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Idle thoughts - the sunny day edition......T

2021 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Chargers
Pick Results: NE: 65.2% at LAC: 34.8%

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Oct 31st

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luuked

Hall of Fame Poster
ERoberts has gone from everyone's first choice as a roster drop, to getting emergency snaps on the defense, to being an impact player on the field. What a find. In my mind he's everything that Freeney wasn't. I just hope he can survive the physicality of the game at his size. What impresses me the most about watching him, is that he almost always diagnoses exactly where the ball is going, and once he does, he gets there going down hill. HIS play allowed MattyP to be able to move around Hightower and Hightower had HIS best game of the year being Patricia's swiss army knife. That doesn't happen without Robert's dependable play. Another guy from Houston who didn't get invited to the combine.

I like what Roberts is doing but I think his playstyle of coming in like a missile can blow up if he doesn't get the correct angle. He missed 1-2 tackles yesterday because of that.. I wonder whether opponents in the future will come in better prepared to deal with him and exploit this.

Consistency when other teams start to plan for you is what differentiates a genuinely good player from a one trick pony.

Also don't underestimate that Hightower is finally getting back to 100%. So while the emergence of Roberts certainly helps, getting finally healthy and being able to move quicker makes all the difference in the world.
 

PatsFanSince74

PatsFans.com Supporter
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Thanks, PFK, for your usual thoughtful analysis.
All I have time to say before I get to my job is that, while I still want the Pats to get a little daylight between themselves and Buffalo, any weekend when the Broncos, Colts, Ravens and Steelers all lose and the Patriots win is a good, "sunny" weekend. The day will be complete when the Jests lose tonight!
 

PP2

Pro Bowl Player
a. Whatever the Cinci secondary was doing needs to be analyzed, because during that first half Brady rarely was able to throw a pass in rhythm. If he was, there wouldn't have been any talk about the OL. Hopefully we'll find out, because whatever it was, we'll see it again because it worked....until it didn't.

Ken, it looks like they schemed heavily to take away the short pass. For the most part they rushed 4, dropped 7 and we adjusted by leaking White out to the flat.

Not sure what exactly our OL did in the 2nd half that made them perform a lot better. Does someone have any insight on this?
 

aluminum seats

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I root for most AFC teams too. It's a relic of the AFL NFL wars in my case.

You might feel differently if you lived through the AFL-NFL war of the 60's, as I did.

 

archstanton543

In the Starting Line-Up
Playing a desperate team often is the most difficult win you can get. But don't forget it's one week at a time, and a desperate Steeler team at home is going to be an awesome test, especially for the D.

They'll be desperate, sure, but without Worthlessburger playing, their chances are slim.
 

DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
PatsFans.com Supporter
3. Interesting to note that on that 4th and goal play in the first half, Nate Ebner was on the field as one of the S's. He also had a great hit one of the KO returns. BTW- Cinci did what no other team has done this year today, and that is return a kick beyond the 25.....to the 26 :D.

But remember.. That was only because of an Unsportsmanlike Penalty on Blount that pushed the kick-off point back 15 yards that allowed that to happen..



2. The low blow to the back of Bennett's knees away from the play by Burfict was about the worst cheap shot I've ever seen, and I go back to the early 70's when the game was a lot more physical. But I'm talking about forearms to the head or shots to the balls. This was a dive at the back of a players knees designed to end a career. If he isn't fined for it, then any talk of player safety means nothing. It was horrifying. And I'm pretty sure there were officials in position to see it, yet no flag was thrown. It was a miracle that Bennet survived it. I guarantee you when they see this on film there will be lot of very unhappy Patriots in that room.

That one is guaranteed to be sent to the league.. If the league doesn't fine him Burfict, who is a repeat offender on unsafe plays, then I agree with you..


6. The Bills finally did what they SHOULD do and crushed a bad 49er team at home. The Pats have a small lead in the division now, so in 2 weeks we should be looking at a very exciting Bills week for a change. But don't forget it's one week at a time, and a desperate Steeler team at home is going to be an awesome test, especially for the D.

OK that's enough for a start. I'm late for dinner. Lets get the discourse going.

Divisional Games are always tough. The Pats will be looking for some payback against the Bills because of the debacle. With Brady ready to go, it should be a great game..
 

RelocatedPatFan

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Gronk's unsportsman/taunting penalty
Obviously fired up for a couple of plays and was getting verbal with a few guys. Curious what he was saying because he seemed to walking away from everyone, still yapping to himself and with the nearest Bengal being 3+ yards away. I'm sure BB covered it on the sideline and no need for it to be mentioned again

Brady, definitely a lot of movement in the first half/3 quarters of the game. His throwing to Gronk on the run for a perfect pass down the sideline (think it was Gronks first catch for 37 yards) was absolutely beautiful.

Curious why Burfict was going after Bennett as he seemed to be ok with Bennett (helped him up after some tackles a couple of times before he took out his knee). Still doesn't mean anything if Burfict is going to play dirty...oh,m I mean falling into a player...jeez can't believe that comment.
 

