Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

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    Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         Though todays' 31-24 win over the woeful Indianapolis Colts was anything but artistic, it's nonetheless a win...as the Pats move on to the final quarter of their season. No doubt, many of you are upset with the fact that the Dan Orlovsky led Colts to 21 unanswered 4th quarter points. But, let me remind you that the Pats were up, 31-3 going into the quarter...and that the game truly wasn't as close as the final score would indicate. 
        
         Should the Pats have poured it on, and won by four TDs? Sure. But, how thrilled can you expect the Pats' players to get playing an 0-11 team, especially when up by 4 TDs, going into the final quarter? Even BB pulled Tom Brady in the 4th, with the Pats nursing a 31-17 lead.
        
         The bottom line is that the Pats' did what they had to do to get this win under their belt...while the Colts played as if it were their SB. Give them credit for playing hard throughout. Here are my grades:

    I.) OFFENSE: The Colts managed to keep Brady and Company off the field for the great majority of the first quarter. They employed a ball control offense, and played a deep zone, forcing the Pats to patiently work they way down the field, in short increments. This strategy worked until the last half of the second quarter, and the first half of the third quarter, in which the Patriots rung up four (4) TDs...before snoozing.

    1.) QB: An efficient, yet unspectacular performance by the Terrific One, was more than enough to reign in the Manning-less Colts. Tom finished with 29 completions in 38 attempts, for 289 yards, and two TDs. Though he missed some throws, by and large he was his usual accurate self. His escape of the rush and completion to Wes Welker to convert on a 3rd and 15 play set up the Pats' first TD...and was perhaps the key play of the game. His two TD passes to Rob Gronkowski were of the ho-hum variety, as Gronk was wide open on both occasions. Nonetheless, kudos to Tom for his patient, turnover free direction of the offense: 
    GRADE: A-;

    2.) RBs: Nothing special again from the RBs. It's becoming readily apparent that the Pats need better options at this position. Steven Ridley ran reasonably well, with 33 yards on 8 carries. But, BJGE and Danny Woodhead posted just a combined 26 yards on 10 carries. Worse yet...none of the above backs participated in the passing game. The one RB reception was a 13 yard completion to Kevin Faulk. 
          The poor Patriots' ground attack is one of the reasons why the team is having trouble closing out games. Though the OL may not be opening up huge holes for the RBs...it's readily apparent that the overall talent of the Pats' staple of RBs is extremely limited. If the Pats" RBs can't gain yards against the weak Indy run defense, who can they successfully run against?
    GRADE: D+;

    3.) OL: After another slow start, the Big Uglies picked things up in the second quarter, and started giving their leader time to throw. The results were predictable, as Tom Brady picked apart the loose Colts' secondary for 28 points in about 15 minutes of play. Though it was enough to put the game on ice, it's troubling that the offense is having so much difficulty closing out games. The main problem appears to be that the Pats' OL is a finesse group, that cannot impose it's will on the opposition via the ground game:
    GRADE: C+;

    4.) WRs & TEs: The Colts' soft zone was tailor made for Wes Welker, who finished with ten (10) receptions for 110 yards. Deion Branch chipped in with three (3) catches for 37 yards...and the Pats' third WR was, as usual, the Invisible Man. 
         Though I realize that Jim Caldwell is a rather inept coach, and that the Colts were breaking in a new DC this afternoon, can anyone tell me how a team can ignore Pats' TE Rob Gronkowski in the red-zone? Gronk scored three (3) TDs, including two on intermediate passes, in which he was wide open. Forget studying film. A cursory look at the Pats' stats sheets would have revealed that. 
        Gronk and Aaron Hernandez combined for 12 catches for 107 yards:
    GRADE: B+ (Thanks to Welker and Gronk)

    II. DEFENSE: Aside from allowing a time consuming 19 play, 71 yard drive in the first quarter (which netted just a FG), the "D" acquitted itself well for the first three quarters. But, in the fourth quarter, the unit embarrassed itself by allowing the jalopy-like Colts' offense to motor down the field on drives of 88 yards on 15 plays, 93 yards on 11 plays, and 90 yards on only 5 plays, for three (3) TDs. YUCK!!!

    1.) DL: Did Andre Carter play this week? It didn't seem like it. That said, Vince Wilfolk had one of the better games of the season, finishing with ten (10) tackles, including five solos, and a sack. Vince also drew a holding penalty on Colts' pro-bowl caliber center, Jeff Saturday...which ruined Indy's initial drive. The Colts did little damage on the ground largely due to Wilfolk and company. But, aside from Vince's early sack, Andre Carter and the rest of this group put very little pressure on Dan Orlovsky. As a result, Orlovsky had ample time to pick apart the tattered and battered Patriots' secondary:
    GRADE: C-;

    2.) LBs: Though the LB corp did a decent job of defending against the run, there were issues in pass coverage. The Colts attack on the Pats' "D" was similar to the approach used so successfully by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Indy used their TE Jacob Tamme and WRs on a slew of short passes over the middle and on the sidelines...slowly matriculating they way down the field. Aside from the interception by Jerod Mayo, the LBs failed to adequately defense these plays. In fairness, part of the problem was that the Pats chose to employ a very looose, prevent type coverage throughout most of the 4th quarter.
         Look for other teams to attack the Pats' in a similar way in the future. This type of offense moves the ball...eats up the clock...and keeps Tom Brady off the field. 
         Aside from a Rob Ninkovich sack, the LBs applied little pressure, and seemed to hardly ever blitz. Niko Koutouvides and Mayo combined for 14 tackles (5 solos), and Tracy White added five more, two of which were solos:
    GRADE: C;

