Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

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    Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

         In this most excruciating of losses, we saw a replay of the 2006 AFC title game, won by the Colts, 38-34. As in that ulcer causer, the Pats had a big lead going into the 4th quarter, and blew it. But, this game may be even worse. Its' a game in which BB showed absolutely no confidence in his defense by inexplicably going for a 4th and 2 from his own 28 yard line, with just over two minutes to play.  

         As you may recall, in my analysis leading up to this game, I listed seven elements/match-ups which I thought would be crucial. They were as follows: 

         a.) Indy TE Dallas Clark vs. Patriots' Safeties Brandon Meriweather and Brandon McGowan: For all the notoriety of the Indy WRs, TE Dallas Clark leads his team in reception with 60. He is Peyton Manning's security blanket. It won't help that Brandon Meriweather will play with some sort of foot injury. If Clark has anything close to a 100 yard game, the Pats are in deep trouble:
    ADVANTAGE: Colts

         RESPONSE: The Patriots' safeties did a decent job in containing Clark, holding him to 5 catches for 65 yards.
     
          b.) Indy DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis vs. Patriots' OTs Sabastien Volmer and Nick Kaczur:
    If Freeney and Mathis are contained, Tom Brady will have plenty of time to dink and dunk the Colts to death. If not, it will lead to sacks, interceptions, and a loss:
    ADVANTAGE: Colts

         RESPONSE: LT Sebastien Vollmer was outstanding in neutralizing Dwight Freeney...who didn't even make the stat sheet. On the other hand, Robert Mathis tore around and through RT Nick Kaczur. Mathis finished with 8 tackles (6 solos), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. 
     
     
         c.) Zebra Factor:
    The Patriots can expect the obligatory bogus PI call(s), which always seem to befall them against the Colts. But, they should be able to survive those, provided that they can refrain from holding Freeney, and eliminate those annoying false start penalties. 
    ADVANTAGE: Colts

         RESPONSE: So sorry to say that I pegged this one right on the nose. The key play in the Indy comeback was a questionable 31 yard PI penalty against Darius Butler, who was covering Colts WR Austin Collie. It appeared that Collie jumped into Butler, who was going for the ball.
     

         d.) Two Minute Drill:
    Though the Patriots' "D" has played better than expected, it still has loads of problems stopping offenses in the last two minutes of each half. Peyton Manning is one of the best at it:
    ADVANTAGE: Colts

         RESPONSE: The failure of the Pats' defense to stop a comeback in the waning 2-4 minutes cost the Pats yet another big game. BB had so little confidence in his defense to stop Peyton Manning in the 2 minute drill that he radically opted to go for a 4th a 2 from his own 28 yard line.    

        e.) Laurence Maroney vs. Joseph Addai: That title is really shorthand for the Pats OL & DL v. Indy's DL & OL. Colts SS, Bob Sanders, is out for the season. Indy is thin at DT. So, the Pats should be able to run the ball. That said, Joseph Addai has killed the Pats throughout his career. Addai is particularly adepth at running delays, and catching passes out of the backfield:
    ADVANTAGE: Even

         RESPONSE: Though many will blame Maroney for this loss, the blame is misplaced. The Patriots are what they are...a finesse passing team, like the Colts. Though his fumble at the one yard line was unforgivable, it had little to do with the eventual outcome.

        f.) Redzone Proficiency: This has been a weakness for the Pats for most of the season. The absence of Sanders should make it easier for the Pats to score TDs instead of FGs:
    ADVANTAGE: Colts

         RESPONSE: Tom Brady made a horrible decision in trying to force a pass to a double-teamed Moss...and the aforementioned Maroney fumble. The Pats should have been more aggressive on their final scoring drive to score a TD...instead of settling for a FG. 
     

        g.) Coaching: Coach Caldwell has done a marvelous job thus far. But, this is his first "big" game against a team with equivalent talent to his own. BB is the best in the business:
    ADVANTAGE: Patriots.

         RESPONSE: In light of the "D"'s habitual bad performance in the 2 minute drill, I can understand why BB decided to go for a 4th and 2 from his own 28. But, it you're going to go for it, its' imperative that the pass attempt be thrown to a player who is past the first down marker. The Pats also seemed to go into a prevent defense mode too early, once they forged ahead, 31-14.

