Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

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    Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         This is my third attempt at posting my card. Hopefully, this one finally goes through. I don't know whether I'm more frustrated by the poor play of the Pats' offense and special teams yesterday...or by this new system, that seems to cause my computer to freeze up when I'm doing a long post. Here are my grades:

    I. OFFENSE: An abomination. This unit looked confused, and never looked anything like the well oiled machine we've been used to seeing over the years. This game was reminiscent of the Pats 2009 home opener, in which they eeked out an undeserved 25-24 win...thanks to a Buffalo fumble in the closing minutes. Ditto this game, only that the Pats weren't able to convert the gift given them by the Cards, due to penalties, and a missed 42 yard Stephen Gostkowski FG.

    1.) QB: After doing his best Curtis Painter impersonation in the first half, Tom Brady very slowly warmed to the task over the next 25 minutes, before pouring it on in typical Tom Terrific fashion in the final 5 minutes of play. Pats' fans should have known that something bad was coming up after Brady's first pass...a deflected duck that was intercepted by CB Patrick Peterson, costing the Pats a FG.                                                                                                                              *****The mighty Pats offense was held to three FGs in the first three quarters. Brady passed for a pathetic 75 yards in the first half, as he appeared to be rattled by the Arizona pass rush, spear-headed by the 6'8" Arizona DE, Calais Campbell. Tom's accuracy was off again...and there was what's becoming the obligatory missing of a wide open receiver (Gronk), on what should have been a long TD pass.                                                                                                       *****It's rare to see Brady look as lost on the attack as he did today. He finished with 28 completions for 316 yards, and a TD, and that aforementioned pick. In the final 5 minutes, the coaching staff appeared to finally take the wraps off their QB and best player, going to the spread offense, and the shot-gun. The results were striking, as the offense began to click. But, too little, too late:                                                                                                                          GRADE: C-;

    2.) RBs: Stevan Ridley crashed back to Earth this week, with a very pedestrian 71 yards on 18 carries. Danny Woodhead had 8 largely ineffective runs, for just 18 yards. But, his chance to be the hero in this game was denied him, as a Gronkowski holding penalty negated what would have been a game winning 30 yard TD run.                                                                     GRADE: C; 

    3.) OL: Can't just pick on LT Nate Solder this week, folks. The entire OL stunk. The Big Uglies were bewildered by the various blitzes and stunts of the Arizona lineman and LBs...and had no  answers for Arizona's DE, Campbell. For the day, Campbell finished with 10 tackles (7 solos), two sacks, and three QB hits...as he nearly singlehandedly shut down the Pats' offense.           GRADE: F;

    4.) TEs: When it rains, it pours. Not only did the Pats play a terrible game on offense and lose, but they lost TE Aaron Hernandez for at least 6 weeks. Hernandez had his ankle accidently rolled by Julian Edelman, in suffering what is reported to be a high ankle sprain. Though Rob Gronkowski had decent numbers (6 catches for 75 yards, and a TD), some below par blocking, an untimely dropped pass and, especially, his holding penalty on what would have been the Woodhead go-ahead TD run, helped to cost his team the game:                                        GRADE: C-;

    5.) WRs: Folks, there's something going on with Wes Welker. Either the coaching staff is purposely trying to  de-emphasize him, or is going away from him due to uninspiring play. It could be that Wes is allowing his contract issue to interfere with his play...or perhaps he's getting frustrated due to lack of use. Despite it all, he finished with 6 catches for 95 yards...but no longer appears to be Brady's go to guy on third down. If that's by design, it should stop immediately. But, if Welker's attitude is getting in the way of his play...it's a much more serious problem.   *****Brandon Lloyd had a decent game, with 8 catches for 60 yards...and Julian Edelman chipped in with 5 catches for 50 yards. But, sstill, the WRS do not seem to be getting much separation:                                                                                                                      GRADE: B-;

    II. DEFENSE: This unit played well enough to deserve a better fate. For the second week in a row, the Pat's shut down the run...and held all-world WR Larry Fitzgerald to just one reception, for 4 yards!

