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Content Post Idle thoughts - the what could have been edition

2021 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Chargers
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Sun
Oct 31st

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This has an opening post with good commentary and information, which we definitely recommend reading.

patfanken

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I was down at Foxwoods today, but I got up from the table to watch the game in a room that one of my friends was staying in this weekend, So while everyone else was watching the game at the tables, I was up in the room alone with my computer as usual. Now, I would have started this much earlier than 1am, but I was forced to go back down to the table to earn the money I needed to pay off all those who bet me on the game, and it took me a bit longer than I expected to get that done and drive home.

As usual, I haven't ready any one else's review so I won't be influenced by their reviews. I'm sure it is all great stuff and I look forward to reading them tomorrow, but this is the way I do this. These are just my thoughts and the only thing I use is my memory that the box score. OK, to use a timely historical reference for this weekend - "Let's roll"
\
General Remarks -

1. This is a team that is built to be in EVERY game. The offense is not likely to be dynamic enough to blow people away, and the defense, while good, isn't dominant enough (at least for the next few months, to throttle teams. So we are likely to see a ton of these one score games this season and the Pats are going to have win the vast majority if they are going to the playoffs.

2. This was a game that was very winnable right up to the Brissett sneak. By a lot of factors the Pats outplayed the Dolphins but they lost the game because of mistakes (2 fumbles lost - 86 yds in penalties, including a few unforced errors to name the obvious ones - Boldin's brain fart on the KO to name a few) Mistakes that are not what we expect to see from a BB coached team. But that being said there are 24 new faces on this team. That's almost half the roster, and they have had just 23 practices to learn their respective playbooks. And more than half of those where virtual walk throughs. This will be an immediate house of horrors Monday for the team.. But a lot of learning will go on and I expect their game to tighten up as the season goes on.7

3. This is a game we win if Brown doesn't get hurt. A lot of the penalty issues came from Herron. Actually I thought he looked good in the first half, but clearly wasn't holding up when they had to bench him in the 2nd half., and put in a guy who they just brought on board. (BTW- he seemed to do pretty well for a fat guy). I was disappointed Cajuste was inactive, but we shall see down the road how that goes. Hopefully Brown will be back next week, but if he isn't I expect whomever they throw in at RT will be an improvement since they will take all the first team snaps during the week. It's a tough job (especially on the OL,) to come after an injury mid-game.

4. There was nothing to dislike about Mac's debut. He did everything we hoped, and what he did was enough to win the game. IIRC he made on bad pass on a 3rd down and that missed by just a foot. His only serious deep throw was right on the mark and only a great play by Jason McCourty kept it from being a catch. I liked that as the game went on he seemed to go down field more for 15-25 yd gains. And I liked that he started using the TE's in the 2nd half. About the only negative I can think of was that brain fart of a play that he almost fumbled away early in the game.

Think about this Bailey only punted twice and once was from the Miami 37. We moved the ball all game and had a HUGE TOP advantage and that is even more stunning given that we lost the TO battle. Here is where the game was lost. We had 4 redzone chances and came up with only 13 points and fumble. This HAS to improve radically and soon.

5. Nelson Agular has gotten a lot of bad press in preseason. He caught everything today - Had 74 yds and a TD and created the all important "space" against one of the better secondary's the Pats will face. A good start for him. Meyers was steady and will be all year. My initial impression of Bourne is that he is the most dynamic of the receivers and needs the ball in his hands more. I don't think he got more than a couple of targets until the 4th quarter where he made 2 big plays only to have one of them called back. Overall I think the WR's acquitted themselves fairly well (again especially given the 2ndary they were playing against)

6. I was beginning to wonder about all that money we spent on those TE's for the first half. Then they came on in the 2nd half to have an impact. I watch both on their blocking. They both will never make us forget Gronk, but they were willing and fairly effective blockers. And granted how little time both had spent in practice, I can only assume that impact will grow on a weekly basis (assuming they can STAY on the field)

7. I really underestimated what a dynamic RB DHarris is and can be. There were a number of 2 and 3 yd gains he made that were things of beauty as he turn losses into something positive. He IS the real deal. Too bad his legacy for this game will be the fumble, but it is what it is. I was disappointed that Stephenson didn't get another shot, but I fear for his confidence when they decided to go with Boldin late in the game when they gave Harris a blow.

