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Some Thoughts About the SEA-NE Game

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

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Sep 12th

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dreighver

In the Starting Line-Up
I kept some notes while I watched and am jotting them down here:

Seattle's cohesiveness and experience, especially on the offensive side of the ball, played a big role. You can tell NE still has horses under the hood to unlock as they gain more experience playing together.

Russell Wilson is so good, the guy is basically impossible to defend. While I want to see a bit more impact from our LBs, ultimately I'm not too concerned about the defense. Getting Allen and Uche playing will help; maybe you add a player via trade at DL or LB.

... speaking of Uche, I'm really an eager to see this guy play. As someone who watched Michigan a good bit, they used him in Ann Arbor nearly exclusively as an edge rusher, a role he was good, but not great at. The few times they let him play off the ball, pursue with players in front of him, and run sideline to sideline, this guy looked scary good. Think Jamie Collins (when focused), or Jamal Adams -- just an athletic freak who can do insane things on the field. I hope he's mentally prepared soon because he's going to give this defense a huge lift.

You know what else will be great about Uche starting to play? It'll kick Phillips into a true secondary role, in lieu of the hybrid LB spot he's playing now. It seems he's a bit out-of-his-depth trying to defend the run from the LB position.

The run defense was okay, not great. Against a better OL they may have struggled more. Again, Beau Allen should help a bit when he's healthy. Another body there may be in order. But again, not too worried about the defense.

Going back to Wilson and the Pats' D, two of those TD throws were literally indefensible, perfect throws. You tip your cap -- there is no reasonable way to expect Gilmore or JMac to do more there. It sucks, it's disappointing, but if you're mad about that, you're never gonna be happy. What a phenomenal game by Wilson. There is no shame in losing to that team and that player.

To piggyback off the above, as Newton gains chemistry with these receivers, as Harry gets more confidence, as Keane and Asiasi get incorporated, when Gunner returns (who was by many accounts one of the top TC WRs), Newton will start to hit some of those 'wow' throws, and he showed a few previews tonight. All in due time.

Sort of related to the above, the Pats need to be careful with Newton. I understand utilizing his running talent early in the season, in two fairly big games to kick things off. But taking the long-view (and considering Cam's demonstration that he is an exceptional passer of the ball and what is hopefully Gunner's return in the coming weeks) they would be wise to pass the ball more, preserve his body, and let him build chemistry with this relatively young/inexperienced receiving group.

Getting some chemistry now could be big late in the season, and when you get in crunch time in the postseason you can lean more on Cam's running ability, again. Tangentially related to all of this, getting Damien Harris back should help relieve some of Cam's workload. Given how poor Michel has been, Cam has been needing to pick up some of those lost yards on his own; hopefully Harris will pick up some of the slack.

The NE OL looks unreal. I haven't seen an OL playing this well since the '07 season -- just extremely good thus far.

Another coming improvement: Damien Harris. Michel looks lackluster ... Harris' return is anxiously awaited.

That was a battle between two VERY good football teams; don't be shocked if these teams are playing in late-January. From the Pats' perspective, they'll be a much better team in 10-12 weeks due to both experience gained and personnel returning; this is definitely a team that will be evolving and improving as the season goes on.

Onwenu, Harry, Harris, Gunner, Byrd, Uche, Duggar, Asiasi, Keane, Phillips, Allen -- all of these are players who are either injured, new to the league, and/or new to the team; players we can reasonably expect to improve with time. (White also didn't play tonight but he does not belong in the aforementioned group of players given his experience and time with NE; nonetheless, his absence was felt and he will make a positive impact upon returning).

On that note, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention James White. My thoughts and greatest sympathies are with him. It's absolutely tragic. Godspeed.

This is going to be a very good Patriots team. Here's to the beginnings of another football season, friends.
 
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luuked

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You know what else will be great about Uche starting to play? It'll kick Phillips into a true secondary role, in lieu of the hybrid LB spot he's playing now. It seems he's a bit out-of-his-depth trying to defend the run from the LB position.

I totally agree with you. Uche has the potential to be a transformative presence for this defense. It is funny that you brought up Jamie Collins because that's who he reminds me off and what I think he can bring. Hopefully a little bit better in coverage against wheel routes.

Going back to Wilson and the Pats' D, two of those TD throws were literally indefensible, perfect throws. You tip your cap -- there is no reasonable way to expect Gilmore or JMac to do more there. It sucks, it's disappointing, but if you're mad about that, you're never gonna be happy. What a phenomenal game by Wilson. There is no shame in losing to that team and that player.

Bingo.

