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Old 10-03-2011, 03:33 PM    (permalink
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It's not pathetic to think we could be better because we entirely could. We've been one of the more consistently disappointing teams for a few years now without addressing any of the things that got us there. We're also watching the very issues we refused to address until recently get worse and worse. I don't know about you, but I'm not content with having a team that's not capable of winning a championship when you've got the best quarterback in the NFL in the twilight of his prime.


I appreciate everything the coaching staff/front office has done for us. They've re-invented the way people see the game in the region and had one of the best runs in the history of the sport. That doesn't mean they get a free pass for putting out a team that can't play defense for multiple years.
This, at some point excuses need to stop being made, our defense is just terrible if not the worst in the league right now. I do think were missing talent, people may not be playing at the level they could but we need to start hitting on some draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, and for once in his god damn life BB needs to address the ******* pass rush. Two straight games without a sack it pathetic.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:40 PM    (permalink
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I'm actually slightly encouraged by the defensive performance. It was by far their best game of the season, but with that said it was pretty terrible. They played most of the game without Mayo, Wright, Haynesworth, Bodden, and Dowling. Now a lot of those guys are injury prone, but I still am optimistic that by the end of the year this defense will be better. There is a lot of talent on this side of the ball, and I think it has to eventually improve. McCourty and Bodden have been terrible and I don't think that'll last. I think if Wright and Haynesworth can ever get healthy that might give us at least some guys who can collapse the middle of the pocket. So far our pass rush has just been Carter and a QB can easily avoid just him.

Every team except the Packers have major issues right now, and it's too early to say that these things can't work themselves out to a degree. We're 3-1 and have the best offense in the NFL. I like our collection of talent on defense, and I honestly think we'll level off eventually. We still won't be able to rush the passer, but that doesn't mean we're done.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:55 PM    (permalink
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I'm actually slightly encouraged by the defensive performance. It was by far their best game of the season, but with that said it was pretty terrible. They played most of the game without Mayo, Wright, Haynesworth, Bodden, and Dowling. Now a lot of those guys are injury prone, but I still am optimistic that by the end of the year this defense will be better. There is a lot of talent on this side of the ball, and I think it has to eventually improve. McCourty and Bodden have been terrible and I don't think that'll last. I think if Wright and Haynesworth can ever get healthy that might give us at least some guys who can collapse the middle of the pocket. So far our pass rush has just been Carter and a QB can easily avoid just him.

Every team except the Packers have major issues right now, and it's too early to say that these things can't work themselves out to a degree. We're 3-1 and have the best offense in the NFL. I like our collection of talent on defense, and I honestly think we'll level off eventually. We still won't be able to rush the passer, but that doesn't mean we're done.
This is a very fair take and I agree with all of it. I just resent the entire mind-set of "it'll work itself out". That hasn't worked out for a few years now. We're a bad, finesse defensive team and we should call it like it is.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:57 PM    (permalink
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I think the level of talent on the defensive side of the ball is up there with the best teams in the NFL. Something's just not working. Maybe the talent is in the wrong places... Who knows. It seems like they're just losing the 1-on-1 match-ups this year and need to make adjustments. I see this team improving significantly during the BYE week. They simply can't address all of the issues on top of game planning during a regular week.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:23 PM    (permalink
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Fun Fact - Vince Wilfork has the same amount of interceptions as Scrabble and Revis combined!
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:11 PM    (permalink
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The problem isn't at OLB. It's at DE/DT. They haven't had a good young DL (outside of Wilfork) in ages.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:14 PM    (permalink
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I think we've got a linebacker issue too. We've had a lot of defensive breakdowns against tight ends and backs as well as giving up a lot of yards of broken plays to quarterbacks. Inconsistent against the run at times as well. There's just really not much to like about what we do on defense. I felt pretty good about the secondary coming into the year...but that's been exposed as a massive problem as well.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:29 PM    (permalink
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The problem isn't at OLB. It's at DE/DT. They haven't had a good young DL (outside of Wilfork) in ages.
Yeah, they built up a line with Seymour, Wilfork, and Warren, but never really were able to build a nice flow of players through those positions. Problem was that as soon as the Pats got their defense built, everyone switched to the 3-4.

The talent is clearly there at most of the positions and they even have nice depth everywhere except safety. It's a matter of proper scheming players not getting beat 1-on-1, and players knowing their assignments. I think it really boils down to the Pats not disguising their defense well. Their defense was built on deception, and that element just isn't there anymore and hasn't been since Romeo Crennel left (Mangini did a solid job, too).

Patricia has done a really nice job with development, but my ideal world sees Belichick and Mangini getting back together to fix the defense and provide Bill with a successor for when he decides to move upstairs.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:53 AM    (permalink
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The Good:
The OL now and their future. Solder has played really well at RT. When Vollmer comes back, I really hope they bench Light... who has been bad. Connolly has done well at C. Waters and Mankins have been great Gs.

You could also mention Stevan Ridley here and Wilforks 2 INTs. Oh... and some guy named Tom Brady has thrown a few passes this year.