    1.) DL: Vince Wilfolk and Kyle Love stuffed the middle , limiting the Cards to just 105 yards rushing, in 33 carries. It's important to note that 17 of those yards came on a sweep play utilizing the athletic skills of CB Patrick Peterson. DE Chandler Jones did not register a sack, but put pressure of Cards QB Kevin Kolb for most of the game. Though DE Rob Ninkovick had the sole Pats' sack, he seems overmatched at DE:                                                                 GRADE: B;

    2.) LBs: Did a decent job in shutting down the run, but had some issues in pass coverage, particularly with Cards TE Todd Heap, who had 6 catches for 62 yards. Of those 62 yards, 28 of them came on one catch and run play on the sidelines...through a bevy of missed tackles. There was also a 24 yard catch and run by Cards RB, Beanie Wells.                                                     *****As usual, Jerod Mayo led the team in tackles with 9 (4 solos), followed by Brandon Spikes (7 tackles, 5 solos, one TFL), and Dont'a Hightower (5 tackles, 3 solos, one TFL). Spikes drew a costly personal foul penalty, which helped to sustain the lone lengthy Cardinals' TD drive: GRADE: B;

    3.) SECONDARY: How can you knock a group that holds Larry Fitzgerald to one catch, for 4 yards? All in all, a pretty sold effort, albeit against the likes of Kevin Kolb. With the exception of the aforementioned 28 yard catch and run by Heap, and that 24 yard catch and run by Beanie Wells, there were no big plays allowed. The Cards passed for just 141 yards, total:          GRADE: A;

    IV. SPECIAL TEAMS: Pats' punter Zoltan Mesko was rushed severely on every kick. I could see the blocked punt coming, and in fact called the actual block to a friend of mine, who was suffering through this debacle with me. The Cards must have seen a weakness in the Pats' punt-blocking scheme, and took full advantage. Without question, the blocked punt turned the game for the Cards, and the Pats could never recover. Soon thereafter, the Cards scored a TD, after having a first and goal at the Patriots' two yard-line. Folks...blocked punts cannot be allowed to happen...ever. There may be no more play that's more damaging to a team.               *****Pats' PK Stehen Gostkowski was having a great game. His kickoffs were booming, and he had been a rock solis 3/3 in FG attempts, including a 53 yarder. But, kickers are paid to produce, particularly in the clutch. For all the good done by The Ghost, he couldn't make the 42 yarder that would have allowed his team an escape yesterday with a win:                                       GRADE: F;

    IV. COACHING: I'd like to hear from all those people who used to hop all over Billy O'Brien. The game plans by the former Pats' OC look pretty good, compared to what we saw on Sunday. Folks, every game is different, and every team presents different challenges. When the spread offense isn't working, perhaps a change to a ground and pound approach is appropriate. But, make no mistake about it, the Pats are a team that made their offensive bones on the arm and brains of Tom Brady, and on the spread offense. As much as many of you like to see Tom using play action and operating behind center, he's more accurate, and far more deadly, operating in the shot-gun. If the Pats hope to get their season back on track, they need to get Tom and their offense back on track, That means to go to the shot-gun, and spread the field. This requires that the Pats' patch-work OL MUST do a better job. Everything on offense depends upon solid OL play. Because it's been lacking, the Pats' offense has struggled. It's a problem that MUST be fixed, and fixed immediately.                                                                                                         *****The play calling yesterday was attrocious. I don't know what's between the Pats' coaches and Wes Welker, but let's be adults here, and get the matter resolved. Can someone please explain to me why the Pats' played to settle for a 42 yard FG in the closing seconds, rather than move to within chip-shot range? Sure, The Ghost has a good leg, and nailed a 53 yarder earlier. But, a 42 yard FG is never a gimme.                                                                                *****Whenever a team faces a huge underdog, it must jump on them quick, and deprive them of any hope of competing. The Pats' didn't do that, choosing to run Ridley, rather than depend on their bread and butter...Brady in the spread offense. Ridley is, and should always be a sideshow. Tom Terrific and his band of receivers are the main attraction. Get that OL fixed!              *****Got to credit DC Matt Patricia and BB for having the "D" ready to play, and for taking WR Fitzgerald completely out of the game. Had someone told you before this game that Fitz was going to be held to just one catch for 4 yards, what would have been your prediction on this game?                                                                                                                          *****Needless to say, this was a awful loss...one that could haunt the Pats come playoff time: GRADE: C-;

            

                 

        

     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1807930. Show user_1807930's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to TexasPat's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

         This is my third attempt at posting my card. Hopefully, this one finally goes through. I don't know whether I'm more frustrated by the poor play of the Pats' offense and special teams yesterday...or by this new system, that seems to cause my computer to freeze up when I'm doing a long post. Here are my grades:

    I. OFFENSE: An abomination. This unit looked confused, and never looked anything like the well oiled machine we've been used to seeing over the years. This game was reminiscent of the Pats 2009 home opener, in which they eeked out an undeserved 25-24 win...thanks to a Buffalo fumble in the closing minutes. Ditto this game, only that the Pats weren't able to convert the gift given them by the Cards, due to penalties, and a missed 42 yard Stephen Gostkowski FG.

