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Idle thoughts - "When a win is worse than a loss" edition.

2021 Patriots Season:
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Pick Results: MIA: 0% at NE: 0%

Sun
Sep 12th

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Nunchucks

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I am liking the new guys, they can play. Duggar, Uche, and even Heron have been guys we haven't see much of, but are finally contributing.

Harry is starting to run out of time. Its hard to evaluate him with Cam throwing the ball, but he had too many penalties.

Cam's leadership must be huge, because the number of junk plays he is involved in, its mind boggling that Stidhim can be worse.

Every nfl game is a gift and to lose on purpose is nuts. There are no sure things in the draft
 

notex

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Sorry OP - your post was too long for me on a Monday AM, however, just to address your first paragraph (Yes, I know it was in jest/sarcastic).

"Tanking" may be the most idiotic idea I've ever heard thrown out there for the Pats. You are willing to destroy a culture/brand built up over 20 years to draft Justin Fields or Zach Wilson? Every one of these QBs were selected outside the top 10 (Mahomes was #10 I think).

Mahomes
Brady
Wilson
Rodgers
Brees
Jackson
Watson
Carr
Big Ben

So for me? Absolutely not. Play every game to win... instill a winning culture on our young players. I already like what I am seeing from many of our recent draft picks: Harris, Meyers, Uche, Bentley, Jackson, Duggar etc..
 

Tunescribe

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This is a bad team who should be tanking instead of winning these close ugly games. We will all be regretting a win like this when we are picking around #20 next April.

I'm glad you qualified the above as not your personal opinion, it's pure nonsense of the sort we get regularly from the fantasy dweeb contingent. You don't build and maintain a winning culture -- which is worth far more than ANY high draft pick -- by losing games or "tanking." You scratch, claw and fight your way to every single win possible regardless of standings or circumstances. It's why the game is played.
 
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masterbouncer

On the Game Day Roster
NFL Picks Grand Champ!
I am liking the new guys, they can play. Duggar, Uche, and even Heron have been guys we haven't see much of, but are finally contributing.

Harry is starting to run out of time. Its hard to evaluate him with Cam throwing the ball, but he had too many penalties.

Cam's leadership must be huge, because the number of junk plays he is involved in, its mind boggling that Stidhim can be worse.

Every nfl game is a gift and to lose on purpose is nuts. There are no sure things in the draft
To Cam, you have to add "experience", he has much more in the NFL than Stidham, but everything else what makes a good QB like pocket awareness, throwing mechanics, decision making, reading the defense, throwing the ****ing ball, he is just pathetic at anything which makes a QB. So frustrating to watch him there hanging on the ball in the pocket waiting for christmas to come just to miss the open WR or get sacked or the ball batted on the line. Its horrible to watch.

I guess he is a great team mate and might have a nice career as motivational speaker or something in the fashion business, but man he ain't a starting QB.
Not saying Stidham is, but he never got the chance to play a full game, and having the first team reps.

Based on how Meyers was evaluated (benched for Sanu, benched for Harry) you might see that evaluation process might not be the best there.
The main difference Meyers produced when his number was called, Stidham not so much for the 3 plays he was allowed to play.


Btw. funny how people only read the first sentence from PFK and stopp there to start to reply instead of reading through the complete post :rofl:
 
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Sam Bam Cunningham

Practice Squad Player
Cam’s legs are shot. In the offseason, before we even signed him, I went back and took a look at his All-22 for the last couple of years. Cam has never had the best pocket awareness but he’s been able to get away with it because he had the athleticism to flee the pocket and get positive yardage with his legs before being brought down. Starting in late 2018, I didn’t see that anymore.

You’ve seen this throughout the season and you saw it again yesterday. The pocket collapses, he tries to flee, and gets brought down from behind by either the DT or DE. That never used to happen to him. He can still do it on designed running plays for him because he gets an extra blocker, but he’s no longer the threat he once was when the play breaks down and he has to improvise. While it was fun to watch him run over LBs and Safeties throughout the years, eventually they start aiming for the legs. Like they did with Gronk. This is where I believe Cam’s problems start and it’s affecting his footwork and mechanics as a passer, IMO. When you combine that with what we have at the WR and TE position groups, you’ll see some absolute clunkers on offense like yesterday.
This is spot on! Very noticeable. So many plays he simply drops back and stands like a statue in the pocket. I guess this is why they are not running RPO's. Sadly at this point in his career he reminds me of Drew Bledsoe.
A big part of Tom's excellence, is even though he has no athleticism the guy moves around in the pocket with great intelligence and agility.