The Bad:
Welker and Gronkowski are the only receivers that are showing up. Hernandez is hurt but generally is a threat. Without Hernandez, this team feels a lot like the 2009 team with 2 basic threats and junk. Branch and Brady are out of sync. 85 is slowly learning the system... and maybe he'll be ready by playoff time.

Mayo being hurt is bad, but I don't think it's as bad to lose a Mike LB as some other positions. At least we have depth there.

The Ugly:
You could pick a lot of things on defense and call it "ugly" but the most concerning one of them seems to be Devin McCourty turning into Darius Butler. Not only is McCourty being abused in press/bump and run... he's also lost when the ball is near the receiver. He's basically just giving up receptions and making tackles after the fact. That's Darius Butler. I have to believe bounce back.

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I think we've got a linebacker issue too. We've had a lot of defensive breakdowns against tight ends and backs as well as giving up a lot of yards of broken plays to quarterbacks. Inconsistent against the run at times as well. There's just really not much to like about what we do on defense. I felt pretty good about the secondary coming into the year...but that's been exposed as a massive problem as well.
I could be wrong, but I haven't seen a single DL (save Wilfork) make a play on the ball in spite of them getting horrific pressure on the QB. Usually, at the very least if you can't get to him at least take away throwing lanes.

Though, I agree with your point about poor LB play against the short passes (checkdowns, screens, etc)
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:23 AM    (permalink
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On a brighter note than our defence having more holes than a michael bay movie...

Ridley the steal of the draft?! :)
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:23 AM    (permalink
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On a brighter note than our defence having more holes than a michael bay movie...

Ridley the steal of the draft?! :)
I think so, at least at this point. Long term we might be saying Mallett, but that's just speculation. Ridley has ridiculous burst when hitting the hole. I hated the pick when we took him, but he's my favorite RB on our roster now. Love the way he runs. If we used him more he could easily be a 1300+ yard back in the NFL, but that won't ever happen in our system. But I feel better knowing that we have somebody who can close out games so we won't have to go through what we did in 2009 again, where we lost games in the fourth quarter.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:56 AM    (permalink
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Indeed. Having a RB like Ridley will be amazing for the Pats if they can get their **** together at least somewhat on the defensive side of the ball.

I think this game against the Jets is a good opportunity to take a big leap, defensively. They shouldn't be overmatched athletically in any of their match-ups. The Jets shouldn't be capable of just running by the secondary.

I know it's the Jets so you never know what's going to happen, but it just seems like the Pats are going to throw all over them and just beat the ever living **** out of the Jets in this game.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:36 AM    (permalink
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Indeed. Having a RB like Ridley will be amazing for the Pats if they can get their **** together at least somewhat on the defensive side of the ball.

I think this game against the Jets is a good opportunity to take a big leap, defensively. They shouldn't be overmatched athletically in any of their match-ups. The Jets shouldn't be capable of just running by the secondary.

I know it's the Jets so you never know what's going to happen, but it just seems like the Pats are going to throw all over them and just beat the ever living **** out of the Jets in this game.
I expect the jets will be pissed. Just like Big Rich was. They'll come hard, tire out as tom carves them up. I expect a huge game from gronk/hernandez if he plays. The jets safeties make me sick.

I dont think revis or cro will be manning welker up either.
If the jets lose this one... implosion cometh.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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I can't wait to see Marcus Cannon... who might be a bigger steal.

The best possible scenario for the Patriots (bad D and all) is ending the Jets season this week. A win and the Jets will start pointing fingers publicly and it will get bad. Plus, Joe Namath seems to be unintentionally making it worse by basically pointing this out.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:52 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't start over looking the Jets just yet. They are going to come to play this week. And why is the game at 415 dammit!
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:03 AM    (permalink
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Exactly. The Jets scare me. Their ability to take Welker out of the game is fearsome since he's our offense right now.
Haynesworth practiced :) So did Dowling :)

In other news, Wilfork is on pace for 8 INTs this year.
If the CB injuries keep piling up... stick him out there!
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:24 PM    (permalink
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It is definitely disappointing to see our D looking very porous. It's either touchdown or turnover, with no real ability to stop anyone on offense. Blame has to go to the coaching. It's not like the FO has completely ignored the defensive side of the ball, as we've draft back to back CBs with our top picks. However, I will puke if we continue to play the "draft pick stockpile" game while passing on potential studs in the front seven.

On a more upbeat note . . .

Check out the effort & manpower required to get V-Weazy up off the field after his INT. lol

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Old 10-04-2011, 12:30 PM    (permalink
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The most impressive part of that is Wilfork jumped the route. We seriously need to look at putting Wilfork at CB haha. Can't be as bad as Bodden.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:03 PM    (permalink
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I wouldn't start over looking the Jets just yet. They are going to come to play this week. And why is the game at 415 dammit!
The Patriots have added incentive to win though. A win this week could sink the Titanic.