    1.) QB: After doing his best Curtis Painter impersonation in the first half, Tom Brady very slowly warmed to the task over the next 25 minutes, before pouring it on in typical Tom Terrific fashion in the final 5 minutes of play. Pats' fans should have known that something bad was coming up after Brady's first pass...a deflected duck that was intercepted by CB Patrick Peterson, costing the Pats a FG.                                                                                                                              *****The mighty Pats offense was held to three FGs in the first three quarters. Brady passed for a pathetic 75 yards in the first half, as he appeared to be rattled by the Arizona pass rush, spear-headed by the 6'8" Arizona DE, Calais Campbell. Tom's accuracy was off again...and there was what's becoming the obligatory missing of a wide open receiver (Gronk), on what should have been a long TD pass.                                                                                                       *****It's rare to see Brady look as lost on the attack as he did today. He finished with 28 completions for 316 yards, and a TD, and that aforementioned pick. In the final 5 minutes, the coaching staff appeared to finally take the wraps off their QB and best player, going to the spread offense, and the shot-gun. The results were striking, as the offense began to click. But, too little, too late:                                                                                                                          GRADE: C-;

    2.) RBs: Stevan Ridley crashed back to Earth this week, with a very pedestrian 71 yards on 18 carries. Danny Woodhead had 8 largely ineffective runs, for just 18 yards. But, his chance to be the hero in this game was denied him, as a Gronkowski holding penalty negated what would have been a game winning 30 yard TD run.                                                                     GRADE: C; 

    3.) OL: Can't just pick on LT Nate Solder this week, folks. The entire OL stunk. The Big Uglies were bewildered by the various blitzes and stunts of the Arizona lineman and LBs...and had no  answers for Arizona's DE, Campbell. For the day, Campbell finished with 10 tackles (7 solos), two sacks, and three QB hits...as he nearly singlehandedly shut down the Pats' offense.           GRADE: F;

    4.) TEs: When it rains, it pours. Not only did the Pats play a terrible game on offense and lose, but they lost TE Aaron Hernandez for at least 6 weeks. Hernandez had his ankle accidently rolled by Julian Edelman, in suffering what is reported to be a high ankle sprain. Though Rob Gronkowski had decent numbers (6 catches for 75 yards, and a TD), some below par blocking, an untimely dropped pass and, especially, his holding penalty on what would have been the Woodhead go-ahead TD run, helped to cost his team the game:                                        GRADE: C-;

    5.) WRs: Folks, there's something going on with Wes Welker. Either the coaching staff is purposely trying to  de-emphasize him, or is going away from him due to uninspiring play. It could be that Wes is allowing his contract issue to interfere with his play...or perhaps he's getting frustrated due to lack of use. Despite it all, he finished with 6 catches for 95 yards...but no longer appears to be Brady's go to guy on third down. If that's by design, it should stop immediately. But, if Welker's attitude is getting in the way of his play...it's a much more serious problem.   *****Brandon Lloyd had a decent game, with 8 catches for 60 yards...and Julian Edelman chipped in with 5 catches for 50 yards. But, sstill, the WRS do not seem to be getting much separation:                                                                                                                      GRADE: B-;

    II. DEFENSE: This unit played well enough to deserve a better fate. For the second week in a row, the Pat's shut down the run...and held all-world WR Larry Fitzgerald to just one reception, for 4 yards!

    1.) DL: Vince Wilfolk and Kyle Love stuffed the middle , limiting the Cards to just 105 yards rushing, in 33 carries. It's important to note that 17 of those yards came on a sweep play utilizing the athletic skills of CB Patrick Peterson. DE Chandler Jones did not register a sack, but put pressure of Cards QB Kevin Kolb for most of the game. Though DE Rob Ninkovick had the sole Pats' sack, he seems overmatched at DE:                                                                 GRADE: B;

    2.) LBs: Did a decent job in shutting down the run, but had some issues in pass coverage, particularly with Cards TE Todd Heap, who had 6 catches for 62 yards. Of those 62 yards, 28 of them came on one catch and run play on the sidelines...through a bevy of missed tackles. There was also a 24 yard catch and run by Cards RB, Beanie Wells.                                                     *****As usual, Jerod Mayo led the team in tackles with 9 (4 solos), followed by Brandon Spikes (7 tackles, 5 solos, one TFL), and Dont'a Hightower (5 tackles, 3 solos, one TFL). Spikes drew a costly personal foul penalty, which helped to sustain the lone lengthy Cardinals' TD drive: GRADE: B;

