Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD
posted at 11/9/2009 6:15 PM EST
In Response to Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD
[QUOTE] A bye week is usually a good thing to have in the middle of the season. But, in the case of the 2009 Patriots, last weeks' bye seem to hurt them. They were on a roll, and were just beginning to look 2007-like crisp....til the bye seemingly slowed their momentum. The Pats reverted to having troubles in the redzone, settling for four FGs...which turned what should have been an easy win into a nail-biter. They can ill afford to settle for FGs next week in Indy. Here are my grades: A.) OFFENSE: Consistently moved the ball. But, redzone difficulties made this a tougher win than it should have been. 1.) QB: The "Terrific One" posted good numbers, going 25/37 for 332 yards. But, 107 of those yards came on two highlight reel plays made by Randy Moss...as the dink and dunk was very much in vogue. The failure to finish drives that was so prevalent early in the season, reared its' ugly head this week...and could have cost the Patriots this game. Brady interception on the Pats' initial drive, and the 52 yard FG that followed, gave the 'Fins hope. Though Tom turned in a solid effort against a defense that, 2007 aside, has given him trouble over the years...he, along with the coaches, must accept the lion's share of the blame for the redzone failures: GRADE: B-; 2.) RBs: Workman-like performance by the overly criticized Laurence Maroney, who carried 20 times for 82 yards...just enough to keep the 'Fins' defense honest. Kevin Faulk chipped in with 4 receptions for 35 yards. GRADE: B; 3.) OL: Protected Tom Brady well. Would like to see them be more physical at the point of attack on running plays. With Dolphins' NT Jesse Ferguson, and ILB Channing Crowder out, it seems that the Patriots should have been more successful running the ball than they were: GRADE: B; 4.) WRs & TEs: Generally a good job of blocking by the TEs...and Ben Watson contributed in the passing game, with 4 catches for 49 yards. Another sensational game by Randy Moss against Miami, as he finished with 6 catches for 147 yards...including the two highlight reel plays discussed above. Wes Welker had his usual good "move the chains" game, with 9 catches for 84 yards. The Pats still lack a solid 3rd WR, as Sam Aiken returned to earth after his big game in London: GRADE: A; B.) DEFENSE: Caged the "Cat" for most of the game...with the noticable exception of the two Miami TD drives. Though this unit allowed too many third down conversions, it managed to stop the Dolphins when needed in the 4th quarter. 1.) DL: No fancy stats, but controlled the "Cat". Though the Dolphins managed to rush for over 130 yards for the game, 35 of those came one one Pat White wildcat. Seemed to control the line of scrimmage, which in turn freed the LBs to make plays. GRADE: B; 2.) LBs: Jarod Mayo is the Patriots' Patrick Willis...as he finished with a game high 12 tackles, 7 of which were solos. Fellow ILB Gary Guyton chipped in with 5 tackles (4 solos), and OLBs Tully Banta-Cain (9 tackles/5 solos) and Adalius Thomas (4 tacles, 2 solos, and a sack) made plays throughout the day. GRADE: A-; 3.) SECONDARY: Brandon McGowan is proving to be one of the free agent steals of the offseason...as he was in on 11 tackles, 8 solos. A solid day of tackling by this unit, as Darius Butler, Leigh Bodden, Brandon Meriweather, and Patrick Chung combined for 19 tackles, including 15 solos...and a sack (by Chung). I've seen a marked improvement in the play of Chung over the past two games. No big pass plays allowed...but thats' kind of expected against the Wizards of the Wildcat. GRADE: B+; C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: Kept Jets buster Ted Ginn under control. It could be that the Patriots have found their own Ted Ginn in KR/WR Brandon Tate, who averaged over 30 yards on two chances. Tate bears watching. Outstanding 4/4 day for "The Ghost", who put the game out of the Dolphins' reach late in the 4th quarter. Punter is still a question mark: GRADE: B+; D.) COACHING: BB and his band of brothers had two weeks to prepare for the "Wildcat". Save for a couple of long-"cat" TD drives, one of which was fueled by the aforementioned 35 yard Pat White run, BB and his staff were able to cage it. Granted, though the Dolphins are an underrated team, the Pats' lack of success in the redzone must be addressed...and solved by next Sunday. GRADE: B-; E.) PLAY OF THE GAME: The 71 yard catch and, mostly run, by Randy Moss ; F.) GAME BALL: Randy Moss. Here are the game stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=291108017
Oh...incidently, Dolphins' LB Joey Porter failed to make the stat sheet. I guess Porter used up all of his energy smack-talking before the game...LOL!! Thoughts?
Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
I can't disagree with much. That 10+ minute drive killed me but I blame the defensive play calling as much as anything. They seemed to be very successful when they blitzed but they didn't blitz as much as I thought they would. I wish they would get more aggressive on defense. That's my only complaint and I don't know if I could lower the coaching grade to a C just because of that. It was a good win.