         Here are my grades: 


         A.) OFFENSE: Anytime an offense holds the ball for 35 minutes, runs 72 plays, gains 477 total yards, and scores 34 points, it should be enough to win. But...  

    1.) QB: Two poor decisions and losing marred what was Tom Brady's best performance of the season. The first was the above mentioned interception, in which Brady tried to force a pass into a double-teamed, blanket covered Moss in the endzone, and that horrific choice of a play on the 4th and 2 from their own 28 (although, in fairness to Tom, that play likely was called by the coaches). No way that a pass should have been thrown to a receiver who was short of the first down marker. 
         That said, its' hard to criticize Tom's 29/42 for 364 yards, and 3 TDs effort. Two of his completions were beautifully thrown balls to Moss (one setting up the first Patriots' TD, the other a rainbow 63 yarder to give the Pats a 24-7 lead). But, for Tom's part in that horrid fourth down play call, his grade somewhat suffers:
    GRADE: A-;

    2.) RBs:
    The Maroney bashers will be out in full force after Laurence committed the second fumble of his career. But, this was in a huge game, and at the one yard line. Still, as noted above, it had little impact regarding the eventual outcome. 
         Kevin Faulk has his best game of the season, finishing with 12 rushes for 79 yards. But, on his last carry, Kevin seemed to slip while trying to cut back...and lost a yard. This turned out to be a huge play, as it led to the Pats having to settle for a FG, and a 34-21 lead...when a TD would have iced the game:
    GRADE: C;

    3.) OL: To quote Al Michaels, the Pats appear to have a star on their hands in rookie LT, Sabastien Vollmer. Sea-Bass was outstanding in completely neutralizing Indy All-Pro DE, Dwight Freeney. With the exception of RT Nick Kaczur, the OL did a great job of protecting Tom Brady. Kaczur, however, was the own personal turnstile for most of the night of Colts' DE, Robert Mathis. As for run blocking, that simply isn't this groups' forte. 
    GRADE: B;

    4.) WRs & TEs: Both Ben Watson and Chris Baker contributed somewhat to the passing attack. But, they were kept in most of the night to help out against Indy's menacing DEs. Randy Moss and Wes Welker were incredible, as Moss finished with 9 receptions for 177 yards, and two TDs...while Wes Welker also had 9 receptions, for 94 yards. Julian Edleman chipped in with a TD reception as well:
    GRADE: A;

         B.) DEFENSE:
    After playing well for three quarters, allowed the Colts to score 21 points in the final 12 minutes of play. Unless this unit learns to stop an opposing teams' hurry-up, 2-4 minute offense, the Patriots have no chance of playing in another SB.

    1.) DL: Did a reasonable job in pressuring Peyton Manning, and stopped the run. Tied up the Indy OL, allowing the LBs to make plays:
    GRADE: B-;

    2.) LBs: Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton accounted for 14 tackles, including 10 solos. The OLBs, on the other hand, failed to contribute much in pass pressure, or coverage:
    GRADE: C;

    3.) SECONDARY: Played extremely well for 48 minutes. But, unfortunately, NFL games are still 60 minutes long. Darius Butler had seven solo tackles, but got a tough break on the obligatory ticky-tac at best PI call that always seems to befall the Pats in Indy. It was a 31 yard killer of a penalty, and keyed the Indy comeback. Leigh Bodden had a rough night...and the Pats seemed to drop too far off the Indy receivers after amassing a 31-14 lead. You know what they say about playing a "prevent defense"...and the old addage proved true once again:
    GRADE: C-; 

         C.) SPECIAL TEAMS:
    The kick coverage was fine...and both Stephen Gostkowski and punter Chris Hansen had good games indoors. Punt returner Wes Welker stole the show, and nearly the game, with his electrifying 69 yard punt return.
    GRADE: A;

         D.) COACHING: Great job, up and until the games' final 12 minutes. At that time, panic seemed to set in. Instead of grinding the Colts into dust, the Pats nursed a 34-21 lead...and seemed to go into a prevent defense. The decision to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line, with just over 2 minutes left to play, was a clear indication of just how little confidence BB has in his young secondary. But, if your going to gamble like that...run a play thats' going to net you a first down!!!! Why throw a one yard pass, when two yards were needed!!! To me, the play call was much worse than the decision to go for it. This was a game that was there for the taking. It was a game where the Patriots, for 48 of 60 minutes, completely outplayed the Colts, and should have won. BB has lots of "splaining" to do for this one:
    GRADE: F

         E.) PLAY OF THE GAME:
    Has to be Indy stopping the Pats on that 4th and 2;

         F.) GAME BALL: Peyton Manning. His presence alone caused BB to go for a 4th and 2 deep in his own territory, rather than give Peyton the ball back, and allow him to run his 2 minute drill. 

