a massive running attack, and just 24 very short pass attempts. The results were 24 points and a lot more left on the table. AND it should be noted that while the Bills are the Bills, they DO have the 2nd rated run D going into this game, and a top 5 defense overall. If they ever get some consistent offense going, that D will look even better.

2. QB - No much more to add. It looked as bad as it seemed. Brady has thrived over the years despite his physical limitations because he could make people miss with subtle moves within the pocket. Only Marino in his prime did it as well as Tom has over the years. We saw NONE of that today. Blitzing against Brady was usually a non-starter vs the Pats, because historically Brady's stats against the blitz was better than when you didn't. Well today the Bill Blitz was very successful in getting Brady off his mark and making him throw short and too often inaccurately. Frankly he looked like a QB protecting an injury (and so did the game plan) Brady is one of the toughest players in the league. He has been Grogin/Bledsoe tough and then some over the years. Today he gave up on the play any time he felt pressure. That just not natural.

3. OL - There were 3 holding calls, though 2 were on Gronk and Edelman. That needs to stop. 5 called penalties, so while not great, it was a great improvement over last week.....relatively,

The success of the run game starts with the domination of the OL. What makes that notable is that (again) it was against one of the better run defenses in the league. When there weren't gaping holes, there were plenty of soft spots for the runners to gain consistent yardage.

I don't think it was a coincidence that the success of the running attack showed up the same time DAllen returned to the line up.

4. RB- This was Sony's best game. Just 18 carries to rush for 116 yds was very efficient. He seemed to rush with a bit more oomph imo. He also ran with great patience. He still doesn't run with much power, but it was better.

White had a nice run for his TD, but the one complaint I had with Josh was on that last drive inside the Bills' 10 having White as the RB was just dumb. He just isn't a GL RB....as much as I like him. That just shouldn't be his role.

CP the runner was very effective with his motion sweeps. I'm still wishing we'd see him featured more in the regular passing attack. I noticed he got dinged late in the 3rd quarter. They are going to need him back if they are going to make a deep run.

5. Receivers - What receivers? Outside of Edelman, all the WR's TE's COMBINED had 5 targets and only ONE catch for the game. Hogan was spotted slamming his helmet in frustration over "something". It's something to watch in the future. It IS his contract year.

6. General Defensive observations - Generally good. This was the same defense that has been HORRENDOUS against the run the last 3 weeks did exactly what they needed to do to slow the Bills offense. They "held" Josh Allen to just 30 yds rushing That notable because they showed a graphic that had Allen being the 5th best rusher in the league over the last 5 or 6 weeks. They also did a pretty good job on McCoy who has been very effective against the Pats over the years, especially in the passing game. He was held in check with only 9 rushing yds and 10 in the passing game.

The only long drive the Bills made was in garbage time, and then only after Allen made a great play avoiding a sack to throw that meaningless TD pass.

The pressure was decent, I thought. Especially when you consider the rush had to be controlled given Allen's running and evasion skills. The Pass coverage and LB/Secondary tackling was good as usual. It will be interesting to see if Allen improves his accuracy and football IQ in his second year. He has a lot of talent, but it still looks VERY raw.

7. Front 7 - From being sieves to being formidable and it couldn't have happened at a better time. The Bills clearly wanted to run the ball this game and found out they couldn't. The Pats ended up giving up less than 50 yds to the Bills RB's and controlled Allen for most of the game (5 for 30).

It should be pointed out (again) most of the damage that RB's have done to the Pats in recent weeks have come against dime defenses and to a lesser degree, nickel D's. Clearly today the Pats were in more base fronts, and the results showed.

8. Secondary - Good as usual. Another nice play on the GL for JCJ, and several more from the "other" McCourty, who seems to be getting better as the season has gone on.

Bottom line this secondary has been CONSISTENTLY good the entire year,

9. ST's - With the exception of one long KO return, the ST's did a nice job. Allen was consistent in his punting, while Gotskowski made all of his FG's and Points. Slater added 2 punt catches inside the Bills 10, and they got another punt block.