8. The OL teased us before Brown got hurt. Overall they allowed just one sack and that was on a safety blitz from the outside. Mac got hit 4 or 5 times after throws. They need to clean that up as well as those damned penalties. Again this is the first sustained action these guys have gotten and the starting 5 didn't get out of the first quarter. I expect better next week

Defense

9. In general- This was a decent job. Less than 300 yds of total offense in this day and age is a fine overall job, and giving up only 17 points will win a LOT of games. I think the strength of the Dolphins offense is their receivers. Parker is a proven commodity and I believe if Waddle can stay healthy is going to terrorize the Pats and other teams for many years (unfortunately) Tua was OK, but I'm happier with out Alabama QB. But he didn't suck. That first drive made me wonder about this game, but after that the Defense tightened up considerably and played fairly well. In defense of that first drive, that's the one you get to see what you haven't seen before. It was a credit to the defensive staff that they cleared that up and the only real sustained long drive the Dolphins had after that was the one to start the 2nd half.

10 Like most of the units the DL wasn't the run stopping ninjas we were hoping for, but the did only give up 74 yds and 3,7ypc So not a bad job, just not good QUITE enough when it counted late.

11 Likes and dislikes What I liked was Judon's overall play. Uche had 2 impact plays, but I hadn't noticed him at all before he got that sack, his only tackle. I was hoping for more. Bentley got more play than I thought he would, but he did better than I expected. There were rumblings about his improvement in camp, but I didn't believe them. I think in Parker and Waddle the Phins have 2 really dynamic WR's and a really good TE in Gasecki. Well Waddle and Parker accounted for 160 of the 200 yds Tua threw for, including the catch of the game which was the 3rd and 8 dagger by Powell against close coverage from Jackson with led to a Miami score. But all in all it wasn't horrible. Mills held up on the opposite side of the field, which was a surprise given what we've heard about is boundary play. and I think Jackson is in for a big payday after this year. I LOVE Dugger and Phillips, together they shut out Gesecki and made him disappear without a catch

I think we saw a secondary that was OK and could be great when Gilmore returns. I think the front 7 will continue to get better as the players get more full speed reps together.

13 ST's were good except for the Boldin Brain fart, one penalty and the Bailey kick into the endzone on the short punt. But Folk was steady, though they didn't ask much of him but to make the gimmees. But overall the ST's also held their own and did their part to give the Pats a chance to win.

14. Tipping the cap.

a. By and large I thought their OL did a good job of keeping the Pats from pressuring up the middle. It seemed like the Pats tried a number to stems and blitzes to attack the middle and weren't often rewarded.

b - Ran some nice pick plays to open up receivers.

15 What I want to see next week.

a. Hold on to the F#cking ball.

b. Let Mac take more shots up the field

c. start creating the Bourne Identity

d. find a RT until Brown gets back - BTW- what about put Owenu out there and move Karras to LG - Just a thought