         Here are the stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=291115011

         Thoughts?   


          

       
       

     

         
          

          
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from IraqSteve. Show IraqSteve's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Disagree about the Maroney fumble.  He has to take some of the blame.

    I think you were a little too harsh on the Defense.  They played well IMO.

    Also, Brady INT's was costly, but remember Peyton also threw 2 INT's himself (good defense).

    But good breakdown of your report card dude.

    Pats went to Indy and played great, but some things did not go their way thus costing them the game.  We have beat Indy in Foxboro for years in the playoffs and then lost to them in Indy in 2006.  I guess its only fitting that the Pats beat Indy in the playoffs in Indy to move onto the SB.  I'm looking forward to the rematch!  
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from arodrambone. Show arodrambone's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Nice summary as always TexasPat.

    The Pats should have run the ball on 3rd and 2. They didn't seem to start milking the clock when they should have. Running on 3rd and two would have made it easier to punt if the the run was less than two yards, since the clock would have been even lower.
    Passing on 3rd and 2 opened up the whole can of worms.

    A terrible time out call at the very beginning of that drive too.

    Matt Light can take Kaczur's spot, and Vollmer showed me he's completely capable at LT.

    If they can shake off this loss, the future looks bright. Sometimes opening up big leads can be a disadvantage, and they definitely looked like they were playing not to lose, instead of playing to win. Easier said than done with a big lead.

    Did I see Brace in there on at least one play?

    If we had lost by one point in another fashion we would probably be feeling much better right now. As is, we showed we can play with anybody. Still s@cks though. Two 3rd quarter turnovers were brutal.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from sml1210. Show sml1210's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Tex - can't disagree with most of what you wrote, but here's a couple of wrinkles.

    I don't look at the 4 and 2 so much as BB not having confidence in the defense as much as trying to keep the ball out of Peyton hands. Look at it this way...the Colts got the ball back at the Pat's 29 - they defense could have stopped them there. But you are absolutely correct...why in the world do offensive play callers insist on running patterns for less yardage than what is needed for a first down?

    But here is where I fault BB more than the 4th and 2 call - you've got two minutes left and NO timeouts. After the first pass to Wayne, BB has got to tell the defense to LET THEM SCORE ON THE NEXT PLAY. Stopping the next two running plays on the three and then the two assured Brady of having no time left. If Addai scores, they're down by one but Brady has close to 90 seconds to get back into field goal range instead of one play. If BB really felt the defense was gassed (which it was), he's got to realize his best chance at winning was to put the ball back in Brady's hands with time to work for a field goal to win.