General Comments -

a. I didn't think that Brady was at fault on either pick.

b. I thought the officials did a nice job.

c. CBS gave us the last 4 minutes of the Eagles/Texans game and it was a beaut. Watson made a miracle throw to put Houston ahead, but not before spinning out of TWO sack attempts. What a play! Only to have the Eagles drive from their own 10 to the Houston 20 for the game winner. Foles passed for almost 500 yds in this game. You'd think with all the big names the Texans have on defense that they'd be better than that.

d. Gumble and Green were marginally mediocre. Didn't love them ore hate them.

e. I called it the "Cliff edition" more for click bait than reality. ;)

f. I think we'd have to go back to 2009 for a time where there was as many questions about a superbowl run as the Pats have now. They in control to get yet ANOTHER bye week with a win over the Jets in the regular season finale. It will be interesting to see what the Pats will look like when they emerge to play their first playoff opponent. One game left to go in the regular season and with the exception of the secondary and winning 10 or more games, NOTHING has been consistent this season
 
Last edited:

everlong

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
1. The problems with this team started in the offseason. I get not wanting to pay Cooks the money he got but you didn't replace him. I'm not sure what they offered DA and Miami overpaid him but again you didn't replace him.

2. Bill was right about Gronk. He better be first ballot. At his peak the best ever. However they would have been better off if they had traded him for a first rounder. He's toast. He can't separate. He's had a bunch of key holding penalties and some mental mistakes as well. At this stage he's Daniel Graham.

3. Brady has to be hurt because he's never faded away like this. Watching NO vs Pittsburgh which was glorious in the way it ended both Ben and Brees did the same thing but it was one offs. He's clearly avoiding contact. Bill pulling him out there speaks volumes as well. When he has time and opportunity he still looks good in terms of mechanics and velocity. He does seem locked on the middle of the field.

4. The Bills were playing 11 men up. At some point don't you go heavy, run play action and just take a shot to Patterson or Dorsett to get them to back off? Is Brady that banged up that you don't even try? The offensive game plan the last two weeks at times has been puzzling. I'm not going to argue with the results this week. Sticking with the run worked but those sweeps aren't going to work against Baltimore, Houston, SD or the other playoff teams. They have to be able to make some plays down field at some point.

5. Great game for the defense. I do think Hightower needs to become a permanent member of the DL. He was never great in space but he's lost in space now.

6. It was a duck by Allen but great awareness by Jackson coming off for the interceptions. .

7. Slater and/or Allen should win the ST player of the week. Allen once again pinning teams inside the 20. So underrated/underappreciated. Slater catching two of those punts inside the 15 and blocking a punt.

8. For everything wrong with this team they're the #1 seed right now if not for the Miami Miracle. The AFC is just so flawed. If Gordon had stayed straight and Brady was healthy even with a diminished Gronk I would like their chances against anybody in this conference. KC can't stop a nosebleed. SD is SD. They can look great but they're a stupid team. Baltimore can't pass. Houston see SD. Indy isn't a tough team and isn't winning on the road. The Titans see Baltimore. The Steelers are staying home. I loathe this franchise. Antonio Brown was really getting on my nerves having to celebrate everything he did yesterday. When Thomas mimicked his horse celebration I loved it.

9. Because of 8 they absolutely have to beat the Jets which isn't a forgone conclusion right now and get that week of rest. Then they have to:

A. Get Brady healthy.
B. Find a way to gameplan guys open. They simply lack the talent for them, minus JE, to do it for themselves. None of their screens are working. They don't seem to be using rub routes effectively like the past.
C. B must include finding some sort of deep threat. Even if it's chuck it up to Dorsett or Patterson a few times a game.

10. I think this is the last season for Gronk, Hightower, Hogan, Brown and a bunch of others who have been part of this run. I hope they can retool fast enough to make a couple more runs. The one thing that gives me hope is the secondary is actually really good. If Wynn comes back and plays like a first round talent, they get a couple of better DTs and a cover LB the defense will be good. Receivers are the issue. Brady needs to spend the offseason in Foxboro developing chemistry. I think that's part of the issue as well. You can't just say pick up a Larry Fitzgerald and a Golden Tate because without that chemistry they become Ocho Cinco and Joey Galloway. Drafting is an even bigger dilema.
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I'm really interested in seeing the snap counts from this game, and then doing the re-watch thing.

Brady's possible injury aside, it seems to me that the Pats have been doing more than just "tinkering" with the personnel and schemes on both offense and defense since the BYE. In retrospect, it feels like they've been actively experimenting with a lot of different stuff.

Just some random notes ...

Dwayne Allen was in motion and lined up at FB a lot more than I've seen before (Indy used him that way quite a bit).

