Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

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    Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         Today you once again witnessed why the Patriots are the Patriots, and the Chargers are what they are. San Diego is a team prone to making mistakes, while the Patriots rarely do. So, despite being hampered by some truly awful officiating (8 penalties for 80 yards), the Patriots were able to outlast "The Bolt Boys" yet again, 35-21. Here are my grades:
     
    I. OFFENSE: Save for a horrid third quarter which nearly cost the "good guys" this game, the blitz-krieg we witnessed in Miami continued. Thanks to the bumbling Bolts, the "O" redeemed itself in the fourth quarter, as the sleeping pills that the Charger cheerleaders slipped into the Pats' gatorade at halftime gradually wore off.

    1.) QB: With the notable exception of the third quarter, Tom Brady was Tom Terrific, once again. Aside from missing an open Deion Branch in the endzone, early in the second quarter, Brady was Miami unbelievable, again...staking the Patriots to a 20-7 halftime lead. Some of his key throws were TD passes to TE terrors Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, and two key drive sustaining hook-ups to Chad Ochocincho.
         During the nail-biting moments of the fourth quarter, with the Pats lead at just 20-14, Tom hooked up with Deion Branch on a key 33 yard catch and run...setting up a 17 yard lazar to Gronkowski, for Brady's third TD pass of the game. Then, after the Chargers cut the Patriots' lead down to 28-21, Brady again engineered a TD drive...with the key play being a 29 yard catch and run, again with Gronkowski. For the day, Tom completed 31 of 40 passes, for 423 yards, and the three aforementioned TDs.
         The only point of criticism was that Tom seemed to be rushing, and had happy feet in the third quarter. Heavy pressure on pass plays, and the inability of the Patriots to establish a running game, contributed to this. On a 3rd and 4 from the San Diego 49, nursing just a 20-14 lead, Brady uncharacteristically threw a ball  behind Wes Welker on a WR screen. That, and a subsequent poor throw in traffic to Deion Branch on 4th down, killed a promising drive...and gave the Bolts a chance to take command. But, fortunately, fumble-itis struck them:
    GRADE: A;

    2.) RBs:
    Though BJGE had his moments in the 4th quarter, he and Danny Woodhead weren't much of a factor in this game. Speaking of Woodhead, his matador block while trying to pick up blitzing LB Donald Butler nearly got Brady killed. Woodhead did contribute a "Kevin Faulk special" to net a two-point conversion. Green-Ellis finished with 70 yards on 17 carries, including a 16 yard TD run to ice the game:
    GRADE: C+;

    3.) OL: It was a tale of two halves for the "Big Uglies". In the first half, they were dominant. But, there was one pass play in the second quarter when Chargers' DT Antonio Garay (who the Chargers stole off the Jets' practice squad a year ago) pushed his way into Tom Brady's left knee...which nearly ended the Patriots' season. In the 3rd quarter, the Pats OL was manhandled. But, thanks to a case of Charger fumble-itis, the big boys up front had a chance to redeem themselves in the 4th quarter...and did so:
    GRADE: B;

    4.) TEs: 
    Aaron Hernandez set the tone for the Patriots' offense early He finished with 7 catches for 62 yards, and a TD. Rob Gronkowski was more of a "big play" guy, as he netted 84 yards on just 4 receptions, including two TD grabs. He was also called for a ticky-tac holding penalty...and got beat early in the game by Shaun Phillips on an edge rush, resulting in Tom Brady being sacked. But, those two plays detract little from his aforementioned two TD reception performance:
    GRADE: A;

    5.) WRs:
    Deion Branch seemingly has discovered the fountain of youth in Foxborough, finishing his outstanding day with a team leading 8 receptions, for 129 yards. Wes Welker chipped in with 7 catches for 81 yards...and...there was a Chad Ochocincho sighting! As mentioned above, Chad had two key drive sustaining receptions in the first half, for 45 yards. Let's hope this is the start of something big for the Chadster:
    GRADE: B+;

    II. DEFENSE: Though the "D" had serious problems stopping the Chargers all day, they continually came up with big plays when needed. These included two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and a stirring goal-line stand.