    3.) SECONDARY: Hung tough throughout the majority of the first three quarters, but fell completely apart in the fourth. Colts' QB Dan Orlovsky completed 30 of 37 passes for 353 yards, and two TDs, for the game. But, in the fourth quarter, against a "prevent defense", Orlovsky completed 17 of 19 passes, for 223 yards, including TD passes to Pierre Garcon, of 33 and 40 yards!!! Prior to that, Orlovsky had just 13 completions in 18 attempts, for 130 yards, and no TDs!!!! Yup...that prevent defense...works every time it's tried!!! 
         Folks, is there really any need to further elaborate on the performance of the secondary...aside from the woeful missed tackle by Devin McCourty on the Donald Brown TD run??? 
    GRADE: F;

    III. SPECIAL TEAMS: 
    Julian Edelman nearly cost the Patriots' big-time, bu muffing on a punt. Fortunately for both he and the Pats, the ball bounced right back into his arms. But, the muff earned him a seat on punt returns for the remainder of the afternoon. The Pats also allowed a 21 yard punt return to Indy's Joe Lefeged. It was by far the Colts' best punt return of the season.
         Usual good job on kick-offs and punts by Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko, respectfully. Good job also by the Pats' "hands team" in recovering two onside kicks:
    GRADE: B-;

    IV. COACHING: BB was correct in preaching all week long that a teams' record is irrelevant to winning a game. It's how each team performs on game day that matters. 
         Up until the 4th quarter, the Pats' had performed pretty well, both on offense and defense. Yet, for some reason, the coaches got ultra conservative in the final 15 minutes. The offense tried to "pound the rock", but instead pounded sand. The defense backed completely off Dan Orlovsky, and went in full prevent mode, which almost prevented the Patriots from winning. May I suggest that the "prevent defense", employed in the last two games, be permanently unemployed? In spite of the prevent, Orlovsky was able to complete TD passes of 33 and 40 yards to Pierre Garcon.
         The Pats need to face the fact that they have a weak running game. It's not something that they can depend upon to close out games. Their best defense is to score, and to take chances with the "D", in hopes of creating turnovers. Rushing three and dropping off in a deep zone just isn't cutting it:
    GRADE: C;

    V. PLAY OF THE GAME: Late in the second quarter, with the scored tied at 3,  the Pats faced a 3rd and 15 from the Indy 34 yard line. On the 3rd down snap,  Tom Brady rolled a bit to his left, and toward the line of scrimmage, and completed an 11-13 yard pass to Wes Welker...who turned it into an 18 yard completion, and a first down, at the Indy 16. This was a huge momentum changer. Two plays later, Brady would hit Gronk for an 11 yard TD...and a 10-3 Pats lead. The Pats would get the ball back shortly thereafter, and score another TD in the two-minute drill, putting them up 17-3...and putting them in complete control of this game.

    VI. PLAYER OF THE GAME: Rob Gronkowski edges Tom Brady and Wes Welker. His three (3) TDs scored are hard to ignore. Gronk finished with 5 catches for 64 yards...along with his three TDs. With apologies to the Saints' Jimmy Graham and the Packers' Jermichael Finley, Gronkowski is the games' best all around TE: http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2011/12/05/tight_end_rob_gronkowski_of_patriots_on_course_for_greatness/?rss_id=Boston.com+%2F+Boston+Globe+--+Sports+News; and http://www.indystar.com/article/20111205/SPORTS03/112050342/Gronkowski-has-field-day 

         Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=311204017

         As always, your comments and opinions are welcome.     
              
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey Tex,
    Again I was not able to see the game. So I look forward to reading your recap every Monday...I liked the Howard Cossel reference, good stuff...

    As for your grade and analysis of the linebackers. When and if they "blitz" is dependent on the defense called from the sideline. So I tend not to place the lack of blitzing on the players, rather the coaches. More troubling is the lack of pressure from the front four.

    The 21 points allowed in the forth quarter is easily explained, but my guess is that tomorrow during the film review Belicheck's gonna shred his entire defensive unit. A win's a win, but our teams play on both sides of the ball in the forth quarter will earn them all a tough week of practice...
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey Tex: I agree with most of your assessment in the breakdown of this game. Great the Pats added another W. That said, count me as a fan that was not impressed by the way the Pats started and espeically finished this game.

    I disagree with you on:
    "But, how thrilled can you expect the Pats' players to get playing an 0-11 team, especially when up by 4 TDs, going into the final quarter? Even BB pulled Tom Brady in the 4th, with the Pats nursing a 31-17 lead."

    I expect the Pats to play 60 minutes. This is the NFL and every player's job is to show up and give it their all on game day. The Pats dodged a bullet from the "hapless" Colts in the 4th quarter. The Colts did play for 60 minutes and that should be an embarrassment to the entire Pats organization.

    No excuses.

