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Content Post Idle thoughts: the "slow your roll" edition

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patfanken

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Not doing the 3am posting any more. Just a few general observations from this game and then it on to a VERY tough 4 game stretch that will tell the story of this team.

I was very leery of this game simply because it was an away game on Thursday night. Normally this is a very big advantage to the home team. I didn't know Bill was 14-3 on Thursday night. I knew it was good, but not that good. I have always said that coaching has more impact in football than any other team sport. Bill always says it all about the players, but in reality coaching plays a big part and last night you saw the results. Atlanta is a flawed team, no doubt, but they were good enough to beat the Saints on the road, a team that crushed us. I'm not saying it was a team that should have beaten us, but a dangerous team that should have at least been competitive to some degree....and they weren't. Good for us so here are a few thoughts before we move on.

1. I was trying to think about who RStevenson reminds me of and it hit me this morning. Leveon Bell. It's the patience, the short burst in the hole, and the vision that Bell had that made him special when he was with the Steelers. THAT's what I saw last night when Stevenson ran the ball. Something special. What a pick in the 4th round. A pick,. btw, that was a head scratcher for me with Harris, Michel, White, and Taylor already on the roster. But with Michel traded, White on IR, and Taylor relegated to the inactive list, Stevenson is now firmly entrenched as the #2 RB's and will get 10-15 touches along with Harris.

2. Mac is a funny guy to evaluate. It would be easy to comment on the sacks he took, the pick he made, and the 2 missed passes for first downs he threw. Then when you look at the box score you come to find out that on 26 attempts he only threw 4 incompletions. Ho Hum, just another 85% completion day for Mac. Overall it was a mixed night for Mac even with the high percentage of completions. He took 33 yds of sacks, and I believe should have avoided 2 of them (see next comment). I thought he missed a few plays on the line where he could have gotten them out of bad plays. But when you think about it, he STILL yet to play his best game of the season, and we got out of Atlanta with a 25 point win.

3. I posted the other day that Mac has the same athletic ability (speed and short area quickness) as Russell Wilson, one of the more elusive QB's in the league. Clearly Mac doesn't have the instincts and experience to use those gifts. Hopefully that will come over the next few years (or few weeks even). This is a part of his game that he needs to work on.

4. The Pats are now 14th in the league in rushing at 113 ypg, BUT they are averaging 156 ypg over the last 3 games. The best rushing team in the league are the Ravens and Brows at 154 ypg followed closely by the surprising Eagles. Since RStevenson has been inserted into the rotation, the Pats running game has gone from decent to formidable. That's the good news

5. The bad news is that 3 of the next 4 games come against teams that are ranked 4th (Buffalo) and 7th (Titans) in the league against the run.. This is a team that NEEDS to run the ball around 30 times per game to synch up with its passing offense. We have no idea how well Mac will do if he has to carry this offense...and I don't want to find out. Now it should be noted that Cleveland is ranked #5 and we ran the ball very well against them, but either way, THIS team needs to run the ball. and it will face stacked run D's over the next month.

6. Going relatively unnoticed over the last month has been the vast improvement by Jalen Mills and the outstanding play of Miles Bryant. With JC on the other side, teams are naturally going to target Mills more. He is a natural target. Yet just the eyeball test tells me he is meeting that challenge much better during this win streak. I'd love to know his PFF stats over the last month compared to the first 2 months of the season. I know he got a PI in this game, but it was on a play where he arrived just a microsecond too early. Often what he did would be ignored, but he was THERE. It wasn't a desperation PI from a guy who was beat.

7. We are watching Kyle Dugger grow into an all pro right before our eyes. Big enough to play LB for short stretches and fast and quick enough to cover both TE's and WR's. FINALLY a head scratching pick that turned into gold. The kid is a force. When you add him to Adrian Phillips you get 2 guys who give you the flexibility to do a lot of things that most teams can't.

