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Idle thoughts - the "shoot out" edition

2021 Patriots Season:
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Pick Results: NO: 13.5% at NE: 86.5%

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Sep 26th

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Ring 6

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I would add a missed call on the 98 yard KO return as well, as I think Slater was blocked in the back. That said, watching the replay, I'm not sure Slater would made the tackle even if he wasn't interfered with. Still, IMO it should have been called and may have made a difference in the end of that game (though the way KC was rolling on offense, maybe not).

Edit: This may be one of my most flip-floppy posts ever.
I think the initial contact on slater was in the front then he turned which makes it a legal block. But there was a hold on the sideline
 

1960Pats

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Great job once again Ken.
1 - It appears that the games are being rigged for offense. Maybe the fact that there are owners who have invested heavily in Fantasy Football is a factor.
2 - As you noted that win was Brady's 43rd when tied or trailing in the 4th quarter. To put that in perspective Aaron Rodgers has 18, and most, if not all, of those came against teams with losing records.
3 - Agree on the great play of the OL. Cannon got injured on a head-to-head contact that he initiated.
3 - After all the angst we had to start the season the receiving looks much better. With health they'll only get better.
5 - As great as the offense played they were playing against a pretty weak defense.
6 - I was wr... wr... wrong for criticizing the Sony Michel pick, even though I mistakenly had him being drafted at 23 instead of 31.
* There's no way that I can be positive about this defense. Not yet anyway.
8 - Devin McCourty does not look good.
10 - The officiating has been so bad that when they don't suck it's a welcomed surprise.
11 - The AFCE has had two playoff teams the last two years and they are clearly not a bad as the 'experts' like to portray them.
 

PatriotReign

In the Starting Line-Up
I'm worried about Gronk's health because he's been unable to shake this ankle/foot injury. Reading Breer's article this morning and Mark Daniel's tweet after the game leave me with a bad feeling.

I don't know how to feel about the defense because looking around the league there are no dominating groups due to how offensively focused the rules.

Also why does Hollister get no looks in a 2 TE set, Allen's great for blocking but not a threat to catch the football. Both Bill and a lot of posters here believed he was poised for a breakout season. I'm also not a fan of Dorsett being completely phased out of the offense, his speed is valuable and provides a poor man's Cooks like ability.
 
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long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Thanks, Ken. Good sport to take an “optimistic“ approach to Pats D.

If only one could take all D plays in account not just the highs and lows, respect the context, appreciate the situational game, try understand the game plan, play calling etc.. and give some respect to opponents as well . or watch other Ds around the league full of coveted talent getting abused.

Its funny though how the same people expect “elite“ performance from “trash“ players..

I liked the fight this D put out there and appreciated giving BB and TB every chance to play from the front. I appreciated the risky game plan of playing with open field - exchanging the risk of big plays for the crucial time of possession - epitomised (and justified) in the end game (BB can live with KC big play, scoring fast . but he'll do everything in his power to prevent time consuming last drive) - and that big play allowed looked almost like a trap..
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
Brady nearly got himself picked off at one point when he targeted Gordon in tight coverage. The DB had a much better chance at the ball, but Gordon instantly turned into the defender and broke up the interception. Might have been Gordon's best play of the game and one of his best since he became a Pat.

On Hill's wide open deep-crosser TD, it seemed to me that Harmon thought that he had help somewhere to his right. As Hill begins to cross Harmon's face from left-to-right, Harmon turns his hips to the left, in the opposite direction. By the time Harmon corrects, it's pretty much all over, although Harmon did compound the problem by taking a bad angle. Actually, for almost any receiver BUT Hill, Harmon's angle probably would've been good enough.

Similar mistake from JMac on Hunt's big TD play. He seemed to let Hunt go as if he expected help behind him (possibly from Harmon). Still JMac demonstrated that he's NOT "slow". He caught up to Hunt just before Hunt got to the goal line. If JMac had reacted a step earlier, he might have prevented the score.

On the big KR, I thought that a different officiating crew might have thrown a flag against the KC player who was on Slater. The KC player clear had Slater by the jersey/shoulder pads for a second, and the pushed him to the turf from behind.