     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Hey Tex: I agree with most of your assessment in the breakdown of this game. Great the Pats added another W. That said, count me as a fan that was not impressed by the way the Pats started and espeically finished this game. I disagree with you on: "But, how thrilled can you expect the Pats' players to get playing an 0-11 team, especially when up by 4 TDs, going into the final quarter? Even BB pulled Tom Brady in the 4th, with the Pats nursing a 31-17 lead." I expect the Pats to play 60 minutes. This is the NFL and every player's job is to show up and give it their all on game day. The Pats dodged a bullet from the "hapless" Colts in the 4th quarter. The Colts did play for 60 minutes and that should be an embarrassment to the entire Pats organization. No excuses.
    Posted by darwk[/QUOTE]

         How much of this is on the players...and how much is on the coaching staff? Whose idea was it to go into the prevent...the players or the coaches? Who made the decision to pull Tom midway through the 4th quarter, of a two possession game? Why didn't the Pats use exotic blitz packages against Orlovsky?

         Just a few thoughts: Could it be that BB is saving those exotic blitzes and other surprises for when he needs them...in Denver, or during the play-offs? Did BB want to risk Tom Brady against a dirty team like the Colts, who have nothing to lose? BB played the 4th quarter against Indy as if it were a preseason game. He could afford to do that against the hapless Colts.    

          
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Funny how everyone said Belichick would not let up on the colts but after a close game some are saying he did.  Belichick took Brady out for exactly one series and then said, nope not again. 

    If anyone believes that McCourty was simply playing soft when he was stiff armed off a tackle on Brown's TD and when Garcon made him look silly near the end of the game, then you are drinking Koolaid Belichick wouldn't touch. 

    Finally, whoever thinks the colts are a dirty has not seen the pats play. 
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good post Tex.  One thing to comment on from me. It didnt effect the game but its alarming to me. Tom Brady in the shotgun with Faulk behind him on 3rd or 4th and short!?!?

    Why are they still doing this?  It reminds me of 4th and 2 against the Colts in 09 and one of the reasons we cant close out games. We should be brining in the power run game against the Colts on 3rd and 2, not some shotgun c rap w/Kevin in the backfield. Kevin is not a power back and how many times are we gonna see that 2 yard pattern to Faulk and get nothing??  The same thing happened in another loss when Brady took the whole play clock to go shotgun w/Faulk on the f riggin goal line and Faulk once again was stuffed!

    I only want to see Faulk in there on 3rd and long. When will they realize this old dude aint a power back or a go to guy in the clutch anymore.  He has a role here if you want, but it shouldnt be catching 2 yard passes for 1st downs or trying to gain first downs via the run on short yardage. Thats what Benny is for.

    Ok, Im done...
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I am glad to see that the posters are mostly not saying "at least they won" stuff. That was a defensive mess and must be fixed in the last quarter of the season or they will come to their usual playoff end.

    I disagree with the DL, LB and coaching grades; too high. With a 4 touchdown lead you know they are going to throw; those 3 should have had an easier time stopping the Colts and didn't.
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I also didnt mind the 3-3-3 alignment but asking Idebho to cover slots and tight ends in the slot was a problem. 

    I thought Nate Jones and Slater did well for just coming in compared to others we have saw there.  Chung where are you?

