2020 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Chargers
Pick Results: NE: 90.6% at LAC: 9.4%

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Dec 6th

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patfanken

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Like the great majority of you guys, I had little hope for this game as soon as I heard Cam wouldn't be playing. In fact let's list the obstacles this team had to over come.

a. They lost their starting QB and the key factor in their offense just a day before the game was originally going to be played.

b. Their facility was shut down, so there were no meetings, let alone walk throughs prior to the game

c. They had to fly out THIS morning to KC and played just 3 hours after they landed in KC

d. Oh and about that offensive line we were so happy about in game 3. Well only ONE guy was playing in the same position for this game. (Wynn). Mason and Elumanuer miss the game entirely, Oweneu had to move to RG, Thuney back to LG, Fertentz is comes up from the PS to start at C ( Thank GOD Jones was hurt) and some guy who had Herren on the back of his jersey was playing RT (did anyone else go "who is Herren" when they saw this?

e. And then during the game I find out Sony Michel (who just had his best game as a Patriot) is now on IR

f. Your QB didn't know he was starting until Saturday, got NO starting snaps all week (even after he knew he was starting)

Then you add the adversity they had to overcome DURING the game.

a. TWO dropped picks (and I mean EASY picks) led directly to 10 KC points

b. Your supposed second best offensive player decides THIS is the game he would have his WORST game as a Patriot with 2 drops and a pick 6 to his credit.

c. The refs make one of the WORST calls I have ever seen. A call that not only took away possession, but cost them a TD by negating the run. Sterrattor was desperately back peddling trying to explain it before they mercifully went to commercial before his tongue was tied in knots.

d. Then you lost 6 points when your 12 year veteran QB made 2 rookie mistakes.

So in the end. Instead of thinking that they just had a "moral victory", I NOW have to believe that the team we put on the field tonight despite ALL the factors written above WAS capable of beating the Chiefs tonight had they played a smarter, more precise and better executed game. We might not win every game we play the rest of the year. BUT, after watching this game, they won't face a team that they CAN'T beat. So lets break it down quickly since I have to be up early tomorrow (so my opinions will be less fact based, than gut based and hopefully my gut will be vindicated when we see the rewatch thread and get all the "grades" later in the week.

1. Offense

a. General thoughts - I would have liked to have seen just a few deep throws. Too many of the throws tonight seemed to go LESS than 10 yds beyond the LOS. My other general thought was that TE's we've never heard of are catching balls all over the league. Good teams, bad teams, it doesn't matter. Cmon Bill. We drafted 2 TE's in the first 3 rounds. Isn't it time they got some targets??????

b. QB - This wasn't the ideal situation for Brian Hoyer to get his first start as a Patriot, to say the least. Like its not like he's the most athletically gifted QB to begin with, but LORD, what I didn't expect was the mental errors that proved so costly.

On the other hand, Jared Stidham may have wound up with a horrid statistical game, but I LIKED some of what I saw. I liked the way the ball came out of his hands. I LIKED that he threw it downfield to a guy who got behind the secondary. and yes, it was picked off, but he will get better at it. It will be pointed out that the pass had to be released earlier and have more loft. I liked the velocity and zip I saw on his ball.

Clearly he needs to learn to step up in the pocket and set his feet better, but it took Cam Newton 9 years to start to learn those things. Stidham missed most of TC how could he NOT make mistakes. Bottom line here: If Cam is unable to start next week, I want Stiddie to be our QB vs Denver.

BTW- as badly as the QB's played tonight, they only threw for only 45 yds LESS than the best QB in the league. Think about that. ;)

c. OL - Anyone know what happened to Mason and Elumaneur. I don't remember hearing anything during the week. Well regardless, the offensive line played pretty well IMHO, given the fact they were a patchwork group. Only 2 sacks and a half dozen hurries. Add to the fact they were part of another 180" yd running attack. Whoever the 2 guys who are coaching this group, who names I can't remember. I need to know more about them because they are doing one HELL of a job each and every week, especially given all the changes they are having to go through so far. And while I STILL don't know who Herren is, he wasn't horrible enough that I could pick out his flaws.

BTW- When I saw Ferrentz was starting at C, I never thought we'd move the ball at all. I NEVER liked him as an OLman. I always figured that this would be a nice gig for the kid before he gave it up and went back to the family business (coaching). I REALLY didn't think he was any good. That being said, like Herren, he wasn't awful such that he stood out. I thought he didn't allow much up the middle in the pass rush, and while he wasn't blowing people out or getting to the 2nd level much, he also wasn't getting pushed back much either. Good for him, but I can't wait for him to go back to the PS and Andrews comes back.