Cam's legs are not going to get better and you can not have a QB who can not move around in the pocket. I would even prefer Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tyrod Taylor next year to Cam
 

condon84

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
This is a bad team who should be tanking instead of winning these close ugly games. We will all be regretting a win like this when we are picking around #20 next April. We should sit Cam, who clearly can't pass anymore after his worst passing game of his career. His footwork sucks. His accuracy is non-existent and he clearly has trouble seeing the field and his taking sacks even though the OL has done a good job protecting him.

What I have written here is NOT what I think, but it IS what you will be hearing all week from the media. So be prepared. The sky is falling. BB has lost it. The dynasty is over and it will be decades before we might see a revival. :eek: Well while some of the criticisms are valid, it surely was an ugly offensive game no question. I see a path back from purgatory and I encourage a dialog for those who disagree.

BTW- I am not going to write one of those 10,000 word jobs tonight. Just a few thoughts for discussion ....at least that's my intent. ;) So on to the list.

1. Lets start with the bad stuff.

a. Cam looked horrible. I couldn't help note that after Folk's game winning FG the stricken look of disappointment on Cam's face. It was as if he was so disappointed in his performance he couldn't bear to share in his teammates' celebration of a well deserved. He KNEW it was his worse passing game of a very good 10 year career and it clearly hurt him. I don't blame him. That's what a winner feels like when he's sucked on the field. It happens. Move on. He's the same guy who threw for 350 odd yds just last week. So while it would have been nice if he had built on that performance this week, it didn't happen. Move on.

That being said, I don't know what's going on in practice. Back in 2001 the word was that Brady was already looking better than Drew in practices preceding Drew's injury and it would have been just a matter of time before Bledsoe might have been replaced if his game didn't improve. The fact was that the offense Bill wanted to run simply suited Brady's skill set over Drew's Drew never adapted his game. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks. But I don't want to go down that rabbit hole.

Here's the thing. I don't think Bill is going to dump Cam. Good playing, bad playing Cam is still the leader of the team. From all reports he's a been a great teammate. But I do think that the leash is a lot shorter now than it was yesterday. There is a part of me that wants to see what Stidham has got before the whole " sell all the franchise's assets to draft a QB high" crowd takes over the place. BB moved on from a $100MM QB I don't think he'll be afraid to move on from a $1MM QB.

People don't want to make excuses for any player, but Cam has more than a few he COULD claim for his very inconsistent performances. We all know them, so I won't waste time repeating them. But I can't help but wonder what Cam could be with a full off season and a 2nd year in the system.

b. I've been a LONG time coming to this point, but I'm finally coming to the point where I am really worried about N'Keal Harry's future as a Patriot. He really looks lost and seems like he's completely lost his confidence.

Listen I still believe he has a future. He's a tough kid who is willing to block LB's, who is willing to go over the middle, etc. He's generally shown good hands despite his drop today. But I'm not really worried about his physical skills. I AM now worried about his head. Is this kid mentally tough enough to deal with the adversities of injuries and overcoming a bad performance. EVERY player has them. The good pros, simply move on with even greater determination to do better. The guy who are quickly out of the league are the ones who can't. I'm not sure which category Harry lies right now.

c. We are going to hear about from now until April but I'm NOT a big fan about picking a QB in the first round or god forbid mortgaging the future to move up for a can't miss "franchise QB" (Like mitch Trubisky or Wentz or Sam Darnold, or any of a dozen other QB's I could mention that have turned out to be less than their teams hoped for.

BTW - Someone in the game day thread opined that maybe it might not be a bad Idea to get Harry to put on 25 pounds of muscle and move to TE. Just a thought.

c. The running game took a step back this week. One reason was the fact the Cards were stacking 8 and 9 men at the LOS. The other was the lost of Issaih Wynn. I don't know what happened with Elumenaur, but mid way through the first period our 2 starting OT's were 6th round rookies :eek: So it was no wonder the running game wasn't going well. I saw Elumanur back in the game later, but bottom line, Wynn will be missed the next 2 game...at least.

d. The broadcast team at Fox sucked. They were clearly favoring the NFC team to the point when the announcer literally use the term "we" in describing the Cards. That explained a lot to me.

e. The refs - These guys were horrible. The call on the PR was ludicrous. It can't be a blindside hit when the 2 guys are facing each other. Right? Another key call was on Gilmore giving the Cards ANOTHER shot at a TD on a failed 3rd down play inside the 5. Sure Gilmore DID give Hopkins a slight tug that didn't interfere with his route, yet they COMPLETELY ignored the fact that Hopkins had not only pushed off early in the route, but he slammed Gilmore right in the face!!!!!! That was almost as bad as the double penalty call that gave the cards ANOTHER chance after a failed 3rd down play. These guys were REALLY inconsistent.

