Re: Patriots @ Broncos REPORT CARD
posted at 10/12/2009 7:06 PM EDT
In Response to Patriots @ Broncos REPORT CARD
There are losses, and then there are losses. But when you watch your team give one away, as the Patriots did today...it sticks in your craw for several weeks. This game is the one that the Pats will look back upon at season's end, and say...if only. Not much good to say about this one...made worse by what appears to be a serious knee injury to starting LT, Matt Light. Here are my grades: A.) OFFENSE: A very good first half, cumulating on a TD with just 5 seconds remaining, was negated by an awful second half. The failure of the "O" to score in the second stanza makes comparisons to the 2007 unit laughable, and brings further questions about Tom Brady's recovery. It also underscores the desparate need for another WR to compliment Randy Moss. 1.) QB: The optimism stemming from Tom's gradual improvement from game to game, since the debacle in NY...took a hit today. Tom missed several open receivers, including a wide open Randy Moss for what would have been a TD. That miss essentially cost the Patriots a chance at what might have been a relatively easy win. Getting shut out in an entire half is completely unacceptable. Whether Tom is hearing footsteps or whatever, this is not the same guy who has led the Patriots to four SBs...and who was the best QB in the game: GRADE: C-; 2.) RBs: Sammy Morris had another good game, rushing 17 times for 69 yards, to lead the team. Nonetheless, the Pats couldn't sustain a consistent ground attack. As a result, their defense spent far too much time on the field...and looked a bit gassed on Denvers' final two drives. GRADE: C; 3.) WRs: In light of the way their QB threw the ball, this is a tough grade. For example, Randy Moss was limited to just one catch for 26 yards. But, Moss had his man beaten badly for a TD, only to have Tom Brady air mail the ball 10 feet over his head. Wes Welker is the guy who makes the offense tick. He had a typical 8 catches for 86 yards, and a TD. TE Ben Watson was pretty much a non-factor as a receiver, though he did haul in a TD pass at the end of the first half. The Pats have a glaring weakness at the 3rd WR spot. If they hope to come close to replicating their offensive explosiveness of 2007, they need to find a compliment for Randy Moss. GRADE: B- 4.) OL: Sad to see that this bunch couldn't dominate against a smaller Denver front seven. Nonetheless, they did a decent job in pass protection. Noticably missed LT Matt Light when he went down with an injury in the 4th quarter. GRADE: C+ B.) DEFENSE: Was left on the field for too many plays. Played well until the 4th quarter, when the unit appeared to tire. Allowed another frustrating long, late drive to allow the Broncos to tie, and, eventually, win the game in OT. 1.) DL: Not a bad job of defensing the run. But, applied little pressure to QB Kyle Orton throughout the game. The "bend bit don't break" philosophy was on full display...and worked til the 4th quarter, and in OT. GRADE: C+; 2.) LBs: Great to see Jarod Mayo back! He and Gary Guyton should be a great ILB combo for years to come. Both played effectively. But, the OLBs were another story. Got little pressure on Kyle Orton. Though there were some tipped passes, the Pats failed to take full advantage by picking them off. OLB/DE Derrick Burgess continues to be a very disappointing non-factor...and appears to be a waste of a 3rd round draft choice: GRADE: C+; 3.) SECONDARY: Gave up a ton of completions and yards to alleged glorified game manager Orton...though some of that was attributable to Orton being given too much time to throw. Couldn't stop huge WR Brandon Marshall in the redzone. Allowed WR Eddie Royal far too much success, as Royal finished with 90 yards on 10 receptions. Dumb taunting penalty on Brandon Meriweather may have cost the Pats the game. Meriweather should know that the NFL refs are calling games ridiculously close this season...and should have the discipline to avoid such stupid , albeit ticky-tack calls. Leigh Bodden led the team in tackles. Not a good sign when a CB does that. GRADE: C; C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: The normally reliable Stephen Gostkowski missed a 40 yard FG which would have give the Patriots a 10 point, two possession lead, heading into the 4th quarter. The Pats missed opportunities to recover fumbles on returns...and some seemingly quick whistles by the zebras took away some opprtunities. Some good work by rookie Julian Eddleman on punt returns. GRADE: C; D.) COACHING: I don't understand the seemingly blasse attitude by this team...when squaring off against a previously unbeaten opponent on the road. Where was the emotion? While I understand that the "bend but don't break" defensive philosophy has its' place, its' place is not late in the 4th quarter, or in OT. Seemingly, the Pats offered no resistance to stopping the Broncos in the extra session. During the OT and 4th quarter, the seemingly tired defensive unit seemed to be playing not to lose, rather than to win. Why not chance a blitz on occasion? Horrible 3rd and 3 call of a run to Kevin Faulk got the Patriots' offense off the field pointless again, in the second half. Where were the adjustments? Where was the execution? Please find competent 3rd WR, pronto!! GRADE: D E.) GAME BALL: Denver QB Kyle Orton...who continues to silence his critics . F.) PLAY OF THE GAME: Dumb, inexcusable taunting call on Brandon Meriweather, which may have cost the Patriots this game. Its' a shame that the guy whose been the Pats' best and most consistent defender all season, pulled such a boneheaded play. While some could blame the refs for making such a ticky-tack call...as I pointed out above...thats' the way the game is being called these days...and Meriweather should know better. Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=291011007
. Pardon me while I barf. Thoughts?
Posted by TexasPat3
I think you nailed it, Texas. I've been preaching about the 3rd wide receiver, too. We have a great slot man but when they take away moss, which is happening every game now, we have no WR on the field at all. Its as if we were playing with 10 guys.
Both burgess and AT are big disappointments.
Morris is not a feature RB for a playoff team. Where the heck is BJGE? How much worse than baloney could he be?
DBs regressed yesterday, chasing receivers down the field after the catch again, rather than crunching them at the time of the catch.
We have 2 cupcakes on the schedule nest (just like the colts entire season!) then a bye week. We better get it together four weeks from now or we'll be on the outside looking in again.
BTW, sweet to see the ravens take another loss!