Re: Two plays: It wasn't nearly as bad as you all think
posted at 12/2/2009 3:18 PM EST
In Response to Re: Two plays: It wasn't nearly as bad as you all think
[QUOTE]This is the same point underdogg(g) made after the Pats jumped out big on the Colts (even though they eventually lost). Take away all the big plays and what do you have? A close game? Maybe. But I told him then and I'll tell you now, you can't simply erase the big-gainers and assume the Saints get nothing else. How many times did the Pats actually stop the Saints' offense? If Brees doesn't connect for those home-run plays, there's no reason to believe the Saints don't continue driving just the same. The game may, indeed, have been a little closer (and it might just as easily have not), but nothing I saw Monday night leads me to believe that we should be confident the Pats could win a rematch with that team.
Posted by prairiemike[/QUOTE]
I tend to think that giving up big plays is much more back-breaking to morale than giving up a drive in a close game.
A 7-point lead is manageable, but when they basically gave up three or four plays that accounted for half of the Saints' yards, it becomes insurmountable.
For me, it sounds like the real crux of the issue was maturity. Young players were getting frustrated and letting that frustration carry over into the next play. It was bad because they didn't know how to handle the pressure and it got worse because they're young and inexperienced.
Once they become comfortable with playing in a pressure environment and prove to themselves that they can execute in pressure situations, they'll be just fine. Kevin Garnett, Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez, and the entire Red Sox organization overcame the inability to perform in the clutch just through experience in being there. This Patriots defense will be no different.
And while both teams were obviously trying to win, I know for a fact that all of the real life coaches for whom I've ever played liked to save a few pages in the playbook that we had practiced all year for the big time (keep a few extra bullets handy for a rainy day).
->in that same sense, I think that's why both teams held out a couple of key players. For the Saints, it was Jabari Greer and Reggie Bush. For the Pats, it was not rushing back Vollmer and giving Edelman more time to heal.