     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from mosseffect43. Show mosseffect43's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Disagree about the Maroney fumble.  He has to take some of the blame. I think you were a little too harsh on the Defense.  They played well IMO. Also, Brady INT's was costly, but remember Peyton also threw 2 INT's himself (good defense). But good breakdown of your report card dude. Pats went to Indy and played great, but some things did not go their way thus costing them the game.  We have beat Indy in Foxboro for years in the playoffs and then lost to them in Indy in 2006.  I guess its only fitting that the Pats beat Indy in the playoffs in Indy to move onto the SB.  I'm looking forward to the rematch!  
    Posted by IraqSteve[/QUOTE]your right he was just a little harsh on the defense. the score was 31 to 14 in the 4th qtr.how else did they manage to come back and make a game of it,and go on to win?sure the first half they did play great,but in the second half,the 4th qtr they failed.this why they went younger,to have more endurance,and to be less winded,but they were no better then the guys we had a year ago in the 4th qtr of games against teams like the colts.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from LuvsThosePats. Show LuvsThosePats's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    I do agree that the play call on 4th and 2 was much worse than the decision to go for it.  I agreed with the decision to go for it, but they should have run the ball -- a pass is too risky.  The other thing that's horrible is how an outcome like this rightly fuels the perception that the refs are in the Colts' pockets and can't call a fair game when it's Pats-Colts.  The pass interference call on Butler was horseshit and the spot on the 4th and 2 was extremely dubious.  Did any of you see Deion Sanders on the NFL Network after the game?  He was just shaking his head in skeptical disgust about both of those calls.  Bottom line though, homer that I am and at the risk of sounding like Rex Ryan, is that the Pats are a much better team than the Colts and kicked their behinds most of the game.  I still love this team.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from touchdownpats. Show touchdownpats's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    I love Monday mornings. This is going to be great.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    My thoughts on this game aren't fit to print. Agree with your opinion on the 4th down call- which will now be debated for all eternity. Risky- yes. Worth the risk- hmmmm- yes. Play call- horrible.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from paob. Show paob's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]     In this most excruciating of losses, we saw a replay of the 2006 AFC title game, won by the Colts, 38-34. As in that ulcer causer, the Pats had a big lead going into the 4th quarter, and blew it. But, this game may be even worse. Its' a game in which BB showed absolutely no confidence in his defense by inexplicably going for a 4th and 2 from his own 28 yard line, with just over two minutes to play.        As you may recall, in my analysis leading up to this game, I listed seven elements/match-ups which I thought would be crucial. They were as follows:        a.) Indy TE Dallas Clark vs. Patriots' Safeties Brandon Meriweather and Brandon McGowan: For all the notoriety of the Indy WRs, TE Dallas Clark leads his team in reception with 60. He is Peyton Manning's security blanket. It won't help that Brandon Meriweather will play with some sort of foot injury. If Clark has anything close to a 100 yard game, the Pats are in deep trouble: ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE:  The Patriots' safeties did a decent job in containing Clark, holding him to 5 catches for 65 yards.         b.) Indy DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis vs. Patriots' OTs Sabastien Volmer and Nick Kaczur: If Freeney and Mathis are contained, Tom Brady will have plenty of time to dink and dunk the Colts to death. If not, it will lead to sacks, interceptions, and a loss: ADVANTAGE: Colts       RESPONSE: LT Sebastien Vollmer was outstanding in neutralizing Dwight Freeney...who didn't even make the stat sheet. On the other hand, Robert Mathis tore around and through RT Nick Kaczur. Mathis finished with 8 tackles (6 solos), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.           c.) Zebra Factor: The Patriots can expect the obligatory bogus PI call(s), which always seem to befall them against the Colts. But, they should be able to survive those, provided that they can refrain from holding Freeney, and eliminate those annoying false start penalties.  ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE: So sorry to say that I pegged this one right on the nose. The key play in the Indy comeback was a questionable 31 yard PI penalty against Darius Butler, who was covering Colts WR Austin Collie. It appeared that Collie jumped into Butler, who was going for the ball.        d.) Two Minute Drill: Though the Patriots' "D" has played better than expected, it still has loads of problems stopping offenses in the last two minutes of each half. Peyton Manning is one of the best at it: ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE: The failure of the Pats' defense to stop a comeback in the waning 2-4 minutes cost the Pats yet another big game. BB had so little confidence in his defense to stop Peyton Manning in the 2 minute drill that he radically opted to go for a 4th a 2 from his own 28 yard line.          e.) Laurence Maroney vs. Joseph Addai: That title is really shorthand for the Pats OL & DL v. Indy's DL & OL. Colts SS, Bob Sanders, is out for the season. Indy is thin at DT. So, the Pats should be able to run the ball. That said, Joseph Addai has killed the Pats throughout his career. Addai is particularly adepth at running delays, and catching passes out of the backfield: ADVANTAGE: Even      RESPONSE: Though many will blame Maroney for this loss, the blame is misplaced. The Patriots are what they are...a finesse passing team, like the Colts. Though his fumble at the one yard line was unforgivable, it had little to do with the eventual outcome.      