    1.) DL: A tough day for the front 4, or 3, depending on the moment. The Chargers' OL pretty much dominated up front. Save for the goal-line stand, and that 6 point turnaround interception by Vince Wilfolk just before the end of the first half, this group was quiet. Horrible call on Pats' DE Andre Carter for ruffing the passer. There were several similar bogus calls in various games played today. The league must address this mess it's created, soon:
    GRADE: C;

    2.) LBs: Jarod Mayo knifed in behind the line of scrimmage on the Pats' first half goal-line stand...stopping the Bolts' bowling ball, Mike Tolbert, at the one yard line. Mayo may have saved the game by later forcing a fumble by Tolbert, with the Pats nursing a 6 point lead, and the Bolts driving. His played changed the momentum of the game. But, he also over-pursued, and took himself out of the play, on San Diego's Ryan Matthews' first quarter TD run. Nonetheless, Mayo was all over the field, finishing with a team leading 11 tackles, including 8 solos. But, the rest of his brethren were awful, both with their tackling, and, especially, their pass coverage. San Diego RBs accounted for an astounding 15 receptions for 135 yards today. Thus far, the LB corp has been the biggest chink in the Pats' 2011 defensive armour:
    GRADE: C (thanks solely to Mayo's big plays);

    3.) SECONDARY: There's no telling how bad the performance of this "D" could have been, had Malcolm Floyd not gone down with a groin injury. He finished with 2 receptions for 59 yards in just one quarters' worth of play. His high flying partner, Vincent Jackson, showed why he's one of the most dangerous WRs in the league, finishing with 10 catches for 172 yards, and two TDs. The trio of Kyle Arrington, Leigh Bodden, and Devin McCourty were no match for these tall Bolt wide-outs. Losing both CB Ras-I Dowling and safety Patrick Chung to injury certainly didn't help the cause, either.
         This group was able to take TE Antonio Gates out of this game, save for one bogus 20 yard PI call...which gift-wrapped a Charger TD. Credit young safety Sergio Brown for doing a nice job on Gates (with help), and for his second quarter red-zone pick, which pulled the plug on a potential San Diego scoring drive. Brown led the secondary with 7 tackles, including 5 solos.
         For the second game in a row, the Patriots' pass defense was awful...as Philip Rivers completed 29 of 40 passes, for 378 yards, and two TDs:
    GRADE: C;

    III. SPECIAL TEAMS:
    No glaring errors in coverage...but nothing on returns.  Credit Stephen Gostkowski for finally nailing a long FG...a 48 yarder on the last play of the first half. This turned out to be a very important FG. Hopefully, Zoltan "The Magnificent" was not badly injured when his own man got knocked into his knee after a punt. Prior to his injury, Zoltan had done a good job with a "coffin corner" kick, as well as getting off a booming 54 yarder on the play when he was injured. Beautiful open field tackle by Matthew Slater saved what could have been a long return.
    GRADE: B;

    IV. COACHING: Another good job overall by the offense, against some stiff competition. I have no idea what transpired at halftime. But, it seemed that the Patriots came out flat...and were dominated by the Chargers in the third quarter. Had they scored again on their opening drive, this game might have turned into a rout.
         Just a thought...I know that the Pats' like that up tempo, no-huddle offense. But, on their TD scoring drive late in the second half, wouldn't they have been wiser to take a little more time off the clock, and not leave Philip Rivers so much time once he got the ball back? It worked out well for the Pats...but what if Rivers doesn't throw that Wilfolk pick, and the Chargers were able to get a FG? Then, at halftime, it would have been 17-10, instead of 20-7.
         The game-plan was to take away Antonio Gates, and the Pats succeeded in doing so. But, the Pats' CBs were no match for San Diego's tall WRs Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd. The "D" was also unable to stop those annoying short passes by Rivers to his RBs. In hindsight, it seemed that the Pats paid too high a price to take away Gates.
         The "D" is far from a finished product. But, allowing an opponent to convert on 83% (10 of 12) of their third down tries, as the Pats did today, is totally unacceptable. The LB corp in particular looks terrible. Something must be done to get more out of this group. The Pats were fortunate that the Chargers made so many mistakes today:
    GRADE: B;

    V: PLAYER OF THE GAME: Though I'm tempted to go with Jerod Mayo, Tom Brady was "the man" again;

    VI: PLAY OF THE GAME: With the score 20-14 early in the 4th quarter, the forced fumble by Tolbert changed the momentum of the game...and allowed the Pats to regain control. This was a tough choice over the Mayo play on fourth down, during that great goal-line stand, and the Wilfolk pick.
         It's simple. When a team turns the ball over in this league, it loses.  

         Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=310918017  

         Your thoughts and opinions are welcome. 
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Texas....This maybe a convoluted way of looking at the defense,but they improved over last years D vs SD since Jackson didn't play; Gates was slowed with a toe injury so Rivers didn't have all his weapons. Probably a stretch.

