Idle thoughts - the late night edition.....

2020 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Chargers
Pick Results: NE: 90.9% at LAC: 9.1%

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Dec 6th

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PatsSox363804

In the Starting Line-Up
And it's not just turnovers, it's accuracy. Despite a brain-dead moment or two for Brady, it's easy to recall several times he threaded a needle yesterday to move the chains despite good coverage. But when do you ever hear "What a pinpoint throw by Romo!" or "The defender was all over him, but Romo put that ball where only his receiver could get it!"

It makes you realize that every year there are teams that could be Superbowl contenders with an elite QB. I'm very grateful to have an all-time elite here in New England.

Agreed. There were a few passes that great QB's (Rodgers, Brees, Manning) hit yesterday and Romo just couldn't connect. Also those teams probably put faith in their QB's to throw on that 3 and out at the end. I almost feel bad for Garret because he was wrong no matter what he did there unless the Cowboys picked up the first down running and there was no way that was happening with the Pats run blitzing every down.
 
one point is that apparently Dallas was overplaying the pass, BJGE gashed them good, I wish we could have run over and over and done play action off of it...maybe have Ridley in there for some runs.

Having to have a QB be perfectly accurate to win is a bad strategy, IMO.

And I don't understand how they had guys wide open on their long drive if we couldn't get anyone open at all hardly.
 

Uncle Rico

Pro Bowl Player
The thing that gave us a winning advantage through 2004 was our ability as a team to take the other team's best shot and then overcome it.

I haven't seen that same kind of heart and determination to win ugly since our last SB victory. The 2007 team was very fun, but a one trick pony. In the end they could not overcome a scrappy team that wanted a dogfight.

I feel like this team is developing a character that we haven't seen in a while.

Playoff character. :D

You nailed it. Let's face it, most of us are watching this team through the filter of having watched the '10 team go 14-2 only to lose in the first round for the second year in a row. "Determination," "scrappy," "dogfight" and "character" — not to mention will and skill to run the ball and make defensive statements — are all welcome traits.
 

shmessy

Northern VA/Retired
PatsFans.com Supporter
the cowboys are mediocre though. Maybe the pats get a pass b/c ryan's defense is tough and he seems to have their numbers....but bottom line, having to have a last drive TD to win against a mediocre team is not good. Not good!

Pittsburgh will be a challenge, if they win that they are for real.

It's good that Brady is gettiing used to throwing pics during the year so he won't freak out and crumble like he did last playoff game when he threw one.

Best of luck to your Jets tonight.
 
Best of luck to your Jets tonight.

what did I say that you disagree with? Anything other than blind homerism is jets fandom? Really? It's great to win on a last second drive, but not so great to be in that situation in the first place against a mediocre team. Is that not a fair statement?
 

Urgent

In the Starting Line-Up
Thanks for framing the discussion Ken.

On some of his feedback:

The passing game:
Yes, Brady continues to display amazing accuracy and technique on many of his throws. He's also really displaying fire. After that game-winning TD drive, the shot of him screaming toward the bench was classic. Fists clenched, tendons stretched in his neck. Several of his INT's this year have been off his receivers' hands - the Hernandez one last week, the throw to the right side of the 10 yard line or so against Buffalo - whereas last year those seemed to find turf first. He's still the best in the league. That said, Dallas did a good job limiting the Pats passing offense for most of the game. 211 yards in this year's NFL is not a lot.

If Ochocinco really cannot figure out the offense, I'd like to see a little of Taylor Price. He was on the field for just one play. Of course they are not running many three WR sets right now with Hernandez back.

The running game:
This has been a good run-blocking team for years under Scarnecchia, and we continue to see that. The Pats running game is under-rated this year because of Brady's start. For a cold weather team, that's really important, especially the power running. We saw what BJGE is capable of last week, and this was another tough test of the running game. And Dallas showed what happens when you cannot run out the final four minutes. It would be nice if the Pats had one big receiver to help run-block out of their 2TE set; Branch and Welker are not going to bowl over many defenders. Right now BJGE and Ridley are a good pair.