e create more TO's



OK 3am and I'm done. I'll try and do better next time
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
- Mac Jones played amazing, as I expected. Accuracy, poise, killed the blitz. Hit so many different receivers. Repeatedly clutch on 3rd down. Brave in the pocket. But Mac took way too many hits (9 hits!), this is a major cause for concern.
- OT Herron sucks and should also never see any snaps. If Brown is out then move Onwenu to RT and have Karras play LG
-Meyers and both TEs will be good. See ya NKeal, have absolutely zero need for you.
-Judon and Philips are gamers. Find a way to keep Philips on the field more. Also Uche is a keeper, legit starter and high potential but he did whiff and give the Dolphins a rushing TD.
- Pats had too many self inflicted wounds via fumbles and negating big plays by penalty.
- As feared in the off-season, the Pats still need a bonafide fat guy NT. Godchaux was knocked over easily, he is NOT the answer in short yardage. Short run defense failed in multiple key instances.
- OC sucked today. Multiple red zone failures. Why go away from 12 personnel after a successful 1st quarter? Rookie QB, you have 2 good tight ends, Brown hurt and turnstile Herron playing, so repeatedly call spread-shotgun 11-personnel plays getting your rookie QB hit over and over ?? Mac is going to get injured and not last the season with an egomanic OC more interested in looking smart, and stat-chasing, than protecting the health of a rookie QB. Pats should be in 12 personnel, under-center, for over 70% of snaps not just the first quarter.
- LB Bentley and DB SloJuan Williams should never play. They suck. Philips should always play before either Bentley or SloJuan see the field.
 

DarrylS

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Mac Jones initially seemed shaky and tentative, but as the game went on and he got his feet beneath him he seemed more self confident. He throws a really good ball, and is as accurate as advertised. He will be a much better QB by the time Thanksgiving comes around. Jones completed passes to 8 different players and had just about a 75% completion rate. Remember the adage we were fed by the announcers that said, "Brady's favorite receiver is the open receiver"??

Freaking penalties, IMO that was the difference how many times were the Pats going backward either at the beginning or mid drive.. might want to invite Scar back to inspire these guys and provide a few words of wisdom.

Defense seemed good, initially they were vulnerable to the run, but that quickly changed... do not know if Gilmore would have made a difference, but the Miami receivers have a lot of potential.

Overall the glass is half full and look forward to a decent season, what we do know after yesterday is that Mac Jones is gonna be OK (great??) and this team will get better as the season goes on. Many of my fears about the QB position are temporarily allayed..
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
I'll emphasize the point you made given the way this game went - this isn't a team yet. It's a group of individuals.

When you're not a cohesive unit with a set identity, purpose, role, etc you tend to make a few more mistakes - penalties as an example. On the other side of the coin, it's only one on one wins that tend to flash, while one on one losses are more frequent (turnovers) and devastating. It was evident with the Dolphins as well as they had similar issues, just a little less of them.

This wasn't a must win, but given the upcoming schedule it was close. Jete, Saints, and TB isn't Murderer's Row (RLKAG BTW) but it's just down the alley and a 1-3 start would be extremely difficult to come back from if this really is a fringe playoff team. Lots of practice is needed. Identity forming. Role establishing. and most of all the entire team starting to garner trust in each others' performance so those individual flashes of just individual talent can (hopefully) start gelling into a team.
 

borg

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Nice job PFK

My two disconnected cents from my lofty perch

Four words on Mac Pro: Accuracy, Guts, Pocket Presence

His first career pass attempt/fumble was certainly memorable...He was spun around, disoriented, and then located an eligible receiver who was standing behind him (wtf), and purposely ground the ball in what he thought was the upfield direction.
Buy the kid a compass and lets move on.

The kid's accuracy was next level. He dropped it in the bucket perfectly twice, though a Miami DB spoiled his first deep beauty.
He seemed more accurate with players on the move than when they were planted in the middle of the field. Seems his coaches have instructed Mac (like Brady) to keep throws low in contested areas.
The kid's guts were on display throughout....delivering last second dimes with Fish all over him/in his face. If CBS ever showed replays, we could have seen what kind of beating Mac took while locating the last second receiver.
And did you see Mac maneuver in the pocket! Few established pros move around the pocket with such poise.
How many times would Cam have tucked and run yesterday?
As far as I'm concerned, Bill has hit the trifecta. He found a starter who comes into the league with Accuracy, Guts, Pocket Presence.....and lets keep going....He has a QB capable of processing vast amounts of information and then utilizing that info in real time game situations.
Last year- the week 1 playbook.....QB sneak left/right/middle.
This week......Mac engaged with NE's entire fleet of on field weapons and was asked to carry the offense during portions of the game.