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

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Pretty accurate.

    maybe in the future you could add a category for underperformer of the game (among starters).  My vote would go to Spikes: slow, out of position, and whiffing on tackles.

    I know there are Pats fans that don't want to hear any criticism, but this D better improve drastically, or we could be looking at another Colts-type regular season (14-2) with a fast fade in the playoffs.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey Tex- thanks for the recap and grades which are spot on as usual. Pats season home opener was another memorable game- not all for the right reasons.
    3rd quarter was awful- odd to come out so flat after halftime. Maybe the water was spiked with sleeping pills.
    TB was great. Fun to see him and DB address the press together after the game.
    Offense has goods to be spectacular, as all PATS fans (and detractors) well know. I don't take the execution for granted. RB's weren't much of a factor in this game. Like you I think there were a couple of times where the temp could have been slowed down to take time off the clock.

    The D, especially the secondary still a work in progress. Still early in the season, and they can only get better. Right?  Mayo worked it, and how cool was the Wilfork interception. That was a true rock and roll run!

    What gave me the most pause watching his game was the uneven and sometimes inexplicable officiating. There needs to be consistency and accountability for refs. The hit to Brady's knee (and the way he was hit) should not be allowed. I hope Bob Kraft makes some noise on this. I thought the "Brady Rule" was a done deal. No QB should be subjected to this kind of hit.
    The helmet to helmet tackles were brutal as well. Isn't this kind of hit a personal foul?  And banned?
    I definitely was not a fan of the refs for this game.
    On to Buffalo.

     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    great as always Tex,
      I  would be tempted to give the D a D+ i dont beleive they blitzed the whole game  it was just a standard rush  with either 4 or 3  but they did have  another goal line stand, and  they did get 4 turnovers
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Pat: Great review, as usual, and, as usual, I agree with most of your points. But I think you’re underestimating the value of the role played by the RBs, and particularly BJGE, during the bulk of the game.  The Pats ran on a lot of first downs during their scoring drives, and on a lot of those plays picked up 4 or 5 yards.  That’s not flashy, but I think that’s key to sustaining drives.  Second and five or second and six gives the Pats a lot more options than second and 10 - which they correctly treat as a throwing down and which lead to an awful lot of third and 10s.  In this offense, an RB who can be counted on to work for a healthy 4 or 5 yards on early downs is a real asset, and shouldn’t be undervalued. Go Pats.

     

     
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Overall, agree Tex, although I don't think we should be quite so tough on the D.  Big stops when needed; 4 turnovers; total shutdown of Gates.  Lots of yardage surrendered?  Absolutely, but the Gates shutdown was huge.  I don't give out grades but I do thinking you're being a big tough on 'em.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey Tex,

    Another solid recap. I didn't get to see the first half so my comments are based on what I saw and what I've read.

    The final score aside because that is in the end the only result that matters. To properly evaluate the success of the teams play is to understand the game plan on both sides of the ball for both teams and then weigh it against the results...Every Coach in the NFL today is evaluating the results of how well his team executed the game plan in all three phases of the game and where the breakdowns occured...Was it due to poor execution or poor game planning...

    Our Defense vs their Offense;
    San Diego Drive Summaries
    STARTQTRPOSS.YARDPLAYSYARDSRESULT
    15:00102:57SDG 20637Punt
    06:16103:21SDG 20780Touchdown
    13:20205:06SDG 24875Downs
    02:49202:40SDG 201051Intercepted
    11:13306:38SDG 61177Intercepted
    03:36305:03SDG 361064Touchdown
    11:41401:21SDG 49312Fumble
    08:40403:00SDG 20880Touchdown
    01:54400:52SDG 13319Fumble

    To suggest that our defense played poorly is to under sell the potency of the Chargers offense. That said, the defense was less than stellar...especially on the all important 3rd down effeciancy...They were stout in the red zone "again"...If you look at the box score independent of the final score the game was statistically even, turnovers were the only glaring difference and one could argue that it was the turnovers created by our defense that proved to be the difference and the key goal line stand to end the 1st half the other.

    If the defensive game plan was to take away Gates, then it was mission accomplished (you rightfully pointed out maybe we did so at too high a cost?) Which is why I don't agree with your accessment of the linebackers..Who along with The DE were chipping or jamming him at the line with a safty over the top in coverage. Everytime Gates was on the field.
    The Chargers game plan on offense was to nuetralize our "pass rush" by doubling our guys on the inside, forcing the ends to go wide with Rivers staying in the pocket using 3 and 5 step drops. They ran a lot of crossing patterns with the wideouts (essentially they just made Jackson the tightend once they sniffed out that our intent was to take away Gates) For the most part we left McCourty in single coverage on Jackson, which one could argue didn't work to well. That along with our doubling of Gates is why we struggled to cover the back coming out of the backfield. It's hard to take away everything...