    3.) SECONDARY: How can you knock a group that holds Larry Fitzgerald to one catch, for 4 yards? All in all, a pretty sold effort, albeit against the likes of Kevin Kolb. With the exception of the aforementioned 28 yard catch and run by Heap, and that 24 yard catch and run by Beanie Wells, there were no big plays allowed. The Cards passed for just 141 yards, total:          GRADE: A;

    IV. SPECIAL TEAMS: Pats' punter Zoltan Mesko was rushed severely on every kick. I could see the blocked punt coming, and in fact called the actual block to a friend of mine, who was suffering through this debacle with me. The Cards must have seen a weakness in the Pats' punt-blocking scheme, and took full advantage. Without question, the blocked punt turned the game for the Cards, and the Pats could never recover. Soon thereafter, the Cards scored a TD, after having a first and goal at the Patriots' two yard-line. Folks...blocked punts cannot be allowed to happen...ever. There may be no more play that's more damaging to a team.               *****Pats' PK Stehen Gostkowski was having a great game. His kickoffs were booming, and he had been a rock solis 3/3 in FG attempts, including a 53 yarder. But, kickers are paid to produce, particularly in the clutch. For all the good done by The Ghost, he couldn't make the 42 yarder that would have allowed his team an escape yesterday with a win:                                       GRADE: F;

    IV. COACHING: I'd like to hear from all those people who used to hop all over Billy O'Brien. The game plans by the former Pats' OC look pretty good, compared to what we saw on Sunday. Folks, every game is different, and every team presents different challenges. When the spread offense isn't working, perhaps a change to a ground and pound approach is appropriate. But, make no mistake about it, the Pats are a team that made their offensive bones on the arm and brains of Tom Brady, and on the spread offense. As much as many of you like to see Tom using play action and operating behind center, he's more accurate, and far more deadly, operating in the shot-gun. If the Pats hope to get their season back on track, they need to get Tom and their offense back on track, That means to go to the shot-gun, and spread the field. This requires that the Pats' patch-work OL MUST do a better job. Everything on offense depends upon solid OL play. Because it's been lacking, the Pats' offense has struggled. It's a problem that MUST be fixed, and fixed immediately.                                                                                                         *****The play calling yesterday was attrocious. I don't know what's between the Pats' coaches and Wes Welker, but let's be adults here, and get the matter resolved. Can someone please explain to me why the Pats' played to settle for a 42 yard FG in the closing seconds, rather than move to within chip-shot range? Sure, The Ghost has a good leg, and nailed a 53 yarder earlier. But, a 42 yard FG is never a gimme.                                                                                *****Whenever a team faces a huge underdog, it must jump on them quick, and deprive them of any hope of competing. The Pats' didn't do that, choosing to run Ridley, rather than depend on their bread and butter...Brady in the spread offense. Ridley is, and should always be a sideshow. Tom Terrific and his band of receivers are the main attraction. Get that OL fixed!              *****Got to credit DC Matt Patricia and BB for having the "D" ready to play, and for taking WR Fitzgerald completely out of the game. Had someone told you before this game that Fitz was going to be held to just one catch for 4 yards, what would have been your prediction on this game?                                                                                                                          *****Needless to say, this was a awful loss...one that could haunt the Pats come playoff time: GRADE: C-;

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

            

                 

        

     

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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I'm glad someone brought up Nincovich. Why the hell is he playing defensive end on passing downs? With the pressure Chandler Jones is bringing from his side you would think this guy would be able to generate something...he's over matched. Time to try Trevor Scott or Bequette...something, someone, anyone.  

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1807930. Show user_1807930's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I think you were generous with the quarterback grade. He was "off" for 3/4 of the game. I know he was under pressure, but a loss is a loss. D-.

    There were some questions whether Ridley can catch the ball. There was a play over the middle where he caught the ball and was immediatley clobbered. What impressed me was that he held onto the ball. The point that I want to make is that defenses are going to be more concerned when he is in the backfield as compared to Danny Woodhead. Play action pass with Ridley and after he has released from the line throw to him in the flat or  short over the middle. He will break some big runs and maybe keep the defenses honest so that Mr. Terrific gets more time as his line develops.

