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Old 12-12-2011, 10:15 AM    (permalink
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It's really important for us to get an early lead. Preferably at least two touchdowns. We haven't been the best on our first drive lately, especially in regards to blocking pass rushers. Against the Redskins, we stalled out due to mental errors and miscommunication. We can't let Denver have the ball and start killing clock. Basically, the main battle is going to be fought within the first ten minutes of the game for the right to decide who dictates the pace. If Denver can turn it into their kind of game, they've got a good shot. If we can turn it into our kind of game early, Denver won't be able to keep up. Unless our defense continues to completely hapless. If they can just stay out of their own way and we're scoring, it should be a victory.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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It's really important for us to get an early lead. Preferably at least two touchdowns. We haven't been the best on our first drive lately, especially in regards to blocking pass rushers. Against the Redskins, we stalled out due to mental errors and miscommunication. We can't let Denver have the ball and start killing clock. Basically, the main battle is going to be fought within the first ten minutes of the game for the right to decide who dictates the pace. If Denver can turn it into their kind of game, they've got a good shot. If we can turn it into our kind of game early, Denver won't be able to keep up. Unless our defense continues to completely hapless. If they can just stay out of their own way and we're scoring, it should be a victory.
The Broncos can't afford to be even close to scoreless though going into the 4th quarter to have a chance. I'm not sure there's a defense in the NFL that can stop the Pats scoring close to 20 points. If Tebow needs more than 2 scores in the 4th then that should be too much.

BB should, and I emphasise should, have the front seven playing disciplined gap control football to contain the running game. Then let the secondary worry about Tebow the passer. Force him into 2nd and 3rd and long situations.

I think this is the type of game where we will see a lot more 34 and 3-3-5 looks. There is no point in trying to hassle Tebow with pass rushers because he is ballsy and will try to evade rather than sit like a waiting duck, ala Sanchez.

For once I would be happy to see a gameplan of rushing 3 and dropping 8 into coverage when Tebow goes to pass because his intermediate accuracy is horrible. Take away passes in the flat and don't let Decker or Royal go deep against single coverage and I would be fairly confident.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:45 AM    (permalink
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I expect to see quite a lot of 3-4 this sunday now that I think about it. Play Love at the nose and Warren and Wilfork at end. That leaves Deaderick and Ellis as backups which is nice. Of course, that would mean that Carter would have to play OLB or only see the field on passing downs. But still, Ninko and Moore should be able to generate a bit of pressure. Spikes and Mayo and the middle and let's go. I think TT will have more trouble with the 3-4 than our vanilla 4-3. He's terrible at deciphering defenses and if we really bring the heat he's going to give us the ball.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:46 AM    (permalink
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I expect to see quite a lot of 3-4 this sunday now that I think about it. Play Love at the nose and Warren and Wilfork at end. That leaves Deaderick and Ellis as backups which is nice. Of course, that would mean that Carter would have to play OLB or only see the field on passing downs. But still, Ninko and Moore should be able to generate a bit of pressure. Spikes and Mayo and the middle and let's go. I think TT will have more trouble with the 3-4 than our vanilla 4-3. He's terrible at deciphering defenses and if we really bring the heat he's going to give us the ball.
I actually would prefer to see Fletcher over Spikes this week. He has way better athleticism and could be used to spy Tebow. If Spikes is back though that would make a nice 3 man rotation at ILB this week
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:59 AM    (permalink
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That's a good point. Much like Fletcher did vs. Ray Rice last year I assume?
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:48 AM    (permalink
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The Broncos can't afford to be even close to scoreless though going into the 4th quarter to have a chance. I'm not sure there's a defense in the NFL that can stop the Pats scoring close to 20 points. If Tebow needs more than 2 scores in the 4th then that should be too much.
...but there are defenses that have kept us from scoring more than 20. The Giants, Pittsburgh, and Dallas did that and Denver has a lot of similarities personnel wise to those teams. You can stop this offense, especially if you can keep Brady off the field and out of rhythm. We've been lucky enough to run into some teams that aren't interested in pressing our receivers lately. Haven't seen a team really try to follow the blueprint in awhile. With how well Denver is playing defense right now and how clever a coach John Fox is, I think we're going to see that come to an end this week.