Pass defense:
There were a lot more three-man lines against Dallas. I wonder if we will see a lot more 3-4 after the break. They seemed to re-tool this defense for the 4-3 with Haynesworth, Carter, and Anderson. Yesterday we saw plenty of three-down linemen, with Carter playing RDE. The defense did a much better job against a big receiver in Bryant than they did against Marshall or Vincent Jackson, while still controlling Whitten. Clearly the best pass defense this unit has achieved. More impressive that it was against a team coming off its bye, with two weeks to review the Miami, SD, and other games to see how to use big WR's against the Pats.

As others have noted, crappy tackling. I wonder if this is related to the prohibition on practicing in pads. The worst was the Bryant on the sideline - bracketed inside and out against the sideline, and he makes both guys miss.

Run defense:
Improving work from the DL. They continue to do a good job moving parallel to the line, stringing plays out. While it's a 4-3 base, it still looks like more of a two-gap system, plugging holes and driving the runner laterally. They really miss Mayo. Mayo is so quick to diagnose a play. Spikes is good in that department. Guyton is terrible. While he seems to have all the physical capabilities, he is just so slow to figure out what is happening, and is often caught flat-footed watching.

Nice break. Great to go into the Bye with a big win.
I really wonder how the defense will be adjusted. Will we see more three-man fronts integrated?

It will also be interesting to see how the PUPpies are handled.
 
one point is that apparently Dallas was overplaying the pass, BJGE gashed them good, I wish we could have run over and over and done play action off of it...maybe have Ridley in there for some runs.

Having to have a QB be perfectly accurate to win is a bad strategy, IMO.

And I don't understand how they had guys wide open on their long drive if we couldn't get anyone open at all hardly.

Yeah, that about sums up your entire posting career.

What purpose do you serve? Are you that miserable or do you just play one at patsfans.com?
 

shmessy

Northern VA/Retired
PatsFans.com Supporter
what did I say that you disagree with? Anything other than blind homerism is jets fandom? Really? It's great to win on a last second drive, but not so great to be in that situation in the first place against a mediocre team. Is that not a fair statement?

That's not a mediocre team at all, and anyone who has watched the NFL for more than 5 minutes knows it.

They could easily have been 5-0 this morning. Look at their 3 losses.

And, yes, given your posting history (anyone can look it up anytime) your last sentence of that post about Brady was par for the course for you.
 
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patfanken

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Just a couple of points that I forgot to add.

ANOTHER thing I got wrong last night was complaining that BB punted on the 4th down late in the 4th quarter. I mean all the Cowboys needed was ONE first down to ice the game. For some reason BB knew that the 32nd ranked defense was going to stop one of the top offenses in the league. Meanwhile I'M posting in the gameday thread, "NO, NO, NO, go for it, Bill"

I forgot to add this statistical gem that popped up. The "19 -0" GB Packers allowed the 0-5 St. Louis Rams 425 yds of offense, even though PFT. has declared that the Rams were "awed" by the Packers. I found it interesting that the much maligned Patriot Defense allowed FEWER yards to a quality playoff contender, than the mighty Packer team did to one of the worst teams in the league. Just sayin'

Finally it is really encouraging to watch that defensive performance knowing that its only going to get better after Mayo, Dowling and Barrett get back, and Haynesworth keeps improving. Very Exciting
 
That's not a mediocre team at all, and anyone who watchesd the NFL for more than 5 minutes knows it.

They could easily have been 5-0 this morning. Look at their 3 losses.

And, yes, given your posting history (anyone can look it up anytime) your last sentence of that post about Brady was par for the course for you.

They got beat by the mediocre jets and maybe I'm wrong but I don't think they are that good (jets or cowboys).

Brady looked like he went into the fetal position last year against the jets when he threw an int. Maybe he had been reading his press clippings and thought he was infallible. But whatever. So yes, getting it out of his system now may be GOOD FOR HIM IN THE LONG RUN. That doesn't make me a troll. Just not a total homer like you apparently.
 
