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Old 09-19-2011, 03:02 PM    (permalink
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Ouch. That would suck. It was bound to happen with him eventually do to his playing style, but yeah, still not very fun. I'm confident Gronk can still Gronk it, but Hernandez is good for turning nothing plays into explosive ones on a regular basis. We're an easier team to match up with with Hernandez out of the mix.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:29 PM    (permalink
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Let's go! Double Gronk!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:01 PM    (permalink
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So I really think Dane Fletcher ends up as a starter by the time the season ends at the expense of either Spikes or Guyton. For what it's worth, Mike Reiss agrees with me somewhat, pointing out that Fletcher could challenge for the lions share of the time soon. He already played more snaps than both of them last week and it really seems like every time he's on the field he makes a big play against both the pass and the run. Just a really solid looking young linebacker with a lot of potential left.

Other things of note picking through snap counts;

AJ Edds played a lot. I think it's safe to say he's likely going to stick. Played on special teams and did a good job in coverage against tight ends. Very lengthy, athletic guy with a lot of tools who is a interesting project to bring along.

Jermaine Cunningham seems like he's just not going to play this year. Disappointing, but it looks like he just might not be the guy we all wanted to be at this point. A move to a 4-3 seemed to benefit him on paper, but he's not making a push for playing time at all.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:59 AM    (permalink
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I think you're right about most things you said there, EE. Fletcher looks the part of a stud MLB in our system. Spikes seems a bit slow in recognising plays and doesn't have the speed to make up for it. I love Spikes in a 3-4, not a 4-3. Guyton is a solid player, I like him. He's versatile, makes plays and seems intelligent enough. He just doesn't stand out on tape. Next year is a really deep LB class, I'd love to take someone like Travis Lewis in the second and move Mayo to SLB which he'll he no trouble playing. It might limit his playmaking opportunities, but with his speed he should be able to find a way to make a difference.

I've been extremely disappointed with Cunningham. The fact that he can only get on the field for one friggin' snap against the Chargers speaks volumes as to what BB thinks of him. I have a sneaking suspicion that he's not putting forth the effort in training or in the film room. Sounds like a UF player to me...

Am I the only one who's pleasantly surprised with Brian Waters? I thought the guy was done, but he's really doing a good job imo. Also, how the hell is Ocho, Edelman and Price going to get involved on offense with the way Branch and Welker are playing? Jebus, I don't remember seeing either of them playing this well before.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:29 AM    (permalink
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Branch, Welker, Hernandez, Gronkowski, and a running back.

You can only have 5 pass catchers at a time :P

edit: Hopefully Price, 85, Edelman, and even Matthew Slater maybe can play in Hernandez's absence.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:29 AM    (permalink
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I think Branch has played incredible for us since the trade from Seattle. 13 games and 928yds isn't too shabby, and quietly this year he has 222yds already. He and Tom Brady have a special chemistry, that frankly not even Brady~Welker or Brady~Brown ever had.

If it were me I'd have a 2TE set in there 60% time with Branch-Welker-Gronk-Hernandez-Woodhead. Just too many good pass catchers for a base defense to cover, and there is always a threat for them to run with that personnel too. Maybe replace Branch with Ocho if they're facing a 5'8" type corner, or put in Price or Slater in on 2nd and short so they can go deep, but other than that those are the 5 guys I want on the field.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:32 AM    (permalink
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Just imagine what Brach's career would had been like if he had stayed with us instead of being traded.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:17 AM    (permalink
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We also got to see Ridley for the first time against a quality opponent The result? 2 rushes for 9 yards. I'll take that any day. Looked quick on his two carries and showed some wiggle and didn't go down on initial contact. I think we might have a very, very deep backfield this year. Has anybody heard anything about Dowling's injury? Wasn't his thigh the problem in college as well?
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:07 PM    (permalink
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Just imagine what Brach's career would had been like if he had stayed with us instead of being traded.
His numbers would be way up there, and people would be talking about him as a HoF player.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:51 AM    (permalink
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I'm worried (what else is new) about this up comming game. I really hope we don't look past the Bills like Clevland last year. They are going to come out wanting to prove something while were coming off a big win against an AFC contender.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:26 AM    (permalink
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Yeah. Hoping Belichick can keep them focused. Shouldn't be hard if they look at the film and the standings and see they're playing a 2-0 team that's put up a ton of points the first two weeks. The Bills snuck up on two teams already, so the element of surprise is gone. Hoping the Pats just crush them into oblivion straight out of the gate and refuse to let up so we don't have to stress about it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:11 AM    (permalink
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You don't sneak up on the Raiders and Chiefs.

The Chiefs are **** and the Raiders are average (so are the Bills, hence why the game was so close). The Bills are a prime candidate for a good team like NE to fall asleep one week and slip up and lose. Thankfully, it's a divisional game - and Tom Brady won't let the offense lose divisional games.

I'm way more scared of the @Raiders game. It's west coast, outside of the division, playing a team that wants to prove that they aren't the Patriots dumping ground, and they are actually a pretty good team.

