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15 Observations of Week 4 Loss to Green Bay Packers

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
2 months ago at 11:06 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

15 Observations of Week 4 Loss to Green Bay PackersDan Powers/Appleton Post-Crescent-USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Shame that such a strong effort ends up with the Patriots coming up short.  I’ve coached youth sports for over 30 years.  In my opinion, there are four ways you can play a game.  First, you play your best, and you blow out your competition.  Second, you don’t play your best and lose.  Third, you play your best and lose.  Last, you play badly but still win because you have overwhelmingly better talent.  According to Mike Reiss and supported by Matthew Judon in his post-game press conference, they said there are no moral victories in the NFL.  I disagree, the Patriots played their hearts out today.  They played their best and came up short.  They were handicapped by the loss of Brian Hoyer.  Third-string rookie QB Bailey Zappe was forced into the game.  The Patriots lost starting QB Brian Hoyer with 5:15 left in the 1st Quarter.  The coaching staff had to dumb down the playbook for Zappe who played great.  He is the only rookie QB in the league to throw a TD pass.  The team is just not good enough to overcome these types of setbacks.

I predicted the Patriots to be 0-4 at this point in the season.  If TJ Watt had played for Pittsburgh I believe the Steelers would have won.  However, the Patriots have played better than I thought they would be and could easily be 2-2.  The running game is going very well despite Isaiah Wynn.  Wynn was benched Sunday and deserved it.

  • Isaiah Wynn missed his block and allowed Rashan Gary to sack Brian Hoyer. The hit was illegal on two counts.  First, it was helmet-to-helmet, and second Gary landed on Hoyer with his full weight.  This was one of at least 6 missed calls that should have been called against Green Bay.
  • Right Tackle Elgton Jenkins consistently set up in the backfield giving him an advantage versus the Patriots’ Pass Rushers. Wynn was called for it last week at a critical junction in the Pittsburgh game.  Scott Zolak was screaming for a penalty to be called on him.  Additionally, the officials missed a hold preventing Matt Judon to get to the QB;  hands to the face on the GB O-line; a completely bogus horse collar tackle called on Brenden Schooler (he had all shirt in the back); a critical non-call of intentional grounding in which there was no receiver in the area.  That non-call changed the game.
  • Wynn allowed two sacks (Hoyer sack and injury, Zappe sack and fumble), had a false start and holding call before the Patriots’ coaching staff benched him at halftime.
  • The Patriots’ coaching staff needs to get the plays into the QB faster to allow him time to make the pre-snap reads and to change the play if necessary. On defense, they need to make substitutions faster.  They nearly got called for too many players on the field until Bill Belichick called a Timeout
  • The delay of game non-call on the Davante Parker TD was the correct non-call because as the official explained, the play clock should have been re-set and wasn’t.
  • Jack Jones had a terrific game in his 1st start.  He had a Forced Fumble, Fumble Recovery, and a pick-six to give the Patriots a shocking halftime lead.
  • Myles Bryant on the other hand had a very rough game. He has been consistently targeted and he gave up another TD.  Bryant is small and is getting set up by the opposition to try and match up against bigger receivers.
  • Devin McCourty has lost a step. He is getting beaten by Tight Ends.  He gave up another TD to a TE.
  • The backup QB for the Patriots next week will be …. Lynn Bowden off the practice squad. Bowden played both QB and WR at Kentucky.
  • Jake Bailey has to play better. His 31-yard net punt in crunch time (shank) set up Green Bay with a chance to win the game.    Bailey is one of the highest-paid punters in the league ($4M) but has not played to that level.
  • Many people questioned the 4th and 5, call to punt from the Green Bay 46-yard line with 6:53 left in overtime. I support Bill Belichick’s decision to punt and Bailey put it inside the 10.  They made Aaron Rodgers to go the length of the field.  Rodgers was great down the stretch and their running game was terrific.
  • Aaron Jones had 16 rushes for 110 yards while the other monster AJ Dillon ran 17 times for 73 yards. Green Bay ran all over the Patriots.
  • The Patriots ran well too! Harris was 18 rushes for 86 yards and a TD, Rhamondre Stevenson was 14 for 66 and had 4 catches on 5 targets for another 23 yards.
  • Jonnu Smith left the game in the 2nd Quarter with a high ankle sprain. That was addition by subtraction.  He was out for the remainder of the game.  Smith’s blocking was non-existent and he was just getting in the way.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see Smith added to the Injured Reserve list and Matt Sokol signed from the Practice Squad.
  • Bailey Zappe was 10-15 for 99 yards and a TD. His QB rating was a dismal 15.9.  I thought he played pretty well, but he needs to throw the ball downfield more.
  • I thought the Patriots played too much zone defense in the secondary in Overtime.  They were giving a huge cushion and Rodgers was taking it.  I thought they should have been in press coverage.
  • Marcus Jones had a very good game returning kicks.  He showed everyone why he was a third-round selection.   I had the Patriots taking Marcus Jones with the 3rd pick.  It’s the only pick I made correctly.  Jones was the number 1  return man in NCAA D1.

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