f.) Redzone Proficiency: This has been a weakness for the Pats for most of the season. The absence of Sanders should make it easier for the Pats to score TDs instead of FGs: ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE: Tom Brady made a horrible decision in trying to force a pass to a double-teamed Moss...and the aforementioned Maroney fumble. The Pats should have been more aggressive on their final scoring drive to score a TD...instead of settling for a FG.        g.) Coaching:  Coach Caldwell has done a marvelous job thus far. But, this is his first "big" game against a team with equivalent talent to his own. BB is the best in the business: ADVANTAGE: Patriots.      RESPONSE: In light of the "D"'s habitual bad performance in the 2 minute drill, I can understand why BB decided to go for a 4th and 2 from his own 28. But, it you're going to go for it, its' imperative that the pass attempt be thrown to a player who is past the first down marker. The Pats also seemed to go into a prevent defense mode too early, once they forged ahead, 31-14.      Here are my grades:       A.) OFFENSE : Anytime an offense holds the ball for 35 minutes, runs 72 plays, gains 477 total yards, and scores 34 points, it should be enough to win. But...   1.) QB: Two poor decisions and losing marred what was Tom Brady's best performance of the season. The first was the above mentioned interception, in which Brady tried to force a pass into a double-teamed, blanket covered Moss in the endzone, and that horrific choice of a play on the 4th and 2 from their own 28 (although, in fairness to Tom, that play likely was called by the coaches). No way that a pass should have been thrown to a receiver who was short of the first down marker.       That said, its' hard to criticize Tom's 29/42 for 364 yards, and 3 TDs effort. Two of his completions were beautifully thrown balls to Moss (one setting up the first Patriots' TD, the other a rainbow 63 yarder to give the Pats a 24-7 lead). But, for Tom's part in that horrid fourth down play call, his grade somewhat suffers: GRADE: A-; 2.) RBs: The Maroney bashers will be out in full force after Laurence committed the second fumble of his career. But, this was in a huge game, and at the one yard line. Still, as noted above, it had little impact regarding the eventual outcome.       Kevin Faulk has his best game of the season, finishing with 12 rushes for 79 yards. But, on his last carry, Kevin seemed to slip while trying to cut back...and lost a yard. This turned out to be a huge play, as it led to the Pats having to settle for a FG, and a 34-21 lead...when a TD would have iced the game: GRADE: C; 3.) OL: To quote Al Michaels, the Pats appear to have a star on their hands in rookie LT, Sabastien Vollmer. Sea-Bass was outstanding in completely neutralizing Indy All-Pro DE, Dwight Freeney. With the exception of RT Nick Kaczur, the OL did a great job of protecting Tom Brady. Kaczur, however, was the own personal turnstile for most of the night of Colts' DE, Robert Mathis. As for run blocking, that simply isn't this groups' forte.  GRADE: B; 4.) WRs & TEs: Both Ben Watson and Chris Baker contributed somewhat to the passing attack. But, they were kept in most of the night to help out against Indy's menacing DEs. Randy Moss and Wes Welker were incredible, as Moss finished with 9 receptions for 177 yards, and two TDs...while Wes Welker also had 9 receptions, for 94 yards. Julian Edleman chipped in with a TD reception as well: GRADE: A;      B.) DEFENSE: After playing well for three quarters, allowed the Colts to score 21 points in the final 12 minutes of play. Unless this unit learns to stop an opposing teams' hurry-up, 2-4 minutes offense, the Patriots have no chance of playing in another SB. 1.) DL: Did a reasonable job in pressuring Peyton Manning, and stopped the run. Tied up the Indy OL, allowing the LBs to make plays: GRADE: B-; 2.) LBs: Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton accounted for 14 tackles, including 10 solos. The OLBs, on the other hand, failed to contribute much in pass pressure, or coverage: GRADE: C; 3.) SECONDARY: Played extremely well for 48 minutes. But, unfortunately, NFL games are still 60 minutes long. Darius Butler had seven solo tackles, but got a tough break on the obligatory ticky-tac at best PI call that always seems to befall the Pats in Indy. It was a 31 yard killer of a penalty, and keyed the Indy comeback. Leigh Bodden had a rough night...and the Pats seemed to drop too far off the Indy receivers after amassing a 31-14 lead. You know what they say about playing a "prevent defense"...and the old addage proved true once again: GRADE: C-;       C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: The kick coverage was fine...and both Stephen Gostkowski and punter Chris Hansen had good games indoors. Punt returner Wes Welker stole the show, and nearly the game, with his electrifying 69 yard punt return. GRADE: A;      D.) COACHING: Great job, up and until the games' final 12 minutes. At that time, panic seemed to set in. Instead of grinding the Colts into dust, the Pats nursed a 34-21 lead...and seemed to go into a prevent defense. The decision to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line, with just over 2 minutes left to play, was a clear indication of just how little confidence BB has in his young secondary. But, if your going to gamble like that ...run a play thats' going to net you a first down!!!! Why throw a one yard pass, when two yards were needed !!! To me, the play call was much worse than the decision to go for it. This was a game that was there for the taking. It was a game where the Patriots, for 50 of 60 minutes, completely outplayed the Colts, and should have won. BB has lots of "splaining" to do for this one: GRADE: F      E.) PLAY OF THE GAME: Has to be Indy stopping the Pats on that 4th and 2;      F.) GAME BALL: Peyton Manning. His presence alone caused BB to go for a 4th and 2 deep in his own territory, rather than give Peyton the ball back, and allow him to run his 2 minute drill.       Here are the stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=291115011      Thoughts?                                        
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