BTW- Some in the media are trying to intimate that the PF call on Cam that set up the winning FG was "controversial". It wasn't. Sure Cam was hit before he went out. But that WASN'T why the flag was thrown. The guy ear holed Cam with the top of his helmet. And while in my day that would have been applauded, now its clearly a foul. No controversy there at ALL!

g. Second thought - I really thought JWilliams had a great rookie year, and I even thought he looked good early in the season, but as each game has passed he seems to have become a distant after thought and that disturbs me. I want him to be good and he should be. Yet clearly he isn't getting any run. It might not be his fault. Hard for him to crack Gilmore, Jackson, JMcCourty, and JJones at CB and harder to crack a DMcCourty, Phillips and Dugger at S

h. Another last minute thought. - Can't help but to be very disappoint in the fact neither of our 2 TE draftees have managed to get on the field due to injuries. It really sucks.

The good stuff.


a. This team has a LOT of character. They have lost a lot of close game this year and have had things go bad at the worst times. Injuries, illnesses, fumbles and picks. They are in a position where they literally have to run the table if they want to guarantee themselves a playoff spot, so EVERY game is a playoff game from here on out. So no one would have been surprised if after the abysmal start they had in going behind 10-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game, they would have quit and gone through the motions. Nothing seemed to be working.
.
Well they obviously didn't quit and made a lot of really clutch plays over the course of the game. So even if you think they suck and should be tanking, this is team that is WORTHY of our full support. They have a lot of grit and determination.

b. I think Winovich, Uche, and Simon will give us a solid OLB corps for the next several years. Uche is starting to make a difference. Winovich could be a star in the making and Simon is as solid as they come.

c. Adam Butler had his best game as a Patriot. I don't know what they were putting in his chocolate milk while he was out, but I want some in my milk. That kid was on fire. I was worried when I saw Cowart was out. I needn't have. Adam proved solid support in the run game and consistent pressure up the middle.

BTW- Lawrence Guy could be the most under rated defensive lineman in the league. Week in and Week out he gives this team a great effort and solid production and no one seems to notice.

d. The secondary (along with the DL pressure) held a very explosive and talented Cardinal offense to just 170 yds passing. A special shout out should go to Gilmore who held the best receiver in the NFL to a VERY quiet 55 yds on 5 catches. Most of those were on 10 yd outs when it looked like Gilmore was in zone. There were a LOT of fantasy players who are very sad tonight. ;)

e. Very nice game by a guy I've been pretty critical of this year. JBentley led the team with 13 tackles and was a rock on the inside. If they can keep him out of passing game or protect him, he can develop into a good run stopper.

f. DHarris had his worst game in a while but I love him more every time I see him run.

g. Dugger is going to be a good one. He's going to be an impact safety down the road and likely the guy who keeps Patrick Chung in retirement in NH. He's another of the young guys who make me happy.

h. And while we really might have the worst set of WR's in the league, Jakobi Myers is turning out to be a solid option running constant routes and getting open despite his speed deficiencies. And the more I see of Jamir Bird, the more I like him. HE seems to be improving as the season goes on.


3; Other thoughts.

a. The Pats are looking at a 2 week stay on the west coast coming up in games against a very winnable Chargers and the very tough Rams a week later. They they play the AFC in each of their last 3 games. They will likely be underdogs in 3 of those games (Rams, Bills, and Dolphins) All those games will be close and the Pats will have a punchers shot in every game. 10-6 is possible, though 8-8 is more likely. But here's the thing. Even if they don't make the playoffs this season, I don't see this team as being far from being back in the championship mix. Here's why.

b. For the first time in decades, the cap is going to drop to 175M next season. For the few teams WITH cap space the FA market will be deep and offer a lot of great bargains because there will be a number of teams who are going to have to let go good players to get under the cap and other might be able to keep their own guys, but will not be able to bid for any new guys. IF what we been led to believe is true, the Pats will be among those few teams with relatively a lot of space to pick up 2 or 3 QUALITY players that could make immediate impacts on areas of need for this team.