The NE OL looks unreal. I haven't seen an OL playing this well since the '07 season -- just extremely good thus far.

Yes to a certain extend. I have noticed several failed run plays where there was a lot of discussion and finger pointing after the play. A run by Michel that could have gone for some in which Eluemunor simply missed his block running around like headless chicken comes to mind. But there was another passionate discussion between lineman on what I think was the failed 2 pt conversion.

I think they are struggling a bit at RT in the run game which sucks because you'd really want to run behind Mason.

That was a battle between two VERY good football teams; don't be shocked if these teams are playing in late-January. From the Pats' perspective, they'll be a much better team in 10-12 weeks due to both experience gained and personnel returning; this is definitely a team that will be evolving and improving as the season goes on.

Onwenu, Harry, Harris, Gunner, Byrd, Uche, Duggar, Asiasi, Keane, Phillips, Allen -- all of these are players who are either injured, new to the league, and/or new to the team; players we can reasonably expect to improve with time. (

I would also advise for people to look beyond the result. The grades and evaluation of what went well and what didn't shouldn't really change much based on the outcome of the very last play in a 60 minute game. This is not a playoff game and there are at least 14 more chance to keep improving ahead of us.

I am positively surprised by this team so far and as you have written there are still so many pieces to be integrated while the coaching staff tries to understand the identity of the 2020 Patriots. If we get lucky with health the team in 4 weeks will look different than the one right now, and the one in December will look even more different.
 

stinkypete

In the Starting Line-Up
Good points, I agree with the optimism of the moment. I viewed this game as an early litmus test for Newton and the offense. I expected the offense to struggle overall but hit enough big plays to put 21 on the board. I never expected Newton to push 400 yards, or for Byrd and Harry to be this involved in the pass game. All good signs.
 

State

In the Starting Line-Up
Before putting Uche behind the D line, we need a typical run-stuffing NT, which we don’t currently have.
And I’m not sold on the injured Beau Allen.
We will miss Danny Shelton this season.
For those thinking he’s the next shiny new toy for our defense, Uche is short. Four inches less than Jamie Collins. Teams will be able to pass on him all day with taller receivers. I know he has superior movement skills but being long-armed may be his only chance.
We really miss Develin though Jakob Johnson is improving massively.
 

State

In the Starting Line-Up
On the last play Onemenu got his butt kicked.
It didn’t help that we didn’t have a receiver for that play.
If he’s going to be beaten so decisively, can we throw it to the rookie? We play him enough at TE.
 

Fore2213

On the Game Day Roster
I have a question about McDaniels approach to play calling. I know seahawks are a gelled offense but on over 70% of their second down plays, they had 3 yards or less for FD. They call plays that work. Josh seems to call plays because “this is when a run should be called” First and goal, run gets stuffed.....3rd and 10 or longer, draw play...it’s like clockwork. My wife who knows more about the Pythagorean Theory and calls touchdowns “homw runs” said before the last play last night. “Oh they are going to have Cam run the ball”....everyone on earth knew that was coming including the hawks D......I wish he would change his approach!
 

State

In the Starting Line-Up
Holy Moses, did Onemenu stink on that last play. First, he gives up the angle. Guy was inside him by almost a yard. Then he gets overpowered.

If he had shot out more decisively, taking his first step with his left foot, he would have fared much better. This is basic stuff they teach to youngsters.

If Sony Michel were 355 pounds, that’s the way he’d play O line. Stutter step dancing.
 

PP2

Pro Bowl Player
On the last play Onemenu got his butt kicked.
It didn’t help that we didn’t have a receiver for that play.
If he’s going to be beaten so decisively, can we throw it to the rookie? We play him enough at TE.

Seattle saw this coming a mile away- had a hat on hat on the strong side and were already crashing in that direction by the time Cam got the ball.
 

luuked

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On the last play Onemenu got his butt kicked.
It didn’t help that we didn’t have a receiver for that play.
If he’s going to be beaten so decisively, can we throw it to the rookie? We play him enough at TE.

Onenwu and Eluemunor both look gassed in this clip. But yeah Onenwu definitely play a big role in blowing the play up with his blocking angle. It is almost as if he sealed off to the other side.

Also look at Izzo being one of the few to actually hold his block. His offseason strength work seems to be paying off.
 
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luuked

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Holy Moses, did Onemenu stink on that last play. First, he gives up the angle. Guy was inside him by almost a yard. Then he gets overpowered.

If he had shot out more decisively, taking his first step with his left foot, he would have fared much better. This is basic stuff they teach to youngsters.

That is why he was available at #182 in the sixth round. It is his second game and so far he has already far outplayed expectations by contributing from the start. Eluemunor on the other hand.. sigh..
 