Husse

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Gronk's unsportsman/taunting penalty
Obviously fired up for a couple of plays and was getting verbal with a few guys. Curious what he was saying because he seemed to walking away from everyone, still yapping to himself and with the nearest Bengal being 3+ yards away. I'm sure BB covered it on the sideline and no need for it to be mentioned again

I don't think it was the talking that got him the penalty. If you look at when the refs threw the flags it was because of his gesturing towards the Bengals' bench. ~1:45 min in
Rob Gronkowski receives taunting penalty after 12-yard grab
 

VrabelJr

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Wouldn't be a patfanken summary thread without some undeserved shade being thrown at James White.
 

Gumby

In the Starting Line-Up
I don't think it was the talking that got him the penalty. If you look at when the refs threw the flags it was because of his gesturing towards the Bengals' bench. ~1:45 min in
Rob Gronkowski receives taunting penalty after 12-yard grab

I think it was the timing and the direction (to the bench), whether it was verbal or gesticular was not important. The ref just finished talking with him, and i bet if we had the audio, the ref would say he had given him a warning/talking to. So for Gronk to walk in that direction (not toward eventual huddle location or pats sideline) and then Do or Say anything is just kind of disrespecting the ref and I'm sure he took offense.
 

Actual Pats Fan

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
.....well it WAS a beautiful day, and you can't expect me to come up with a pithy title every game. ;)

Playing a desperate team often is the most difficult win you can get. Just ask the Steelers (and who saw THAT one coming). I have to say Cinci came into this game and played a BRILLIANT first 36 minutes of the game. I can't imagine Dalton playing better. The defensive game plan (which I'm hoping someone who get the all 22 will explain later in the week) was outstanding and yet, despite all this, the Bengals managed to accumulate just a 14-10 lead. THAT is what impressed me the most from this game. So let's get started and break it down.

Offense

1. OL - It is easy enough to go and blame the OL for the offensive problems they had in the first half. Possibly but protection is a lot more than just the OL. TE's and RB's can have an important impact as well. However the bottom line here is whatever problems the OL MIGHT have had in the first half, were taken care of at half time, and Brady was hardly hurried. Mason is going to take a hit for the one sack were he seemed like was beat, but to his credit, he did the job when it mattered the most.

a. Whatever the Cinci secondary was doing needs to be analyzed, because during that first half Brady rarely was able to throw a pass in rhythm. If he was, there wouldn't have been any talk about the OL. Hopefully we'll find out, because whatever it was, we'll see it again because it worked....until it didn't.

b. Kudo's to the coaching staff for whatever adjustments they made, because in the 2nd half, there was a marked difference in the time Brady had.

2. RB's. Ok James White had 2 TDs, but PLEASE, I do NOT want to see him with 7 carries again. He may be a better runner than he was in the past, but he is STILL not good. On the other hand I was VERY please to see LGB get a couple of looks in the pass game. Our tendency to run or PAP when he is in the game is super high, so he will always be open.

Overall we didn't run very much, but the RB's were fairly effective when they did.

3. TE's - Not a lot to add, since these guys are just so good and no one is going to be surprised if I point it out. In the first half it was fair to question why we hadn't seen much of either, but coming out of half time, they evidently made whatever adjustments they had to make to get them open, and boom they were suddenly open all the time. Gronk got the yards this game, but who knows next week. I don't have a clue, and neither do the Steelers.

4. WR - A very quiet day for the WR's. Hogan had just one catch although it was for almost 40 yds. Jules had "just" 4 and that's not much for him, and DA was just a 3rd down machine like he's been all season. Not many snaps, but a lot of impact on the few he gets. Malcolm was shut out for the first time this season.

5. QB- I have a small frustration about our offense. In one sense its almost too good. While most of the league is trending to throw the ball to their big receivers even when they are covered well. The so-called 50-50 ball. Well Tom Brady has been in an offense for most of his career than relied so heavily on receivers who create separation either by skill or scheme, and throwing the ball to "the open man".

So I wonder if I was alone watching that very choppy first half, and thinking "damned, why don't they just put one up to Gronk or Bennett and let them make a play, instead of watching him run around the pocket waiting for someone to get 'open'." The Raven won a superbowl throwing 50-50 balls.

But like I said it was a very small frustration. Meanwhile Tom was good, and his movement in the pocket these last 2 games might be better than I've see in a long while....if ever. Maybe he CAN play til he's 45.

Defense:

1. The positive, they really made some big plays over the course of the game, and obviously turned themselves completely around after the first Cinci drive of the 2nd half, allowing only 3 more points after that. The negative was they were merely good and not great.

