Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

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    Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         Just what the doctor order...a dominant, physical blow-out of a decent team, heading into the play-offs. This win accomplished several things: 1. It gives the Pats momentum and confidence heading into the post-season; 2. It eliminated the Jaguars from the play-off, thus ensuring that the second round pick that the Pats' own from Jacksonville will fall somewhere in the middle of round two; and 3. It clinched the AFC East title. Though a tough road lies ahead, lets hope that the Pats continue to play in a similar fashion to the way they played today. Here are my grades:

         A.) OFFENSE:
    Vintage 2007. Explosive, yet methodical and physical when needed. This group is a joy to watch when they establish a running game to compliment the passing attack.

    1.) QB: Where have you been, Tom? Its' great to have you back! The Terrific One, after recent struggles, returned to his all-world self, in completing 23/26 passes, for 267 yards, and four (4) TDs...and a 149.0 passing rating. Tom's return to form couldn't come at a better time:
    GRADE: A+;

    2.) RBs: As you regulars know, no one has been a stronger defender of Laurence Maroney than I. But, regardless of how hard a RB runs, or how many yards he gains, he is worthless if he's putting the ball on the ground. Maroney fumbled today for the 4th time this season, after fumbling just once in his entire career, entering 2009. After fumbling at the Jacksonville one yard line in the first quarter  today, BB justifiably sat him down for the remainder of game. Sammy Morris replaced him, and was fabulous. Morris finished with 12 carries for 95 yards, including a 55 yard run...which set up the Patriots' third TD. Kevin Faulk and Fred Taylor combined for 82 more yards, and helped the Pats eat away the great majority of the final quarter, securing the win:
    RESPONSE: B+

    3.) OL: Dominant performance by the big uglies, who allowed no QB hits, let alone QB sacks. But, even more impressive than that was the way that they dominated the line of scrimmage. The Pats rushed for 197 yards, and average 5.5 yards per carry. Thats' getting it done:
    GRADE: A+;

    4.) WRs and TEs: The TEs, besides doing a fine job blocking, were able to somewhat involve themselves in the passing game...contributing a combined 3 receptions for 40 yards. One of the three was a 26 yard TD catch by Chris Baker, which staked the Pats to a 14-0 lead. As for the WRs, I'm running out of superlatives for Wes Welker, who was amazing again, with 13 catches, for 138 yards. Though Randy Moss only caught four short-medium passes, three went for TDs...as the 6'4" Moss was a force in the redzone.
    GRADE: A;

         B.) DEFENSE:
    Fourth down stop at the Jacksonville 35 set the tone for the  game. Aside from a letting their guard down with the score 35-0, and allowing the Jaguars to march 70 yards in just 5 plays, this was a dominant performance from a short-handed unit.

    1.) DL: Though the offense pretty much made the Jaguars abandon their running game, the DL did they job early, containing Jags' star, Maurice Jones-Drew. The above mentioned stop on a huge 4th a one gamble by the Jaguars was the permanent momentum setter...and the rout was on. Great job of freeing up the LBs to make plays, despite basically playing without their two best players, Vince Wilfolk and Ty Warren:
    GRADE: B+;

    2.) LBs: Jerod Mayo was immense, as he led the "D" with a game high 15 tackles (11 solos). Tully Banta-Cain and Gary Guyton each contributed with two QB hits, and a sack, each. Given the opportunities afforded to them by the DL, the LBs made plays, and tackles:
    GRADE: A-;

    3.) SECONDARY: Was Shawn Springs sitting most of the season due to injuries and ineffectiveness? Or, was BB saving him for the stretch run, and the play-offs? Springs redzone pick stopped a long Jaguar drive, and saved a TD. Brandon Meriweather was all over the field making plays, as he finished second on the team to Mayo in tackles. Meriweather also returned a pick 56 yards, to set up the Patriots second TD. Kudos to James Sanders for his part in stopping the Jaguars' early gamble: 
    GRADE: B+;

         C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: Didn't give up any big plays, but didn't make any, either. Kick-off returns are still awful...and punting efficiency bears watching:
    GRADE: C;

         D.) COACHING:
    Great job in scheming on defense. Despite being short-handed up front, the Jags could not establish their running game, and keep Tom Brady off the field. Great job of getting the team mentally ready to play. Whatever the coaches were feeding the offensive lineman this week...they need to keep it coming. Kudos to BB for sitting down Laurence Maroney after his fumble. Mistakes like those can no longer be tolerated:
    GRADE: A+

         E.) PLAY OF THE GAME:
    The "D"'s 4th down stop in the 1st quarter turned the momentum of the game permanently in the Pats' favor;

         F.) GAME BALLS:
    Tom Brady, Wes Welker (yet again!!), Sammy Morris, and Jerod Mayo.

         Here are the game stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=291227017

         Thoughts?             
        