    So while the Chargers game plan worked to slow our interior push whether we rushed 3 or 4 DLman with little or no zone blitz from the linebackers...The down side of Rivers staying "deep in the pocket" was the D did tip 3 balls and one of them picked by Wilfork (who dropped into coverage to take away the back)...

    So if your Turner then you can feel good because aside from the turnovers. The offense executed the game plan. Holding on to the ball for more than half of the game (30:58 to 29.02 time of possesion advatage) went 10 of 12 on thrid downs scoring 21 points with a total of 470 yrds. where they fell short was taking care of the ball 4 turnovers...and missed opportunity in the red zone...which is on the coach when you're in the red zone, you gotta take the points...

    Our Offense vs thier Defense...

    New England Drive Summaries
    STARTQTRPOSS.YARDPLAYSYARDSRESULT
    12:03105:47NWE 81292Touchdown
    02:55104:35NWE 371459Field Goal
    08:14205:25NWE 11099Touchdown
    00:09200:09NWE 47318Field Goal
    00:00200:00NWE 010End of Half
    15:00303:47NWE 15648Punt
    04:35300:51NWE 93-1Punt
    13:33401:52NWE 20631Downs
    10:20401:40NWE 39461Touchdown
    05:40403:46NWE 20980Touchdown
    01:02401:02NWE 3221End of Game

    It's pretty evident that our offense is begining to look like the 2007 team in terms of it's ability to put points on the board...so I won't spend a ton of time breaking this down...

    The above highlighted in red, is the drive that won the game. It was the classic ball control eat the clock 4 minute drill with BJGE looking like a vintage Antwain Smith. It was our offeses version of our defenses red zone play to end the 1st half. with 5:40 remaining, after the Chargers made quick work of our defense to pull within a touchdown...Not only did we score but we burned the clock and force San Diego to use their timeouts...While we didn't have ton of success running the ball, when it mattered most we pounded them with the bigs...something I've not seen is years...

    New England Patriots at 5:40SDGNWE
    1st and 10 at NE 20N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis left guard to NE 23 for 3 yards (A.Garay).  
    2nd and 7 at NE 23T.Brady pass short left to W.Welker to NE 36 for 13 yards (E.Weddle) [A.Garay]. Penalty on SD-A.Cason, Defensive Holding, declined.  
    1st and 10 at NE 36B.Green-Ellis left end to NE 41 for 5 yards (V.Martin).  
    2nd and 5 at NE 41N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis right guard to NE 45 for 4 yards (D.Butler, B.Sanders).  
    3rd and 1 at NE 45N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis right guard to NE 47 for 2 yards (D.Butler; T.LaBoy).  
    1st and 10 at NE 47T.Brady pass incomplete short right to W.Welker (Q.Jammer).  
    2nd and 10 at NE 47N.Solder reported in as eligible. T.Brady pass short middle to R.Gronkowski to SD 24 for 29 yards (E.Weddle). NE 12-Brady 3rd career 400-yard game. NE 23 passing 1st downs, new francise record.  
     Timeout #1 by SD at 02:19.  
    1st and 10 at SD 24N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis right end to SD 21 for 3 yards (D.Butler).  
    2nd and 2 at SD 16B.Green-Ellis left tackle for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN.2134
     S.Gostkowski extra point is GOOD, Center-D.Aiken, Holder-Z.Mesko.2135
     S.Gostkowski kicks 64 yards from NE 35 to SD 1. R.Goodman to SD 13 for 12 yards (T.White).  
    DRIVE TOTALS: SD 21, NE 35, 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:46 elapsed
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Pretty accurate. maybe in the future you could add a category for underperformer of the game (among starters).  My vote would go to Spikes: slow, out of position, and whiffing on tackles. I know there are Pats fans that don't want to hear any criticism, but this D better improve drastically, or we could be looking at another Colts-type regular season (14-2) with a fast fade in the playoffs.
    Posted by nyjoseph[/QUOTE]

         Your criticisms of the Patriots' defense are, unfortunately, well founded. But, the "D" is still a work in progress, and should improve as the season wears on. Just how much the defense improves will determine whether the 2011 Patriots have what it takes to win a championship.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good review as  usual. 

    Two things: 

    I don't think Brady missed Branch there ... I think he was throwing it away and Branch just tried to make a play on it. It was almost through the goalposts. 