Yeah, that about sums up your entire posting career.

What purpose do you serve? Are you that miserable or do you just play one at patsfans.com?

So your contribution is to take snippets of sentences and launch insults from them?

So you DO understand why the cowboys were able to march down the field with wide open guys and get the TD? So it was part of the plan? Care to share your expertise with someone of my low intelligence?
 

PlainOldEd

In the Starting Line-Up
Thank god Brady was Brady on that last drive, because he had some very unBrady-like moments in this game. It looked like the first pick was deflected on the LOS, which "might" have caused the ball to be behind Branch and led to the pick, but the second one was clearly Brady doing his best Romo imitation, throwing the ball right into the FOUR Dallas Players who seemed to surround the only Pats player close to the ball. Plus on Hernandez's fumble catch,. Brady was late getting him the ball

I think his arm was hit. I don't have it to look at right now, but at the time I thought he was trying to go over the 4 defenders to someone about 10 yds further down field, but his throwing motion ws disrupted.
 

ctpatsfan77

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
3. I don't know if the Pats have a 10th player award but if they do, I'd give it to Rob Ninkovitch who has been quietly effective setting the edge and rushing the passer all year.

:confused:

And Ninkovich is a starter. . . .
 

PlainOldEd

In the Starting Line-Up
They got beat by the mediocre jets and maybe I'm wrong but I don't think they are that good (jets or cowboys).

Brady looked like he went into the fetal position last year against the jets when he threw an int. Maybe he had been reading his press clippings and thought he was infallible. But whatever. So yes, getting it out of his system now may be GOOD FOR HIM IN THE LONG RUN. That doesn't make me a troll. Just not a total homer like you apparently.

No, you are the anti-homer. Nothing is ever good enough for you. I am with patsfaninpittsburg, I'd like to know if you are naturally this miserable, or just when posting. Do you complain about every meal you get in a restaurant like you complain about every Pats game win or lose? If so I feel sorry for you, it is a horible way to go through life never allowing yourself to be happy......
 
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Metaphors

In the Starting Line-Up
b. One of the reason's the Pats will have an effective run game going on into the season is the 2 TE, 2WR, 1 RB set, that has become our predominant formation...by far. What makes it go is how effective BOTH Gronk and Hernandez are as receivers and how good a run blocking OL we have.

2 TEs force defenses to widen and spreads them. On passes, outside rushers are often one Man wider than they would be. You get great blocking match ups on runs and/or protection. So teams really have to align to protect the run.

But their's the rub, because the Pats STILL have 4 very effective receivers who can quickly get down field. You rarely can rrisk keeping 8 men in the box. Then when you add all the motion options, it can be a real problem, because motion forces the D to declare coverage

So in the run game if a team goes to a nickel or dime defense with 5 or 6 DB, it creates favorable match ups - But when they stay with 4 DBs to stop the run, they open themselves up to the pass.

Excellent observations and right on the money. But there is either a fatal flaw or golden opportunity...depending on the playcalling and Brady's decision-making. While you are correct that the 2-TE formations spread the front 7 out wider than they would like, the players running in these formations operate between the numbers a vast majority of the time. This allows the safeties and extra DBs to actually press short and inside...actually adding significant clutter in the short/intermediate middle.

There have been some games (Jets in playoffs, Browns last year, Saints 2 years ago) where that has killed the Pats offense. When Brady has to scan a crowded field, it slows his processing and inevitably gets him hit. The Cowboys tried this yesterday and did a good job despite having below average DBs.

Ideally, you want your outside receivers to be able to get open against single coverage and have enough long speed to threaten deep. Unfortunately neither Ocho or Branch seem to be able to do this consistently. Price has the potential but needs to put that into practice before he can be counted on.

