Re: How Would You Beat the Pats?
posted at 12/16/2010 4:12 AM EST
Grind it out. Pound at their mid-section with a power running attack and short passes. Keep the ball. Do not turn it over."
Prairie and ALL:
Prairie, The ONLY problem here, IS that right now, what Cleveland did on Offense...wouldn't work again. It wouldn't... I'm being serious here...Allow me to explain:
After the Browns game, I started one of my mile & a half long threads... And, well let's just say After writing about 30 paragraphs or so, I realized that I was only roughly about halfway through, and so I simply gave up and deleted it...
SEE, I'll at least attempt the "cliff-notes" version of it here:
Ya see After The Browns game, I attempted to find some reason as to why NE's Defense was used and abused in that game... So I looked thoroughly at the gamecenter play-by-play version of the game BOTH here @ BDC and even moreso @ NFL.com's version of the gamecenter where it shows precisely where each play and drive was occuring and where on the field (pertaining to both the plays going lengthwise as teams are driving up and down the gamefield AND where the plays are going WIDTH-wise, between the hashmarks as to find out where EXACTLY on the field of play each down's play was spotted)... Yes, I'm a l#ser...BUT I'm a very, very thorough l#ser.
THEN, AFTER I found out EXACTLY what The Cleveland Browns Offense did AND how they did it...I really needed to find out WHY and How Could Cleveland exploit NE's Defense so well... I decided to look at Cleveland's Offensive and NE's Defensive EXACT player formations for that particular game... But guess what? NE's Defensive player alignment set-up had already changed for some reason. Yet, I looked further back, And ended up finding NE's basic D set-up for the Brown's Game... It was ONLY then that I realized that NE's Defense had changed the following week, because some OTHER fella figured out and analyzed exactly what Cleve did... The guy? Bill Belichick figured it out too...
First, I hate to use the term "Genius Game-Plan" when it comes to Eric Ratgini...but (gulp), it (gulp) sorta was.
~WHAT CLEVELAND'S OFFENSE DID in the NE/Cleve Game~
...they used what they had in a bigger bruising RB in Peyton Hillis, and Cleveland's O ran the ball NOT simply towards the center of NE's D...BUT, Brown's O, ran the ball EXACTLY towards the WEAK-side center of NE's Defense...Always, AL-Ways. Seriously, where The Brown's attacked in that particular game, was more exact than having bad-weather in New England...
~The Boring NFL History Lesson:
And indeed, It ended up being nearly SOLELY about field positioning. No, NOT length-wise...BUT field positioning WIDTH-WISE, as to where width-wise between those 2 center hashmarks located something like 18 feet or so from each of the 2 opposite sideline's and going inwards towards the field's center, seperately. WIDTH-wise, as to where WIDTH-wise the last downed play ended...whether in some exact spot within the yards between those 2 hashmarks OR IF it ended up outside 1 of the hashmarks (like someone runnin' outta bounds), then precisely ON that side's nearest hashmark...
Sorry ALL, I'm dumbing it further down for some laypeople here... See ALL, NEVER are you gonna have the football at the Exact and Precise mili-inch in the EXACT middle of the field... You're ALWAYS gonna have 1 side of the field with even just a mere foot of extra space WIDTH-wise. THIS, is known as the STRONGside of the field (the one with added room for the Offense to run towards). The other side is known as the WEAKside (less room for the Offense to run towards)... And indeed, Offense's WOULD and DO use that added room to run more plays towards, So your Defense is set-up accordingly: In a 3-4 Defense, the BIGGEST difference is width your 2 OLBs and 2 ILBs. On the strongside, ya got your biggest & strongest OLB, so he has less speed, but more strength and bulk size in order to turn plays inward and seal that edge. Right Next to him, pretty much a similiar rule applies to your Strongside ILB=Bigger and Bulkier...less of a form tackler, more of a smashmouth player, considering he's taking on extra blockers coming with that extra inward spacial room. Then ya got your weakside ILB and finally weakside OLB. These guys trully rely on the strongside ILB and SOLB, actually TAKING on these blockers coming near their way...These guys are specialists in a way, YET specialists whom are and USUALLY can forsake certain other skills in the expense. The WILB, has speed and is a picture-perfect form wrapping tackler...yet, he's smaller and not as strong as his SILB counterpart. The WOLB, Is the pass-rushing demon...because there's far less run-plays goin' his way, and on pass-plays he's on the side which is most often the oppossing QB's blindside. So this WILB can forsake being a good run-stopper, because he counts far more in the pass-rush game=So, a smaller, but quicker guy than the SOLB, and his skill-set becomes geared more towards pass-rushing refinement techniques OVER run-stopping trademarks...
~Boring History Lesson O-V-E-R.