RB- Damian Harris had a good night with 100 yds to his credit. But we have to temper any hype just yet. I thought he left more than few yds that he could have made with better reads. He certainly runs with power, but I think he has the speed to bounce it out more. But given how few practice reps this kid has had, it was a good showing. I'm only pointing out the negatives to emphasize how much upside is left.

The other RB's also averaged over 4ypc and it was good to see James White back (though he looked rusty.)

WR's - Harry showed real athleticism on his TD catch. He also showed some run after catch ability on his 3 catches. We KNOW he is capable of making the tough catch. We need to see him learn to separate better so he can get some easy ones. You don't necessarily need great speed or quickness to separate. The greatest WR in NFL history (Jerry RIce), was not particularly quick OR fast. Cmon Troy - Teach this kid how YOU did it when you weren't quick fast, OR big.

I mentioned Jules early in the post so I won't belabor his most forgettable game as a Patriot. Nice catch by Gunner on his first drop though.'

Meanwhile Byrd is very quietly piling up the catches

TE's They didn't do anything again except block well. The WR's ALSO did a great job blocking on the run.

2. DEFENSE.

a, General Defensive thoughts - and because I've been at this for 2 hours and its now midnight, I'm just going to give you my general thoughts and leave it like that.

The most important thing I felt this defense did well was the top 3 things it needs to do. 1. stop the run. 2. contain the QB and 3 create turnovers. They did about 2 and a half of those things. They held the KC RB's to 66 yds and 92 when you add Mahomes' total. They front 7 contained Mahomes and didn't let him extend plays to the point where our defenders could no longer cover their receivers. Finally they would have gotten stars for all three categories had they gotten the correct call, and hadn't dropped 2 easy picks, which would have left them with FOUR turnovers, added 7 points to the Pats and taken away 10 from KC, and you can see where we might have had a different result

So overall. Kudos to the Pats defense. IMHO they played well enough to win this game and were let down by the offense. The ENTIRE offense.

b. I STILL worry that a big physical team like the Titans or Ravens could overpower our front seven in the playoffs. But to date, the front 7 have improved every game.

3 ST's - Folk's FG's and extra points looked as solid and straight as they've had all season. Baily's punts were as good and well placed as we've seen. and coverage was fine.

Final thoughts : If we get to meet KC in the playoffs, I will respect them, but I won't fear them....at least as much as I feared them prior to this game. Also I think this a better team than I gave them credit for, and if it keep up it will be one of Bill's better jobs of his long tenure.

I know I'm leaving out a lot, but I'll try to do better next time.
 

Joker

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Your opinion is always valued and always valid. I learned a ton tonight about the preparation this TEAM has going into a contest. They were ready to win, even with Hoyer the never was has been at QB. A couple of bounces, a call or two that SHOULD have been made and this team could well have shocked the football world tonight. Who lost more coming out of this game, the Pats or the Chiefs? I thought the Chiefs just destroyed the media darling Ravens in THEIR house last week. I thought they sliced ,diced, eviscerated and butcher chopped the Ravens defense to shreds. Tonight they scrape out NINETEEN points...in THEIR house? against a team missing it's #1 QB AND #1 RB? I said it earlier...this is a Pyrrhic victory for KC.
 

tigerjohn

Practice Squad Player
Your opinion is always valued and always valid. I learned a ton tonight about the preparation this TEAM has going into a contest. They were ready to win, even with Hoyer the never was has been at QB. A couple of bounces, a call or two that SHOULD have been made and this team could well have shocked the football world tonight. Who lost more coming out of this game, the Pats or the Chiefs? I thought the Chiefs just destroyed the media darling Ravens in THEIR house last week. I thought they sliced ,diced, eviscerated and butcher chopped the Ravens defense to shreds. Tonight they scrape out NINETEEN points...in THEIR house? against a team missing it's #1 QB AND #1 RB? I said it earlier...this is a Pyrrhic victory for KC.

Pyrrhic victory indeed. My two takeaways are that (1) there is no favorite in the AFC and (2) we should be able to beat every remaining team on the schedule (assuming Cam is back by the Denver game). "Should" doesn't mean "will" of course.
 