8. I worry about Barmore hitting the rookie wall more than Mac. Now a fixture on the DL rotation, he is now in on over 60% of the defensive snaps. In last nights game he got more snaps than any DLman. What worries me is that at Alabama IIRC he was only in on about 33% of the snaps, which was one of the reasons he dropped. So now against much stiffer competition, he is playing more than he ever has since HS. You have to wonder if at some point it starts to get to him. Just sayin'

9. You can't help but marvel at the consistent messaging we get from the post game pressers. "We work hard, we play in the moment, work hard, we play for and love each other, work hard, follow the game play the coaches give us.....and work hard". Whatever happens this is a team that has totally bought into the program. What is so odd about this is that it comes from a team that had such a vast turnover in personnel. All those new guys must have clearly understood that all those dollars they got came with an obligation to put in the work and bring the attitude that made for a team that can contend over the long term. They completely DISPROVE the erroneous hot take that players won't come here because they work too hard and its no fun.

10. Now for the "slow your roll" part. We are now a respectable 7-4, on a 5 game win streak, and every mediot's flavor of the day. HOWEVER over the next 4 games that can all change in the blink of an eye. In the next 4 weeks we will have 3 games with the top 2 teams in the conference as well as a Colt team who has won 4 out its 5 games IN Indy. Not an easy task at all. We have to do all this with a rookie QB, a thin defensive backfield, and passing attack that doesn't seem ready to play from behind.

On the plus side we will start this stretch relatively healthy. Gunner and Harris are back, as well as Winovich which adds to our DL depth. We won't have Uche for the next few weeks, but that might be addition by subtraction. Anyone know when Wade might be available to help in the secondary?

11. Going back to 2001 Bill didn't care if Antwain Smith averaged less than 4 ypc as long as he didn't LOSE yds, made the tough 3rd and 4th and shorts, and the Pats slowed the game down with around 30+ runs a game. Now we have 2 plus RB's to go along with a good run blocking OL, so any game we play where we can meet those 2001 offensive objectives and DON'T turn the ball over, we will be there at the end of the game. Now whether we will win that game is THE big question. This team hasn't shown they can come from behind and win a game. Lots of teams can "be there in the end". The freakin' Lions have "been there in the end" lots of times this year. But to be a playoff team, you have to prove you can WIN those games at the end.

During the Brady years the Pats WERE that team that always seemed to win that game, to the point where it came to be expected. No one had more come from behind 4th quarter wins than the Tom Brady Pats. SOME of that was Brady, but the other 21 guys helped too. But Brady is gone and the new core is just that NEW. And we have no idea how they will respond to those high pressure moments at the end of close games. Against Dallas, Miami and Tampa the answer was "not so good" as we lost those 3 games at the end. During the 5 game win streak, we didn't have any last minute success because we played from ahead in all of those game after the first quarter.

Let's enjoy these next 9 days and bask in all the nice things that people will say about our team, knowing full well they will tear us a new one if we slip up for an instant. There are a TON of mediots (some right here in Boston) who waited TWENTY years to tear into Bill Bellichick for imagined and real slights to their fragile mediot privileged "ts all about me" mindset. They will only be too happy to begin again if these next 4 games don't go well.

So now its all about mental toughness and learning HOW to win those close games at the end. So here is to the myth of the rookie wall, and having a rookie QB who is now ready to show he can carry a team late in a game. That he can take the ball at his own 20 with 3 minutes left and win a game. Lots of nice things to say about Mac, but we don't know THAT.
 
Last edited:

SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
After that great touchdown Mac threw to Bourne into double coverage last game, I worried that it was not a good lesson for him to learn at this early stage of his career. Yes, it worked out great, but it was still a high risk throw. That pick he threw into double coverage might have been the result.

But I really like the way he snaps back after a bad play.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
6. Going relatively unnoticed over the last month has been the vast improvement by Jalen Mills and the outstanding play of Miles Bryant. With JC on the other side, teams are naturally going to target Mills more. He is a natural target. Yet just the eyeball test tells me he is meeting that challenge much better during this win streak.

Here's half of the reason why



plus


 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Not doing the 3am posting any more. Just a few general observations from this game and then it on to a VERY tough 4 game stretch that will tell the story of this team.

I was very leery of this game simply because it was an away game on Thursday night. Normally this is a very big advantage to the home team. I didn't know Bill was 14-3 on Thursday night. I knew it was good, but not that good. I have always said that coaching has more impact in football than any other team sport. Bill always says it all about the players, but in reality coaching plays a big part and last night you saw the results. Atlanta is a flawed team, no doubt, but they were good enough to beat the Saints on the road, a team that crushed us. I'm not saying it was a team that should have beaten us, but a dangerous team that should have at least been competitive to some degree....and they weren't. Good for us so here are a few thoughts before we move on.