Really get the feeling that we're going to have to fight for this one too. We may have to fight for every win from here on out, even.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:49 PM    (permalink
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...but there are defenses that have kept us from scoring more than 20. The Giants, Pittsburgh, and Dallas did that and Denver has a lot of similarities personnel wise to those teams. You can stop this offense, especially if you can keep Brady off the field and out of rhythm. We've been lucky enough to run into some teams that aren't interested in pressing our receivers lately. Haven't seen a team really try to follow the blueprint in awhile. With how well Denver is playing defense right now and how clever a coach John Fox is, I think we're going to see that come to an end this week.

Really get the feeling that we're going to have to fight for this one too. We may have to fight for every win from here on out, even.
I think those games were right in the middle of the offense being in a bit of a funk as well though. I mean they played a good defense on Sunday, left a whole lot of points on the field and still scored 34. Denver don't have the horses in their defensive backfield or the interior rush to unsettle Brady
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:14 PM    (permalink
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I think those games were right in the middle of the offense being in a bit of a funk as well though. I mean they played a good defense on Sunday, left a whole lot of points on the field and still scored 34. Denver don't have the horses in their defensive backfield or the interior rush to unsettle Brady
Well, they don't really need the interior rush pieces based on the blueprint from all those teams. A lot of that pressure did come from the outside on Light and Vollmer. Denver might just have the best outside pass rush out of all those teams as well, with the ability to send extra pressure from their linebackers. We haven't been the best about picking up pressure from the second level historically and that hasn't changed this year either. Say what you will about offensive struggles(we certainly had them. Showed signs of them yesterday as well), but he defenses me played and the gameplan those teams were able to execute against us has a lot to do with it. Washington has a good defense, but it's pretty clear they played very poorly yesterday. I don't think we can count on poor tackling and Gronk putting up 150+ yards again. It well could happen, but we certainly can't count on it.


I just don't buy that this offense is unstoppable. We've seen it stopped very recently, even. We've been better lately, but a lot of that has to do with facing some flat out bad teams and teams that didn't play their best football.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:27 PM    (permalink
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I expect to see quite a lot of 3-4 this sunday now that I think about it. Play Love at the nose and Warren and Wilfork at end. That leaves Deaderick and Ellis as backups which is nice. Of course, that would mean that Carter would have to play OLB or only see the field on passing downs. But still, Ninko and Moore should be able to generate a bit of pressure. Spikes and Mayo and the middle and let's go. I think TT will have more trouble with the 3-4 than our vanilla 4-3. He's terrible at deciphering defenses and if we really bring the heat he's going to give us the ball.
I think you basically summarized what I was thinking. I'd point out that the 34 is better at stopping the run (because you are basically using 2 DEs and 3 DTs on the LOS) than the 43. A lot of fans think the 34 is better against the pass because of how you can send pressure from anywhere, but the 43 (IMO) has the best pass rushers. Most 34s don't really use that "versatility" anyways.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:29 PM    (permalink
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The Giants, Pittsburgh, and Dallas
Tom was rumored to have a major elbow injury that has since healed. He definitely has been struggling early in games.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:16 PM    (permalink
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Tom was rumored to have a major elbow injury that has since healed. He definitely has been struggling early in games.
I still don't totally buy that. Might have played a factor, but you can stop this offense if you play ball control and win the battle at the line of scrimmage(against the tackles and the receivers). Denver has some of the personnel to make that happen. Really hope that isn't the case but we're going to have less room for error against Denver than we've had against some of these teams that don't have anything to play for.


As far as stopping Tebow goes; he went off on the Vikings secondary a few weeks ago. I feel pretty confident in saying that we're not even as good as they are, crummy as that may be. You obviously sell out and stop the run first...but it wouldn't be the first time we gave up numbers to a bad quarterback. We haven't been all that great against the run lately either.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:14 AM    (permalink
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Who's healthy for the game defensively?

I like a 4-4-3 setup against the Broncos for the Pats. The main thing is to not go into prevent defense when you get up or in the 4th Quarter to protect a lead.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:36 AM    (permalink
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I think you basically summarized what I was thinking. I'd point out that the 34 is better at stopping the run (because you are basically using 2 DEs and 3 DTs on the LOS) than the 43. A lot of fans think the 34 is better against the pass because of how you can send pressure from anywhere, but the 43 (IMO) has the best pass rushers. Most 34s don't really use that "versatility" anyways.
Yup BB has been quoted before saying that the 34 was originally brought in to stop the I formation. That's why he has always looked for bigger DEs and OLBs. The reason why more teams have gone to the 34, IMO, recently to stop the pass is because these smaller DEs who maybe wouldn't hold up head against OTs can play off the line while still bringing pressure at OLB.