    I have a number of thoughts on this loss. Before the beginning of this game, a number of hall of fame QB's were asked to assess their choice of the consumate QB - Brady or Manning. A majority of them chose Manning. In keeping with that line of thinking, if you were to poll hall of fame coaches on the game breaking scenario the Pats found themselves in, how many do you suppose would have punted and trusted their defense as opposed to choosing the former option?

    As is usually the case, the Patriots take away the opposing teams most valuable option. And for most of the night it worked. Clark was a non factor. Wayne made a number of plays on offense, but that's to be expected. For a majority of the game, we had rookie CB's covering rookie WR's and they did a serviceable job. The pass interference call on Butler was suspect, he was playing the ball. His back wasn't turned and if I'm not mistaken the defender has as much of a right to the ball as the offense.

    The Patriots have to increase their red zone efficiency. Coming into this game half of their scores were FG's and on the last scoring drive, I got the impression they wanted to milk the clock, running three conservative plays and settling for a FG.

    Bas Vollmer treated Freeney like a rented mule. I said this before, for a man who's 6'8" & 320 lbs, he moves his feet well. His football background in Germany can attribute to that. We're looking at a potential all pro in the making, if he adds 15 to 20 more pounds the LT position is locked down for the next 10 plus years.

    In closing, anyone who thinks this game was close is mistaken. Did you catch Manning's expression during the waning moments of the 3rd qtr. He knew the game was slipping away from them. Two td's. left off the board as a result of an int. and Maroney's fumble, were huge. The Patriots took it to Indy last night and dominated that game. The loss was tough to watch and in my opinion the colts know they got away with one they didn't deserve.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from bonkerbear. Show bonkerbear's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    TexasPat,

             Thanks for the usual informative report card. Looks like a lot of your pregame predictions were pretty close.  The obligatory bogus PI call at home for the colts is sickening.
            However, I think the Pats played really well last nite - the coaches blew this game completely. I think BB should vote himself inactive in the next game - let's put the best coaches out there that will help the team win. Can't we bring back Romeo.
           Pat's offense and defense dominated the 3rd qtr and should have blown the game out with 2 scores on those long drives, which consumed a lot of the clock and kepy Manning off  the field.  I thought the game really turned bad after Wilhite's interception gave the Pat's the ball near Colt's 30 yard line. That's when the offensive play calling became very conservative and only resulted in a FG. Why change your style of play when the offense has been kicking Colts butt all  2nd half. A touchdown then would have sealed the game.
         Then the defensive play calling goes into prevent mode - again why change what has worked well for most of the game and especially in 2nd half.  After Colts score (too quickly), offense goes conservative again. The call to go for it in 4th down is stunningly stupid - I can't express how amazingly stupid that call was.

     Overall, I think the team played really well last night against a very tough opponent. Yes we made a couple of bad plays (interception and fumble at crucial times) but the coaching was horrid late in the game
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from hoochiemgg. Show hoochiemgg's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Good breakdown as usual. Need to mention that Warren and Jarvis Green were out as well as Springs. This can account for part of the defensive problems and possibly being "gassed" at the end. Whatever happened to the movement on defense that the Pats used to employ? They used to shift and move all over the place against Manning but not anymore and I can't figure out why. Manning is in the Pats heads but I'm hoping that BB's confidence in his offense played a big part in his decision to go for it not just his lack of faith in his D. Meanwhile, if they are going to go for it then run the ball on third down...Brady went four yards on a QB sneak earlier in the game. I'm not going to blame Maroney for the loss but the fumble was a huge momentum swing. A TD there wins the game. I sure miss Corey Dillon in times like that or even a healthy Fred Taylor. How they fare next week will be a huge tell. Losing or barely beating a crappy looking Jets team won't do it, they need to perform a good ole fashioned 2007 NE Pats style beating. I'll feel much better then.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from themightypatriotz. Show themightypatriotz's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Wilhite - F.  Cannot cover.  Gives up game winning TD.
    Coaching - F.  Stupid draw on first down when the Colts had clearly figured it out.  And if you know you are going to go for it on 4th, try 2 running plays!  Real running plays, with the QB under center.  2 QB sneaks probaby would have done it.  Teams have figured out the Welker out on 3rd.  We've seen that play stopped many times this year. 
    Mayo - F.  That running TD was all him.
    Bodden - F.  Barely 3 minutes left, and you bite on a double move?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from IraqSteve. Show IraqSteve's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD : your right he was just a little harsh on the defense. the score was 31 to 14 in the 4th qtr.how else did they manage to come back and make a game of it,and go on to win?sure the first half they did play great,but in the second half,the 4th qtr they failed.this why they went younger,to have more endurance,and to be less winded,but they were no better then the guys we had a year ago in the 4th qtr of games against teams like the colts.
    Posted by mosseffect43[/QUOTE]