A loss could mean that NE is going down with them. That team is highly vulnerable on the OL. Too bad Mayo is out or we could play aggressive and shred the Jets.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:34 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jvig43 View Post
This, at some point excuses need to stop being made, our defense is just terrible if not the worst in the league right now. I do think were missing talent, people may not be playing at the level they could but we need to start hitting on some draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, and for once in his god damn life BB needs to address the ******* pass rush. Two straight games without a sack it pathetic.
I think all 11 players on our defense are pretty talented relatively speaking compared to most defenses in the league. However, we simply have no X Factor player on that side of the ball. Look at the best defenses in the league: the Packers have Woodsen and Matthews, the Ravens have Ngata and Reed, the Jets have Revis, and the Steelers have Harrison and Polamalu. Nobody on our defense needs to be identified pre-snap, and nobody will affect a play call. Teams can go out and manipulate our defense however they want because they have nobody to scheme around. When we play the Jets a good healthy portion of our offense is taken out because we can't throw on Revis. In "A Football Life" there was that exchange between Brady and BB talking about Ed Reed and how he needs to be identified on every single snap. Nobody on our defense is that kind of player, Mayo is a good instinctive Linebacker but coordinators don't lose sleep at night worrying if he is going to make a play, and Wilfork [up until recently ;)] is a guy who is just an immovable object who is mostly useful in the running game. Last year McCourty flashed that kind of ability, and when he was playing that way we were infinitely better than we are now. Unfortunately that is gone for the time being.

We need to identify one of those kind of players in the draft, and unfortunately I don't see any this year, but if there is a prospect in the Suh, Miller, or Berry class we need to jump all over it no matter what the cost or position he is. I think with just one of these guys our defense would literally blow up into a top 10-top 5 unit overnight.

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Originally Posted by descendency View Post
The Patriots have added incentive to win though. A win this week could sink the Titanic.

A loss could mean that NE is going down with them. That team is highly vulnerable on the OL. Too bad Mayo is out or we could play aggressive and shred the Jets.
I've been so excited for this game, and I don't think I've ever wanted to win a regular season game this badly. This weeks matchup is the antithesis of a good matchup between the Jets offense and the Patriots defense. It's essentially and immovable force vs. an unstoppable (backwards) object. I do feel like our defense matches up fairly well with the Jets if Mangold doesn't play. Haynesworth and Wilfork need to be able to dominate the middle. It's put up or shut up time for Haynesworth. This is exactly the reason we brought him in and weathered all the crap that comes from the media. If he doesn't play or doesn't get any pressure on the Sanchize we definitely won't bring him back next year. I think this could be a bounce back game for McCourty. He's played Holmes well in the past, and if we can get him matched up on him I think he could get an INT and get his mojo back.

On offense I'm a bit worried. If A-Hernandez doesn't play it seriously hurts the way we want to attack the Jets. Revis is going to take away Welker, and Brady has always had trouble throwing against Cromartie, so that essentially would leave us with Gronkowski against the world or god help us, Ocho becomes part of the gameplan. I hope they continue running the ball. With BT out for the Jets I think a healthy dose of Ridley and BJGE could be in order. We need to take this game slowly and control the tempo. A 7-8 minute opening drive where we run the ball effectively and score is the best way to face an emotional and angry team like the Jets. We can't try to match their energy by spreading them out and consistently looking for the kill. That's how we lost last time, but if we control the tempo slowly and not make mistakes I think that team will collapse. I think the Patriots are the better team, and they need to make the Jets show they can beat the Pats instead of the Pats always trying to be aggressive and beat the Jets themselves.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:50 AM    (permalink
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I think cmarq really hit the nail on the head in regards to this defense. Personnel wise, we're not outclassed in terms of talent, except maybe along the defensive line. We have a bunch of guys who can do some things really well at times, even. We just don't have that guy that "changes" a defense. Wilfork is one of those kind of guys, but the thing about nose tackles is that they can't really do it themselves. He creates opportunities for other guys, more so than anything. We need to find more of the kind of guys that capitalize on those kind of opportunities and create them themselves, one of those rare defensive cornerstone types.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:40 PM    (permalink
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I agree with that, too. We have some solid talent but need "The Man!" who will make a DST special. We had a few back in the day w/Willie, Richard and Milloy / Rodney. Now we have none. Instead we have Carter / Anderson and Guyton plus a boatload of nothing at S.

Merri looks good for Chicago, but he's still flirting with a helmet to helmet personal foul on every contact. (Bears / Panthers was on NFLN Replay last night.)
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:35 PM    (permalink
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Pats Passing D:

Between the 20's: 32 (rank) - 82.8 QBR
In the RedZone: 1 (rank) - 3.0 QBR
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:46 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Nalej View Post
Pats Passing D:

Between the 20's: 32 (rank) - 82.8 QBR
In the RedZone: 1 (rank) - 3.0 QBR
That's the big thing for me. With the exceptions of the Buffalo game we haven't given up huge points to any team and they had great field position on a few drives plus a return TD.

I'm curious to see how this game turns out. Rex has stated they plan to go back to the ground and pound style, however IMO that plays into our hands. I would be more worried about Holmes, Plax and especially Keller having big days. But if Ryan is worried about Sanchez throwing 35 times then we may get a free one this week.
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, the Patriots' run defense is crazy good this year.
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