The Giants in the 80s could be great against both because quite simply LT was a freak of nature. Seldom will you find someone who has the size and bulk to set the edge while also being an elite pass rusher.

The best OLB of this century, Demarcus Ware, is a great pass rusher but even he has limitations in the run game. Worth it for Dallas? Hell yeah but they play a different system than NE. They like smaller guys and one gap up front.

Going forward for NE I'm not sure they will ever find the guy they are looking for to be a stud OLB. It's clear BB will not invest a premium pick on a DE to convert him to OLB. The projection is just too hard. Then from the second round onwards you are looking for a 6'4 260lb player with experience standing up rushing the passer while also dropping into coverage and setting the edge.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:59 AM    (permalink
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Confirmed: Ravens Get Top Seed If Win Out

Not good new for you guys but I thought you'd like to know. It came down to strength of schedule.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:00 PM    (permalink
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Confirmed: Ravens Get Top Seed If Win Out

Not good new for you guys but I thought you'd like to know. It came down to strength of schedule.
Kinda hoping Cam Cameron has one of those games soon where he gives Ray Rice 2 carries and Joe Flacco throws so much his arm falls off
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:05 PM    (permalink
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I think we somehow manage to win the AFC if the Ravens lose and we win out, despite the Steelers beating us oddly enough. I really don't get how the **** that one works out but I'd imagine it's division record? Anyway it's hard to see Baltimore losing, and at the rate our defense is playing I wouldn't be surprised to see us lose another game.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:55 PM    (permalink
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I feel pretty good about winning out assuming we get past this game. I don't feel good about beating anyone in the playoffs if our defense is going to continue to get worse.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:13 PM    (permalink
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Really hoping that Chung can come for the playoffs, while I don't think he's key to turning this defense around, hes much better than that player we have made out of glass playing on a regular basis.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:24 PM    (permalink
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Chung helps...but how much?


Oh, and apparently Sergio is so bad that we have to play Slater over him. I liked what I saw out of Sergio in spots...but god damn.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:35 PM    (permalink
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Chung helps...but how much?


Oh, and apparently Sergio is so bad that we have to play Slater over him. I liked what I saw out of Sergio in spots...but god damn.
We need 2 new safeties for next year. I love Chung, and when he's healthy I legitimately feel like he's a top 10 safety in this league, but he's made of glass and the other spot is an absolute disaster any way you slice it.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:42 PM    (permalink
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We need 2 new safeties for next year. I love Chung, and when he's healthy I legitimately feel like he's a top 10 safety in this league, but he's made of glass and the other spot is an absolute disaster any way you slice it.
The thing about Chung is he does his job. He's not the greatest in coverage(particulaly man coverage) but he is normally where is meant to be. Plus he is a play maker. The thing that annoys me with the current players is they suck in coverage and they aren't making plays on the ball. Ideally I'd love them to do both well and I would settle if they could do either(preferably cover) but when you are starting multiple players in the back end who can't cover or make plays on the ball then you're pretty much screwed
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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The thing about Chung is he does his job. He's not the greatest in coverage(particulaly man coverage) but he is normally where is meant to be. Plus he is a play maker. The thing that annoys me with the current players is they suck in coverage and they aren't making plays on the ball. Ideally I'd love them to do both well and I would settle if they could do either(preferably cover) but when you are starting multiple players in the back end who can't cover or make plays on the ball then you're pretty much screwed
This. Sometimes I forget we even have safeties because I never see them involved in any plays. The only time I do see them is when they royally **** up like Ihedigbo did on Sunday. Not to make excuses for McCourty because he doesn't really deserve them, but he has absolutely no protection in that secondary, and has had to play way to much man coverage. I think if we can get a healthy Chung and pair him with someone even resembling an NFL player next year we might see a cumulative change in the defense. I like the individual talent of Chung, but I don't think we're able to utilize him right because the players around him are so god awful.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:04 PM    (permalink
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Eh...tackling and run defense improves dramatically with Chung, but I think we're letting how bad this defense is off the hook with that line of thought. One player in the secondary(whose effectiveness in coverage is debatable) can't make up for all the errors the other players make on a consistent basis. I can think of a few plays we've seen where having Chung in helps, but most of those are more "limit the damage" kind of things as opposed to preventing it. Chung certainly isn't part of the problem(him being unable to stay healthy may well be though), but I'm not sure he's a large part of the solution either.