     

    Just my opinion. I agree with everything else that you said. Thanks again for putting this together.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from tanbass. Show tanbass's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I agree with most....but I give the coaching an F. (Minus Patricia and the Defense)

    Calling on Woodhead to run on at least 2 (that I can remnember) 3rd downs and getting stuffed is beyond ridiculous. Ridley was running pretty well...why on Earth would they not give him the ball? I'm okay with trying to fool another team by running on 3rd down....but give it to Ridley who has the edge right now. Woodhead is not a power runner....never will be.

    And the decision to kneel down with 50 seconds left and try for a 42 yarder was mind blowing. Our offense is finally clicking, and pretty much moving the ball at will....and they decide to take their foot off the pedal?? WTF was that?

    Very frustrating game to say the least. We all know they are better than this.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Del...  if Brady runs the offense, the Pats would not have looked like they were trying to settle for a FG to win the game.  He would have tried to get closer, if not get a TD, to make the FG easier. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to tanbass's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I agree with most....but I give the coaching an F. (Minus Patricia and the Defense)

    RESPONSE: Patricia and running the "D" falls under the general category of coaching. Otherwise, I agree that an "F" was the right grade.

    Calling on Woodhead to run on at least 2 (that I can remember) 3rd downs and getting stuffed is beyond ridiculous. Ridley was running pretty well...why on Earth would they not give him the ball? I'm okay with trying to fool another team by running on 3rd down....but give it to Ridley who has the edge right now. Woodhead is not a power runner....never will be.

    RESPONSE: Why run the ball at all in those situations? You have a Hall of Fame QB, a pro-bowl TE (Gronk), and a pro-bowl WR (Welker). Plus, they were playing from behind, fighting the clock. Too much effort to be balanced. Who cares about a balanced offense when you score just 18 points? If the opposing "D" takes away the run...throw it! Spread the field! That's the strength of this team! Accent it! 

    And the decision to kneel down with 50 seconds left and try for a 42 yarder was mind blowing. Our offense is finally clicking, and pretty much moving the ball at will....and they decide to take their foot off the pedal?? WTF was that?

    RESPONSE: Amen, brother. At least throw a quick 5 yard pass to someone. There's little chance of a pick or a sack...and the clock continues to run on a completion. Granted...The Ghost is paid to make 42 yard FGs. But, 42 yarders aren't automatic. Wouldn't you have felt better about the kick if it were a 32 yarder?

    Very frustrating game to say the least. We all know they are better than this.

    RESPONSE: They were awful on offense and special teams. Frankly, they deserved to lose.

     

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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good write up TP!  Spot on with most things.  Even though the secondary looked good, the Todd Heap pass shouldn't have happened.  And why wasn't Ras-I Dowling in the game?  He wasn't even in for one play.  You would think with his size he would have matched up well with the big and physical Cards receivers.  I think he is going to be a good, I like his size.

    Coaching deserves a big fat red F but the defense coaching was pretty good so a D should do it.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Good write up TP!  Spot on with most things.  Even though the secondary looked good, the Todd Heap pass shouldn't have happened.  And why wasn't Ras-I Dowling in the game?  He wasn't even in for one play.  You would think with his size he would have matched up well with the big and physical Cards receivers.  I think he is going to be a good, I like his size.

    Coaching deserves a big fat red F but the defense coaching was pretty good so a D should do it.

     

    [/QUOTE]


         The coaches must get that OL fixed...NOW! Next week in Baltimore, it gets no easier.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Chalk it up as possibly looking passed the Cardinals and the Ravens next week?  Not so much on BBs part, but the players?  Game had all the classic earmarks for a big underdog going into the home turf of an "elite" team expected to roll them and the underdog played the role of David quite well to the Pats Goliath.    I did not have any chances to see the game and from the comments here, and in other posts and discussions strings, the players did not live upto the challenge.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to agcsbill's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Chalk it up as possibly looking passed the Cardinals and the Ravens next week?  Not so much on BBs part, but the players?  Game had all the classic earmarks for a big underdog going into the home turf of an "elite" team expected to roll them and the underdog played the role of David quite well to the Pats Goliath.    I did not have any chances to see the game and from the comments here, and in other posts and discussions strings, the players did not live upto the challenge.

     

    [/QUOTE]

         Believe me...the Patriots looked nothing like a Goliath. Their offense was putrid...and their special teams allowed a blocked punt, giving the Cards an easy TD. Unless this team gets their collective head out of their back-sides fast, and their OL starts to play like bullies, instead of being bullied...this team is going nowhere.