    Niko got same and did ok too.
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]     Though todays' 31-24 win over the woeful Indianapolis Colts was anything but artistic, it's nonetheless a win...as the Pats move on to the final quarter of their season. No doubt, many of you are upset with the fact that the Dan Orlovsky led Colts to 21 unanswered 4th quarter points. But, let me remind you that the Pats were up, 31-3 going into the quarter...and that the game truly wasn't as close as the final score would indicate.            Should the Pats have poured it on, and won by four TDs? Sure. But, how thrilled can you expect the Pats' players to get playing an 0-11 team, especially when up by 4 TDs, going into the final quarter? Even BB pulled Tom Brady in the 4th, with the Pats nursing a 31-17 lead.           The bottom line is that the Pats' did what they had to do to get this win under their belt...while the Colts played as if it were their SB. Give them credit for playing hard throughout. Here are my grades: I.) OFFENSE: The Colts managed to keep Brady and Company off the field for the great majority of the first quarter. They employed a ball control offense, and played a deep zone, forcing the Pats to patiently work they way down the field, in short increments. This strategy worked until the last half of the second quarter, and the first half of the third quarter, in which the Patriots rung up four (4) TDs...before snoozing. 1.) QB: An efficient, yet unspectacular performance by the Terrific One, was more than enough to reign in the Manning-less Colts. Tom finished with 29 completions in 38 attempts, for 289 yards, and two TDs. Though he missed some throws, by and large he was his usual accurate self. His escape of the rush and completion to Wes Welker to convert on a 3rd and 15 play set up the Pats' first TD...and was perhaps the key play of the game. His two TD passes to Rob Gronkowski were of the ho-hum variety, as Gronk was wide open on both occasions. Nonetheless, kudos to Tom for his patient, turnover free direction of the offense:  GRADE: A-; 2.) RBs: Nothing special again from the RBs. It's becoming readily apparent that the Pats need better options at this position. Steven Ridley ran reasonably well, with 33 yards on 8 carries. But, BJGE and Danny Woodhead posted just a combined 26 yards on 10 carries. Worse yet...none of the above backs participated in the passing game. The one RB reception was a 13 yard completion to Kevin Faulk.        The poor Patriots' ground attack is one of the reasons why the team is having trouble closing out games. Though the OL may not be opening up huge holes for the RBs...it's readily apparent that the overall talent of the Pats' staple of RBs is extremely limited. If the Pats" RBs can't gain yards against the weak Indy run defense, who can they successfully run against? GRADE: D+; 3.) OL: After another slow start, the Big Uglies picked things up in the second quarter, and started giving their leader time to throw. The results were predictable, as Tom Brady picked apart the loose Colts' secondary for 28 points in about 15 minutes of play. Though it was enough to put the game on ice, it's troubling that the offense is having so much difficulty closing out games. The main problem appears to be that the Pats' OL is a finesse group, that cannot impose it's will on the opposition via the ground game: GRADE: C+; 4.) WRs & TEs: The Colts' soft zone was tailor made for Wes Welker, who finished with ten (10) receptions for 110 yards. Deion Branch chipped in with three (3) catches for 37 yards...and the Pats' third WR was, as usual, the Invisible Man.       Though I realize that Jim Caldwell is a rather inept coach, and that the Colts were breaking in a new DC this afternoon, can anyone tell me how a team can ignore Pats' TE Rob Gronkowski in the red-zone? Gronk scored three (3) TDs, including two on intermediate passes, in which he was wide open. Forget studying film. A cursory look at the Pats' stats sheets would have revealed that.      Gronk and Aaron Hernandez combined for 12 catches for 107 yards: GRADE: B+ (Thanks to Welker and Gronk) II. DEFENSE: Aside from allowing a time consuming 19 play, 71 yard drive in the first quarter (which netted just a FG), the "D" acquitted itself well for the first three quarters. But, in the fourth quarter, the unit embarrassed itself by allowing the jalopy-like Colts' offense to motor down the field on drives of 88 yards on 15 plays, 93 yards on 11 plays, and 90 yards on only 5 plays, for three (3) TDs. YUCK!!! 1.) DL: Did Andre Carter play this week? It didn't seem like it. That said, Vince Wilfolk had one of the better games of the season, finishing with ten (10) tackles, including five solos, and a sack. Vince also drew a holding penalty on Colts' pro-bowl caliber center, Jeff Saturday...which ruined Indy's initial drive. The Colts did little damage on the ground largely due to Wilfolk and company. But, aside from Vince's early sack, Andre Carter and the rest of this group put very little pressure on Dan Orlovsky. As a result, Orlovsky had ample time to pick apart the tattered and battered Patriots' secondary: GRADE: C-; 2.) LBs:  Though the LB corp did a decent job of defending against the run, there were issues in pass coverage. The Colts attack on the Pats' "D" was similar to the approach used so successfully by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Indy used their TE Jacob Tamme and WRs on a slew of short passes over the middle and on the sidelines...slowly matriculating they way down the field. Aside from the interception by Jerod Mayo, the LBs failed to adequately defense these plays. In fairness, part of the problem was that the Pats chose to employ a very looose, prevent type coverage throughout most of the 4th quarter.      Look for other teams to attack the Pats' in a similar way in the future. This type of offense moves the ball...eats up the clock...and keeps Tom Brady off the field.       Aside from a Rob Ninkovich sack, the LBs applied little pressure, and seemed to hardly ever blitz. Niko Koutouvides and Mayo combined for 14 tackles (5 solos), and Tracy White added five more, two of which were solos: GRADE: C; 3.) SECONDARY: Hung tough throughout the majority of the first three quarters, but fell completely apart in the fourth. Colts' QB Dan Orlovsky completed 30 of 37 passes for 353 yards, and two TDs, for the game. But, in the fourth quarter, against a "prevent defense", Orlovsky completed 17 of 19 passes, for 223 yards, including TD passes to Pierre Garcon, of 33 and 40 yards!!! Prior to that, Orlovsky had just 13 completions in 18 attempts, for 130 yards, and no TDs!!!! Yup...that prevent defense...works every time it's tried!!!       Folks, is there really any need to further elaborate on the performance of the secondary...aside from the woeful missed tackle by Devin McCourty on the Donald Brown TD run???  GRADE: F; III. SPECIAL TEAMS:  Julian Edelman nearly cost the Patriots' big-time, bu muffing on a punt. Fortunately for both he and the Pats, the ball bounced right back into his arms. But, the muff earned him a seat on punt returns for the remainder of the afternoon. The Pats also allowed a 21 yard punt return to Indy's Joe Lefeged. It was by far the Colts' best punt return of the season.      Usual good job on kick-offs and punts by Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko, respectfully. Good job also by the Pats' "hands team" in recovering two onside kicks: GRADE: B-; IV. COACHING: BB was correct in preaching all week long that a teams' record is irrelevant to winning a game. It's how each team performs on game day that matters.       Up until the 4th quarter, the Pats' had performed pretty well, both on offense and defense. Yet, for some reason, the coaches got ultra conservative in the final 15 minutes. The offense tried to "pound the rock", but instead pounded sand. The defense backed completely off Dan Orlovsky, and went in full prevent mode, which almost prevented the Patriots from winning. May I suggest that the "prevent defense", employed in the last two games, be permanently unemployed? In spite of the prevent, Orlovsky was able to complete TD passes of 33 and 40 yards to Pierre Garcon.      The Pats need to face the fact that they have a weak running game. It's not something that they can depend upon to close out games. Their best defense is to score, and to take chances with the "D", in hopes of creating turnovers. Rushing three and dropping off in a deep zone just isn't cutting it: GRADE: C; V. PLAY OF THE GAME: Late in the second quarter, with the scored tied at 3,  the Pats faced a 3rd and 15 from the Indy 34 yard line. On the 3rd down snap,  Tom Brady rolled a bit to his left, and toward the line of scrimmage, and completed an 11-13 yard pass to Wes Welker...who turned it into an 18 yard completion, and a first down, at the Indy 16. This was a huge momentum changer. Two plays later, Brady would hit Gronk for an 11 yard TD...and a 10-3 Pats lead. The Pats would get the ball back shortly thereafter, and score another TD in the two-minute drill, putting them up 17-3...and putting them in complete control of this game. VI. PLAYER OF THE GAME: Rob Gronkowski edges Tom Brady and Wes Welker. His three (3) TDs scored are hard to ignore. Gronk finished with 5 catches for 64 yards...along with his three TDs. With apologies to the Saints' Jimmy Graham and the Packers' Jermichael Finley, Gronkowski is the games' best all around TE: http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2011/12/05/tight_end_rob_gronkowski_of_patriots_on_course_for_greatness/?rss_id=Boston.com+%2F+Boston+Globe+--+Sports+News ; and http://www.indystar.com/article/20111205/SPORTS03/112050342/Gronkowski-has-field-day        Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=311204017      As always, your comments and opinions are welcome.                
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    I am not saying the RBs are playing GREAT but they are playing pretty well. THey get what yards there are and sometimes more. Yes they are not getting 70 yard runs on their own. They are not Chris Johnson. But even Johnson needs blocking.