I think it's worth noting that the Chiefs scored twice from short fields (Brady's fumble and the 97-yard KR) and scored twice on totally blown coverages. The Pats didn't get any "gifts" like those and still put up 43 points (while also "leaving some plays on the field").

I thought Brady made the right decision to throw to Gordon there since Gordon had 3 steps on the defender. But Brady underthrew the ball, which is why the DB had a chance at an interception.
 

everlong

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
BTW Michaels last night mentioned the 43-40 final score last night was an NFL first. I thought that has to be wrong. I can see weird scores like 11-8 having not happened before but 43-40 although a lot of points I figured as long as the league has been around it must have.

Team Game Finder Query Results | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Sure enough using the criteria of points for = 40 and combined points = 83 it's the first time ever.

Another odd BTW, being sleepy this morning I entered it incorrectly the first time as points for = 43 and combined points = 86, which is a 43-43 tie. There's only been one of those as well. In 1964 the Boston Patriots tied the Oakland Raiders. Parelli through for 422 yards.

Oakland Raiders at Boston Patriots - October 16th, 1964 | Pro-Football-Reference.com
 

Patstopia

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
The first few minutes of the game were scary to my untrained eye. Gordon not coming back for the comeback throws twice, and the Hightower trying to cover Hill/Hunt...yikes!

Then all of a sudden Hightower gets the pick and everything seemed to settle down. Or should I say I finally settled down.

These night games are going to kill me. After all that I am suppose to sleep right after?
 

WaterfallJumper

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
BTW Michaels last night mentioned the 43-40 final score last night was an NFL first. I thought that has to be wrong. I can see weird scores like 11-8 having not happened before but 43-40 although a lot of points I figured as long as the league has been around it must have.

Team Game Finder Query Results | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Sure enough using the criteria of points for = 40 and combined points = 83 it's the first time ever.

Another odd BTW, being sleepy this morning I entered it incorrectly the first time as points for = 43 and combined points = 86, which is a 43-43 tie. There's only been one of those as well. In 1964 the Boston Patriots tied the Oakland Raiders. Parelli through for 422 yards.

Oakland Raiders at Boston Patriots - October 16th, 1964 | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Here, this may be useful for you. Go wild. :)

Scorigami
 

patfanken

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an additional couple of thoughts (now that I'm awake and have read some stuff this morning)

1. the 270lb Hightower matching up against Hunt is a MASSIVE mismatch. I don't see how anyone can blame Hightower when he has that responsibility and doesn't make it work. The blame should go to the coaches who put him in that position. Hunt would be a mismatch for most LB's, even smaller ones. It would be a tough matchup for Telvin Smith.
The only way for a LB like Hightower to cover Hunt would be to hit him on the LOS and that didn't happen. BTW- I was on the "he's lost a step" bandwagon early on, however he showed great speed (for his size) on his return, I thought, and it gave me hope that I could have been wrong.

2. We can't underplay the luck we had that gave KC their last TD on a 12 second drive. Given what the Pats had done on offense all game it became almost a sure thing the Pats were going to win this game. It was almost like the OT drive in the Atlanta Superbowl, you KNEW how it was going to turn out before they went on the field. Same here. You KNEW the game would end with at "Ghost" FG (though I would have won the game for my football pool if it had ended with a Gronk TD. ;) )

3. The KO coverage has been pretty spotty for the entire year. This was not just a one game disaster. Last year the short KO was a VERY effective strategy for the Pats. This year...not so much. I don't know if its a difference in personnel, or the change in the rules or what, but I don't see us using it too often again.

4. The Pats used to be the masters of the pick play when they didn't have much WR talent. The play they used to get him open up the seam is a great example. The only question I have is why they don't do it as much as they used to, or as it seems, as much as it is used against us?
 

RelocatedPatFan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
4. The Pats used to be the masters of the pick play when they didn't have much WR talent. The play they used to get him open up the seam is a great example. The only question I have is why they don't do it as much as they used to, or as it seems, as much as it is used against us?
I'm probably way off base, but they were getting called for alot of offensive PI on their picks (seemed the emphasis on the rule was mostly one on the Patriots use of it). That was also around the same time that Gronk couldn't been have contact with a DB (even if he didn't initiate contact) without a penalty.

