Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I find it hard to give any kind of a grade to the defense because of the scheme that was presented and the timely questionable penalties that sustained Bolt drives.  Another cause for grading is you knew that the Bolts can move the ball on anybody as well as turn over the ball.  So to be critical of the defense is a little off base IMHO.  The grading of a "C" seems safe though.  But I'm concerned about how folks are comparing this years D with last years.  I think it looks more promising.

    Always enjoy your assessments!  Good dialog.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to 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. 
    Posted by zbellino


    I read where Tom said on the endzone play that he was seeing one thing and Branch another. He admitted if he would have waited a half second he could have seen what was happening there and made the play. He also admitted he was not rushed to bad on that play and could have waited. I'll forgive him this time! :)
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    It was an entertaining game watching the SD offense self-destruct once again. PAT'S defense gave up considerable yardage in the first two games, which is cause for concern. Given different players and skill sets but yielding same game results it is probably more so the result of coaching principles. Injuries are a concern too.
    I agree with the grading.

     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    The pass to ww was tipped .... showed it on replay
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    When Rookies like cam Newton start the season by throwing for 400 plus yards in back to back games after being labeled an arrogant punk who cant understand offenses....well, you get my point

    We gave up 378 to an elite qb who had his best WR singled up against our worst DB for most of the game IN THE SLOT, because they split out Gates wide all 2nd half in order to further exploit us doubling Gates and it worked, as V.J. had 10 for 172, or we could have let Gates go off a little and split the damage...doesnt matter cuz we won....but look around the league, every Qb is lighting it up except for Chunky Soup McNabb
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
         Here's a cold, hard look at the Pats v. Chargers: http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_4042_Pats_Powers_Past_Chargers%3A_5_Things_We_Learned.html
    Posted by TexasPat3


    Hey Tex,

    Answer me this....If the Pats have a leaky secondary what is the adjective used describe the Chargers? I get that the Pat's defense is suspect but wouldn't the same be said of the Chargers too? Seems like a double standard is being applied...The reason the Chargers gave up so many is becasue of our potent offense while the reason they gained so many was due to our leaky secondary and bend but don't break defense?

    Again they were statistically the best offense and defense in yards allowed and gained last year...

    Also, the points off of  turnovers...I hardly think that a 99 yard drive that resulted in a touchdown after we took the ball over on downs should be cited as somehow the Chargers offense was at fault It's not like they put their defense on a short field. I must be that our offense is so potetent that you never want to put them on a long field?

    As they say on ESPN...Come on man!
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    TP while I don't always agree with your assessments your report card is better than anything in the Globe/Herald after the games. 

    Agreed that "underperformer of the game" might be a nice category to add. 

    Can't really fault anything you point out other than the previously pointed out value of Chung on Gates, and I thought the running game was a tad more effective than you made it out to be (it was what it needed to be). 

    i agreed with the defensive grades but this phrase jumped out at me "Save for the goal-line stand"

    Goal line stands are always huge and this one was too...so you almost have to grade up a bit because of it. I'd also have graded up just a bit for the turnovers, even if some of them were unforced, because you'll have to grade down further when the D doesnt' get them. :)

    Finally, the biggest problem with the D I saw that isn't fixable is the big receivers having their way with our little backs. But, a good pass rush would help there...
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good review, I'd agree with most of it. I thought Mayo could of been player of the game; I'd love to see him be able to play more in the opponent's backfield opposed to running all over the field covering for people that can't. Fletcher looks a bit lost out there right now; I saw him blitz and really he looked like he didn't know if he should of gone or not. He just let himself be seen, stutter stepped, and arrived way too late as the ball was safely released for a completion. Looking forward to seeing him improve. Spikes was out there and he looked rusty (so hopefully he'll be better). I thought the Charger's line handled our front pretty well for most of the game, which was disappointing. 
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good stuff, despite the defensive concerns this team is a blast to watch.
    BJGE is a difference maker.  He converted a key 3rd and 1 on the last drive where he was stopped for no gain and powered out for the 1st.  Maroney doesn't get that conversion.  He'll get his 1st 100 yd game vs. Bills.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Tex
    The reason the Chargers gave up so many is becasue of our potent offense while the reason they gained so many was due to our leaky secondary and bend but don't break defense?
     
    RESPONSE: Where did I say that?


    You didn't say that....It was part of analysis in the last link you provided...My point is merely that the Chargers defense played worse then ours...gave up more yards, points and when the game was on the line they allowed us to drive for the final TD to ice the game...Yet it is our defense that continues to be maligned by the press both locally and nationally...