    Every game you rate the RBs based on yards and average and just simply and mostly statistics. You have been so regularly wrong on this point that it seems a waste of time to see your ratig of the RBs - and the line for that matter. It is the generally poor run blocking that has limited the running game. But I don't blame average altogether on the line either. If you are running when the D is set to stop the run you have to adjust the definition of success.

    If you are going to evaluate statistics why not call it that. Or if you are unable to differentiate properly the line play from the RBs why not just rate the "running game"? I expect the answer is you WANT to evaluate each unit separately. But you do not seem capable of separating the contributions of the RBs from the stats and the limitations provided by the O line.

    We could debate this by going play by play through the game and seeing where the blocking breaks down and whether the RBs get whatever is there... and how much more if any. There were in fact a number of plays where the RBs got more than the line provided.

    I suggest you review the game play by play. Your Oline and RB ratings are not so good.
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    A observation illustrating line play and RB play: On a short running TD the line surge was so strong that it seemd like all 11 players drove into the end zone. The RB (BJGE) fell with his entire body in the end zone! This was not a great run. It was really great blocking.

    That is an example of how the line can make a difference. Convesely there are plays where RBs are getting hit at the hole. You can say "well, the RB should run elsewhere". But there are plays where you need to either make the msot of it or take the least bad option. Sometimes taking it elsewhere will lose more yards. So, depending on the play, the reads, the situation and the talents of the RB the response by any RB should not always be the same.
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Why we went to playing zone after playing better man coverage? Who are these guys niko, nate? 
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I couldnt wait to see this one this morning, it was a game of two Patriots teams.  A blowing them out team to one that was looking to survive at the end. No doubt they almost let this one slip away, hard to believe especially with the way BB was approaching this game.

    Good report card write up TexasPat!  
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In 2007, the Pats would not have snoozed like they did yesterday and the Pats would have poured it on.  Also, was there a "hint" of conscious and the Pats did not want to crush any further an 0-11 team?  If they were afraid of any backlash, if they did, just look at what the Saints did in winning 63 - 10..  not a peep from pundit world about their running up the score!  I think part of this has to do with the makeup of the defense.  There appears to be no "killer" instinct in this defense to crush opponents like in the day of Harrison, Bruschi and Seymour.  Seems they do what they "have to" doesn't it and after that cruise control?  If Ws are all that count and yards given up be damned then the defensive team is living up to that motto very well!!
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Playing 60 minutes is important in most games. However it's a long season and it is better to save your players for the playoffs.
               
     
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    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD : I am not saying the RBs are playing GREAT but they are playing pretty well. THey get what yards there are and sometimes more. Yes they are not getting 70 yard runs on their own. They are not Chris Johnson. But even Johnson needs blocking. Every game you rate the RBs based on yards and average and just simply and mostly statistics. You have been so regularly wrong on this point that it seems a waste of time to see your ratig of the RBs - and the line for that matter. It is the generally poor run blocking that has limited the running game. But I don't blame average altogether on the line either. If you are running when the D is set to stop the run you have to adjust the definition of success. If you are going to evaluate statistics why not call it that. Or if you are unable to differentiate properly the line play from the RBs why not just rate the "running game"? I expect the answer is you WANT to evaluate each unit separately. But you do not seem capable of separating the contributions of the RBs from the stats and the limitations provided by the O line. We could debate this by going play by play through the game and seeing where the blocking breaks down and whether the RBs get whatever is there... and how much more if any. There were in fact a number of plays where the RBs got more than the line provided. I suggest you review the game play by play. Your Oline and RB ratings are not so good.
    Posted by portfolio1[/QUOTE]

         Every week this is brought up...and every week I explain that the main job of the OL is to protect The Franchise when he goes back to pass. When the OL does this well, the Pats can beat anybody. 

