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Key Match-Ups
Steve Balestrieri takes a look at this weekend's match-ups and believes the Patriots receivers should have their way against Pittsburgh's secondary.


Current Patriots Twitter Feed:

RT @MikeReiss: Quick-hit thoughts/notes around Patriots and NFL (RB group impresses; Brady; Kelly; Gronk; Bon Jovi etc.). https://t.co/apUb…

Quick-hit thoughts/notes around Patriots and NFL (RB group impresses; Brady; Kelly; Gronk; Bon Jovi etc.). https://t.co/apUbDUTeMR

You don't want to be alone today and may spend extra energy su... More for Aquarius https://t.co/0Q4nPLp7w1

RT @AdamSchefter: Patriots Martellus Bennett, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell - all listed as quest. - all are expected to play today vs. Ste…

#Packers WR Jordy Nelson, expected to play with fractured ribs, ordered military-grade kevlar padding from @UnequalTech, sources say.

Former 49ers HC Jim Tomsula will interview at this week's Senior Bowl with the New Orleans Saints for their D-line coach job, per source.

Last time #Falcons QB Matt Ryan reached championship weekend, he cashed in that offseason. Why history should repeat https://t.co/39FMY9Da1N

It's 1st year Conf Champ Games feature 4 QBs - Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady - with at least 200 career Pass TDs.

It's 1st year Conf Champ Games feature 4 QBs - Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady - with at... https://t.co/84epbFqtWz

Business is boomin': #Steelers star WR Antonio Brown has a six-figure deal with Facebook https://t.co/j8yrfy8Bs7

RT @toryan_large: Confidence is key in any walk of life.

RT @AdamSchefter: Patriots Martellus Bennett, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell - all listed as quest. - all are expected to play today vs. Ste…

Packers forced to fly out from Milwaukee due to heavy fog, arrived in Atlanta about 3 1/2 hours later than scheduled:https://t.co/mhrlGm6XUN

Patriots Martellus Bennett, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell - all listed as quest. - all are expected to play today vs. Steelers, per sources.

For the #Steelers , LB James Harrison (shoulder, triceps) should be good to go, while TE Ladarius Green (concussion, illness) shouldn't be.

#Packers WR Jordy Nelson (ribs) is expected to play today, per @StaceyDales & me. So are Davante Adams (ankle) & Geronimo Allison (leg).

7 people followed me and 3 people unfollowed me // automatically checked by https://t.co/m7hT9PV4DP

Holy shit......... Chris Mortensen UNblocked me. I don't know what the hell Is happening now

@Tmoney92080 haha, thx. Let's get some rest. Big day tomorrow

@bylindsayhjones We’ll see if we can get Mykal Riley to show up and save us

Goodell on the @GilletteStadium big screen with Slade's"Run Runaway" playing? Works on so many levels https://t.co/4fPCKh6VHZ

RT @scottzolak: Need WHERE IS ROGER chant tomorrow like I need air

Photos from tonight's championship eve celebration at Robert Kraft's house, including live #Patriots All Access + a… https://t.co/h2KohZ46KO


One thing about all this tumult

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1. Re 2001, I referred specifically to the SB against the Rams, where our secondary punished the Rams receivers and we pressured and rattled Warner, throwing the "greatest show on turf" off of their rhythm. Similarly, in 2003-2004 the Colts offense was considered unstoppable by many, and we physically beat them up, punished their receivers, and rattled Peyton. I don't see much similarity between our defensive play in the first 2 games and those performances. Admittedly, those performances came at the end of the season and not at the beginning, with a bunch of new players.

    2. A lot of people have suggested that rule changes favoring the offense have made it difficult for us to play the kind of physical style that we played in 2003-2004. But the Giants and Steelers, who have won 3 out of the past 4 SBs, are exactly that kind of physical, aggressive, punishing defensive team. If anything, I think the rule changes require a more aggressive defensive approach as opposed to a BBDB approach.

    I agree with you about injuries and unfamiliarity impacting the game plan. I am hopeful that "all will be well", but I'm not 100% sure that the coaching staff will adjust as quickly as the players will. I'd like to see a few more games before forming a judgment. I think the players have the capability to make this a special defense. Whether the coaches use them effectively is another matter.
     
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    This is a good point - for all the talk about the rule changes, we've seen Pats receivers get manhandled by Rex Ryan defenses twice now, and the refs just sit there and let them play. The Pats have two corners who like playing physical, Bodden & Springs, and they might be able to get away with some of the borderline stuff that teams have used against us in the past few years.

    The truth is, even with the rules, the refs are much less likely to call illegal contact than they are a blatant PI downfield, even if the illegal contact changes the outcome of the play just as much. Heck, they probably could've called 1-3 illegal contacts on the Jets the other day per play if they wanted to. It seemed like their DBs were draped on our guys.
     
  3. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    There might be a couple of potential roadblocks, which did not appear last season, against our running game this season:
    Firstly, we no longer have a full-time FB. Sammy Morris is first (and only) in line for that position, and try as I'm sure he has (and will), he's just not made to be the bowling ball behind which to run as I would prefer. I hear this Heath Evans for NO is doing pretty well so far this year; why can't we get guys like that?
    Secondly, our schedule last season could not have been any easier. The NFCW & AFCW were the 2 worst divisions in football; we went 7-1 against them. We were done no favors this season, although Carolina, Tampa, Jax & prob. Houston should be solid victories.
    Thirdly, can our HC, OC, QB & OL simply flip the switch and create - and maintain - a running mentality, knowing full well that Mr. Bundchen is ready, willing & able to sling it 4 dozen times a game if he has to?

    While I admit that we appear to be more athletic on defense, esp. in the secondary, I still have grave doubts about our ability to apply consistent pressure from the edges. Derrick Burgess has thus far given me no reason whatsoever to hope that his 3-year downward spiral in sacks will suddenly reverse this year.
    Think about this: our 2 primary pass-rushers are over 60 years old combined; our 2 primary (only?) Wide (not Slot) Receivers are over 65 years old. 2 of the 3 position groups that rely on speed/explosiveness more than any other group - CB being the 3rd - are fronted by players whose combined ages almost qualify them for Soc. Security benefits.

    Is there talent here? Yes.
    Is there enough talent here to win, in spite of the stubbornness of the HC? No.
    Is there enough talent here to win, if the HC is willing to make whatever changes are neccessary to win? Maybe.
     
  4. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    Even more frustrating is the realization that if Bill had coached vs. the Dolts & Jest like the best in the business, he would've won those games last year, too. Bill had to adapt because he didn't have the crutch of Tom Brady on which to lean. He also had the advantage of a creampuff schedule, too. Unfortunately, now that Brady is back, so is the same old same old...but without the creampuff schedule.
     
  5. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    But are you really, really, really sure?
     
  6. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    You make a great argument and I was thinking the same thing. However, I don't know if this group of Pats players can pull the same thing they did in '03 and '04.
     
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