As fearless as Mac was yesterday......
He clearly can't continue to absorb hits while making last second throws.
His habit of throwing while moving backwards/off the back foot will hopefully wane as he learns the speed of the league.
I'm hoping to see more throws with a stride forward instead, helping his velocity

In my worry pile, Mac is at the bottom. He passed the eye test with flying colors.
At the top of my worry pile is the the secondary as currently constructed.
Why Miami didn't go 4 and 5 wide for 60 minutes and slant NE to death, I don't know. I suspect OC's in upcoming games will attack NE in a similar manner. They may also choose to release RBs that seemingly are always wide open out of the backfield, especially seeing the lack of speed by Hightower, Van Noy, and Bentley....YIKES

One "event" that really irked the crap out of me besides the fumbles and flags was Judon going Baltimore gangsta on the Miami sidelines.
Wish CBS had tape on that one too.

Come Tuesday.....Let Bill's mind games begin.
I so badly want to know's Bill's post game message.
I suspect it went something like....."NFL games are usually decided by a couple of plays, and today we handed Miami a game because of far too many mental mistakes."

Side note: Way to go Nick Folk, you savvy veteran practice squadder
 
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MahomestoHill

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
If the Pats cut down the mistakes and shield Jones from hits, I could see them possibly facing my Chiefs in the championship game.

I honestly believe they have a QB good enough to win it all. We know they have the coach. And unlike last year, guys were getting open yesterday. Yes, they didn't always catch the ball. But I'd expect some of that stuff to be cleaned up.

I think the number one priority is for the OC to not have Jones taking so many hits. That's play calling and scheming. Might even be something Belichick himself has to address to McDaniels.
 

sturmrider

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Always look forward to your idle thoughts PFK. Some disjointed ones from me right now.

Our defensehas some weaknesses, I won't dispute that, but I noticed the two touchdown drives for Miami came out of the gate in each half. Other than that the defense only allowed them a field goal. So they seem to adjust to the initial offenses. The opposing OC must give their team a great game plan to open, but after that they slow down.

I hope they find some better protection for Mac otherwise instead of a long outstanding career, he may be like a meteor short exciting and then gone. I have decided Herron is definitely not who we want playing any position. Time to try some alternatives.
 

SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I believe there is an old saying “Slant till you can’t” that the Dolphins followed. Our defensive play calling never adjusted to their quick slants, and stayed in what looked like off-man.
 

Wheelssps

Practice Squad Player
Always love your write-ups, Ken. I appreciate the time that you put into them.

A question that I have is about the screen game. It's usually been a strong part of the Pat's offense, and I have to admit that i wasn't able to watch all of the game uesterday, but were there many screen at all? Is this time less likely to screen, as in a sense play action is a better compliment to a running game, while a screen game is more about mitigating the pass rush. Was this a reality yesterday? Screens, whether t RB, TE, WR, always seem pretty QB safe, but maybe that is a bad assumption as well. Does Alabama do many screens? Does Mac have much experience with them?

I'm not advocating for tons and tons of screens, but as something else for the D to contend with, they seem to have a valuable place in the flow of an offensive game plan. Would love to hear others thoughts.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
I thought that Mac looked great his first start. The kid kept overcoming diversity created by his teammates. He converted 11 of 16 3rd downs, often times 3rd and long situations. I thought the Pats tried to take it off his shoulders in the EZ. I feel this was a mental error by the coaching staff. The kid showed he could do it, they should have kept it in his hands to put the game away rather than handing the ball off to what was an obviously completely gassed Harris.

Harris should also have been smarter, in the RZ, end of the 4th Quarter, down by a point. Go to the ground. You had the 1st down. Overall it was poor situational awareness, which could have been driven by how tired he was.

Overall I was a little disappointed in how the secondary played, but the did hold the Fins to 200 yards through the air and kept Tua in the bottom 10 of QB's in completion % and bottom 15 in yards. In today's NFL, that's no small feat with how much things are slanted towards the offense. They also kept the Dolphins to under 80 yards, which puts them in bottom 10 for rushing.