1. I was trying to think about who RStevenson reminds me of and it hit me this morning. Leveon Bell. It's the patience, the short burst in the hole, and the vision that Bell had that made him special when he was with the Steelers. THAT's what I saw last night when Stevenson ran the ball. Something special. What a pick in the 4th round. A pick,. btw, that was a head scratcher for me with Harris, Michel, White, and Taylor already on the roster. But with Michel traded, White on IR, and Taylor relegated to the inactive list, Stevenson is now firmly entrenched as the #2 RB's and will get 10-15 touches along with Harris.

2. Mac is a funny guy to evaluate. It would be easy to comment on the sacks he took, the pick he made, and the 2 missed passes for first downs he threw. Then when you look at the box score you come to find out that on 26 attempts he only threw 4 incompletions. Ho Hum, just another 85% completion day for Mac. Overall it was a mixed night for Mac even with the high percentage of completions. He took 33 yds of sacks, and I believe should have avoided 2 of them (see next comment). I thought he missed a few plays on the line where he could have gotten them out of bad plays. But when you think about it, he STILL yet to play his best game of the season, and we got out of Atlanta with a 25 point win.

3. I posted the other day that Mac has the same athletic ability (speed and short area quickness) as Russell Wilson, one of the more elusive QB's in the league. Clearly Mac doesn't have the instincts and experience to use those gifts. Hopefully that will come over the next few years (or few weeks even). This is a part of his game that he needs to work on.

4. The Pats are now 14th in the league in rushing at 113 ypg, BUT they are averaging 156 ypg over the last 3 games. The best rushing team in the league are the Ravens and Brows at 154 ypg followed closely by the surprising Eagles. Since RStevenson has been inserted into the rotation, the Pats running game has gone from decent to formidable. That's the good news

5. The bad news is that 3 of the next 4 games come against teams that are ranked 4th (Buffalo) and 7th (Titans) in the league against the run.. This is a team that NEEDS to run the ball around 30 times per game to synch up with its passing offense. We have no idea how well Mac will do if he has to carry this offense...and I don't want to find out. Now it should be noted that Cleveland is ranked #5 and we ran the ball very well against them, but either way, THIS team needs to run the ball. and it will face stacked run D's over the next month.

6. Going relatively unnoticed over the last month has been the vast improvement by Jalen Mills and the outstanding play of Miles Bryant. With JC on the other side, teams are naturally going to target Mills more. He is a natural target. Yet just the eyeball test tells me he is meeting that challenge much better during this win streak. I'd love to know his PFF stats over the last month compared to the first 2 months of the season. I know he got a PI in this game, but it was on a play where he arrived just a microsecond too early. Often what he did would be ignored, but he was THERE. It wasn't a desperation PI from a guy who was beat.

7. We are watching Kyle Dugger grow into an all pro right before our eyes. Big enough to play LB for short stretches and fast and quick enough to cover both TE's and WR's. FINALLY a head scratching pick that turned into gold. The kid is a force. When you add him to Adrian Phillips you get 2 guys who give you the flexibility to do a lot of things that most teams can't.

8. I worry about Barmore hitting the rookie wall more than Mac. Now a fixture on the DL rotation, he is now in on over 60% of the defensive snaps. In last nights game he got more snaps than any DLman. What worries me is that at Alabama IIRC he was only in on about 33% of the snaps, which was one of the reasons he dropped. So now against much stiffer competition, he is playing more than he ever has since HS. You have to wonder if at some point it starts to get to him. Just sayin'

9. You can't help but marvel at the consistent messaging we get from the post game pressers. "We work hard, we play in the moment, work hard, we play for and love each other, work hard, follow the game play the coaches give us.....and work hard". Whatever happens this is a team that has totally bought into the program. What is so odd about this is that it comes from a team that had such a vast turnover in personnel. All those new guys must have clearly understood that all those dollars they got came with an obligation to put in the work and bring the attitude that made for a team that can contend over the long term. They completely DISPROVE the erroneous hot take that players won't come here because they work too hard and its no fun.