FearNo.1

Rookie
"Clearly he needs to learn to step up in the pocket and set his feet better, but it took Cam Newton 9 years to start to learn those things. Stidham missed most of TC how could he NOT make mistakes. Bottom line here: If Cam is unable to start next week, I want Stiddie to be our QB vs Denver. "

9 years? To learn to step up in the pocket? I'm so confused at what I just read I couldn't make it through the rest. Cam isn't perfect but you don't win an MVP in the NFL by accident, and you sure as heck don't do it without knowing how to navigate in the pocket.
 

DarrylS

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Last night was a night of Patriots brain farts that we are not used to.. Hoyer, Stidham and even BB was not his sharpest..

When I learned that Newton, Mason, Michel, Wynn etc were all out... there was great concern, but somehow this team pretty much kept things together until the 4th quarter when their mistakes caught up to them..

The Pats were competitive and their D was OK, but the injuries seemed to be the equalizer..

One thing it does point to is the Stidham needs more game time reps.. thought the TD pass to Harry was spot on.

4 Turnovers will never win against good teams..

Holding Mahomes to 229 yards passing was a lot less than he is used to.

That strip sack by Winovich was botched by the refs.. quick whistle.

Was not expecting for the Pats to win this game, but surprised they did as well as they did in spite of their mistakes..

On to Denver..
 

Nunchucks

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Hoyer has looked like he looked last night since his last start in Houston. That is Hoyer, nothing I saw was surprising. Stidham had some good throws and some bad throws - but he threw the ball with zip and was not afraid to throw it. That INT he threw near the end of the game, he had guys all over him and could not step up - I agree that he saw it late - Stidham wasn't great but he was way better than Hoyer.

As for Harris - He looked solid, but did not show me anything that thought Sony's job was in danger - I don't get the Sony hate and the Harris love. We will get 1 more game to evaluate.
 

luuked

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Stidham should have started, that was the missed opportunity.

I don't think so. Hoyer was getting the backup snaps all week and after Cam's COVID positive the facilities were locked. So it is not like they could have gone out and given Stidham some additional reps just in case. Hoyer got the reps and with his knowledge and experience was on paper the right QB to turn to going into the game.

Now, he totally vomitted over himself during the game and from what we have seen Stidham looked better even without all the additional reps that Hoyer has had over him in the last 4 weeks. This should and will totally disqualify Hoyer from starting over Stidham again this week (and for the rest of eternity).

The outcome was a disaster but I don't think the decision making of who to start -- given how late in the week Cam got diagnosed -- was particularly flawed.

This week here has me excited a bit. There is no way the staff can assume Cam will test negative twice so they will have to go into the game assuming he is not available and they get to test drive Stidham in a real game scenario without introducing any kind of QB controversy.
 

betterthanthealternative

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I'd like to think this game will reflect forward to the next time these teams play. But the Chiefs looked distracted and unfocused. Its the kind of situation that Andy Reid wouldn't be anywhere as good at managing as BB. Now they play 3 games in 11 days.

The biggest factor vs. Denver is going to be the COVID developments over the next few days. If there are no more casualties (which would be amazing and a remarkable job of health management), they should be favored to win the Denver game.
 

patriot1136

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
self-inflicting wounds mostly last night. I feel like we beat ourselves for the most part.
Also, I am not sure what Shaq Mason's injury is. But I recall Romo/Nantz saying that Jermained Eluemanor was out due to "Migraines". I feel like maybe that is code for concussion. But not sure.
 

Wozzy

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I don't think so. Hoyer was getting the backup snaps all week and after Cam's COVID positive the facilities were locked. So it is not like they could have gone out and given Stidham some additional reps just in case. Hoyer got the reps and with his knowledge and experience was on paper the right QB to turn to going into the game.

Now, he totally vomitted over himself during the game and from what we have seen Stidham looked better even without all the additional reps that Hoyer has had over him in the last 4 weeks. This should and will totally disqualify Hoyer from starting over Stidham again this week (and for the rest of eternity).

The outcome was a disaster but I don't think the decision making of who to start -- given how late in the week Cam got diagnosed -- was particularly flawed.

This week here has me excited a bit. There is no way the staff can assume Cam will test negative twice so they will have to go into the game assuming he is not available and they get to test drive Stidham in a real game scenario without introducing any kind of QB controversy.
Fair point. Allow me to rephrase.