So barring a Price breakout, Ocho epiphany or unexpected trade, is there anything that can be done to avoid hitting this situation in January? Yep. Screen passes to RBs...particularly delayed screens where they chip the DE before releasing wide. If executed correctly and paired with routes that take defenders away from the screen side, the RB would be lonely after the catch.

The Pats showed this last night with a screen to Gronk that went for a sizable gain. Ridley and BJGE also have solid hands to pull that off. Do the same for someone with the speed and quickness of Vereen and you really make teams pay for compressing the middle. Would love to see Vereen eventually fill this role but the Pats really need a consistent weapon to attack the edges before the playoffs start.
 
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shmessy

Northern VA/Retired
PatsFans.com Supporter
They got beat by the mediocre jets and maybe I'm wrong but I don't think they are that good (jets or cowboys).

Brady looked like he went into the fetal position last year against the jets when he threw an int. Maybe he had been reading his press clippings and thought he was infallible. But whatever. So yes, getting it out of his system now may be GOOD FOR HIM IN THE LONG RUN. That doesn't make me a troll. Just not a total homer like you apparently.

Wrong. This team BEAT the Jets. Ran it down their throats, in fact, just 8 days ago.

Of their 5 wins this year, not one of them have come against a team with a losing record at the time of play. No one else in the NFL can say that.

If you'd like to talk about OTHER years, then perhaps you'd like to visit I'matrollandeveryonecanseeitfrommypostinghistory.com.
 
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So your contribution is to take snippets of sentences and launch insults from them?

So you DO understand why the cowboys were able to march down the field with wide open guys and get the TD? So it was part of the plan? Care to share your expertise with someone of my low intelligence?

There's your first problem. Pointing out fact is not an insult, it's fact.

I do understand why the Cowboys went down the field.

They are a talented offense.

They had the ball many times

In 99.95% of the games played, a good offense will score a TD.

Fans with an IQ somewhere north of imbecile will not get worked up over a TD drive because 95% of games have offenses score TD's...even bad offenses will score a TD.

They would also recognize the fact that limiting a high powered offense to one TD is great based on the offense and historical NFL statistics.

If your IQ is less than single digits and you have noticeable mental and emotional issues; you most likely spend the day after a hard fought victory by "your team" annoying other fans sans issues with idiot posts about the opponent "marching down" the field for ONE TD in the game.
 
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NYCPatsFan

In the Starting Line-Up
Just a couple of points that I forgot to add.

ANOTHER thing I got wrong last night was complaining that BB punted on the 4th down late in the 4th quarter. I mean all the Cowboys needed was ONE first down to ice the game. For some reason BB knew that the 32nd ranked defense was going to stop one of the top offenses in the league. Meanwhile I'M posting in the gameday thread, "NO, NO, NO, go for it, Bill"

I

Exactly! Think you should edit the OP and add this because it was such a big decision during the last few minutes.
 

BradyToAmendola

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I was very pleased with the defense. The Cowboys have a terrific offense so whenever you can hold them to 16 points that is a bi deal. The most encouraging part was the defense's play in the red zone. Holding teams to field goals instead of touchdowns often can make the difference between winning and losing.

The offense was averge, I would say. The Cowboys defense is good so it's no surprise they had a few turnovers. They can't put up 30 every week so that is why it's important to have a defense that can win you games. We didnt have any wins like that last year. That's how you win in the playoffs so this was a really promising game in my opinion. You have to win ugly in the NFL if you want to win it all.

Brady definitely would like to have a few plays back from yesterday, a couple questionable decisions. He was a cool customer in the final 2+ minutes though, so that really is all that matters.

Would have been nice to see Vereen get some carries. Also not sure why Taylor Price still cannot get any playing time. That's really saying something that he can't even get 1 snap in a game almost a year and a half into his career. Must be a lack of effort on his part, or just a lack of basic football common sense. Looking like a bust.

Spikes was great, I thought. Does a lot of what Seau did when he was here, shooting gaps and getting into the backfield to disrupt plays. He's coming along nicely, I feel.
 
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