         Great RBs take average blocking and excel. The knowledge that an OL is blocking for a gifted RB usually inspires the group to greater heights. Arian Foster, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, and Maurice Jones-Drew don't run behind a better OL than the Patriots have. But, they are much better RBs than the Patriots have.

         Sorry...but the Pats have a bunch of role players/journeyman types carrying the ball for them. I'd love to see what a first rate RB could do behind their current OL.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In 2007, the Pats would not have snoozed like they did yesterday and the Pats would have poured it on.

    RESPONSE: The current Patriots aren't nearly as good as the 2007 crew...on either side of the ball.

    Also, was there a "hint" of conscious and the Pats did not want to crush any further an 0-11 team?  If they were afraid of any backlash, if they did, just look at what the Saints did in winning 63 - 10..  not a peep from pundit world about their running up the score!

    RESPONSE; It wasn't a case of worry over what the media would say about running up the score. It was a case of BB being up to his eyeballs in injuries. He didn't want to risk his key players in an effort to pour it on, and embarrass the Colts. When is the last time you've seen Tom Brady pulled in fairly early in the 4th quarter, with just a two score lead?    

    I think part of this has to do with the makeup of the defense.  There appears to be no "killer" instinct in this defense to crush opponents like in the day of Harrison, Bruschi and Seymour.  Seems they do what they "have to" doesn't it and after that cruise control?

    RESPONSE: Harrison, Bruschi, Vrabel, and Seymour are no longer around. They've been replaced by the likes of Sergio Brown, Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich, and Andre Carter. 'Nuff said. 

    If Ws are all that count and yards given up be damned then the defensive team is living up to that motto very well!!

    RESPONSE: I've got to believe that BB is holding back players and playing a somewhat vanilla brand of defense...in order to get his players healthy for the play-offs, and to surprise either the Steelers or Ravens, when the time comes.
    Posted by agcsbill[/QUOTE]
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         Here's a great article on Gronk's performance against the Colts: http://nfl.si.com/2011/12/05/break-it-down-rob-gronkowski-keeps-on-dominating/?sct=nfl_bf1_a3
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from tompenny. Show tompenny's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Your O Line grade is always too good in comparison to the RB grades. Unless your Barry Sanders you cannot gain yardage with horrible run blocking. You have been doing this on a weekly basis. RB production has a signifigant correlation with the O Line play which has been atrocious for run blocking. You should grade pass protection and run blocking seperately IMO.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from gmbill. Show gmbill's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Funny how everyone said Belichick would not let up on the colts but after a close game some are saying he did.  Belichick took Brady out for exactly one series and then said, nope not again.  If anyone believes that McCourty was simply playing soft when he was stiff armed off a tackle on Brown's TD and when Garcon made him look silly near the end of the game, then you are drinking Koolaid Belichick wouldn't touch.  Finally, whoever thinks the colts are a dirty has not seen the pats play. 
    Posted by UD6[/QUOTE]

    I was going ask if you had a life outside of this website but then I remembered where you are from; my bad.

    Read what you want into the game at the end of the day is it 0 - 11 or 12, I forget, no worry I will be right this Sunday.

    You lose one player and the team tanks, what weak leadership from the owner on down.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from gmbill. Show gmbill's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD


    Three keys to yesterday's game:


     1) We won the game
     2) No one got hurt
     3) See 1 and 2


    Great game, on to the next

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD : I was going ask if you had a life outside of this website but then I remembered where you are from; my bad. Read what you want into the game at the end of the day is it 0 - 11 or 12, I forget, no worry I will be right this Sunday. You lose one player and the team tanks, what weak leadership from the owner on down.
    Posted by gmbill[/QUOTE]

         Isn't it interesting how the Colts insisted on playing Curtis Painter all those weeks, when they had so-called "winnable games", against the likes of Jacksonville, and Carolina. Oh well...gotta suck for Luck, you know.  
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I understand that BB was once again shuffling the deck with the D. The O went 3 and out if I'm not mistaken at least 3 times in the 4th. The D was woeful, man on man defense not effective, and what else can be said about the secondary?
    Key Pat players in interviews today are saying the same thing- they need to play 60 minutes. Not even worth dissecting the 4th quarter.
    This is not the preseason, and I'm sure BB expected to see some level of execution in the schemes and play calls.
    We know we have some amazing talent on the team, but everyone needs to play with everything they have. I didn't see that. Finishing the game strong should happen every game. Play-offs right around the corner.





    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD :      How much of this is on the players...and how much is on the coaching staff? Whose idea was it to go into the prevent...the players or the coaches? Who made the decision to pull Tom midway through the 4th quarter, of a two possession game? Why didn't the Pats use exotic blitz packages against Orlovsky?      Just a few thoughts: Could it be that BB is saving those exotic blitzes and other surprises for when he needs them...in Denver, or during the play-offs? Did BB want to risk Tom Brady against a dirty team like the Colts, who have nothing to lose? BB played the 4th quarter against Indy as if it were a preseason game. He could afford to do that against the hapless Colts.           
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from dustcover. Show dustcover's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:

    ... matriculating their way down the field.....

    Hey Tex, maybe quotation marks are in order when using one of Hank Stram's more famous lines. 