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from SmokingJoe. Show SmokingJoe's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Tex, Once Again your Grades are Spot on.

    Good Solid effort across the board.... 

    I would give a game ball to MOSS.... 3 TD's and a beast in the Red Zone.....

    Nice to See Sanders, Springs and Taylor Contribute.... this seems to be a different team of late.....

    Also one other Point... The 20-10 Carolina Win is looking better by the week!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from SmokingJoe. Show SmokingJoe's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Tex, it was also nice to see the Pats target a receiver other than Wes or Randy this week!  Timely 1st downs to Baker, Edlemen, Watson and Aiken!

    It seems that they have stopped playing Vanilla on both sides of the ball....   Gives me some hope..... although, on the road in the playoffs will be tough!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from PAT-from-India. Show PAT-from-India's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    The best part is without thier best players on DL Wilfork & warren they were able to contain MJD....

    Hope they keep playing this way....
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsRfineIn09. Show PatsRfineIn09's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Maroney, imo, had crossed the plane before the ball was ripped out BUT because of the ruling that it was a fumble BB had no choice but to hold him accountable for yet another long drive that ended with nothing.

    Welker is to the Patriots as Manning is to the Colts. Patriots record without Welker would be 5 - 10. Welker = MVP

    Sammy Morris appears to be back to his old self just in time for the playoffs and Vollmer needs to stay in there, Kaczur needs to stay injured, the OL is WAY BETTER with Vollmer over Kaczur.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from 4Adam13. Show 4Adam13's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    3 TD's any week deserves a game ball.

    Great Report Card.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         "3 TD's any week deserves a game ball."

         Point taken, Adam.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Justin71. Show Justin71's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I think Brady is finally fully fit, his throws were great and he seemed to be making progressions easily.  The Pats traditionally hit a lot of recievers, as they did in this game, if this is not a fluke performance I think the team is playoff ready.  The D is gelling, I'd like to see Wilfork and Warren back, but I think the biggest potential playoff changer would be if a certain OLB would pick up his play.  That said Merriweather /Mayo are amazing to watch, they will hit you from the other side of the field.  I am a little worried about our secondary versus the Colts, but I think they have the character to keep it fair.

    Game Ball goes to Moss. 
       
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from mosseffect43. Show mosseffect43's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    A blow out win is always good,but i wouldnt call the jags a great team.there defense is ranked 21st in the league.27th against the pass,and 16th against the run.and there offense is ranked 20th.but i will take the win regardless.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         In response to your post above:

         "A blow out win is always good,but i wouldnt call the jags a great team.there defense is ranked 21st in the league.27th against the pass,and 16th against the run.and there offense is ranked 20th.but i will take the win regardless".
     
         Moss, where did I say that the Jaguars were a "great" team? I referred to them as a "decent" team...which, as a roughly .500 team fighting for the playoffs, they are. The Colts barely beat the Jags on the two occasions that those teams played...and the Jets lost to them in NY.  
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from rjhenne. Show rjhenne's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Right on with your grades Tex, best game of the season. Meriweather should get a game ball as well, the stop on 3rd down and one was huge early in the game.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         rj stated, "...best game of the season (for the Pats)..."
     
         Do most of you agree that yesterday's performance was the Patriots' best of the season? Could be.  The only performance that I think rivals it was the 59-0 stomping of the Tennessee Titans...and the first three quarters of the Indy game.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Pats7393. Show Pats7393's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Very good grades and completely agree, unlike you I have not liked LM.  He hasn't fumbled much before because he only saw limited time due to injuries or better RB play from other guys.  He is built for short yardage, if he fumbles like this he cannot be trusted to punch it in.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from One-If-By-Sea. Show One-If-By-Sea's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    This was a good matchup for the Pats because the Jags have an awful pass rush. If Brady stays upright and is not hit, he can kill you. Great to see the Pats running now - not sure why we have started that so late.

    Is it just me or does Fred Taylor look really smooth running forward and breaking in and out. I know he fumbled but Maroney looked good too.

    I am careful not to get too excited about a game against the Bills and Jags. We match up well against those teams. But a win is a win and it felt nice.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from themightypatriotz. Show themightypatriotz's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Tex, I think your grades are right, provided it is clear that the average performance by each unit in the NFL every week is a C.  So in other weeks when the team "only" plays average but still manages to win, they deserve our praise and admiration.  But it's also nice to acknowledge when they stand out above the pack.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatFanInBA2. Show PatFanInBA2's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I have to agree this was probably our most complete game (on Offense - passing and running - and on Defense) discounting the Tennessee game (might as well have played the local high school team).

    Jaguars, though not a great team this year, was absolutely decent and were playing for a shot at the playoffs. MJD is a one-man army and Garrard is a decent QB.

