Re: I loved what I saw last night
posted at 9/13/2013 12:09 PM EDT
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Too tired to do any extensive analysis, but a few things really stand out as positives to me from last night:
- Finally, a D that looks like it can control the pace of the game. I know, I should probably reserve judgment until they play a quality offense (jets are far from that), but I was never worried about the team's ability to hold their lead. Haven't felt that way in years. The end of last night's game reminded me of 2003, when Belichick was often content to allow both teams to just eat up clock, knowing his defense was unlikely to give up points.
- I really like Jones. Liked seeing him moved inside on passing downs, with Buchanon adding pressure on the end.
- Nink has been a beast.
- Hightower is growing into a bigger role nicely.
- Secondary looks good. Gregory is playing well, and Harmon showed up weell when Gregory was hurt. Talib, Dennard, and Arrington are all playing at a high level, and McCourty is so solid.
- I am actually excited about the rookie receivers. Yes, the drops and route running mistakes were horrendous. But what stood outmost to me was the fact that both Thompkins and Dobson were getting open all over the field. It's been a lomg time since we've seen that kind of athleticism from our receivers. Now if they can only learn to catch . . .
- Run didn't look good, but I don't think it was a point of focus last night. Seemed to me that BB and McD were finding every possible opportunity to throw to the rookies. I think that was intentional. They want to give those guys lots of practice. The miserable Jets allowed them a chance for a fifth preseason game almost. It think it pays dividends down the road.
Call me crazy, but in the long-run, I am actually as concerned about the D as I am about the O.
The current situation raises the urgency of getting those receivers on the same page as TB. THey will work hard to get working. Moreover, they will get a lot of real help in the next few weeks.
If there is any concern on O, it's the OLine's inability to run block. I don't know if they can get that fixed. The problem has been around for more than two years. RBs have always been the scapegoat, but it's really been the OL, who has been getting a free pass because they have been protecting TB well. Unfortunately, they need to do both well - protect TB and run block - if this team will get over the hump.
The D looked good stats-wise. They did not look that good on the field via eye test.
1) That was a bad offense that had a bad rookie QB. Sloppy conditions also shifted the matchup advantage over to the D. Yet, there was not much pressure. When they got pressure on, it took forever to get there. Kelly's sack for example would not be there on time in a normal game against a decent QB.
2) Run D was average. They kept giving up 5 - 7 yards to Ivory. The D was really vulnerable to PA. The D was helped by the weather. PA was not going to work very well.
That D will get carved up by an above-average offense.
HOwever, unlike the O, I am not sure where help is coming from going forward. The O will see significant improvements by mid-season. I am not seeing it for the D.