c. This team needs speed at WR. This team needs speed at ILB. This team needs bulk on the DL THERE WILL be quality players who fill these needs available next March and the Pats will have room to acquire some and the market will be flush with so many that it should be good time to be a buyer.d

d. i. This defense seems to be getting better or at least capable to stop 2 of 3 very good QB's running dynamic offensive systems. Its not going to take too much to push it to the next level

Bill creates winning teams with winning attitudes. It is never a surpirse to him when they win. He gives them what they need to do in order to win a game, and gets them to believe that if they do those things, they will win the game. So Bill is NEVER going to tank any game they suit up for. He still believes that adage that it is the best TEAM ,not the most talent that wins football games. AND while he'd rather have Julio Jones and DHopkiins as his WR's, he's shown he can win MULTIPLE Superbowls with some other guys who aren't household names. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if he hired someone this off season who has some experience in some of the "Air Raid" kind of offensive concepts that the Pats aren't familiar with on offense.

e. I just got an Alexa thing from Amazon and I can't believe I ever existed without it. Is that sad????? ;). OK I've rambled enough. I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this win and look forward to the next one.

After reading that first paragraph...

 

notex

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I am liking the new guys, they can play. Duggar, Uche, and even Heron have been guys we haven't see much of, but are finally contributing.

Harry is starting to run out of time. Its hard to evaluate him with Cam throwing the ball, but he had too many penalties.

Cam's leadership must be huge, because the number of junk plays he is involved in, its mind boggling that Stidhim can be worse.

Every nfl game is a gift and to lose on purpose is nuts. There are no sure things in the draft


To be fair to Harry, even BB said last week that Harry was called for two holdings calls that weren't actually him (one was Meyers, one was Byrd I think). Can't argue with the fact that he hasn't been very good....

I really just don't think Cam is very good, and honestly, I never have. Even during his MVP season I thought he was a flash-in-the-pan type like Lamar Jackson. This is the entire reason that "running QBs" havent been successful in this league for the most part. You need to be able to step up in the pocket and make things happen that way too. Mahomes and Wilson are both elite passers - McNabb could be thrown in there too if you want a less recent version. Sunday is a prime example of what happens when a running QB is not able to make plays with their legs (Murray).

Cam is no longer an Elite RUNNING QB, and was never an elite pocket passer, so you now have a good (not great) running QB who can't throw the ball. Not a great combo. I just hope BB is honest with himself about the QB position this offseason.

To me, a perfect marriage of mobile/passing is what you want: Steve Young, Mahomes, Wilson, McNabb, Andrew Luck, Favre etc..
 

luuked

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Cam’s legs are shot. In the offseason, before we even signed him, I went back and took a look at his All-22 for the last couple of years. Cam has never had the best pocket awareness but he’s been able to get away with it because he had the athleticism to flee the pocket and get positive yardage with his legs before being brought down. Starting in late 2018, I didn’t see that anymore.

You’ve seen this throughout the season and you saw it again yesterday. The pocket collapses, he tries to flee, and gets brought down from behind by either the DT or DE. That never used to happen to him. He can still do it on designed running plays for him because he gets an extra blocker, but he’s no longer the threat he once was when the play breaks down and he has to improvise. While it was fun to watch him run over LBs and Safeties throughout the years, eventually they start aiming for the legs. Like they did with Gronk. This is where I believe Cam’s problems start and it’s affecting his footwork and mechanics as a passer, IMO. When you combine that with what we have at the WR and TE position groups, you’ll see some absolute clunkers on offense like yesterday.

That has been one of the more insightful takes on what's going on with his inconsistency and terrible short throws. Interesting.
 

gitgronked82

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
This is not a bad team. We’re a decent QB and a good WR away from being 8-2. We have a top 5 defense (that is getting better) and a top 5 rushing offense. I can’t think of a team that ever had those two qualities and was bad.

We stand to gain much more by winning and attracting like minded free agents than moving up a few slots in what will be a crapshoot of a draft due to COVID.
I’m not a glass half empty guy, but I don’t think we can say this is a top 5 defense this year.
 

patfanken

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Cam’s legs are shot. In the offseason, before we even signed him, I went back and took a look at his All-22 for the last couple of years. Cam has never had the best pocket awareness but he’s been able to get away with it because he had the athleticism to flee the pocket and get positive yardage with his legs before being brought down. Starting in late 2018, I didn’t see that anymore.