2. The DL/LB's Hard to separate the 2 when discussing this defense when their roles interact so often. The run D was OK, but nothing like the dominant job they did last week. Cinci had some success running the ball. IIRC the RB's had just over 100 yds for the day, though some were gotten in garbage time.

a. It looked like Chris Long made the big play on the GL, though he certainly wasn't alone.

b. ERoberts has gone from everyone's first choice as a roster drop, to getting emergency snaps on the defense, to being an impact player on the field. What a find. In my mind he's everything that Freeney wasn't. I just hope he can survive the physicality of the game at his size. What impresses me the most about watching him, is that he almost always diagnoses exactly where the ball is going, and once he does, he gets there going down hill. HIS play allowed MattyP to be able to move around Hightower and Hightower had HIS best game of the year being Patricia's swiss army knife. That doesn't happen without Robert's dependable play. Another guy from Houston who didn't get invited to the combine.

c. A little acknowledgement for Branch who had a couple of big plays today on the run.

d. .....and then we come to the question of the pass rush. Still nothing that fills the game day mafia with any excitement. Only 2 sacks to the team who allowed more than twice that to a no name Dallas unit. it was certainly better in the 2nd half when Dalton had to escape the pocket several time, but I'm guessing it will never be as good as people want or expect.

This isn't going to be a prolific pass rushing team as far as stats go, but I think it can be a very EFFECTIVE pass rushing team simply because the pass rush and secondary work so well together to keep the opposition from scoring points. I'd like to think that it would be great to see 4 or 5 sacks per game, but that's not likely from this group.

3. DB's - another really solid game from the DB's Holding Dalton to just 250 yds was pretty outstanding when you think of how hot he was for the first 3 quarters. Everything he threw was right on target, even his incompletions. IIRC at one point he was 13 out of 14, so the fact he ended up going 21-31 is to the credit of the coaching staff, the pass rush and the secondary for improved play the 2nd half.

a. I thought Butler played better today. He seemed feistier, like whatever injury that was bothering him earlier was getting better. When he dropped the pick at a key point in the game, I wanted to go to him and tell him, "Don't worry Malcolm, you hung on to the one that counted" ;)

Greene, who is truly a great receiver, 'only' had 88 yds against both Ryan and Butler. But he was helped a lot by Dalton who threw the ball a couple of times into very tight windows. My only rant of the day was on the TD drive at the start of the 2nd half when on a 3rd and long, Greene was left to run free in some loose zone for an easy first down in front of the CB. But that was just one play. Most of the time most of Greene's catches where highly contested.

b. Nice to see Eric Rowe get some snaps. Even nicer to see him make a play at a big time. That should help his confidence as he is eased into the defense. We really need him when we have to match up on big WR's.

c. Only one over the top play for the Bengals, and that was covered perfectly. In keeping with BB's sometimes very frustrating philosophy, he wants the offense to make a lot of good plays in a row if they want to score.

ST's

1. The coverage unit's were once again superb. Brandon King, who I wanted to cut to keep Cooper, was PARTICULARLY good in coverage. Another good example of why I'm NOT the GM. ;)

2. It wasn't so much about the missed extra point that bothered me, it was the very near miss of the short FG that makes me worry about Stephan Gotskowski in a way I haven't 'til now. Clearly something is wrong. I don't think it's "go get another kicker" wrong, but it is something that needs to be addressed. I'm sure Gotskowski knows it's not good and will try to do what he needs to do to turn it around. In the meantime, he's certainly earned our patience.

3. Interesting to note that on that 4th and goal play in the first half, Nate Ebner was on the field as one of the S's. He also had a great hit one of the KO returns. BTW- Cinci did what no other team has done this year today, and that is return a kick beyond the 25.....to the 26 :D.

General thoughts.

1. The refs avoided my conspiracy feelings today, even if they made a few incomprehensible calls. The hands to the face call on Ryan was a farce, which was critical because Cinci later scored on a drive that would have ended on that play. However Cinci got a holding call after they made a first down that I happened to think was pretty weak (though not a bad as the Ryan call), and the next play was High's safety. I also didn't understand the LGB PF since he was walking away when he was pushed from behind. At worst it should have been dual PF's. Also I was kind of surprised when I checked the penalty yardage and found the Pats only had 7 for 46 and the Bengals had 6 for 55. It seemed like both sides had more.

2. The low blow to the back of Bennett's knees away from the play by Burfect was about the worst cheap shot I've ever seen, and I go back to the early 70's when the game was a lot more physical. But I'm talking about forearms to the head or shots to the balls. This was a dive at the back of a players knees designed to end a career. If he isn't fined for it, then any talk of player safety means nothing. It was horrifying. And I'm pretty sure there were officials in position to see it, yet no flag was thrown. It was a miracle that Bennet survived it. I guarantee you when they see this on film there will be lot of very unhappy Patriots in that room.

3. Always great to see the Ravens lose, even if it was to the Giants. Usually I root for any AFC team over the NFC, but not this time.

4. How do you possibly explain the Miami Steeler game. Going into the game, not team was playing better than the Steelers and no team was playing worse than the Phins. It's a great object lesson for BB down the road, and it will make the Steelers even more desperate to win this game at home.

5. BTW- Cleveland looks like they lost another heartbreaker. Jackson has them playing hard at least. Cleveland fans just have to hold on just a little longer and their loyalty is going to be rewarded.

6. The Bills finally did what they SHOULD do and crushed a bad 49er team at home. The Pats have a small lead in the division now, so in 2 weeks we should be looking at a very exciting Bills week for a change. But don't forget it's one week at a time, and a desperate Steeler team at home is going to be an awesome test, especially for the D.

OK that's enough for a start. I'm late for dinner. Lets get the discourse going.
 
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