On the upside, I've watched quite a bit of TJ McDonald. I'm not enamored with him like some people are(not buying the best defensive back since Troy stuff), but I'm liking what I see. Seems like a guy who can help us. Seems like he would be worth a first round pick, should he come out. I hope he does too...because the rest of the guys in the class are iffy propositions at best. Some of them could be very good James Sanders type role players though.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:09 PM    (permalink
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So some final thoughts on Yellgate. I know we've touched on it already, but some of us have to deal with the local media being a bunch of drama hungry assholes on a daily basis, so it's been bothering me a bit.

The more I watch that exchange, the less I blame Brady, honestly. That's throwing the IMMENSE amount of clout he has as a leader and one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game out the window too, which is hard to separate from all of this in all honesty.

But yeah, he appears to tell Underwood that he has to "go get that". But let's go over the throw first. It's bad, but it's really not horrendous as some people are making it out to be. Should it have ever been thrown? No, it shouldn't have....but there was a window before Wilson closed it. Short window, but a window nonetheless. It was a 50/50 ball that Underwood lost on. Not his fault, but I certainly agree that he could have made a better play on it to at least knock it down. A lot of guys do.

So on to the exchange. It starts with Brady telling Underwood to "Ty you've got to go get that", not the Marino-esque level chewing out that the local media implies is going on. He doesn't appear to be screaming at him or anything like that, just having a conversation with another player on the sideline. I don't think Brady was putting it all on him, either. Everything we've seen from Brady before says he isn't that type of player. Was it a little high energy? Sure. Brady had just possibly thrown the game away. Underwood is standing there calmly listening(as he should, he's Tiquan ******* Underwood)...nothing is wrong.

O'Brien enter the picture during this and seems to have his nuts in a twist about something, starting the screaming. You can't see what he's saying because of the angle, but it appears to start with just straight up telling Brady off. Judging by Brady's reaction to the next thing, he seems to say something along the lines of Brady needing to make another throw. Brady reacts with an emphatic "No ****!". I'm really with Brady on that one. That's the first time he's made a mistake that could have cost us a football game in a very long time. Given how much pressure he puts on himself to be great, I really don't think O'Brien needs to be telling him that the throw was ****. Well, at least not like that anyway. There's guys that might need to be chewed out like that. Tom Brady isn't one of them. There's a short list of players in the NFL(all of them being quarterbacks) who have the kind of authority Brady has on the field and on the sidelines. Even if you don't like a guy who made a mistake like that telling another player what to do, Brady is one of those guys and he's earned it. A bad play isn't going to take that away and yelling certainly doesn't solve anything.

The worst thing about it, and this falls on both guys and additionally to the other offensive coaches, is that BB had to come and break the entire thing up when we were preparing for a defensive stand that was going to determine the result of the game.

So when it actually comes down to it, both guys have seem to have moved on from this already...but I'm really not buying the click, view, and listener trolling much of the assorted format local media is going for by trying to paint Brady as Dan Marino. It was a stupid thing that very well could have hurt the team. Both guys share a portion of the blame pie...but if I absolutely had to I would blame O'Brien. When you look at how the exchange broke down, I really don't see how anything Brady did before the yelling started as being wrong. We talked about it before, but with the receiver group we've got in here right now(minus Gronk), Brady has to be PERFECT on every ball. A lot of quarterbacks don't have to deal with that. Brady hasn't had to deal with it his entire career either(I really wish David Givens' knees didn't go bad...I would take him over Branch right now in a heartbeat). Asking for Underwood to give better effort on that ball isn't outrageous at all and is a perfectly rational expectation to have....and as I've mentioned; if anyone has earned the right to do a bit of that here, it's Brady.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:30 PM    (permalink
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"Yellgate" is the stupidest controversy ever.

--

Our defense just needs to be healthy. They are good enough. It's hard to be good when your backups are playing 50%+ of the season.

The Patriots (only) need a safety and a center. The rest of their problems could be plugged with quality veterans. This off-season they invested too much FA money in backup DL and bad DBs. They made two bad trades which they relied on those players too long, stopping them from making good moves.

If NE gets a starting quality safety, a starter at center, and a high quality cornerback (that can take over when Dowling gets hurt) in their first 3 draft picks - they might go back to lethal. Obviously, this team isn't a favorite to win a Super Bowl. Then again, that corner could be a quality veteran.
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