10. Now for the "slow your roll" part. We are now a respectable 7-4, on a 5 game win streak, and every mediot's flavor of the day. HOWEVER over the next 4 games that can all change in the blink of an eye. In the next 4 weeks we will have 3 games with the top 2 teams in the conference as well as a Colt team who has won 4 out its 5 games IN Indy. Not an easy task at all. We have to do all this with a rookie QB, a thin defensive backfield, and passing attack that doesn't seem ready to play from behind.

On the plus side we will start this stretch relatively healthy. Gunner and Harris are back, as well as Winovich which adds to our DL depth. We won't have Uche for the next few weeks, but that might be addition by subtraction. Anyone know when Wade might be available to help in the secondary?

11. Going back to 2001 Bill didn't care if Antwain Smith averaged less than 4 ypc as long as he didn't LOSE yds, made the tough 3rd and 4th and shorts, and the Pats slowed the game down with around 30+ runs a game. Now we have 2 plus RB's to go along with a good run blocking OL, so any game we play where we can meet those 2001 offensive objectives and DON'T turn the ball over, we will be there at the end of the game. Now whether we will win that game is THE big question. This team hasn't shown they can come from behind and win a game. Lots of teams can "be there in the end". The freakin' Lions have "been there in the end" lots of times this year. But to be a playoff team, you have to prove you can WIN those games at the end.

During the Brady years the Pats WERE that team that always seemed to win that game, to the point where it came to be expected. No one had more come from behind 4th quarter wins than the Tom Brady Pats. SOME of that was Brady, but the other 21 guys helped too. But Brady is gone and the new core is just that NEW. And we have no idea how they will respond to those high pressure moments at the end of close games. Against Dallas, Miami and Tampa the answer was "not so good" as we lost those 3 games at the end. During the 5 game win streak, we didn't have any last minute success because we played from ahead in all of those game after the first quarter.

Let's enjoy these next 9 days and bask in all the nice things that people will say about our team, knowing full well they will tear us a new one if we slip up for an instant. There are a TON of mediots (some right here in Boston) who waited TWENTY years to tear into Bill Bellichick for imagined and real slights to their fragile mediot privileged "ts all about me" mindset. They will only be too happy to begin again if these next 4 games don't go well.

So now its all about mental toughness and learning HOW to win those close games at the end. So here is to the myth of the rookie wall, and having a rookie QB who is now ready to show he can carry a team late in a game. That he can take the ball at his own 20 with 3 minutes left and win a game. Lots of nice things to say about Mac, but we don't know THAT.
Great writeup, but the team came from behind to beat the Texans. Largely due to Mac's passing. So we have a small sample
 

Rob0729

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I said this in another thread, but I don’t think you can take anything away about the offense from last night. It was a Thursday night game and those games favor the defense. No practice Monday and walk throughs on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The only thing that shocked me about the offense last night was that they came into the game fairly sharp and got sloppy as the game went along. But give Dean Pees credit. He did seem to do a pretty good job taking away Jones’ first option and force him to check down a lot. And to Jones’ credit, he made the check downs and completed the passes for the most part.
 

n6249c

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After that great touchdown Mac threw to Bourne into double coverage last game, I worried that it was not a good lesson for him to learn at this early stage of his career. Yes, it worked out great, but it was still a high risk throw. That pick he threw into double coverage might have been the result.

But I really like the way he snaps back after a bad play.
I agree that the pick last night may have been the result of Mac getting too ****y after that Bourne TD last Sunday. So I also thought it may be a good thing for him to have been picked off last night, to give a harsh and memorable lesson about the cost of over confidence.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I hope this is a sign Godchaux is finally getting it and will be productive. Jonnu Smith is getting all the attention as the worst free agent signing, but until last night, Godchaux was up there with him.

Define production for BB NT?? God is “getting it“ from Day 1. Watch tape, understand job. When others step up he can eat too..
Jonnu will be all right, but feel free to enjoy your “worst free agent signings“ lists..
 

DarrylS

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2019 Weekly Picks Winner
Interestingly Johnnu Smith (33) got more snaps that Hunter Henry on offense (32), but Henry did get one on ST's to even the score.

I think Smith is gonna be fine, he is often asked to block have heard Zolak speak about this several times.