You’ve seen this throughout the season and you saw it again yesterday. The pocket collapses, he tries to flee, and gets brought down from behind by either the DT or DE. That never used to happen to him. He can still do it on designed running plays for him because he gets an extra blocker, but he’s no longer the threat he once was when the play breaks down and he has to improvise. While it was fun to watch him run over LBs and Safeties throughout the years, eventually they start aiming for the legs. Like they did with Gronk. This is where I believe Cam’s problems start and it’s affecting his footwork and mechanics as a passer, IMO. When you combine that with what we have at the WR and TE position groups, you’ll see some absolute clunkers on offense like yesterday.
nice take, K. In retrospect you may have isolated the fatal flaw in Cam's game. At worst you gave us something we need to watch for every week.

It is pretty clear that there is none of the quickness we saw in Watson in evading pass rushers. I never followed Cam's Carolina days except for the highlights, You seem to have a better take on it. Thanks for elevating the discussion to a higher level.
 
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patfanken

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  • Special teams was clearly the star unit of the day. 2 great run backs, exceptional punts and clutch FG.
It's funny that when I was thinking about what I was going to write about immediately after the game, my original thought was to lead with how it was a special teams win. But by the time I got to pluses I evidently forgot. Thanks for pointing the FACT that it was special teams that won that game.

And a shout out to @borg for his comment on the "Kicking whisper". That was a great take too
 

KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
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That has been one of the more insightful takes on what's going on with his inconsistency and terrible short throws. Interesting.
Not sure if you remember this or not, but you and I actually discussed this in the offseason. Only then, I wasn’t 100% sure because of the shoulder injury so I included the caveat that I wasn’t totally convinced just yet, but that’s the way I was leaning. Now, I’m convinced.
 

Nikolai

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A lot of people reacted to your post without reading beyond the first paragraph. I admit, you almost got me too.

I tend to agree with a lot of it, and honestly, I am taking a real liking to this team. They have heart, grit, and determination. It's the antithesis of the infamous 2009 team, which was oozing talent compared to this year's team, but limped to a 10-6 finish and an early playoff exit. I couldn't truly tell you if they will win on any given week, regardless of the opponent, but they compete and are in almost every game to the last minute.

There is something to build off of here. I just don't know what to do about the QB situation. The only thing NOT to do is tank for a 50/50 shot at a decent QB.
 

DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
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Good stuff though I disagree with your take on Harry. Especially when you consider Eleumenor's poor play overall.
I think the Pats will be looking to add to Uche and Winovich. Simon will be 31 at the end of the season and he's a Free Agent. Not sure that Bill will bring him back as he's not been that great. Especially if there is a plethora of Free agents due to the Salary Cap likely dropping.
 

borg

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There is something to build off of here. I just don't know what to do about the QB situation. The only thing NOT to do is tank for a 50/50 shot at a decent QB.
50/50 is better than the 0/3 on the current roster...... isn't it?
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
This is not a bad team. We’re a decent QB and a good WR away from being 8-2. We have a top 5 defense (that is getting better) and a top 5 rushing offense. I can’t think of a team that ever had those two qualities and was bad.

We stand to gain much more by winning and attracting like minded free agents than moving up a few slots in what will be a crapshoot of a draft due to COVID.
Yeah we're a decent QB & a good WR away...plus an NFL-calibre TE...and Another good WR...and Another NFL-calibre TE...and a C/G-devouring DT...and an NFL-caliber DE...and Another NFL-calibre DE...and an ILB who doesn't suck...and an OLB who can actually cover somebody...

And No we do Not have a top-5 defense...That's a Laughable claim...
 

PScottman

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Simon will be 31 at the end of the season and he's a Free Agent. Not sure that Bill will bring him back as he's not been that great.
I think it all depends on price. He's proven he can be a good rotational guy - not a 70% of defensive snaps guy which he's forced into this year. If he comes back on a contract reflecting that (which next year should be easier with cap contraction) he might return. I tend to agree with your prediction that he won't, but am not 100% convinced with those other variables.
 

notex

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Yeah we're a decent QB & a good WR away...plus an NFL-calibre TE...and Another good WR...and Another NFL-calibre TE...and a C/G-devouring DT...and an NFL-caliber DE...and Another NFL-calibre DE...and an ILB who doesn't suck...and an OLB who can actually cover somebody...

And No we do Not have a top-5 defense...That's a Laughable claim...
I think the D is going to round into shape next year. Not a great unit right now but theres alot to build off: Great secondary, some young exciting players (Winovich, Duggar, Butler, Uche, Jackson etc). But, just an opinion... A few reinforcements along DL are absolutely needed.
 

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