    Otherwise, another A for your report.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from AZPAT. Show AZPAT's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]     Though todays' 31-24 win over the woeful Indianapolis Colts was anything but artistic, it's nonetheless a win...as the Pats move on to the final quarter of their season. No doubt, many of you are upset with the fact that the Dan Orlovsky led Colts to 21 unanswered 4th quarter points. But, let me remind you that the Pats were up, 31-3 going into the quarter...and that the game truly wasn't as close as the final score would indicate.            Should the Pats have poured it on, and won by four TDs? Sure. But, how thrilled can you expect the Pats' players to get playing an 0-11 team, especially when up by 4 TDs, going into the final quarter? Even BB pulled Tom Brady in the 4th, with the Pats nursing a 31-17 lead.           The bottom line is that the Pats' did what they had to do to get this win under their belt...while the Colts played as if it were their SB. Give them credit for playing hard throughout. Here are my grades: I.) OFFENSE: The Colts managed to keep Brady and Company off the field for the great majority of the first quarter. They employed a ball control offense, and played a deep zone, forcing the Pats to patiently work they way down the field, in short increments. This strategy worked until the last half of the second quarter, and the first half of the third quarter, in which the Patriots rung up four (4) TDs...before snoozing. 1.) QB: An efficient, yet unspectacular performance by the Terrific One, was more than enough to reign in the Manning-less Colts. Tom finished with 29 completions in 38 attempts, for 289 yards, and two TDs. Though he missed some throws, by and large he was his usual accurate self. His escape of the rush and completion to Wes Welker to convert on a 3rd and 15 play set up the Pats' first TD...and was perhaps the key play of the game. His two TD passes to Rob Gronkowski were of the ho-hum variety, as Gronk was wide open on both occasions. Nonetheless, kudos to Tom for his patient, turnover free direction of the offense:  GRADE: A-; 2.) RBs: Nothing special again from the RBs. It's becoming readily apparent that the Pats need better options at this position. Steven Ridley ran reasonably well, with 33 yards on 8 carries. But, BJGE and Danny Woodhead posted just a combined 26 yards on 10 carries. Worse yet...none of the above backs participated in the passing game. The one RB reception was a 13 yard completion to Kevin Faulk.        The poor Patriots' ground attack is one of the reasons why the team is having trouble closing out games. Though the OL may not be opening up huge holes for the RBs...it's readily apparent that the overall talent of the Pats' staple of RBs is extremely limited. If the Pats" RBs can't gain yards against the weak Indy run defense, who can they successfully run against? GRADE: D+; 3.) OL: After another slow start, the Big Uglies picked things up in the second quarter, and started giving their leader time to throw. The results were predictable, as Tom Brady picked apart the loose Colts' secondary for 28 points in about 15 minutes of play. Though it was enough to put the game on ice, it's troubling that the offense is having so much difficulty closing out games. The main problem appears to be that the Pats' OL is a finesse group, that cannot impose it's will on the opposition via the ground game: GRADE: C+; 4.) WRs & TEs: The Colts' soft zone was tailor made for Wes Welker, who finished with ten (10) receptions for 110 yards. Deion Branch chipped in with three (3) catches for 37 yards...and the Pats' third WR was, as usual, the Invisible Man.       Though I realize that Jim Caldwell is a rather inept coach, and that the Colts were breaking in a new DC this afternoon, can anyone tell me how a team can ignore Pats' TE Rob Gronkowski in the red-zone? Gronk scored three (3) TDs, including two on intermediate passes, in which he was wide open. Forget studying film. A cursory look at the Pats' stats sheets would have revealed that.      Gronk and Aaron Hernandez combined for 12 catches for 107 yards: GRADE: B+ (Thanks to Welker and Gronk) II. DEFENSE: Aside from allowing a time consuming 19 play, 71 yard drive in the first quarter (which netted just a FG), the "D" acquitted itself well for the first three quarters. But, in the fourth quarter, the unit embarrassed itself by allowing the jalopy-like Colts' offense to motor down the field on drives of 88 yards on 15 plays, 93 yards on 11 plays, and 90 yards on only 5 plays, for three (3) TDs. YUCK!!! 1.) DL: Did Andre Carter play this week? It didn't seem like it. That said, Vince Wilfolk had one of the better games of the season, finishing with ten (10) tackles, including five solos, and a sack. Vince also drew a holding penalty on Colts' pro-bowl caliber center, Jeff Saturday...which ruined Indy's initial drive. The Colts did little damage on the ground largely due to Wilfolk and company. But, aside from Vince's early sack, Andre Carter and the rest of this group put very little pressure on Dan Orlovsky. As a result, Orlovsky had ample time to pick apart the tattered and battered Patriots' secondary: GRADE: C-; 2.) LBs:  Though the LB corp did a decent job of defending against the run, there were issues in pass coverage. The Colts attack on the Pats' "D" was similar to the approach used so successfully by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Indy used their TE Jacob Tamme and WRs on a slew of short passes over the middle and on the sidelines...slowly matriculating they way down the field. Aside from the interception by Jerod Mayo, the LBs failed to adequately defense these plays. In fairness, part of the problem was that the Pats chose to employ a very looose, prevent type coverage throughout most of the 4th quarter.      Look for other teams to attack the Pats' in a similar way in the future. This type of offense moves the ball...eats up the clock...and keeps Tom Brady off the field.       Aside from a Rob Ninkovich sack, the LBs applied little pressure, and seemed to hardly ever blitz. Niko Koutouvides and Mayo combined for 14 tackles (5 solos), and Tracy White added five more, two of which were solos: GRADE: C; 3.) SECONDARY: Hung tough throughout the majority of the first three quarters, but fell completely apart in the fourth. Colts' QB Dan Orlovsky completed 30 of 37 passes for 353 yards, and two TDs, for the game. But, in the fourth quarter, against a "prevent defense", Orlovsky completed 17 of 19 passes, for 223 yards, including TD passes to Pierre Garcon, of 33 and 40 yards!!! Prior to that, Orlovsky had just 13 completions in 18 attempts, for 130 yards, and no TDs!!!! Yup...that prevent defense...works every time it's tried!!!       Folks, is there really any need to further elaborate on the performance of the secondary...aside from the woeful missed tackle by Devin McCourty on the Donald Brown TD run???  GRADE: F; III. SPECIAL TEAMS:  Julian Edelman nearly cost the Patriots' big-time, bu muffing on a punt. Fortunately for both he and the Pats, the ball bounced right back into his arms. But, the muff earned him a seat on punt returns for the remainder of the afternoon. The Pats also allowed a 21 yard punt return to Indy's Joe Lefeged. It was by far the Colts' best punt return of the season.      Usual good job on kick-offs and punts by Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko, respectfully. Good job also by the Pats' "hands team" in recovering two onside kicks: GRADE: B-; IV. COACHING: BB was correct in preaching all week long that a teams' record is irrelevant to winning a game. It's how each team performs on game day that matters.       Up until the 4th quarter, the Pats' had performed pretty well, both on offense and defense. Yet, for some reason, the coaches got ultra conservative in the final 15 minutes. The offense tried to "pound the rock", but instead pounded sand. The defense backed completely off Dan Orlovsky, and went in full prevent mode, which almost prevented the Patriots from winning. May I suggest that the "prevent defense", employed in the last two games, be permanently unemployed? In spite of the prevent, Orlovsky was able to complete TD passes of 33 and 40 yards to Pierre Garcon.      The Pats need to face the fact that they have a weak running game. It's not something that they can depend upon to close out games. Their best defense is to score, and to take chances with the "D", in hopes of creating turnovers. Rushing three and dropping off in a deep zone just isn't cutting it: GRADE: C; V. PLAY OF THE GAME: Late in the second quarter, with the scored tied at 3,  the Pats faced a 3rd and 15 from the Indy 34 yard line. On the 3rd down snap,  Tom Brady rolled a bit to his left, and toward the line of scrimmage, and completed an 11-13 yard pass to Wes Welker...who turned it into an 18 yard completion, and a first down, at the Indy 16. This was a huge momentum changer. Two plays later, Brady would hit Gronk for an 11 yard TD...and a 10-3 Pats lead. The Pats would get the ball back shortly thereafter, and score another TD in the two-minute drill, putting them up 17-3...and putting them in complete control of this game. VI. PLAYER OF THE GAME: Rob Gronkowski edges Tom Brady and Wes Welker. His three (3) TDs scored are hard to ignore. Gronk finished with 5 catches for 64 yards...along with his three TDs. With apologies to the Saints' Jimmy Graham and the Packers' Jermichael Finley, Gronkowski is the games' best all around TE: http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2011/12/05/tight_end_rob_gronkowski_of_patriots_on_course_for_greatness/?rss_id=Boston.com+%2F+Boston+Globe+--+Sports+News ; and http://www.indystar.com/article/20111205/SPORTS03/112050342/Gronkowski-has-field-day        Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=311204017      As always, your comments and opinions are welcome.                
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    Tex,