     

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey Tex- Thanks for your persistance in posting your weekly report card. Nice to some some consistency on this board. Radio silence on the board ugrade timeline- just as the season begins.

    What an "off" game for the Pats. I don't sense the "Patriots Way" state of mind with this team. Whatever is going on with Wes's limited play does need to end.

    OL horrible. Game Planning and play calls with the exception of Defense- failed. Which barely gets the coaching staff a D.

    Tough to have Hern injured and leave game. Tougher to see Pats lose their focus.

    Still scartching my hurtin head after that one.  And the Ravens next. Gut check time.

     
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    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to mthurl's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I'm glad someone brought up Nincovich. Why the hell is he playing defensive end on passing downs? With the pressure Chandler Jones is bringing from his side you would think this guy would be able to generate something...he's over matched. Time to try Trevor Scott or Bequette...something, someone, anyone.  

     

    [/QUOTE]


    The Dink stinks!!!

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to TexasPat's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

         This is my third attempt at posting my card. Hopefully, this one finally goes through. I don't know whether I'm more frustrated by the poor play of the Pats' offense and special teams yesterday...or by this new system, that seems to cause my computer to freeze up when I'm doing a long post. Here are my grades:

    I. OFFENSE: An abomination. This unit looked confused, and never looked anything like the well oiled machine we've been used to seeing over the years. This game was reminiscent of the Pats 2009 home opener, in which they eeked out an undeserved 25-24 win...thanks to a Buffalo fumble in the closing minutes. Ditto this game, only that the Pats weren't able to convert the gift given them by the Cards, due to penalties, and a missed 42 yard Stephen Gostkowski FG.

    1.) QB: After doing his best Curtis Painter impersonation in the first half, Tom Brady very slowly warmed to the task over the next 25 minutes, before pouring it on in typical Tom Terrific fashion in the final 5 minutes of play. Pats' fans should have known that something bad was coming up after Brady's first pass...a deflected duck that was intercepted by CB Patrick Peterson, costing the Pats a FG.                                                                                                                              *****The mighty Pats offense was held to three FGs in the first three quarters. Brady passed for a pathetic 75 yards in the first half, as he appeared to be rattled by the Arizona pass rush, spear-headed by the 6'8" Arizona DE, Calais Campbell. Tom's accuracy was off again...and there was what's becoming the obligatory missing of a wide open receiver (Gronk), on what should have been a long TD pass.                                                                                                       *****It's rare to see Brady look as lost on the attack as he did today. He finished with 28 completions for 316 yards, and a TD, and that aforementioned pick. In the final 5 minutes, the coaching staff appeared to finally take the wraps off their QB and best player, going to the spread offense, and the shot-gun. The results were striking, as the offense began to click. But, too little, too late:                                                                                                                          GRADE: C-;

    2.) RBs: Stevan Ridley crashed back to Earth this week, with a very pedestrian 71 yards on 18 carries. Danny Woodhead had 8 largely ineffective runs, for just 18 yards. But, his chance to be the hero in this game was denied him, as a Gronkowski holding penalty negated what would have been a game winning 30 yard TD run.                                                                     GRADE: C; 

    3.) OL: Can't just pick on LT Nate Solder this week, folks. The entire OL stunk. The Big Uglies were bewildered by the various blitzes and stunts of the Arizona lineman and LBs...and had no  answers for Arizona's DE, Campbell. For the day, Campbell finished with 10 tackles (7 solos), two sacks, and three QB hits...as he nearly singlehandedly shut down the Pats' offense.           GRADE: F;

    4.) TEs: When it rains, it pours. Not only did the Pats play a terrible game on offense and lose, but they lost TE Aaron Hernandez for at least 6 weeks. Hernandez had his ankle accidently rolled by Julian Edelman, in suffering what is reported to be a high ankle sprain. Though Rob Gronkowski had decent numbers (6 catches for 75 yards, and a TD), some below par blocking, an untimely dropped pass and, especially, his holding penalty on what would have been the Woodhead go-ahead TD run, helped to cost his team the game:                                        GRADE: C-;

    5.) WRs: Folks, there's something going on with Wes Welker. Either the coaching staff is purposely trying to  de-emphasize him, or is going away from him due to uninspiring play. It could be that Wes is allowing his contract issue to interfere with his play...or perhaps he's getting frustrated due to lack of use. Despite it all, he finished with 6 catches for 95 yards...but no longer appears to be Brady's go to guy on third down. If that's by design, it should stop immediately. But, if Welker's attitude is getting in the way of his play...it's a much more serious problem.   *****Brandon Lloyd had a decent game, with 8 catches for 60 yards...and Julian Edelman chipped in with 5 catches for 50 yards. But, sstill, the WRS do not seem to be getting much separation:                                                                                                                      GRADE: B-;

    II. DEFENSE: This unit played well enough to deserve a better fate. For the second week in a row, the Pat's shut down the run...and held all-world WR Larry Fitzgerald to just one reception, for 4 yards!