Crossen and Shelton had both been healthy scratches the past three weeks.

I don't think Shelton got a lot of snaps, but he seemed to be more aggressive and tying up more blockers when I noticed him.

I noticed Crossen around the action a lot in scrimmage play. He made 5 tackles and actually looked decent in coverage. Jon Jones seemed to make a bit of a "comeback" yesterday, too.

BTW - With King out of the lineup (knee), Slater looked incredible.
 

DarrylS

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
I agree with both of the above, #12 is not himself and he seems almost "awkward" on the field.. another drop for #11, and then there is Gronk he is not himself either.. wonder how bad his back really is as his heralded "catch radius" does not seem evident, if you have a bad back and try to stretch your arms it is a *****.

I agree with the last run for Gronk, Hightower, Hogan, Brown , Shelton, Clayborne and a few others.. time to retool, but those are really, really big shoes to fill.

Play calling not all that effective/creative again, particularly in passing, if #12 is hurt why don't they revert back to the dink and dunk.. maybe they are waiting for the playoffs?? OTOH do the Pats risk a penalty if they are hiding Brady on the injury report?? Maybe his medical issues are being hidden with the aid of Alex Guerrero??

I do not "feel" this team, not sure why but almost find them boring... maybe I am desensitized to all the GOAT play that we have seen over the years.. Do not see the fire in his eyes that we are accustomed to seeing..

Watched the Saints/Steelers game after the Pats, really good game that went down to the final minute... the Saints are clearly the favorite to win the Superbowl, unless the Pats figure it out.. it would be a great matchup. Then this AM read where the Seahawks beat the Chiefs, a very interesting up and down NFL season.. which is good for the league..

Sony Michel was a very good draft pick..
 

PScottman

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Brady is clearly hurt

I'll see your click bait title and raise you. If he's not hurt then worse I tend to think he's mentally/competitively checked out. It's one or the other.

Where is the fire and passion? It has literally disappeared and it's not just this game - he just goes and sits on the bench (mopey my grandmother used to say) and then gets back up and goes back out on the field. No yelling at his WRs for running the wrong routes, no pumping up the OL when the defense is on the field.

It is baffling given his usual demeanor (especially when the team or even he himself isn't playing well) is to confront issues head on, but now he just seems to just be "there".

Brady is the greatest of all time, not just for his play, but his leadership. He led by example as he was the hardest worker, self-critical to correct mistakes, accepting less money to let others get a little bit more so more talent could be kept, vocal when he needed to be but sacrificial in the public eye when things went wrong. Those traits allow other players to be better than they are sometimes. To sacrifice themselves in statistics or playing time and in accepting their roles, whatever they may be, more readily.

If that aspect is gone, it's no wonder that the team cannot succeed on the road because they don't have the leader around which to rally, the standard bearer to not just say, but show how and where the win might be snatched from the jaws of defeat.

I have no idea if this is true, or just my own rant, but this team is just flat out different than years past...I actually hope it's more injury than the alternative, because the physical is usually pretty easily corrected...if he has let the decades of being the leader finally weigh enough on him to change his outlook that is much more difficult to ever get back to.
 

PP2

Pro Bowl Player
3. Brady has to be hurt because he's never faded away like this. Watching NO vs Pittsburgh which was glorious in the way it ended both Ben and Brees did the same thing but it was one offs. He's clearly avoiding contact. Bill pulling him out there speaks volumes as well. When he has time and opportunity he still looks good in terms of mechanics and velocity. He does seem locked on the middle of the field.

I've never ever seen BB pull Brady with 6 minutes left in a meaningful game.
 
Last edited:

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Gronk he is not himself either.. wonder how bad his back really is as his heralded "catch radius" does not seem evident, if you have a bad back and try to stretch your arms it is a *****.

GRONK, 2017 (14 games active, avg 90% snaps when active):
... 7.5 tgts/gm .. 65.7% catch rate .. 15.7 ypc .. 60 yds/gm .. (8 TDs)

GRONK, 2018 (12 games active, so far):

WK-1 thru WK-3 (avg 98% snaps)
... 5.7 tgts/gm .. 76.5% catch rate .. 14.5 ypc .. 63 yds/gm .. 1 TD
- The Pats had only Hogan, Dorsett, and Patterson active at WR, so it's not as if Gronk wasn't being covered.
- Hill was lost early Wk-1. Burkhead was injured half the time. Michel had not yet emerged.