Pats were the better team that day, Penalties and Turnovers killed them. Those can be cleaned up. Mac needs better OL protection and the team needs more discipline and better situational awareness. Those things can be fixed. Mac played lights out given the circumstances and I don't believe this team will be losing a ton of games this season.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Always love your write-ups, Ken. I appreciate the time that you put into them.

A question that I have is about the screen game. It's usually been a strong part of the Pat's offense, and I have to admit that i wasn't able to watch all of the game uesterday, but were there many screen at all? Is this time less likely to screen, as in a sense play action is a better compliment to a running game, while a screen game is more about mitigating the pass rush. Was this a reality yesterday? Screens, whether t RB, TE, WR, always seem pretty QB safe, but maybe that is a bad assumption as well. Does Alabama do many screens? Does Mac have much experience with them?

I'm not advocating for tons and tons of screens, but as something else for the D to contend with, they seem to have a valuable place in the flow of an offensive game plan. Would love to hear others thoughts.
I think there were two one to Meyers and one to Smith if memory serves and both outside WR types. I would bet given the line crowding/overloads that the Dolphins did all day, classic RB screens were probably felt to be too slow developing.

Neither of the WR screens were very successful however.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Overall I was a little disappointed in how the secondary played, but the did hold the Fins to 200 yards through the air and kept Tua in the bottom 10 of QB's in completion % and bottom 15 in yards. In today's NFL, that's no small feat with how much things are slanted towards the offense. They also kept the Dolphins to under 80 yards, which puts them in bottom 10 for rushing.
It's amazing to compare statistics to hyperbole in regards to the current hawt take of "the secondary is terrible". Are they "shut down"? No, but they held two good WRs and TE to those numbers you cited which is a good defensive stat line in today's NFL.

On the overall defense, they were about as advertised - flashes of dominance along with significant inconsistency (which unfortunately were usually of the big play type). They also were not clutch in allowing an almost 5 YPC average on the final drive after the fumble that ran the clock out which was vastly different from the 3.7 YPC average throughout the rest of the game (which last year would've led the league in defensive YPC avg. BTW).

The Dolphins didn't even cross the fifty for 2/3ds of their possessions (3/9 possessions).

The outside leverage and off-man coverage issue (leading to easy slant/drag/in completions) was a concern and should be easily correctable. Given the time of the year that was the conservative approach - take the man into more help and prevent the big play. Tackling should improve as well (which was inconsistent) with additional padded practices and games.

Some encouraging signs, but items to definitely work on as well.
 

ohiopatsfan

On the Game Day Roster
Same old problem we always have; punching the ball in from the red zone. I hoped Stevenson would be the Lagarrette Blount type to carry tacklers into the end zone, but his fumble put him in BB's doghouse. Also, we need a Wilfork-type NT to clog up the middle on defense. I wonder if BB will look at some free agent vets. Anyone signed now is a non-guaranteed contract.
 

dustcover

Practice Squad Player
I was down at Foxwoods today, but I got up from the table to watch the game in a room that one of my friends was staying in this weekend, So while everyone else was watching the game at the tables, I was up in the room alone with my computer as usual. Now, I would have started this much earlier than 1am, but I was forced to go back down to the table to earn the money I needed to pay off all those who bet me on the game, and it took me a bit longer than I expected to get that done and drive home.

As usual, I haven't ready any one else's review so I won't be influenced by their reviews. I'm sure it is all great stuff and I look forward to reading them tomorrow, but this is the way I do this. These are just my thoughts and the only thing I use is my memory that the box score. OK, to use a timely historical reference for this weekend - "Let's roll"
\
General Remarks -

1. This is a team that is built to be in EVERY game. The offense is not likely to be dynamic enough to blow people away, and the defense, while good, isn't dominant enough (at least for the next few months, to throttle teams. So we are likely to see a ton of these one score games this season and the Pats are going to have win the vast majority if they are going to the playoffs.