State

In the Starting Line-Up
I can’t believe how poorly the spare Olineman performed on the last play. He doesn’t even move his feet. He leans into him once he lets #97 get outside his left shoulder.
It was man to man. Sure Seattle knew what was coming. So did the teams playing the Vince Lombardi Packers.
Fire out, Onemenu, leading with your left foot. Keep your feet churning. You’re playing in a telephone booth and you outweigh the other guy by sixty pounds. Michigan has a very good offensive line coach. Ed Warriner

I’m sure he was taught this a million times since Pop Warner.
 

reamer

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Before putting Uche behind the D line, we need a typical run-stuffing NT, which we don’t currently have.
And I’m not sold on the injured Beau Allen.
We will miss Danny Shelton this season.
For those thinking he’s the next shiny new toy for our defense, Uche is short. Four inches less than Jamie Collins. Teams will be able to pass on him all day with taller receivers. I know he has superior movement skills but being long-armed may be his only chance.
We really miss Develin though Jakob Johnson is improving massively.

TIL Collins was over 6'5.
 

Flash

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Newton is on pace to rush 208 times this season. Obviously, he won't reach this number, but I agree that it is a bit concerning how much McDaniels is allowing Newton to run. I understand that given the state of the WRs, TEs, and Sony Michel, the coaching staff is leaning on Newton to carry the offense, but the goal here is the Playoffs. The more Cam Newton runs, the more opportunities for defenders to lay him out. One wrong hit to his shoulder or his legs and he's done for the season.

Especially the RZ. Cam has 4 rushing TDs already. Cam has averaged 5 rushing TDs in the three seasons prior to last season. Belichick and McDaniels are fully unleashing Cam the runner and again, I am wary of a bad hit, despite the fact that the two TDs he ran in last night looked clean.
 

luuked

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Newton is on pace to rush 208 times this season. Obviously, he won't reach this number, but I agree that it is a bit concerning how much McDaniels is allowing Newton to run. I understand that given the state of the WRs, TEs, and Sony Michel, the coaching staff is leaning on Newton to carry the offense, but the goal here is the Playoffs. The more Cam Newton runs, the more opportunities for defenders to lay him out. One wrong hit to his shoulder or his legs and he's done for the season.

Especially the RZ. Cam has 4 rushing TDs already. Cam has averaged 5 rushing TDs in the three seasons prior to last season. Belichick and McDaniels are fully unleashing Cam the runner and again, I am wary of a bad hit, despite the fact that the two TDs he ran in last night looked clean.

I think you are right that they haven't tuned it right yet. On the other hand I think Curran had an interesting point about with letting him run you him in control of the hits he will take whereas in the pocket -- which is where he suffered the last two major injuries -- there is at least as much danger from low hits, someone rolling up on him, a blindside hit...

They certainly don't have the balance right yet but generally speaking not all rush attempts are the same when it comes to injury risk.
 

sambam94

In the Starting Line-Up
Seattle was one of the games I thought would be a loss, The fact that aside from the defense giving up whatever wilson wanted, the offense kept the team in the game, which means this went way better then it could have.
come on man, this was game that they should have one. Poor time mgmt, missed FG and a horrible last play call.
 

Uptown

Standin' Pat
Before putting Uche behind the D line, we need a typical run-stuffing NT, which we don’t currently have.
And I’m not sold on the injured Beau Allen.
We will miss Danny Shelton this season.
For those thinking he’s the next shiny new toy for our defense, Uche is short. Four inches less than Jamie Collins. Teams will be able to pass on him all day with taller receivers. I know he has superior movement skills but being long-armed may be his only chance.
We really miss Develin though Jakob Johnson is improving massively.
Uche & Collins are the same height; 6’3”. Where’d you get a whole four inch difference from?




 
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amfootball

In the Starting Line-Up
Seattle was one of the games I thought would be a loss, The fact that aside from the defense giving up whatever wilson wanted, the offense kept the team in the game, which means this went way better then it could have.
You are not contending with a defense that is that exposed when playing top level QBs. That is why Seattle is not going anywhere either despite Wilson playing lights out. I think it will be a competitive season with us potentially grabbing a WC if Newton and Edelman say healthy. Not bad for a rebuild year after losing the GOAT QB.
 

luuked

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Uche & Collins are the same height; 6’3”. Where’d you get a whole four inch difference from?





For what it's worth MockDraftable has Collins at 6'3 and Uche at 6'1. Certainly not 4 inches but Collins is taller which doesn't change the fact that I think Uche will be huge for us.
 
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