No matter how it is framed Thursday Nite was a good win, a shutout is just a bonus. The D has been nothing short of magnificent, the next 4 games should prove interesting..
 

dreighver

In the Starting Line-Up
Define production for BB NT?? God is “getting it“ from Day 1. Watch tape, understand job. When others step up he can eat too..
Jonnu will be all right, but feel free to enjoy your “worst free agent signings“ lists..

My sense is that the poster was speaking more generally (how some percentage of the forum views Smith) than specifically saying he himself has a "worst FA signings list". YMMV.
 

borg

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Great writeup, but the team came from behind to beat the Texans. Largely due to Mac's passing. So we have a small sample
Mac is a RB fumble, missed FG, and one poor defensive series away from getting credited with 3 additional Come From Behind 4th qtr wins.

1) Down by 1, Harris fumbles on MIA 9 with 3:18 to go. Pats D can't stop MIA
2) Down by 2 to TB, Folk misses 56 yd FG with 59 secs remaining (How many Vinatieri made FGs elevated young Brady's Come From Behind win column?)
3) Mac completes 75 yd TD pass to Bourne with 2:11 to go put Pats up 3 vs DAL with 2:11 to go. Pats D proceeds to allow 9 play/FG to tie game and force OT.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Mac is a RB fumble, missed FG, and one poor defensive series away from getting credited with 3 additional Come From Behind 4th qtr wins.

1) Down by 1, Harris fumbles on MIA 9 with 3:18 to go. Pats D can't stop MIA
2) Down by 2 to TB, Folk misses 56 yd FG with 59 secs remaining (How many Vinatieri made FGs elevated young Brady's Come From Behind win column?)
3) Mac completes 75 yd TD pass to Bourne with 2:11 to go put Pats up 3 vs DAL with 2:11 to go. Pats D proceeds to allow 9 play/FG to tie game and force OT.
Yeah I know, he had some great play to get the team into range. It sucks it didn't turn out the way we wanted.

But in suoer excited about the kid. I think he is going to be all time great. Maybe not 7 SB, but he's going to consistently beat out these other QBs over the years
 

Rob0729

PatsFans.com Supporter
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Define production for BB NT?? God is “getting it“ from Day 1. Watch tape, understand job. When others step up he can eat too..
Jonnu will be all right, but feel free to enjoy your “worst free agent signings“ lists..

Godchaux was really struggling early in the year and getting blown off the line quite a bit. All the people in the media who watch this stuff in the all 22s like Bedard pointed it out. He has improved in recent weeks, but he had a career game on Thursday. He has been a disappointment until recently.

And I am not giving up on Smith, but right now he has been a bust signing. That is indisputable.
 

Clonamery

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Godchaux was really struggling early in the year and getting blown off the line quite a bit. All the people in the media who watch this stuff in the all 22s like Bedard pointed it out. He has improved in recent weeks, but he had a career game on Thursday. He has been a disappointment until recently.

And I am not giving up on Smith, but right now he has been a bust signing. That is indisputable.
Honk.
 

Bill Lee

What, me worry?
PatsFans.com Supporter
The bad news is that 3 of the next 4 games come against teams that are ranked 4th (Buffalo) and 7th (Titans) in the league against the run..
Externally, I'm full of glee that some of mediots are having to swallow their words and are jumping on the bandwagon, but I know they aren't sincere so I'm non-plussed, and am laughing at the amount of hype they are generating. The same mediots now handing us roses are the same ones who have been just as happy to bury us in piles of manure. There's no penalty for being a hypocrite any more, so I just step back and let it all roll down my back.

Internally, I'm in "slow the roll, pump the brakes" mode, but BUF has only played one tough opponent, and CLE was a top-3 defense till we played them. I'm more worried about Jared Allen's legs. He has played well against us and has a nasty habit of breaking contain at the worst possible moment. I think the game will be a nail biter.
 

BTTA

He/Him
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Godchaux was really struggling early in the year and getting blown off the line quite a bit. All the people in the media who watch this stuff in the all 22s like Bedard pointed it out. He has improved in recent weeks, but he had a career game on Thursday. He has been a disappointment until recently.

And I am not giving up on Smith, but right now he has been a bust signing. That is indisputable.

I think you are being trigger happy and superficial in these assessments.
 

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