@Redskins is another game. Good team. Road Game. Patriots should have quite a few wins under their belt and may be a bit cocky by then.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:13 AM    (permalink
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Meh. The Chiefs aren't nearly as bad as the scores of the last two games. They expect to just run through Buffalo without much football preparation in the off-season and not being able to do so screwed them up for Week 2. The Bills did sneak up on them. Point is...the Bills aren't sneaking up on the Patriots in Week 3.

And the Redskins are dog ass. I expect them to maybe be 5-7 going into the Pats game. They're not a good team.

The Pats will have a lot tougher games behind them when the Redskins roll around.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:08 AM    (permalink
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Koppen and Pryor are done for the year.

We've also signed Landon Cohen again and Phillip Adams. The Dowling injury appears to be nothing serious, it's been listed as both a hip and a thigh thing according to separate sources.

Biggest blow is that Chung had thumb surgery the other day. Questionable as to if he'll play next week.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:18 AM    (permalink
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Yea, I saw that report. Very worrisome @ Chung.
Barrett and Brown starting... color me 'concerned'.
Glad to see that Dowling will be fine though.
Am I the only one surprised we didn't try to add some OL depth?
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:46 PM    (permalink
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Late to the party after a work conference in Milwaukee (awesome city, btw) but here are my thoughts on the game.

1 - Incredibly happy w/the fans response to both of Ocho's catches. Clearly supportive, non-sarcastic cheering and I think it was awesome.

2 - Has anybody seen Antonio Gates? Maybe I missed it, but none of you mentioned it in your posts. Granted, in the second half our DST looked like a group that figured Rivers and the Chargers would just take their ball & go home, and VJax more than made up for the lockdown on Gates, but that was a clinic by Chung (mostly) and our LB/DBs.

3 - It's been 2 games against two of the best WRs the NFL has to offer. Settle down on the McCourty is gone stuff. lol

4 - Pass rush. It wasn't stellar but it was definitely better than last year. There was push, the pocket was constantly shrinking, and Rivers was harassed. Certainly not a fearsome rush, but there was pressure most of the game.

5 - OMG TEs! These two are insane. We'll miss Hernandez, but I think it's a chance for Ocho or Price to step up for a few weeks. Hernandez is really not in there throwing key blocks on running plays very often. Personally, I love me some Chad, but I'd like to see Price getting some PT.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:10 PM    (permalink
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Yea, I saw that report. Very worrisome @ Chung.
Barrett and Brown starting... color me 'concerned'.
Glad to see that Dowling will be fine though.
Am I the only one surprised we didn't try to add some OL depth?
The depth on the OL is still good with Wendell covering the interior and Solder handling the OT positions. And apparently, they still have Donald Thomas?

Chung is a safety. I expect him to play with a wrapped up hand.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:46 PM    (permalink
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Belichick series part II tonight in 6 hours 13 minutes...

(just in case anyone forgot)
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:51 AM    (permalink
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....Carter got fined for his on Rivers. I ******* hate this league.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:14 PM    (permalink
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Pure ********. Hope the team pays it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:08 PM    (permalink
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Chung is going to be out Saturday :(

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/7008031/reports-new-england-patriots-safety-patrick-chung-bills

Secondary needs to step it up even more now.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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That sucks. Defense should be challenged even more. We'll have to see how a combination of Barrett and Sergio fares. Might be better than expected, Barrett is a better fit as an in the box guy anyway. But yeah, certainly not going to help us any against Scott Chandler, who has been one of the real breakout players for Buffalo so far.

As far as the offense goes, I'm not worried. I think the screen game is going to be a big factor this week with a lot of passing to the backs. Buffalo gave up big yards to the Raiders on passes to backs last week. Look for them to challenge them early with that. We still should see plenty of two tights, with Rob probably splitting out as the flex guy more than usual this week. He should do very well in that area, he did a whole ton of that for Arizona in their spread, and could have a potentially MONSTER game this Sunday. We could see a lot of Nate Solder the tight end this week too. Lining him up next to Vollmer and pounding the ball could be a part of the gameplan. We'll have to see if Dareus has anything to say about that. Solder might be in for getting the ball thrown his way down somewhere near the goal line this week too. That has some potential for fun, haha. Would be nice to see Fletcher get another ball in that area too.

I could see us going for more spread looks too to try to get Edelman and Chad involved more as well....but I think they'll have to stop the conventional offense we've been running first to make us do that.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:01 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jvig43 View Post
....Carter got fined for his on Rivers. I ******* hate this league.
What? It was a perfect tackle that shouldn't have been a penalty in the first place, now he gets fined? So stupid.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:52 PM    (permalink
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I think this is a good week with Hernandez out to get Ocho and edelmen into the offense more. Both grabs. by Chad last week were excellent, and the one that was broken up was just PI
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:55 PM    (permalink
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I like the way the offense is going. I hate that Hernandez is out, but Brady has SOOO many go-to guys in this offense right now. Every other QB in the NFL has one. Brady has Welker, Branch, Gronk, and Hernandez. Who has 4 go-to guys and still has 3-4 other guys who are really good at what they do? Brees?
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