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Is Steve Belichick part of the problem on defense?

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FredFromDartmouth

In the Starting Line-Up
Hightower has looked terrible as well. I'm still trying to understand how the Cowboys only had to punt ONCE in five quarters of football vs. the Pats......FOUR QUARTERS AND O.T.! ONE PUNT!!
Yup. Hightower was dreadful. I don't know if he was injured or old or out of touch but he seemed lost out there.

And gee, we sure could have used a nice number one CB, eh?
 

BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
Pretty simple. The main issue on this team is the lack of athletic talent. Particularly at the WR position on offense. On defense they were mostly fine, when you consider the offense they played and how badly they were left to hang out to dry.
 

dreighver

In the Starting Line-Up
I don't think we had a single stop today that wasn't due to a penalty or the Cowboys just shooting themselves in the foot some other way.

That's part of the game, though, right? And sometimes those penalties/mistakes are forced by the other team.

Look at the two-play sequence, where Meyers scored a touchdown but had it called back for holding, and then the strip sack. The Patriots shot themselves in the foot, otherwise they would've been up by 21-3. That cuts both ways. It's just part of the game.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
And the Pats are still one of the better team in terms of points allowed. They have been a bend, don’t break defense this year. They haven’t given up many points in the red zone this year.
It's the big plays. They finally had a couple themselves last night (Bethel/Dugger pick, Bentley strip, and Bourne TD), but couldn't help themselves giving up more than twice as many to the Cowboys.

I get that the Cowboy's offense is a great one so offensive big plays were going to happen, but how many 3d and 15 plus turned into 4th and less than 1 or 1st downs? It wasn't the numbers of big plays - it was when they occurred. The difference in wins and losses isn't always just getting points, it's those key plays preventing them. It used to be HT, McCourty, and Harmon that would make those big plays on that side of the ball, but time marches on I suppose.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
The main issue on this team is the lack of athletic talent. Particularly at the WR position on offense.
WRs - is there anything they cant do? How about play OT?

Prescott had an average of 3+ seconds to throw the ball (often more), Jones less than 2 and even then Prescott sometimes had to resort to a check down or harder throw because those multiple WRs weren't always immediately wide open facilitating the offense.

It wasn't WRs that won that game - it was one QB able to move through multiple progressions (sometimes more than once) and the other having to take either the first read or the check down almost every time. That wasn't because he has great WRs - it was because the OL facilitated the entire offense.
 

DarrylS

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Patricia is not responsible for this, it's BB's defense, need to give Mayo an opportunity to call the D plays.. WTF are our safeties playing as though this is a "hail mary" situation.
 

RodThePat

In the Starting Line-Up
This defense as of last week ranked 7th in the league in both yards and points allowed per drive, 9th by DVOA and 10th by EPA/Play. The offense, on the other hand, ranks 24th in points per drive and 26th in yards per drive while having the 3rd best average starting field position in football. The defense has been far and away the better unit on this team by any measure, and what we're seeing now is the opposite of what we saw for about 15 years with Brady: the offense being bad is making them look a lot worse than they actually are. The Patriots went three and out in 5 consecutive drives yesterday, the defense was on the field all game, they did nothing for about a 35 minute period while the game was close. They keep asking the defense to win them games, but this is 2021, man. The NFL has changed completely. There are about 3 defenses in the league each year that can consistently stop opponents.

It's a little crazy that the offense is this bad when Mac has played pretty well, but here we are. OL issues, cowardly play calling, spotty running game, lack of WR depth, underperfoming TEs (Jonnu especially). Those all rank above anything the defense is doing on my list of concerns for this team right now.
 

MrTibbs

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
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Yup. Hightower was dreadful. I don't know if he was injured or old or out of touch but he seemed lost out there.

And gee, we sure could have used a nice number one CB, eh?
There was a couple of plays in particular where Hightower was tasked with sealing the edge on runs. He literally just dove into the pile without being able to see the running back then out on his side the backs squirt out for big gains. He looks to be just "out there" and not effecting the game most times.
 

PatsFanInVa

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This defense as of last week ranked 7th in the league in both yards and points allowed per drive, 9th by DVOA and 10th by EPA/Play. The offense, on the other hand, ranks 24th in points per drive and 26th in yards per drive while having the 3rd best average starting field position in football. The defense has been far and away the better unit on this team by any measure, and what we're seeing now is the opposite of what we saw for about 15 years with Brady: the offense being bad is making them look a lot worse than they actually are. The Patriots went three and out in 5 consecutive drives yesterday, the defense was on the field all game, they did nothing for about a 35 minute period while the game was close. They keep asking the defense to win them games, but this is 2021, man. The NFL has changed completely. There are about 3 defenses in the league each year that can consistently stop opponents.

It's a little crazy that the offense is this bad when Mac has played pretty well, but here we are. OL issues, cowardly play calling, spotty running game, lack of WR depth, underperfoming TEs (Jonnu especially). Those all rank above anything the defense is doing on my list of concerns for this team right now.
So close to a "like."

But I agree, you don't let the other guys have the ball 39 minutes and expect the D to hold up. They were a good D that got gassed.

As to the offensive production, once again, they're not thoroughly bad. They hung with a good team, they scored 29 points, and sorry dude, they lost.

