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Postgame Thoughts

2021 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: vs Jets
Pick Results: NYJ: 2% at NE: 98%

Sun
Oct 24th

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dreighver

In the Starting Line-Up
Mac is really good (definitely better than Tua) and he's only going to get better. There were things around him that were frustrating (fumbles, big plays given up by the defense, poor officiating), but Mac was largely good with few exceptions. You can also tell just how raw he is, and the fact that he is as poised/developed as he is given this rawness is impressive. In 2-3 seasons (let alone later this season), when he's a bit more physically matured and has assimilated to the NFL workload/pace, he's going to be silly good (assuming he can stay healthy, of course, which is always the ultimate in sports). If Mac stays healthy and continues to develop, I expect that'll keep Belichick around for a longer rather than shorter time (if Belichick's in a place where he's actively thinking about that type of thing).

The defense is talented but big plays hurt them today. They need to trim those down. The Parker catch over Jackson was some Manningham/Julio type of spectacular'ness - tip the cap. Waddle's catch on Jones was also pretty darn good - hard to criticize Jones much on that one, just a better play by the offense.

The other defensive bugaboos seemed to be WRs having too much time/space - wished they were a bit more disruptive with them at the LOS (to the Dolphins' credit, they had some good offensive play-calls). Another big issue was the inability to stop the run late. The Pats' D looked solid against the run for most of the game and generally the defense won their battle in the trench, but their inability to be physical and get stops late was tough to see. I'll give them a pass because they played well for most of the game and they were likely gassed, it being the first regular season game coming off a shortened preseason. It needs to be better, though.

Likewise, the offense needs to look for more big plays and play with a bit more pace and decisiveness; they definitely seemed to be keeping a lot of powder dry and trying to take Mac slowly. I'm sure that'll come with time and as Mac gains confidence.

Penalties and turnovers hurt - probably cost them the game. Between the phantom hold and the Harris' fumble, that was anywhere from 7-10 points wiped off the board.

Harris looked really good until that dirty play by the 'Phins player where he (with two hands) ripped Harris' helmet off, and he got dinged as a result. Seemed Harris lost about 10-15% of his juice after that. Rhamondre now has 2 fumbles on his record since joining the team and didn't see any playing time in the 2nd half. Taylor, who I love, never played an offensive snap as far as I know. JMO, but it might've been wise to give Rhamondre or Taylor an opportunity late: their legs were fresh and potentially could've given the run game some extra pop to push the ball in the endzone.

Poor officiating in general. First half was really bad to the Pats; second half was a bit more neutral in its badness. Inconsistent all game. That hold on the Harris' TD run (#74) was called on a player who did not exist on the field. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but IMO, a penalty should not be enforceable if the official cannot accurately articulate who the penalty is on. If it was on Wynn, then I call horseshit. (I'll gladly recant my officiating rant if there's a good angle showing a legitimate hold by Wynn, but I saw nothing that deserved a penalty).

Final thought on officiating: I know it was darn close, but I'm still not convinced that the Rhamondre fumble was actually a fumble. I'm not sure what the officials saw, but the telecast never showed a proper look at the play with it slowed down enough to make an accurate judgment. I'm dubious. If that wasn't ruled a fumble, Rhamondre likely continues to play and who knows what impact that may have had on the outcome.

I think this is a good team. 13-14 wins if they really hunker down, play to their potential, and Mac progresses at a rapid pace. 10-11 wins if they play to this level today. 12 is probably where I'd set the line.

I do think Miami is a legitimately good, at least in terms of talent, and played darn well today. Tua is inconsistent but can make big plays. Their offensive weapons are dynamic. Their defense is big physical, and smart to the Pats' offense given the Flores connection. Big, athletic front-7 and a top-10, possibly top-5 secondary. I'm not sure that record-wise Miami will necessarily be a top team (12+ wins), but they remind me of the Ravens/Jets of the early 2010s in terms of how they matchup against New England. They're smart to the scheme and they have the defensive horses to execute. Those games were always tough to watch and often ended in losses. The recent games against Miami (even before Brady left) have felt similar. Give Flores a lot of credit for what he is doing there.

(As a slight aside, Jaelan Phillips is going to be a special player if he stays healthy - he's one I wanted the Pats to get before the draft and I'm still smarting that Miami nabbed him. On the balance, though, Wynn did a really good job on him this afternoon).

In terms of time of possession and ball control philosophy: part of the issue with shortening the game is if you don't score TDs in the red zone and/or you turn the ball over, you really compound those mistakes by chopping a lot of time off the clock. It's great that the defense was rested for a lot of the game, but it felt Mac and the offense probably should've been able to find another 1-2 possessions before that game was over. Offensive opportunities in the form of possessions felt limited.