Gronk injures ankle prior to wk-4.
Gordon has first game in wk-4.
Edelman has first game in wk-5.
--------------

WK-4 thru WK-6 (avg 86% snaps)
... 6.0 tgts/gm .. 72.2% catch rate .. 16.6 ypc .. 72 yds/gm
--------------

Gronk injures his back before wk-7.
- Misses wk-7.
- Plays in wk-8 @BUF (90% snaps)
... 8 tgts/3 catches (37.5%) .. 43 yds (14.3 ypc)
- Misses wk-9 and wk-10
--------------

WK-12 thru WK-15 (98% snaps)
- Gronk is on-off-on the Injury Report with "ankle/back"
... 6.0 tgts/gm .. 67% catch rate .. 13.1 ypc .. 53 yds/gm .. 2 TDs
 

moosekill

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Oh Maineman, you and your actual stats. You should throw in some "eyeball" stats to make most of the posters feel more at home.

Ken, thanks again for doing this. I look forward to your posts after every game!
 

everlong

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
GRONK, 2017 (14 games active, avg 90% snaps when active):
... 7.5 tgts/gm .. 65.7% catch rate .. 15.7 ypc .. 60 yds/gm .. (8 TDs)

GRONK, 2018 (12 games active, so far):

WK-1 thru WK-3 (avg 98% snaps)
... 5.7 tgts/gm .. 76.5% catch rate .. 14.5 ypc .. 63 yds/gm .. 1 TD
- The Pats had only Hogan, Dorsett, and Patterson active at WR, so it's not as if Gronk wasn't being covered.
- Hill was lost early Wk-1. Burkhead was injured half the time. Michel had not yet emerged.

Gronk injures ankle prior to wk-4.
Gordon has first game in wk-4.
Edelman has first game in wk-5.
--------------

WK-4 thru WK-6 (avg 86% snaps)
... 6.0 tgts/gm .. 72.2% catch rate .. 16.6 ypc .. 72 yds/gm
--------------

Gronk injures his back before wk-7.
- Misses wk-7.
- Plays in wk-8 @BUF (90% snaps)
... 8 tgts/3 catches (37.5%) .. 43 yds (14.3 ypc)
- Misses wk-9 and wk-10
--------------

WK-12 thru WK-15 (98% snaps)
- Gronk is on-off-on the Injury Report with "ankle/back"
... 6.0 tgts/gm .. 67% catch rate .. 13.1 ypc .. 53 yds/gm .. 2 TDs

It's too bad they couldn't sit him vs the Jets. If he could truly get healthy and be 90% of the old Gronk that makes this offense so much better. At this point even if he hit game one of the playoffs healthy it's a coin flip as to if he can stay that way for three games.
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Yesterday's snap counts, DEFENSE:

- JC Jackson, 100% of the snaps!
- Crossen plaued more D-snaps yesterday (14) than he had for the entire season (12)
--- Gilmore snap% down a bit (gave him a breather, I think)
--- JMAC well below his season average snap%
(he's mostly rotational in the slot now, so this makes sense)

- Flowers a bit below his average snap% (a bit of rest, I think).
- Big boost in snap% for Wise.
--- Significant dropoff in snap% for both Guy and Brown, while Butler was the primary DT.

Basically, the Bills' offense wasn't a huge challenge, and the Pats took the opportunity to give a bit of a break to guys who've been playing a lot, while also providing a couple of the newer guys with more game experience.

SNAP COUNTS WK-16 (defense) DvLUL3EW0AAM9q1.jpg large.jpg
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
It's too bad they couldn't sit him vs the Jets. If he could truly get healthy and be 90% of the old Gronk that makes this offense so much better. At this point even if he hit game one of the playoffs healthy it's a coin flip as to if he can stay that way for three games.

I'm thinking that they might rest Gronk next week, actually - especially IF they're blowing out the Jete by halftime. Probably rest a lot of guys, in that case.
 

everlong

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I'm thinking that they might rest Gronk next week, actually - especially IF they're blowing out the Jete by halftime. Probably rest a lot of guys, in that case.

Hopefully that comes to fruition. Gronk was still in the game after Bill pulled, an unhappy, Brady. Sitting him in the second half is probably the best we can hope for. I know they smoked the Jets the last time but that was with Brady looking a lot more healthy and with Gordon. Brady actually spread the ball out in that game between JE11, Gronk, Gordon, Dorsett and Hogan as well as he has all year.