There is this hard work being done by what we'll generously call our fans to paint this stretch as somehow... (using words I'm actually reading on this board)...

"cowardly"
"disgraceful"
"pathetic"
"terrible"...

And on and on. The ones who don't think they get gold stars for the most anti-NE adjectives settle for things like "conservative" and swap those words around with each other. I'm sure they all have some genesis in the narration on CBS or some local sports radio or something. "Playing not to lose" is another brilliant point used to say the same thing. You know, it's what kept us to ONLY 29 points. God knows if we hadn't been so conservative we would have hung a 50 burger on 'em, right?

Here's a news flash. One of the things you have to do to win a football game is to not lose it. It's what's called a necessary not sufficient condition. Something tells me that "playing not to lose" only looks like a bad idea juxtaposed against the upside potential, but not against the downside risk, to wit, playing to lose, or put another way, taking stupid chances.

You don't think there's risk in going right back at Diggs after the pick 6? On, I'm sorry, first and 10? Was that call conservative? "Oh no, I mean they were too conservative except when they weren't." Really?

Anyway, I just think there's a lot of hysteria, often demonstrably internally inconsistent, in our fan takes. I guess that's what being a fan is, you know, short for fanatic.

I just don't think this loss, or any of these close losses are pathetic and disgraceful and cowardly and all that jazz. I think the other team gets paid too, we made mistakes, we did some things right, and there were some things we'd do differently if we had to do over again. We're on to New Jersey.
 

upstater1

Pro Bowl Player
I can't help but feel the same way. In a way, I'm glad we lost. No need to get wins against good teams, whom really just shot themselves in the foot allowing us to stay competitive and eventually win. That just creates the narrative and belief that we are better than we are, in the short term only building false hope. In reality, its just reducing our draft placing and allowing scrutiny to get kicked down the road.
Guess what? If the opposing team commits a penalty, it likely means they prevented you from a sack or their big gain came as a result of the penalty. So--you can say they shot themselves in the foot but if they didn't commit the penalty, would the result of the play be the same?
 

venecol

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I still think turnovers are fundamentally one of the most important parts of the game (beyond the score), and is probably the stat that most closely correlates with winning/losing. The Pats were -2 today. Don't win many games against average teams when that's the case, let alone against good teams.
Drei, you keep saying the Pats were -2 in TO differential. They were not. Each team had an INT and a forced fumble. They were even in TOs.

In fact, both of the Cowboys TOs happened inside the EZ, stopping sure TDs. If not for those TOs, this is a blow-out.

We theorize that if we don't fumble here or there, the team would be 4-2. Yet, the boys turned it over twice in the end zone and managed to win!

The difference isn't TOs but whether your team is good enough to overcome them. Ours just isn't right now.
 

UrbanCowboy

HoustonPatsFan
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Many (me included) thought we had a Top 5 or at least very good O-line, and it has been bad for various reasons. That in turn puts pressure on the the defense (which we thought would be good, not great). That seems to be the difference between 2-4 and 4-2. If somehow we get the O-Line "fixed," I think we'll be just fine.
 

PatsFanInVa

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Drei, you keep saying the Pats were -2 in TO differential. They were not. Each team had an INT and a forced fumble. They were even in TOs.

In fact, both of the Cowboys TOs happened inside the EZ, stopping sure TDs. If not for those TOs, this is a blow-out.

We theorize that if we don't fumble here or there, the team would be 4-2. Yet, the boys turned it over twice in the end zone and managed to win!

The difference isn't TOs but whether your team is good enough to overcome them. Ours just isn't right now.
I mean, why can't that be the right answer (although Drei is a dang sight closer to that answer than the rest of this cesspool) Yeah we have to get better. I just don't get the circular firing squad when you're hanging with really good teams. (and yeah of course the goal is to beat said teams, not hang with them.)
 

BTTA

He/Him
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Is Steve Belichick a competent play caller/schemer as the defensive coordinator? Often we're seeing players not sure who to cover and my goodness they can not defend 3rd and longs to save their lives. They just CAN NOT make a play when the game is on the line...that 3rd and 25 in the 4th quarter was inexcusable. Those zero blitzes haven't hit home at all. It just seems his play calling leaves a lot to be desired....please chime in.

I don't really know.
I do know that when he was hired, a thorough search for the best possible person to fill that position was not done. So it was a decision to weaken the team in order to please a member of management. For some reason, sports gets a pass on this behavior. In every other large business, it is acknowledged as a weakness.
 

Sect140

Practice Squad Player
Is Steve Belichick a competent play caller/schemer as the defensive coordinator? Often we're seeing players not sure who to cover and my goodness they can not defend 3rd and longs to save their lives. They just CAN NOT make a play when the game is on the line...that 3rd and 25 in the 4th quarter was inexcusable. Those zero blitzes haven't hit home at all. It just seems his play calling leaves a lot to be desired....please chime in.
Hell No. He has the job for only one reason. I know they are lacking talent but I think a long time DC could cover some of that up.
 

203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Why is it, when the pats played great on D, Bill gets the glory, and when they dont, people go after a coordinator?
Came here to say this. If Steve is technically the DC it is still a Bill heavy defensive game plan every week. In addition its Bill's personnel. The LB core is slow as molasses and we just gave away our best corner and watched Mills get torched all night.
 
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