    Second, you should give Chuing credit ... ample credit. He handled another great TE. 
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    the d played ok i think the lack of blitzing came from the fact that they wanted to take antonio gates out of the game
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Good review as  usual.  Two things:  I don't think Brady missed Branch there ... I think he was throwing it away and Branch just tried to make a play on it. It was almost through the goalposts.

    RESPONSE: Branch was wide open, and Tom missed him. But, in fairness to him, he rushed his throw because he saw Shaun Phillips off to his left coming at him off the edge, like a missle.

      Second, you should give Chuing credit ... ample credit. He handled another great TE.

    RESPONSE: Didn't Chung leave the game with an injury? Sergio Brown seemed to be on Gates for the majority of the game. 
    Posted by zbellino[/QUOTE]
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I agree with your grading.

    I might take exception to a couple of your statements. I see the general view that the lack of scoring in the 3rd quarter was somehow deficient as being in error. We aren't going to score on every drive.

    I am also not so ready to condemn Brady for "missing" Branch. Looking at the play I think Brady felt Branch should have stopped as he was wide open and not being closely pursued from behind rather than continue crossing the end zone as he was nearing other defenders heading to that spot and Brady saw the safest throw as being with him stopping rather than continuing into a possibly more contested reception. I think his jawing at Branch after the play was exactly about that. Branch just did not realize how open he was or he would have stopped in that wide open space. No real blame to assign here. It's just one of those things where the QB and the WR weren't on exactly the same page with their unspoken communication.

    Though there is a tendency by most to look at the bright side with the performance of the D, it is a concern that it does look much like last year's model giving up tons of yards and relying on big plays to keep the result from being very very ugly. This is not what we want the D to be.

    In any case after we all put a spin on it, the O is the best in the league and the D is mediocre at best. Hopefully in another 4 games we will see the D gelling and getting opposing Os off the field in a more steady manner.