    Was a marvelous (belated) Christmas gift. And Indy laying down was the icing :-)

    Excited about the playoffs.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         One if by Sea...you stated the following:

         "This was a good matchup for the Pats because the Jags have an awful pass rush. If Brady stays upright and is not hit, he can kill you. Great to see the Pats running now - not sure why we have started that so late.
     
    RESPONSE: With an eye to overtaking the Colts, Jacksonville had traded up to get two pass-rushers, Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, in the 2008 draft. It just goes to show how damaging it can be when a team whiffs on high draft picks. 

    Is it just me or does Fred Taylor look really smooth running forward and breaking in and out. I know he fumbled but Maroney looked good too.

    RESPONSE: Taylor does look smooth. Maroney is putting the ball on the ground too much to be trusted. BB was correct in benching him. Having a complete, healthy stable of RBs should help  the Pats in the playoffs.

    I am careful not to get too excited about a game against the Bills and Jags. We match up well against those teams. But a win is a win and it felt nice.

    RESPONSE: It wasn't just a win over the Jags. It was a blow-out. What impressed me is the way the Pats' OL dominated the line of scrimmage. If the Pats are able to establish a running game in the playoffs, they can beat anyone. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         Justin...you stated the following:

         "I think Brady is finally fully fit, his throws were great and he seemed to be making progressions easily.

    RESPONSE: I've always felt that Tom's problems were as much mental, as they were physical. I  don't think he's ever gotten over that horrid SB loss to the Giants. It was good to see him looking confident again. Incidently, the Pats/Brady will meet up with Bernard "cheap shot" Pollard again, as Pollard now plays for the Texans. 

    The Pats traditionally hit a lot of recievers, as they did in this game, if this is not a fluke performance I think the team is playoff ready.

    RESPONSE: Success running the ball makes everything else easy.

    The D is gelling, I'd like to see Wilfork and Warren back, but I think the biggest potential playoff changer would be if a certain OLB would pick up his play.

    RESPONSE: Could be. But, then again, the Pats "D" wasn't exactly matched up against Philip Rivers or Peyton Manning the past several weeks. The last three wins have come against Matt Moore, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and David Gerard.

    That said Merriweather /Mayo are amazing to watch, they will hit you from the other side of the field.

    RESPONSE: They are two of the best young defenders in the NFL.

    I am a little worried about our secondary versus the Colts, but I think they have the character to keep it fair.

    RESPONSE: Unfortunately, keeping it fair won't be up to them. It will be up to the Polian influenced refs.

    Game Ball goes to Moss.  
       
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I guess I would rank this game as best of season so far- because it was a complete effort. The Jags came to play the Titans were waving the white flag early on in that blow out- and given the ups and downs of this season- it really looked like the team and coaches were firing on all cylinders. Most of all they played all 60 minutes. Nice.
    Feeling more hopeful for the post season.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         darwk: Happy New Year to you and yours, my friend!

         I hate to temper  your enthusiasm, but the last three Pats' wins were against QBs named Matt Moorre, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and David Gerard.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from DBAZ22. Show DBAZ22's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    This was a great win, and I think as some have posted as well as you TP seeing 60 MINUTES of dominant football in all phases of the game.  The Tenn win was great as well, but that team looked like Foxboro high at the time.  NE does match up well against NE, but this was a playoff game for both teams, and only one showed up.  That is telling.  Brady's performance was outstanding, and it reminded me more of 2003 with the precision passes from 10-30 yards, not just going over the top every other series.  Add to that the mix of the running game, and the ball hawking defense.  I would also give a game ball to James Sanders, as his play on the 4th down was tremendous, and Merriweather seems to play with more confidence with his veteran presence back there.  I am not punching the ticket to Miami just yet, but neither SD or Indy want to see NE head to their place in the 2nd round. 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from qball369. Show qball369's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    My vote for best game would be the first 3 quarters against the Colts - the Patriots were dominating the Colts and looked like they could beat the world

    They lost more than the game in the 4th quarter of the Indy game, they lost their swagger - they really looked like they might have gotten some of it back yesterday - it really looked like men against boys vs the Jags - who came in with a rep for tough, physical play.

    I have a bigger question: do the Pats play all the healthy starters next week and build on the momentum they generated this week?

    Spot on grades as usual
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         qball:

         Judging from BB's philosophy in the past, the Pats will play their "healthy" starters. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from K-max. Show K-max's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

      C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: Didn't give up any big plays, but didn't make any, either. Kick-off returns are still awful...and punting efficiency bears watching:
    GRADE: C;

    I hate seeing Wes out there for punts.  Put Faulk out there with the sole purpose of making a fair catch.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Jaguars @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    TP, speaking of Pollard.... 

    I may have the movie wrong, I think it was the "Final Yard", in which the o-line lets the defender come in clean only to have the QB throw the football right at the players gonads!  Is that justice for Pollard or what??!!
     

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