The Cleveland Offense, well-ah, Well, D#mn: They Did NOT do, what ya COUNT on Offense's TO do... They didn't run the ball to the strongside of the field of play, the one that HAS that added running room for Offense's...Instead They Did, RUN the ball towards the WEAKside, the one that has LESS running room. And guess what? They disguised it pretty darn well too... Cleveland didn't run any glaring sweeps each and every time towards that weakside. No. The kept the ball-running towards the middle of the NE's Defense. The Brown's Offensive bread and butter, became plays towards and between either their weakside Offensive Center and Offensive Guard, OR between Their weakside Offensive Guard and Offensive Tackle. Center of the field "Area." AND, here's the kicker...HOW they disguised it: Cleveland would do anywhere from 2-4 plays between where I said they did (either weakside OC-OG or OG-OT), THEN they'd do either 1 of 2 things: #1. they'd cut their losses (because they could), and do 1 run towards the strongside of NE's Defense. And guess what? They'd get a mere 1 or 2 yards at most...But see, that was o.k., because they'd make it up on the subsequent bigger yardage plays towards the weakside again, in the following plays... OR, #2. They'd pass the ball. And see this, serves a purpose too: It keeps Defense's from crowding their Safeties towards the LOS in order to defend the good running plays... D's gotta STILL at least somewhat respect the passing game this way...So D's (and NE's D did), stay honest in defending the oppossing O's pass-game.
~So, That's it... Oh, I guess, ya still might just like to know what Eric Mangini and The Browns SAW, in order to make this SO successful, right? O.k..
~HOW CLEVELAND'S OFFENSE DID IT In The NE/Cleve Game~
See, It was far, Far LESS about the weapon's Cleveland's Offense actually had at their disposal... Here, I'm refering to their big RB, Peyton Hillis. Which, ya he's a somewhat decent between the tackles runner...but certainly, Hillis is no pro-bowler; He's no Adrian Peterson... He's got big RB size @ like 6'2 and 235lbs...big boy, there. That didn't do it though, It merely worked out well for them. WHAT then, DID it?
New England did it. NE's EXACT and PRE-cise Defensive set-up DID it...Player-wise, Personell-wise...Precisely Who was Where on NE's D.
Now, as you ALL recall, NE's own (and sadly, pretty much "only") 3-4 DE, in Ty Warren was lost to an injury before the season. Subsequently, Bill Belichick found it nearly impossible for NE's Defense to then get ANY pressure on the oppossing team's backfield. Warren, was no true pass-threat, but man, He wa- BIG. 6'6 300lb 3-4 DE's don't grow on trees, ya know. NOW, Belichick had a decision to make: Either use Vince Wilfork (who WAS a 4-3 Collegiate DT), @ NT in his 3-4 Defensive System, where VW would occupy his usual combo of interior OC and 1 of the 2 OGs; In which case, the other 2 new and novice 3-4 DEs would get swallowed up regardless (1 by an OG-OT combo, and 1 by just any ole single OT) and thus, STILL put ZERO pressure collapsing the oppossing squad's pocket, because his sole vet D-Lineman in VW, would be @ NT and therefore be facing his usual center of the entire team's O-Line.....OR, Place VW @ the RDE spot, and hope he just might do even a little more damage collapsing a pocket, by facing just 1 side of an O-Line... Belichick chose the latter, eventuually moving Wilfork from NT to 3-4 RDE. He had NO idea exactly how badly it skewed and badly outbalanced NE's Defense.
THIS was NE's Defensive set-up for The Cleveland Browns Game:
DE G Warren/BDead/ @ 6'4, 305-NT G Warren @ 6'1 310-V Wilfork @ 6'2 325
OLB TBC 6'2 245-ILB JMayo 6'1 242-ILB BSpikes 6'3 250-OLB RNink 6'2 255
now, picture the 2 CBs up @ the LOS w/the DEs, or btwn the DEs and LBs
CB K Arrington @ 5'10 and 195lbs CB Devin McCourty @ 5'11 and 195lbs
Now, it's not so much that's it's a HUGE weight and size difference from strongside to weakside of NE's D...It's even the specifics of each and every player's strengths and weaknesses: TBC-even last year was noted for bein' so god-awful vs the run his way. Warren @ 6'1 and 310lbs is nowhere NEAR what a true 3-4 NTs size should be...heck, even Wilfork isn't at a decent enough 3-4 NTs size. Kyle Arrington's noteable weakness (just like Darius Butler), has been his strength development. Finally, All ya got left is sending that added blocker or 2, straight past NE's rookie (and undersized) Left 3-4 DE, and straight @ Mayo...And THIS is what Cleveland did.
~By the following weak, guess what changes Bill Belichick had made to his Defense? VW was back in the center of the D, @ NT. AND, Spikes and Mayo had actually switched positions (which kinda makes better sense overall, because Spikes becomes that link between helping TBC @ weakside and helping Mayo the other way, with bigger SOLB Rob Ninkovich sealing the other side of Mayo... AND (BB didn't stop there even)-Idk if it's still this way, but initially BB actually switched Arrington & McCourty too- w/ Arrington's weaker @ the LOS strength vs McCourty's far better abilities in getting through WR blocks vs the run (although I'm unsure IF it's still this way).
~The end result in NE's Defensive progression as of late CANnot be really argued with though...ANYway, It's why Bill Belick IS the very best...He saw what happened, and he made the corrections in order to UTTERLY make sure that the exact same thing that The Cleveland Browns did early on in this season, Won't, Can't and Will Not Happen Again...
~Sadly, this was the brief form of my original thesis (I believed somewhere in that original thread that I deleted, I had digressed somewhere on Dinosaurs, Air Fresheners, and I believe, the electron microscope as well.