    1.) DL: Vince Wilfolk and Kyle Love stuffed the middle , limiting the Cards to just 105 yards rushing, in 33 carries. It's important to note that 17 of those yards came on a sweep play utilizing the athletic skills of CB Patrick Peterson. DE Chandler Jones did not register a sack, but put pressure of Cards QB Kevin Kolb for most of the game. Though DE Rob Ninkovick had the sole Pats' sack, he seems overmatched at DE:                                                                 GRADE: B;

    2.) LBs: Did a decent job in shutting down the run, but had some issues in pass coverage, particularly with Cards TE Todd Heap, who had 6 catches for 62 yards. Of those 62 yards, 28 of them came on one catch and run play on the sidelines...through a bevy of missed tackles. There was also a 24 yard catch and run by Cards RB, Beanie Wells.                                                     *****As usual, Jerod Mayo led the team in tackles with 9 (4 solos), followed by Brandon Spikes (7 tackles, 5 solos, one TFL), and Dont'a Hightower (5 tackles, 3 solos, one TFL). Spikes drew a costly personal foul penalty, which helped to sustain the lone lengthy Cardinals' TD drive: GRADE: B;

    3.) SECONDARY: How can you knock a group that holds Larry Fitzgerald to one catch, for 4 yards? All in all, a pretty sold effort, albeit against the likes of Kevin Kolb. With the exception of the aforementioned 28 yard catch and run by Heap, and that 24 yard catch and run by Beanie Wells, there were no big plays allowed. The Cards passed for just 141 yards, total:          GRADE: A;

    IV. SPECIAL TEAMS: Pats' punter Zoltan Mesko was rushed severely on every kick. I could see the blocked punt coming, and in fact called the actual block to a friend of mine, who was suffering through this debacle with me. The Cards must have seen a weakness in the Pats' punt-blocking scheme, and took full advantage. Without question, the blocked punt turned the game for the Cards, and the Pats could never recover. Soon thereafter, the Cards scored a TD, after having a first and goal at the Patriots' two yard-line. Folks...blocked punts cannot be allowed to happen...ever. There may be no more play that's more damaging to a team.               *****Pats' PK Stehen Gostkowski was having a great game. His kickoffs were booming, and he had been a rock solis 3/3 in FG attempts, including a 53 yarder. But, kickers are paid to produce, particularly in the clutch. For all the good done by The Ghost, he couldn't make the 42 yarder that would have allowed his team an escape yesterday with a win:                                       GRADE: F;

    IV. COACHING: I'd like to hear from all those people who used to hop all over Billy O'Brien. The game plans by the former Pats' OC look pretty good, compared to what we saw on Sunday. Folks, every game is different, and every team presents different challenges. When the spread offense isn't working, perhaps a change to a ground and pound approach is appropriate. But, make no mistake about it, the Pats are a team that made their offensive bones on the arm and brains of Tom Brady, and on the spread offense. As much as many of you like to see Tom using play action and operating behind center, he's more accurate, and far more deadly, operating in the shot-gun. If the Pats hope to get their season back on track, they need to get Tom and their offense back on track, That means to go to the shot-gun, and spread the field. This requires that the Pats' patch-work OL MUST do a better job. Everything on offense depends upon solid OL play. Because it's been lacking, the Pats' offense has struggled. It's a problem that MUST be fixed, and fixed immediately.                                                                                                         *****The play calling yesterday was attrocious. I don't know what's between the Pats' coaches and Wes Welker, but let's be adults here, and get the matter resolved. Can someone please explain to me why the Pats' played to settle for a 42 yard FG in the closing seconds, rather than move to within chip-shot range? Sure, The Ghost has a good leg, and nailed a 53 yarder earlier. But, a 42 yard FG is never a gimme.                                                                                *****Whenever a team faces a huge underdog, it must jump on them quick, and deprive them of any hope of competing. The Pats' didn't do that, choosing to run Ridley, rather than depend on their bread and butter...Brady in the spread offense. Ridley is, and should always be a sideshow. Tom Terrific and his band of receivers are the main attraction. Get that OL fixed!              *****Got to credit DC Matt Patricia and BB for having the "D" ready to play, and for taking WR Fitzgerald completely out of the game. Had someone told you before this game that Fitz was going to be held to just one catch for 4 yards, what would have been your prediction on this game?                                                                                                                          *****Needless to say, this was a awful loss...one that could haunt the Pats come playoff time: GRADE: C-;

     

     

    the only grade i care about: d- coaching (specifically  offensive side)

    i stopped counting all the poor coaching decisions on teh offensive side of the ball that cost this game. i have been trying to erase the memory ever since. horrible and painful offensive and game management choices.