     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Hey Tex, Another solid recap. I didn't get to see the first half so my comments are based on what I saw and what I've read. The final score aside because that is in the end the only result that matters. To properly evaluate the success of the teams play is to understand the game plan on both sides of the ball for both teams and then weigh it against the results...Every Coach in the NFL today is evaluating the results of how well his team executed the game plan in all three phases of the game and where the breakdowns occured...Was it due to poor execution or poor game planning... Our Defense vs their Offense; San Diego Drive Summaries START QTR POSS. YARD PLAYS YARDS RESULT 15:00 1 02:57 SDG 20 6 37 Punt 06:16 1 03:21 SDG 20 7 80 Touchdown 13:20 2 05:06 SDG 24 8 75 Downs 02:49 2 02:40 SDG 20 10 51 Intercepted 11:13 3 06:38 SDG 6 11 77 Intercepted 03:36 3 05:03 SDG 36 10 64 Touchdown 11:41 4 01:21 SDG 49 3 12 Fumble 08:40 4 03:00 SDG 20 8 80 Touchdown 01:54 4 00:52 SDG 13 3 19 Fumble To suggest that our defense played poorly is to under sell the potency of the Chargers offense. That said, the defense was less than stellar...especially on the all important 3rd down effeciancy...They were stout in the red zone "again"...If you look at the box score independent of the final score the game was statistically even, turnovers were the only glaring difference and one could argue that it was the turnovers created by our defense that proved to be the difference and the key goal line stand to end the 1st half the other. If the defensive game plan was to take away Gates , then it was mission accomplished (you rightfully pointed out maybe we did so at too high a cost?) Which is why I don't agree with your accessment of the linebackers..Who along with The DE were chipping or jamming him at the line with a safty over the top in coverage. Everytime Gates was on the field . The Chargers game plan on offense was to nuetralize our "pass rush" by doubling our guys on the inside, forcing the ends to go wide with Rivers staying in the pocket using 3 and 5 step drops. They ran a lot of crossing patterns with the wideouts (essentially they just made Jackson the tightend once they sniffed out that our intent was to take away Gates) For the most part we left McCourty in single coverage on Jackson, which one could argue didn't work to well. That along with our doubling of Gates is why we struggled to cover the back coming out of the backfield. It's hard to take away everything... So while the Chargers game plan worked to slow our interior push whether we rushed 3 or 4 DLman with little or no zone blitz from the linebackers...The down side of Rivers staying "deep in the pocket" was the D did tip 3 balls and one of them picked by Wilfork (who dropped into coverage to take away the back)... So if your Turner then you can feel good because aside from the turnovers. The offense executed the game plan. Holding on to the ball for more than half of the game (30:58 to 29.02 time of possesion advatage) went 10 of 12 on thrid downs scoring 21 points with a total of 470 yrds. where they fell short was taking care of the ball 4 turnovers...and missed opportunity in the red zone...which is on the coach when you're in the red zone, you gotta take the points... Our Offense vs thier Defense... New England Drive Summaries START QTR POSS. YARD PLAYS YARDS RESULT 12:03 1 05:47 NWE 8 12 92 Touchdown 02:55 1 04:35 NWE 37 14 59 Field Goal 08:14 2 05:25 NWE 1 10 99 Touchdown 00:09 2 00:09 NWE 47 3 18 Field Goal 00:00 2 00:00 NWE 0 1 0 End of Half 15:00 3 03:47 NWE 15 6 48 Punt 04:35 3 00:51 NWE 9 3 -1 Punt 13:33 4 01:52 NWE 20 6 31 Downs 10:20 4 01:40 NWE 39 4 61 Touchdown 05:40 4 03:46 NWE 20 9 80 Touchdown 01:02 4 01:02 NWE 32 2 1 End of Game It's pretty evident that our offense is begining to look like the 2007 team in terms of it's ability to put points on the board...so I won't spend a ton of time breaking this down... The above highlighted in red, is the drive that won the game . It was the classic ball control eat the clock 4 minute drill with BJGE looking like a vintage Antwain Smith. It was our offeses version of our defenses red zone play to end the 1st half. with 5:40 remaining, after the Chargers made quick work of our defense to pull within a touchdown...Not only did we score but we burned the clock and force San Diego to use their timeouts...While we didn't have ton of success running the ball, when it mattered most we pounded them with the bigs...something I've not seen is years... New England Patriots at 5:40 SDG NWE 1st and 10 at NE 20 N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis left guard to NE 23 for 3 yards (A.Garay).     2nd and 7 at NE 23 T.Brady pass short left to W.Welker to NE 36 for 13 yards (E.Weddle) [A.Garay]. Penalty on SD-A.Cason, Defensive Holding, declined.     1st and 10 at NE 36 B.Green-Ellis left end to NE 41 for 5 yards (V.Martin).     2nd and 5 at NE 41 N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis right guard to NE 45 for 4 yards (D.Butler, B.Sanders).     3rd and 1 at NE 45 N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis right guard to NE 47 for 2 yards (D.Butler; T.LaBoy).     1st and 10 at NE 47 T.Brady pass incomplete short right to W.Welker (Q.Jammer).     2nd and 10 at NE 47 N.Solder reported in as eligible. T.Brady pass short middle to R.Gronkowski to SD 24 for 29 yards (E.Weddle). NE 12-Brady 3rd career 400-yard game. NE 23 passing 1st downs, new francise record.       Timeout #1 by SD at 02:19.     1st and 10 at SD 24 N.Solder reported in as eligible. B.Green-Ellis right end to SD 21 for 3 yards (D.Butler).     2nd and 2 at SD 16 B.Green-Ellis left tackle for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN. 21 34   S.Gostkowski extra point is GOOD, Center-D.Aiken, Holder-Z.Mesko. 21 35   S.Gostkowski kicks 64 yards from NE 35 to SD 1. R.Goodman to SD 13 for 12 yards (T.White).     DRIVE TOTALS: SD 21, NE 35, 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:46 elapsed
    Posted by Beantowne[/QUOTE]

         Thank you for your interesting, and highly detailed response. While I agree with you that the Pats' "D" was up against a first rate offense, the Chargers' beat themselves with their mistakes. Their four turnovers cost them this game.

         While an argument can be made that the Pats' defense forced these turnovers...that doesn't detract from the fact that the "D" allowed 378 yards passing, and that the Chargers were able to convert 83% of their third down attempts. That dog won't hunt...and the Pats are going to get derailed in the play-offs again, unless things change.

         I disagree with your contention that the Pats' final scoring drive "won" the game for them. Though it certainly iced the game, the scoring drive prior to that put the Pats back in control. 

         Furthermore, you make it sound like that final drive consisted of a series of "three yards and a cloud of dust" down the field. It wasn't. The key plays were a 13 yard pass completion to Wes Welker, and a short pass to Gronk, which he converted into a 29 yard play.

         For the past two years, the Pats have used the passing game as part of their "ground attack", by supplementing the run with a variety of WR screens, and short passes to RBs and TEs. This is not to belittle BJGE...whose done a fine job as the Pats' "tough yardage" RB. But, it's tough to run against the better teams, which have quality defensive lineman...like San Diego's huge NT, Antonio Garay.     
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from p-mike. Show p-mike's posts

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    The Chadster?