2. This was a game that was very winnable right up to the Brissett sneak. By a lot of factors the Pats outplayed the Dolphins but they lost the game because of mistakes (2 fumbles lost - 86 yds in penalties, including a few unforced errors to name the obvious ones - Boldin's brain fart on the KO to name a few) Mistakes that are not what we expect to see from a BB coached team. But that being said there are 24 new faces on this team. That's almost half the roster, and they have had just 23 practices to learn their respective playbooks. And more than half of those where virtual walk throughs. This will be an immediate house of horrors Monday for the team.. But a lot of learning will go on and I expect their game to tighten up as the season goes on.7

3. This is a game we win if Brown doesn't get hurt. A lot of the penalty issues came from Herron. Actually I thought he looked good in the first half, but clearly wasn't holding up when they had to bench him in the 2nd half., and put in a guy who they just brought on board. (BTW- he seemed to do pretty well for a fat guy). I was disappointed Cajuste was inactive, but we shall see down the road how that goes. Hopefully Brown will be back next week, but if he isn't I expect whomever they throw in at RT will be an improvement since they will take all the first team snaps during the week. It's a tough job (especially on the OL,) to come after an injury mid-game.

4. There was nothing to dislike about Mac's debut. He did everything we hoped, and what he did was enough to win the game. IIRC he made on bad pass on a 3rd down and that missed by just a foot. His only serious deep throw was right on the mark and only a great play by Jason McCourty kept it from being a catch. I liked that as the game went on he seemed to go down field more for 15-25 yd gains. And I liked that he started using the TE's in the 2nd half. About the only negative I can think of was that brain fart of a play that he almost fumbled away early in the game.

Think about this Bailey only punted twice and once was from the Miami 37. We moved the ball all game and had a HUGE TOP advantage and that is even more stunning given that we lost the TO battle. Here is where the game was lost. We had 4 redzone chances and came up with only 13 points and fumble. This HAS to improve radically and soon.

5. Nelson Agular has gotten a lot of bad press in preseason. He caught everything today - Had 74 yds and a TD and created the all important "space" against one of the better secondary's the Pats will face. A good start for him. Meyers was steady and will be all year. My initial impression of Bourne is that he is the most dynamic of the receivers and needs the ball in his hands more. I don't think he got more than a couple of targets until the 4th quarter where he made 2 big plays only to have one of them called back. Overall I think the WR's acquitted themselves fairly well (again especially given the 2ndary they were playing against)

6. I was beginning to wonder about all that money we spent on those TE's for the first half. Then they came on in the 2nd half to have an impact. I watch both on their blocking. They both will never make us forget Gronk, but they were willing and fairly effective blockers. And granted how little time both had spent in practice, I can only assume that impact will grow on a weekly basis (assuming they can STAY on the field)

7. I really underestimated what a dynamic RB DHarris is and can be. There were a number of 2 and 3 yd gains he made that were things of beauty as he turn losses into something positive. He IS the real deal. Too bad his legacy for this game will be the fumble, but it is what it is. I was disappointed that Stephenson didn't get another shot, but I fear for his confidence when they decided to go with Boldin late in the game when they gave Harris a blow.

8. The OL teased us before Brown got hurt. Overall they allowed just one sack and that was on a safety blitz from the outside. Mac got hit 4 or 5 times after throws. They need to clean that up as well as those damned penalties. Again this is the first sustained action these guys have gotten and the starting 5 didn't get out of the first quarter. I expect better next week

Defense

9. In general- This was a decent job. Less than 300 yds of total offense in this day and age is a fine overall job, and giving up only 17 points will win a LOT of games. I think the strength of the Dolphins offense is their receivers. Parker is a proven commodity and I believe if Waddle can stay healthy is going to terrorize the Pats and other teams for many years (unfortunately) Tua was OK, but I'm happier with out Alabama QB. But he didn't suck. That first drive made me wonder about this game, but after that the Defense tightened up considerably and played fairly well. In defense of that first drive, that's the one you get to see what you haven't seen before. It was a credit to the defensive staff that they cleared that up and the only real sustained long drive the Dolphins had after that was the one to start the 2nd half.