     

     

     

     

     

     

            

                 

        

     

    [/QUOTE]


     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to TexasPat's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to agcsbill's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Chalk it up as possibly looking passed the Cardinals and the Ravens next week?  Not so much on BBs part, but the players?  Game had all the classic earmarks for a big underdog going into the home turf of an "elite" team expected to roll them and the underdog played the role of David quite well to the Pats Goliath.    I did not have any chances to see the game and from the comments here, and in other posts and discussions strings, the players did not live upto the challenge.

     

    [/QUOTE]

         Believe me...the Patriots looked nothing like a Goliath. Their offense was putrid...and their special teams allowed a blocked punt, giving the Cards an easy TD. Unless this team gets their collective head out of their back-sides fast, and their OL starts to play like bullies, instead of being bullied...this team is going nowhere.

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    agree with all this except for the failure to mention coahing of the offense

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    sorry that last comment (of agreement) was only to tex's commnets

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    Good write up TP!  Spot on with most things.  Even though the secondary looked good, the Todd Heap pass shouldn't have happened.  And why wasn't Ras-I Dowling in the game?  He wasn't even in for one play.  You would think with his size he would have matched up well with the big and physical Cards receivers.  I think he is going to be a good, I like his size.

    Coaching deserves a big fat red F but the defense coaching was pretty good so a D should do it.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    i saw it just abotu exaclty the same. but went with d minus.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to user_1807930's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    I think you were generous with the quarterback grade. He was "off" for 3/4 of the game. I know he was under pressure, but a loss is a loss. D-.

    There were some questions whether Ridley can catch the ball. There was a play over the middle where he caught the ball and was immediatley clobbered. What impressed me was that he held onto the ball. The point that I want to make is that defenses are going to be more concerned when he is in the backfield as compared to Danny Woodhead. Play action pass with Ridley and after he has released from the line throw to him in the flat or  short over the middle. He will break some big runs and maybe keep the defenses honest so that Mr. Terrific gets more time as his line develops.

     

    Just my opinion. I agree with everything else that you said. Thanks again for putting this together.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    agreed on ridley. been saying same.

    dont know why they switched to woody late in the game. trust him more in a heated situation i guess / and more of a receiver. not the threat ridley is.

     
  20. This post has been removed.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ccnsd. Show ccnsd's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Wow TP. This is probably the first time in 3 years I agree with your grades (your write ups in my opinion don't match the grades you give) but today I think you are spot on. Blocked punts are absolute killers. They can come in bunches to. Ebner may be a great story but any more blocked punts that are accountable to him and he needs to go. I remember a Charger team a few years back losing at least 3 games where blocked punts were the deciding factor. If the Cardinals saw a weakness the Pats need to be prepared because everyone knows about it now.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    how does coaching get a generous C

    game plan, offensive play calling, defensive play calling, and halftime changes, coaching during game.

    C, F, B, F, F


    so, overall mebbe a D?

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from JohnHannahrulz. Show JohnHannahrulz's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Pretty much agree with TEXPAT report card. It seems the O line hasn't had great pass blocking game yet.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from glenr. Show glenr's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to agcsbill's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    Del...  if Brady runs the offense, the Pats would not have looked like they were trying to settle for a FG to win the game.  He would have tried to get closer, if not get a TD, to make the FG easier. 

     

    [/QUOTE]


    We did score - it was called back. We advanced inside the 20 - it was called back

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from glenr. Show glenr's posts

    Re: Cardinals @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to anonymis' comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    how does coaching get a generous C

    game plan, offensive play calling, defensive play calling, and halftime changes, coaching during game.

    C, F, B, F, F


    so, overall mebbe a D?

     

    I'm a little surprised at your attack on the defensive play calling. The D held on the Brady interception. As for the blocked punt...what can you say getting the ball that close to the goal line usually ends up in a TD. The defense also put the offense in excellent field position several times and it only resulted in field goals.

     

    [/QUOTE]


     

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