    Seriously?




    Foot in mouth




     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Hey Tex- thanks for the recap and grades which are spot on as usual. Pats season home opener was another memorable game- not all for the right reasons. 3rd quarter was awful- odd to come out so flat after halftime. Maybe the water was spiked with sleeping pills. TB was great. Fun to see him and DB address the press together after the game. Offense has goods to be spectacular, as all PATS fans (and detractors) well know. I don't take the execution for granted. RB's weren't much of a factor in this game. Like you I think there were a couple of times where the temp could have been slowed down to take time off the clock. The D, especially the secondary still a work in progress. Still early in the season, and they can only get better. Right?  Mayo worked it, and how cool was the Wilfork interception. That was a true rock and roll run! What gave me the most pause watching his game was the uneven and sometimes inexplicable officiating. There needs to be consistency and accountability for refs. The hit to Brady's knee (and the way he was hit) should not be allowed. I hope Bob Kraft makes some noise on this. I thought the "Brady Rule" was a done deal. No QB should be subjected to this kind of hit. The helmet to helmet tackles were brutal as well. Isn't this kind of hit a personal foul?  And banned? I definitely was not a fan of the refs for this game. On to Buffalo.
    Posted by darwk[/QUOTE]

    "RB's weren't much of a factor in this game". The reason for this was the excellence of the SD run defense.  It's been often repeated that to stop a great team a defense must stop their run game and force them to pass.  The fallacy here (if there is one) is that once the run game is shut down a team must be also able to stop the passing game.

    To stop the passing game, it follows that the defense must first pressure the passer and if that fails, have a comparably excellent secondary defense.  While it can be argued that SD has a very good secondary it should also be recognized that all defenses have vulnerabilities  (which the offense must recognize and exploit).  Herein lies the awareness that both the quarterback and play-calling were exceptional.  Not perfect but still exceptional considering the quality of the opponent!

    It's been mentioned here before that the offensive line has also done an excellent job considering how quickly and desperately they were constructed.  As the line protects Brady, so go the Patriots!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD :      Thank you for your interesting, and highly detailed response. While I agree with you that the Pats' "D" was up against a first rate offense, the Chargers' beat themselves with their mistakes. Their four turnovers cost them this game.      While an argument can be made that the Pats' defense forced these turnovers...that doesn't detract from the fact that the "D" allowed 378 yards passing, and that the Chargers were able to convert 83% of their third down attempts. That dog won't hunt...and the Pats are going to get derailed in the play-offs again, unless things change.      I disagree with your contention that the Pats' final scoring drive "won" the game for them. Though it certainly iced the game, the scoring drive prior to that put the Pats back in control.       Furthermore, you make it sound like that final drive consisted of a series of "three yards and a cloud of dust" down the field. It wasn't. The key plays were a 13 yard pass completion to Wes Welker, and a short pass to Gronk, which he converted into a 29 yard play.      For the past two years, the Pats have used the passing game as part of their "ground attack", by supplementing the run with a variety of WR screens, and short passes to RBs and TEs. This is not to belittle BJGE...whose done a fine job as the Pats' "tough yardage" RB. But, it's tough to run against the better teams, which have quality defensive lineman...like San Diego's huge NT, Antonio Garay.     
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    Hey tex,
    I agree that our D got beat up pretty good, but so too did San Diego's...Which last year was #1 in total defense, their offense was rated #1 in yards from scrimmage and #2 in points...So if we're to grade both on a scale...Our defense outplayed theirs becasue their offense is "rated to be equal or better than ours...Yesterday we had the best defense on the feild becasue we gave up less points, total yards, forced four turnovers and made a key stop in the red zone...a small victory for our D but they did make the plays when we needed them...

    As for the Pats final scoring drive, I have to agree to diasgree with you on that one..I do agree it was the drive that iced the game..where we differ is with 5:40 to go the score 28-21...Our defense was realing a bit after allowing them to drive the length of the field 8 play 80 yards...So if we go three and out and don't take anytime off the clock. Then ahve to punt the ball to the Chargers it's game on by all intents we killed over 3 minutes off the clock and scored a td to give us an incermountable 2 score lead with les than two minutes to go...