The moment Stidham's hip healed he should have ascended to the backup role he beat Hoyer out for last season. Hoyer is who Hoyer is, he did Hoyer things last night. That he has a backup job anywhere in the NFL at this point is absurd. His only function moving forward should be running the practice squad and preparing the only two potential starters (Cam, Stidham) for games. He should be a QB coach in this league at 34, not a player.

Under the current situation Stidham should have started the second half, especially after the way the first half ended disastrously. Not taking a sack to end the half is something an 11 year vet should know by now.
 

luuked

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So in the end. Instead of thinking that they just had a "moral victory", I NOW have to believe that the team we put on the field tonight despite ALL the factors written above WAS capable of beating the Chiefs tonight had they played a smarter, more precise and better executed game. We might not win every game we play the rest of the year. BUT, after watching this game, they won't face a team that they CAN'T beat. So lets break it down quickly since I have to be up early tomorrow (so my opinions will be less fact based, than gut based and hopefully my gut will be vindicated when we see the rewatch thread and get all the "grades" later in the week.

I think the only thing to take out of this cluster**** of a game is the feeling that we have enough pieces on the roster to beat anyone if we can pull off a complete game. Against the top teams like KC our margin of error will be pretty small but after the first 4 weeks it has become more clear to me now that there are viable paths to win against any team this year. Which is good timing given how formidable the Bills look so far.

Our secondary is strong enough to keep even the best offenses on their toes. Similarly, when the full OL is healthy our rushing attack -- especially with Cam as a multiplier on top -- looks really strong. Cam has also shown he can throw the ball pretty well. Combine this with the best coaching staff in business and I am more confident than before the season that we will end up in the playoffs.

I am especially happy with where Dugger already is and how Harry is progressing. Similarly Onwenu was an amazing find.

Win next week, go with 3-2 into the BYE and that is where the season will start in its earnest. In terms of wins/losses we are exactly where we should be but in terms of how the team has been playing in those first 4 games I still feel we are ahead of where I expected us to be. I see no reason to believe that we can't get onto a long undefeated run in the backhalf of our schedule. The only game that really stands a out a bit is the one against the Ravens. The other 10 games will have a bigger margin for error and should favour us (yes even the game @Bills).
 

luuked

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The moment Stidham's hip healed he should have ascended to the backup role he beat Hoyer out for last season.

Maybe. We don't have any access to practices and whatnot so it is all just speculation. What I can definitely tell you is that after yesterday it is pretty clear that Stidham should be the assumed starter against the Broncos and hopefully earns the backup role behind Cam with a solid game next weekend.
 
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Wozzy

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Maybe. We don't have any access to practices and whatnot so it is all just speculation. What I can definitely tell you is that after yesterday it is pretty clear that Stidham should be the assumed starter against the Broncos and hopefully earns the backup role with a solid game next weekend.
I believe with Hoyer you can almost guarantee a loss, he is now 0-11 in his last games started and he's 16-24 as a starter for his career. I also agree with your point above that Stidham should get the start at the Broncos assuming Cam can't go, it would be the perfect opportunity to see what you have in Stidham without stirring up a QB controversy.

The one INT was entirely on Edelman, I don't care what Romo says and even he knew he shouldn't say it even as he was saying it. The second INT was on Stidham and it was the correct read, it was simply an under throw that would have been a TD had he placed it in the back of the end zone, Byrd had his man beat. I look at that as a moment of desperation, they were down two scores, had to score quickly and he went for it. Like you said, no practice reps. I walk away from that game thinking Stidham has a future, whereas before I was concerned he had chicken blood running through his veins and would shrink from real competition.
 
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PScottman

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
whereas before I was concerned he had chicken blood running through his veins and would shrink from real competition.

This is a key point. That was a huge difference between Favre and guys like Elway and Manning - Favre just threw the ball with abandon most of the time. (I AM NOT COMPARING STID TO THESE GUYS BTW TROLLS!) He also racked up up bad interceptions. It's the gunslinger mentality - either I die or you die - not a lot of gray.

The point is a "gunslinger" QB is NOT what BB prefers. His expectations are seemingly based on game management, good reads, high percentages. That said it takes a lot of additional teaching to temper that mentality out of a QB because it's usually instinctual. I don't know if that's what Stidham is as a QB, but initial impressions seem that way - that he will let the ball fly if he sees something he thinks is a big play especially.

I'd still rather that, even with the downside, next week against Denver. Hoyer was the manager that sits in the back office of the store all night doing the paperwork - so much so he misses the big sales he could've had.
 
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