10 Like most of the units the DL wasn't the run stopping ninjas we were hoping for, but the did only give up 74 yds and 3,7ypc So not a bad job, just not good QUITE enough when it counted late.

11 Likes and dislikes What I liked was Judon's overall play. Uche had 2 impact plays, but I hadn't noticed him at all before he got that sack, his only tackle. I was hoping for more. Bentley got more play than I thought he would, but he did better than I expected. There were rumblings about his improvement in camp, but I didn't believe them. I think in Parker and Waddle the Phins have 2 really dynamic WR's and a really good TE in Gasecki. Well Waddle and Parker accounted for 160 of the 200 yds Tua threw for, including the catch of the game which was the 3rd and 8 dagger by Powell against close coverage from Jackson with led to a Miami score. But all in all it wasn't horrible. Mills held up on the opposite side of the field, which was a surprise given what we've heard about is boundary play. and I think Jackson is in for a big payday after this year. I LOVE Dugger and Phillips, together they shut out Gesecki and made him disappear without a catch

I think we saw a secondary that was OK and could be great when Gilmore returns. I think the front 7 will continue to get better as the players get more full speed reps together.

13 ST's were good except for the Boldin Brain fart, one penalty and the Bailey kick into the endzone on the short punt. But Folk was steady, though they didn't ask much of him but to make the gimmees. But overall the ST's also held their own and did their part to give the Pats a chance to win.

14. Tipping the cap.

a. By and large I thought their OL did a good job of keeping the Pats from pressuring up the middle. It seemed like the Pats tried a number to stems and blitzes to attack the middle and weren't often rewarded.

b - Ran some nice pick plays to open up receivers.

15 What I want to see next week.

a. Hold on to the F#cking ball.

b. Let Mac take more shots up the field

c. start creating the Bourne Identity

d. find a RT until Brown gets back - BTW- what about put Owenu out there and move Karras to LG - Just a thought

e create more TO's



OK 3am and I'm done. I'll try and do better next time
Nicely done, you pretty much covered it. By 3 a.m. my bottle was empty and my brain was mush, so you are clearly one sober hombre! Good job amigo.
 

everlong

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Jones had a solid first effort. The OL under-performed in pass blocking, mightily. Love his pocket prescence moving around. The receivers did a really good job digging out a few of his throws which were low. If you're going to miss better that then high. Also given the pressure I'm not going to mark him down for those throws. The OL simply needs to be better. RBs were very good but the turnovers spoiled it.

That pass to White down the right sideline was a thing of beauty. That was truly Brady-esque.

Red zone efficiency and turnovers must be cleaned up.

The defensive backs played a lot better than I expected minus Gilmore. Phillips and Dugger both seemed to have turned the corner in year two of the system. The interior line, ILBs and Simon did not have good games. Bentley flashed a couple of times but was constantly out of position. Hightower looked slow. Guy was leaving gaps open I could have run through. People will say they only gave up 17 points which is true but that wasn't a great performance up front minus Uche, Judon and to a degree Van Noy.
 

doesntmatter1

In the Starting Line-Up
I just finished rewatching the game and there were a few things that stood out to me on the second watch.

#1 Adrian Phillips had an amazing game

#2 Pass protection was bad in many areas. Losing Trent was huge but what surprised me the most was the poor pass protection from Stevenson and Harris. On the td pass to Agholor, Harris is tossed aside rather quick. Say what you want about Sony Michel, but he was solid in pass protection, rarely fumbled, and arguably had his best games against the dolphins. I know Jonnu Smith can block because I've seen him do it for the Titans, but he was poor at it this game.