I think they just adapted and moved it out of the playbook (for now). Seems we have a reasonable number of WRs who don't need to do that anymore, so I'd expect less of it to be necessary/schemed. Could easily be pulled back out with the right defense where we need the advantage (or even particular plays).

I think (can't confirm) that BB worries about creating tendencies too. Makes the team harder to prepare against if there are none.
 

PATS16N0

In the Starting Line-Up
Gordon is our most exciting offensive free agent gain since Moss. Every game he adds an added layer of watching his talent and potential blossom into productivity in our offense. The gains are obvious every single week.

I don’t follow sports media anymore but I happened to stumble across it on the radio just in time to hear Felger and Mazz crap all over it. I can’t believe after Super Bowl #5 they even have an audience for their garbage still. lol

They come off twenty times more pathetic than they even did during deflatehate.
 

patfanken

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I'm probably way off base, but they were getting called for alot of offensive PI on their picks (seemed the emphasis on the rule was mostly one on the Patriots use of it). That was also around the same time that Gronk couldn't been have contact with a DB (even if he didn't initiate contact) without a penalty.

I think they just adapted and moved it out of the playbook (for now). Seems we have a reasonable number of WRs who don't need to do that anymore, so I'd expect less of it to be necessary/schemed. Could easily be pulled back out with the right defense where we need the advantage (or even particular plays).

I think (can't confirm) that BB worries about creating tendencies too. Makes the team harder to prepare against if there are none.
that seems like a reasonable explanation RPF, but IMHO it's time that they brought back and least SOME elements of the concept. Clearly the Gronk play is one such element. I'd like to see more. Say more bunch routes for example.
 

Hyped

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Comments:

a.) Good write up once again, Ken. Really appreciate you staying up so late to deliver on these weekly posts.

b.) I think Hightower is back in business.

c.) Not happy with the defensive performance yesterday. Yes, K.C. might be the best offense we will face all year...but I liked how we played in the 1st half...I want to see that consistently for all 60 minutes. We still need to be better.

d.) Hope Wise, Jr. and Cannon are OK. We cannot afford any more injuries anywhere on the roster....

e.) @Chicago, @ Buffalo, Green Bay, and @ Tennessee before our week 11 BYE....tough stretch...but if we come out of it 2-2...and enter the BYE week at 6-4...I love our chances in the 2nd half with 4 AFC East games, the Vikes at home, and a roadie to Pittsburgh...I think we can go 4-2 and finish 10-6 at worst....and still get a home play-off game if our losses are mostly NFC types.
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I'm worried about Gronk's health because he's been unable to shake this ankle/foot injury. Reading Breer's article this morning and Mark Daniel's tweet after the game leave me with a bad feeling.

I don't know how to feel about the defense because looking around the league there are no dominating groups due to how offensively focused the rules.

Also why does Hollister get no looks in a 2 TE set, Allen's great for blocking but not a threat to catch the football. Both Bill and a lot of posters here believed he was poised for a breakout season. I'm also not a fan of Dorsett being completely phased out of the offense, his speed is valuable and provides a poor man's Cooks like ability.

Dorsett being "phased out"? It's only been the one game, so far. He caught 3 of 3 for 25 yards against Indy and played 42 snaps (61%). I don't think it's a trend, yet.

IDK about Hollister. He played only 14 snaps in wk-2 (JAX), but caught all three of his tgts for 35 yards. Then, he was out for two weeks with a "chest injury" (whatever that might mean). He played only 4 offensive snaps v. IND and then only 3 O-snaps v KCY, but he also played 19 and 16 ST-snaps in those games, so it's not as if he's being "eased back in" after his injury.

BTW, Allen's O-snaps were also reduced for the past two games ... 12 and 11, respctively, after playing 45 against Miami (56%).

Anyway, it might all be game-plan related.
 

maineman209

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Where is Dorsett? Did he play? Also seems like Patterson was barely in there on offense too. It was good to see Hogan get some work although he was silent until the 4th quarter for the most part.