I'm not expecting a blowout but if they get up quick I can see them giving up.
 

everlong

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
BTW, this is as good a place as any......not sure who saw the Titans game but in spite of Deon Lewis I've been rooting for them because of Vrabel. However when Butler picked off a pass with no time on the clock and proceeded to run it in for a TD I was praying for him to fumble it and have the Redskins return it for a TD. What a glory hound, stat monger move, selfish move.
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Hopefully that comes to fruition. Gronk was still in the game after Bill pulled, an unhappy, Brady. Sitting him in the second half is probably the best we can hope for. I know they smoked the Jets the last time but that was with Brady looking a lot more healthy and with Gordon. Brady actually spread the ball out in that game between JE11, Gronk, Gordon, Dorsett and Hogan as well as he has all year.

I'm not expecting a blowout but if they get up quick I can see them giving up.

The Jete have made several roster transactions the past couple weeks that are typical of a team that's thrown in the towel (moving guys to IR and replacing them from the PS). We'll see what they do this week.
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
BTW, this is as good a place as any......not sure who saw the Titans game but in spite of Deon Lewis I've been rooting for them because of Vrabel. However when Butler picked off a pass with no time on the clock and proceeded to run it in for a TD I was praying for him to fumble it and have the Redskins return it for a TD. What a glory hound, stat monger move, selfish move.

IDK. Butler's had a pretty sh itty first season over there. There was even talk of benching him in mid-season. He rallied from there, though, and I can imagine that maybe his pick-six was something of a "F**k this sh*t! I'm taking this one!" sorta thing. It was only his 3rd INT and 10th PD of the season with no guarantee of another opportunity this year.
 

borg

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Great job PFK and and great job to the responders with their comments and insight. I missed the game (1st game in 16 weeks NE wasn't televised in S. Florida) so I appreciate the in-depth analysis.

My 2 cents...

Where would NE be without Sony? He may not be the next level stud RB found at the top of the 1st round....Barkley, Gurley, Elliott, etc.......but for this NEP team and their 2018 issues....RB injuries, WR carousel, TE, OL injuries, QB play, etc......where would NE be without him. For a rookie RB to get up to speed and be leaned on despite dealing with injuries/interruptions during various times (beginning in preseason).....Sony was just what the doctor ordered. (Dr. BB)

Did Hogan try to get busy with Giselle and Brady won't forgive?
Imagine running 50+ meaningless routes in a game.....week after week.
I bet it killed Brady to feed a wide open Hogan last week :)

Imagine 11-5 might win the top seed in the AFC and definitely secure the #2 seed. Just crazy.
Imagine NE earning the #2 slot after looking so unimpressive during certain points of the season.

Home sweet home is key.
A rest week is vital.

I've stepped back from the edge....hope/belief have reappeared.

We must all never forget....all BB and Brady do is accumulate wins. Why should that stop now?

OT: Nick Foles .......NE's bridge QB?
Chew on it a bit and tell me how it tastes
(He certainly has passed the Shrinkage Test multiple times)
 
Last edited:

doesntmatter1

In the Starting Line-Up
I honestly think Brady just doesn't care. He quits on some plays at light speed and loses focus once we are in the redzone. It is sad to say but Brady is playing at a near jag level. I really think his mind is going before his body.

Weirdly, I think it works in our favor when our offense doesn't have clear threats. It makes us unpredictable and forces McDaniels to be more creative. Our running game took a possible hit when Allen and Patterson got hurt and we may see a forced passing attack next week.

Our defense was pretty good and I liked what I saw from Shelton and the new guy #97. I prefer pure power upfront.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
There was mention above that Shelton played yesterday. He was on the field for 18 defensive snaps (30%), plus one ST snap.

Danny Shelton happy to contribute in return

“It’s exciting,” Shelton said. “It’s definitely a great feeling just to be able to win in December. I’m just glad I was able to be a part of it.”

Shelton was a healthy scratch for three games in a row, which was a first in his career. In those games, the Patriots were horrid against the run allowing 6.3 yards per carry against Pittsburgh, 9.0 against Miami and 7.3 against Minnesota.

Shelton didn’t start, but was on the field for the Patriots second defensive series. He finished with two tackles as the Patriots held the Bills to 72 rushing yards and 4.0 yards per carry.​
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top