As a closing thought: I know Belichick's teams historically have a slow ramp-up into the season but I think he needs to put greater urgency on these early season division games. While these games may not mean much in terms of how teams are playing in 2-3 months, they do potentially move the needle in terms of playoff seeding. That said, I'd much rather lose today and win in Miami in January to clinch the division (the inverse of what we saw last season).
 
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sean10mm

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
You could see Mac gradually get up to speed over the course of the game, by the midpoint the training wheels were off. Throwing 39 times with a passer rating over 100 in your first game is bananas for a rookie.

I don't expect a Belichick team to stay slobs all year, but they definitely played like it today.
 

dreighver

In the Starting Line-Up
You could see Mac gradually get up to speed over the course of the game, by the midpoint the training wheels were off. Throwing 39 times with a passer rating over 100 in your first game is bananas for a rookie.

I don't expect a Belichick team to stay slobs all year, but they definitely played like it today.

Yeah, Mac was silly good. I don't know if I'd call the team slobs, but they definitely seemed a bit flat-footed and the big plays and penalties reflect that. Still, I felt they were the better team overall (and the statistics generally demonstrate as much), but in terms of the stuff that affects the scoreboard (red-area efficiency and turnovers) they were the worse team and that was the difference in the outcome. Very anti-Belichick in some regards.

Despite all the sloppiness, if Harris holds onto the ball and/or Wynn isn't called for a phantom hold, there's a pretty good chance the Pats are 1-0 right now. Not that moral victories exist, but I think we should feel pretty optimistic going forward. JMO.

The good news is that I think Miami is arguably the toughest team in the division and the Jets and the Bills lost today. I'm not as bullish on the Bills as others and tend to think they peaked recently and moving forward will be good but not great. We'll see, it's a long season.

The Jets aren't nearly as talented as Miami so it should be a good game for the team to get back in the win column.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
The Dolphins also blitzed a lot more, both in terms of quantity of players blitzing and number of plays they blitzed.

I didn't come away from that game thinking the New England OL played poorly, or that the Miami OL played well. I came away from that game with the sense that both defenses have really strong pass rushers.

7 hits on your rookie QB is way too many hits. Not an acceptable amount. There are other ways to generate yardage or passes or first downs. The second half, was livid seeing Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith either not on the field or being out far out wide. This spread shotgun is idiocy when Herron is your RT getting roasted all day. Keep both tight ends in and adjust the protection to make sure Mac is protected. Stay in 12 personnel unless it's 3rd and long.

[Edit; Phil Perry said it was 9 hits not 7. 7 was probably mid-game. 9 hits a game is insanely dangerous for a rookie QB]
 
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Pats1971

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Yeah, not sure on that one. I mean we just lost at home to miami and scored only 16 points. Lets try and win next week before we talk about winning 14 games. The pats were favorites in this game at home and lost. Boy things are sure different with losses than they were 4 years ago.
 

Simpelton

In the Starting Line-Up
Happy with Mac. Actually happy with the run game. Honestly think that that fumble was a fluke.

It was supposed to be a 50 50 game and we didn't get the bounces. These things happen. you hope for a bit more execution on a Belichick coached team but there's a lot of transplants and a rookie QB, a few mistakes are inevitable. That will be cleaned up going forward, I trust Belichick to identify the issues and address them

One of the most important things to come out of that game is that we know that the QB not only didn't hurt us, but was a driving force of the offense. If he can get comfortable early in the season, if he can make the throws he made tonight despite being wet behind the ears, if he has that level of poise and maturity all season long, then even with a few early losses I feel pretty confident that we can be a 10 win team at the end of the year.

We can absolutely steal some games we have no business winning with this version of Mac10 under center. That late drive that he put together, even though it didn't end well, was starting to shape up like a thing of beauty. The Phins got lucky, and even with luck they barely beat us. Things are hopeful.
 

JetFan79

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If Mac plays well vs an admittedly sub-par Jet team, I'll be really impressed.

It will not be an inviting environment for him. Trust me... I may be there.

But tell me, with two 0-1 teams facing off... have you been more psyched for a game of potential ³rd n ⁴th place division finishers?

Cheers NE. I think we both have potential keeper QBs. Question is... who will win?



Zach will;)
 

Deus Irae

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If Mac plays well vs an admittedly sub-par Jet team, I'll be really impressed.

It will not be an inviting environment for him. Trust me... I may be there.

But tell me, with two 0-1 teams facing off... have you been more psyched for a game of potential ³rd n ⁴th place division finishers?

Cheers NE. I think we both have potential keeper QBs. Question is... who will win?



Zach will;)
Take the Patriots, by double digits.
 

JetFan79

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If you don't see it, it's because you're not looking. Becton's thought to have a sprained MCL.
Did you notice the team did better when Becton left? Plenty of other variables sure... but numbers don't lie.
 

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