    The two passing plays were big, huge in fact and were set up by the run, if you review the drive it's started with a run play and ended with two big gains by BJGE...What I liked about the drive was that we ran the ball on 1st down every time made some possitive yards converitng on a 3rd and 1. Ran it three times for a first down in second series for another 1st. Which ate time off the clock and forced the Chargers to key on the run. While I understand that we utelize the short passing game and bubble screeens to augment our lack of a true power run game...Too many times in recent memory I've seen us go 3 and out when leading late in games (2006 vs Indy, Superbowl in 2007) After what I would consider to be bad clockmanagement..attempting and failing to complete three passes without taking anytime off the clock, punting it away only to watch the other team drive the length of the field for the winning score...To me our approach and the results of the drive is IMHO a very positive sign In that we trusted the line to block and BJGE to run the ball eating valued time and in the end culminating in the score that "iced the game"...

    So in the glass is half full senerio if we can run the ball inside the red zone against a stout run defense it bodes well when the weather turns...Because if defenses have to respect our run game in the red zone. they can't drop into 4 deep zones which opens the middle and the backend of the end zone up for our tightends...

     
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD :
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    Chung missed a quarter, between late in the third and mid fourth. At that point, Gates himself had left the game. 

    Sergio saw limited action on the field at all. 

    They had a whole segment around the third Q showing Chung beat Gates up at the line and shadow him down the field, essentially commending him for what I saw all day ... did you miss it?
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    http://www.healtharticlesnews.com/patrick-chung-rob-ninkovich-headline-group-of-patriots-who-shut-out-antonio-gates-in-win-over-chargers

    This article tells the story ... it was essentially Chung man up over Gates for three of the four quarters, with various tricks blitzes, chips, etc along the way.

    Gates was Chung's guy. He handled him like he handled Keller last season:  very effectively. Keller was 3-15 in the playoffs, 3-27 in the second game, and Guyton had Keller in game one ... Chung's about the only reliable guy they have out there against TEs. Since about week 8 last season, he has been what Rodney was, at least in how they use him. Man-up on TEs, clean up after the run. 
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Anderson had a decent game, including the strip sack to pretty much end it.  He's going to come up big again this season...this will pay off.

    If Ochocinco's game continues to be what it is now, I couldn't be more happy.  He's running middle routes, accepting his role on this team, and most of all, he knows how to block.  He threw a few key blocks yesterday that extended yardage.

    There were times where Rivers had to be spot on perfect to thread the ball into his receivers, and Floyd had some huge grabs.  So while the D ain't yet pretty, it's still effective enough to allow the O to put up huge numbers.  And as of yet, BB isn't even releasing the hounds.  They barely blitzed last night until midway through the 4th.  If and when the dbacks begin to shut down receivers, these scores are going to get a lot more lopsided.  In a month's time we're going to be hearing again about how the Pats "...run up the score". 
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]http://www.healtharticlesnews.com/patrick-chung-rob-ninkovich-headline-group-of-patriots-who-shut-out-antonio-gates-in-win-over-chargers This article tells the story ... it was essentially Chung man up over Gates for three of the four quarters, with various tricks blitzes, chips, etc along the way. Gates was Chung's guy. He handled him like he handled Keller last season:  very effectively. Keller was 3-15 in the playoffs, 3-27 in the second game, and Guyton had Keller in game one ... Chung's about the only reliable guy they have out there against TEs. Since about week 8 last season, he has been what Rodney was, at least in how they use him. Man-up on TEs, clean up after the run. 
    Posted by zbellino[/QUOTE]
     Pretty much the way I saw it as well. Chung was terrific on Gates who, frankly, looked slow and out of shape. I believe he made a couple of catches late in the game but he wasn't being covered by Chung at the time.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

     To TPat: Why no comment on Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th & 4 around mid field in the 4th with the score 20-14 Patriots? Not exactly like the decision to go for it deep in our own territory against the Colts but somewhat similar. A couple of other comments: Mayo certainly made a great goal line tackle but huge credit has to go to McCourty who blew up the lead-blocker on that play. Wasn't Mayo also the guy who knocked the ball loose from Tolbert on that critical fumble? More later I have computer time limits.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    TPat: I think that 3rd & 4 pass to Welker was tipped. It could be that we're talking about different passes. The one I was thinking of was to the sidelines. Also the other Gronk killed a 3rd quarter drive with a movement penalty. Oh, can't leave without suggesting that since Arrington can't seem to cover anyone that we use him more on blitzes since our 4man front can't seem to get any pressure on the quarterback.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Tex...great analysis...can't live without it. I was thrilled with the win, and was horrified by the refs' bad calls. That Brady leg-twist "non-call" could have ended his season, and ours.
     

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