    You know my thoughts on this year's "D". This grading is spot on. This had all the makings of a classic "trap" game: 20 point favorite, home game, winless game, rival fallen on hard times...... sure looked to have been played that way too.

    If I was a patriot, I sure wouldn't be lookinbg forward to practice tomorrow.

    Good job!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from 4Adam13. Show 4Adam13's posts

    Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Colts @ Patriots REPORT CARD :      How much of this is on the players...and how much is on the coaching staff? Whose idea was it to go into the prevent...the players or the coaches? Who made the decision to pull Tom midway through the 4th quarter, of a two possession game? Why didn't the Pats use exotic blitz packages against Orlovsky?      Just a few thoughts: Could it be that BB is saving those exotic blitzes and other surprises for when he needs them...in Denver, or during the play-offs? Did BB want to risk Tom Brady against a dirty team like the Colts, who have nothing to lose? BB played the 4th quarter against Indy as if it were a preseason game. He could afford to do that against the hapless Colts.           
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    People can say all they want about coaching.....but coaches don't execute. Coaching has a lot to do with developing players and creating game plans, but in the end, they don't miss blocks, drop punts, drop passes, fail to wrap up tackles, etc, etc.

    I don't give BB and company a pass when it comes to game plans, but they aren't responsible for executing. When Underwood or Ocho drop a Brady pass, or Hernandez fumbles trying to get a few more yards, it isn't BB's fault. Come game time, you can't place all the responsibility on BB's shoulders.

    Unrelated to your post Tex, but isn't it interesting how some people were talking about starting Hoyer in this game? No team can be overlooked in the NFL....even one that hasn't won a game.
     
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