#3 Each time the Dolphins batted down a pass at the los it seemed like the play was going to be big. After the incomplete deep pass that Jason McCourty stopped it seemed like the pass on third down was open if not for the bat which again probably doesn't happen if Trent is playing. Then later a screen pass that looked promising is batted down. The Dolphins defense played better than I wanted to admit.

#4 Our entire secondary outside of Adrian Phillips and McCourty were poor at tackling. Parker slanted us to death and Waddle looked like Tyreek Hill lite. That deep pass to Parker just shouldn't have happened and that play alone could've changed the game in our favor.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
It's amazing to compare statistics to hyperbole in regards to the current hawt take of "the secondary is terrible". Are they "shut down"? No, but they held two good WRs and TE to those numbers you cited which is a good defensive stat line in today's NFL.

On the overall defense, they were about as advertised - flashes of dominance along with significant inconsistency (which unfortunately were usually of the big play type). They also were not clutch in allowing an almost 5 YPC average on the final drive after the fumble that ran the clock out which was vastly different from the 3.7 YPC average throughout the rest of the game (which last year would've led the league in defensive YPC avg. BTW).

The Dolphins didn't even cross the fifty for 2/3ds of their possessions (3/9 possessions).

The outside leverage and off-man coverage issue (leading to easy slant/drag/in completions) was a concern and should be easily correctable. Given the time of the year that was the conservative approach - take the man into more help and prevent the big play. Tackling should improve as well (which was inconsistent) with additional padded practices and games.

Some encouraging signs, but items to definitely work on as well.
I agree, the reality is the Fins were outmatched and outplayed, but the Pats a) shot themselves in the foot with penalties, b) were on the receiving end of just some horrible calls and c) fumbled the ball away when it mattered most.

That will lose you just about any game in the NFL regardless of how well you played the rest of the game.
 

LFGMac10

In the Starting Line-Up
I just finished rewatching the game and there were a few things that stood out to me on the second watch.

#1 Adrian Phillips had an amazing game

#2 Pass protection was bad in many areas. Losing Trent was huge but what surprised me the most was the poor pass protection from Stevenson and Harris. On the td pass to Agholor, Harris is tossed aside rather quick. Say what you want about Sony Michel, but he was solid in pass protection, rarely fumbled, and arguably had his best games against the dolphins. I know Jonnu Smith can block because I've seen him do it for the Titans, but he was poor at it this game.

#3 Each time the Dolphins batted down a pass at the los it seemed like the play was going to be big. After the incomplete deep pass that Jason McCourty stopped it seemed like the pass on third down was open if not for the bat which again probably doesn't happen if Trent is playing. Then later a screen pass that looked promising is batted down. The Dolphins defense played better than I wanted to admit.

#4 Our entire secondary outside of Adrian Phillips and McCourty were poor at tackling. Parker slanted us to death and Waddle looked like Tyreek Hill lite. That deep pass to Parker just shouldn't have happened and that play alone could've changed the game in our favor.
on #4 - In defense of Jackson, Parker did have a small push off which let him go up for the ball and kept Jackson on the ground. He had pretty tight coverage. But that's the breaks in today's NFL.
 

patfanken

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Always love your write-ups, Ken. I appreciate the time that you put into them.

A question that I have is about the screen game. It's usually been a strong part of the Pat's offense, and I have to admit that i wasn't able to watch all of the game uesterday, but were there many screen at all? Is this time less likely to screen, as in a sense play action is a better compliment to a running game, while a screen game is more about mitigating the pass rush. Was this a reality yesterday? Screens, whether t RB, TE, WR, always seem pretty QB safe, but maybe that is a bad assumption as well. Does Alabama do many screens? Does Mac have much experience with them?

I'm not advocating for tons and tons of screens, but as something else for the D to contend with, they seem to have a valuable place in the flow of an offensive game plan. Would love to hear others thoughts.
I think part of the problem, Wheel,, is some new rule changes. OLmen are no longer able to cut block outside the TE box. Its now much harder for big men to maintain blocks on quicker DB's and LB's in open spaces.. Just a thought
 

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