Dorsett and Hollister each played 3 snaps on offense last night. Hollister also played 16 ST-snaps.

Patterson played only 6 snaps on O. He caught his only tgt for 13 yards, rushed once for 3 yds, and had a 30-yd KR. Patterson played only 8 snaps against INDY, and caught 2 of 2 for 11 yds and a TD. He'd previously played 41 snaps v. MIA.

Dwayne Allen played only 11 snaps last night and only 12 against INDY, after playing 45 snaps v. MIA.

All game-plan specific, I'm guessing. Indy and KCY have similar defenses, in terms of vulnerabilities. The Bears defense appears to be quite a bit better, especially their run-D, so McD's attack plan is likely to be different, and may emphasize different personnel.
 
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maineman209

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Maybe the fact that there are owners who have invested heavily in Fantasy Football is a factor.

The league itself, and all of its broadcast partners, are heavily invested in FF. IIRC, in 2017, the now very numerous FF operations took in almost twice as much revenue as the NFL (something around $20Bn, IOW).
 

PP2

Pro Bowl Player
an additional couple of thoughts (now that I'm awake and have read some stuff this morning)

1. the 270lb Hightower matching up against Hunt is a MASSIVE mismatch. I don't see how anyone can blame Hightower when he has that responsibility and doesn't make it work. The blame should go to the coaches who put him in that position. Hunt would be a mismatch for most LB's, even smaller ones. It would be a tough matchup for Telvin Smith.
The only way for a LB like Hightower to cover Hunt would be to hit him on the LOS and that didn't happen. BTW- I was on the "he's lost a step" bandwagon early on, however he showed great speed (for his size) on his return, I thought, and it gave me hope that I could have been wrong.

This is where we really missed Bentley. We are razor thin at LB, so you can't really fault anyone for why HT was put in a position where he was certain to fail.
 

50-yard-line

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I was giggling like an idiot on Hill's 75-yard tying TD.

I knew that KC was going to go down and score - I'd rather have the ball back with 3+ left in the game AND timeouts than go into overtime against that offense, where a flip of the coin would determine the winner. Did anyone really think that Brady wouldn't bring the Pats down the field for a field goal try with 3 minutes to play with?

Reverse of that: the Cinci receiver running out on the 2 in the Pitt game yesterday when there was no need at all to stop the clock. All it did was give Pitt time to win.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Comments:
c.) Not happy with the defensive performance yesterday. Yes, K.C. might be the best offense we will face all year...but I liked how we played in the 1st half...I want to see that consistently for all 60 minutes. We still need to be better.


The difference between 1st and 2nd half NE D play is not so much in consistency (although no one would mind some better execution) but in situation on the field. It was a different game starting the 2nd half, different play calling on KC O and NE D etc .. different situational football. Giving up the quick TD was certainly not the plan but it was - in part (besides execution) - a consequence of adjustments made on both sides. Tom's uncharacteristic fumble and terrible ST coverages didn't help as well.

BB was happy about 60 min effort fwiw..
 

Hyped

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The difference between 1st and 2nd half NE D play is not so much in consistency (although no one would mind some better execution) but in situation on the field. It was a different game starting the 2nd half, different play calling on KC O and NE D etc .. different situational football. Giving up the quick TD was certainly not the plan but it was - in part (besides execution) - a consequence of adjustments made on both sides. Tom's uncharacteristic fumble and terrible ST coverages didn't help as well.

BB was happy about 60 min effort fwiw..

I agree that ST's played a factor all night..not just on the 97 yard return but all other returns...the Chiefs were starting their drives between the 30-40 yard lines. That being said, there is no excuse for Hunt and Hill to just get that open deep. I can live and die with short/middle passes as well as come back routes...impossible to defend...but big plays...especially after last year's week 1 opener.

I realize that KC has a lot of weapons, but it is obvious to me that Hill is the type of player that needs to be accounted for everywhere he goes on the field....1 TD OK....2TDs? 3 TDs?!?!!? Shame on the D, IMO.
 
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