    As you know the score of the game often dictates how aggressive you are on both sides of the ball...so while I agree that the turnovers proved to be the difference, not sure the results would have been much different had they not turned it over on downs and instead kicked the field goal...We had and early lead and held it throughtout the contest and when you're leading by two touchdowns or trailing by two it tends to make you need to or want to throw the ball when you're behind and regarless of whether you're on defense or offense when youre up by two scores you want to add on, but you also are playing the game clock too...that's the maddening this about the bend but don't break defense...I hate it! always have...
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Great Post Tex.  Three things that stand out. Chung was a beast handling Gates all game mostly by himself. McCourty has either taken a big step back, or is struggling early on.Three, Mayo has become not just a tackling machine, but a big time playmaer on the Defense.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to 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. 
    Posted by TexasPat3



    texas 4 things you point out stand out for me.

    1.) more use of run to dominate opponent and teh clock. (my paraphrase or overemphasis)
    2.) linebackers weakest link (or one of) of team
    3.)The Pats were fortunate that the Chargers made so many mistakes today:
    4.) toms happy feet and nervousness and rushing passes he didnt need to rush due to protection issues

    some other points,
    in my mind the key play on the goal line was mccourty taking out the blocker, otherwise mayo does not have that play to make. so mccourty in line for one of the plays of the game for me. and he stood out very much against the run.

    bb needs to dictate the wr - cb matchups. dowling on biggest receiver (or bodden till hes back)

    lb's need to be coached up and hopefully catch on new scheme, reads and communication.

    actually a lot more points, but no time. great observations. will differ only slightly with a few if i have the time.

    ie rb's c+
    give that to obrian for not uising the rbs optimally and not playing ridley more.
    benny and woody looked fine.
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD :      I don't necessarily think that McCourty has taken "a step back". Over the past two weeks, the Pats have dealt with two of the games' best WRs, in Vincent Jackson and Brandon Marshall. Those guys are a tough match-up for any CB...particularly when the opposing QB is getting time to throw.       On those two completions from Rivers to the 6'5" Malcolm Floyd, McCourty had good coverage. Credit Rivers for two excellent throws that only a 6'5" guy could have hauled in. Sometimes, even the best players get beat when the execution of a play is flawless.   
    Posted by TexasPat3

    agreed and you will see that in my observations from gaem one and 2.
    mccourty wrong matchup(dowling on beaast receivers) and mccourty technique. pull arms down when you cant reach the ball and work better technique with jam at line of scrimmage.
    exceptional cb against the run as well.
    give him a b- overall so far. needs some coaching.
    who is our db coach?

     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    In Response to Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD : texas 4 things you point out stand out for me. 1.) more use of run to dominate opponent and teh clock. (my paraphrase or overemphasis) 2.) linebackers weakest link (or one of) of team 3.) The Pats were fortunate that the Chargers made so many mistakes today: 4.) toms happy feet and nervousness and rushing passes he didnt need to rush due to protection issues some other points, in my mind the key play on the goal line was mccourty taking out the blocker, otherwise mayo does not have that play to make. so mccourty in line for one of the plays of the game for me. and he stood out very much against the run. bb needs to dictate the wr - cb matchups. dowling on biggest receiver (or bodden till hes back) lb's need to be coached up and hopefully catch on new scheme, reads and communication. actually a lot more points, but no time. great observations. will differ only slightly with a few if i have the time. ie rb's c+ give that to obrian for not uising the rbs optimally and not playing ridley more. benny and woody looked fine.
    Posted by bredbru


    I also thought McCourty taking out the fullback was the real play that noone talks about, but Mayo cant make that play if # 32 doesnt blow up the fullback.  Most cb's wont stick their nose in like that, and I remember old #36 Milloy taking out a fullback in similar fashion against Miami back in the day that was also a goal line stance.  Got to have guts to make that play, and McCourty gets his hands dirty with the run too.  I agree w/need Dowling on the big guys and Bodden is not right yet...still battling something cuz right now Kyle is ahead of him
     
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    Re: Chargers @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    RESPONSE: Everyone is so quick to blame things on O'Brien. He's not the head coach. BB is...and BB decides who to play. The RBs are being optimally used. The Patriots are averaging over 35 points per game. Again, the offense can't save the defense. 

    Our offesne is why we've been a perenial playoff team since 2005...Our defense is why we've failed to win a Superbowl since. That said, if we can break the code of the Rex Ryan Ravens 2007 scheme which is now employed by the Jets. Our offesne can indeed save the defense by moving the ball, thus keeping them off the field. Our Offense can save the defense by not going three and out late in games with leads by failing to at minimum force the other team to use timeouts...

    Which has happened far to many times...

    Our defense is not going to win us a ton of games...Our Offense can and will but come playoff time...If we face the Jets or the Ravens or teams with shutdown corners (Green Bay and or Philly) that have the personnel to push the pocket...we'd better hope that O'Brein has a little something up his sleeve and to me it's go big and make the corners tackle!
     
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