    First off - you got me. I didn't pick up on the sarcasm at first.  Classic.

    But seriously, I think you being too hard on the defense.

    1. They had Manning on the ropes. I said in another post.  Manning was shaking his head, had that look of frustration on his face.  Things we had not seen for a few years.

    2. Two INT's

    I would have rather punted and let Manning beat us for 70 yards under 2 minutes than let the offense win it.

    How many times has Manning beat the Pats on the final drive?  I'll count once in 2006 and that wasn't even the final drive.  We saw all the characteristics of a choking Manning and all they had to do was punt and make him beat them.  Instead they gave him a short field with 2m left?  Even Mark Sanchez could have scored a GW TD with that short yardage.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from jbolted. Show jbolted's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]     In this most excruciating of losses, we saw a replay of the 2006 AFC title game, won by the Colts, 38-34. As in that ulcer causer, the Pats had a big lead going into the 4th quarter, and blew it. But, this game may be even worse. Its' a game in which BB showed absolutely no confidence in his defense by inexplicably going for a 4th and 2 from his own 28 yard line, with just over two minutes to play.        As you may recall, in my analysis leading up to this game, I listed seven elements/match-ups which I thought would be crucial. They were as follows:        a.) Indy TE Dallas Clark vs. Patriots' Safeties Brandon Meriweather and Brandon McGowan: For all the notoriety of the Indy WRs, TE Dallas Clark leads his team in reception with 60. He is Peyton Manning's security blanket. It won't help that Brandon Meriweather will play with some sort of foot injury. If Clark has anything close to a 100 yard game, the Pats are in deep trouble: ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE:  The Patriots' safeties did a decent job in containing Clark, holding him to 5 catches for 65 yards.         b.) Indy DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis vs. Patriots' OTs Sabastien Volmer and Nick Kaczur: If Freeney and Mathis are contained, Tom Brady will have plenty of time to dink and dunk the Colts to death. If not, it will lead to sacks, interceptions, and a loss: ADVANTAGE: Colts       RESPONSE: LT Sebastien Vollmer was outstanding in neutralizing Dwight Freeney...who didn't even make the stat sheet. On the other hand, Robert Mathis tore around and through RT Nick Kaczur. Mathis finished with 8 tackles (6 solos), 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.           c.) Zebra Factor: The Patriots can expect the obligatory bogus PI call(s), which always seem to befall them against the Colts. But, they should be able to survive those, provided that they can refrain from holding Freeney, and eliminate those annoying false start penalties.  ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE: So sorry to say that I pegged this one right on the nose. The key play in the Indy comeback was a questionable 31 yard PI penalty against Darius Butler, who was covering Colts WR Austin Collie. It appeared that Collie jumped into Butler, who was going for the ball.        d.) Two Minute Drill: Though the Patriots' "D" has played better than expected, it still has loads of problems stopping offenses in the last two minutes of each half. Peyton Manning is one of the best at it: ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE: The failure of the Pats' defense to stop a comeback in the waning 2-4 minutes cost the Pats yet another big game. BB had so little confidence in his defense to stop Peyton Manning in the 2 minute drill that he radically opted to go for a 4th a 2 from his own 28 yard line.          e.) Laurence Maroney vs. Joseph Addai: That title is really shorthand for the Pats OL & DL v. Indy's DL & OL. Colts SS, Bob Sanders, is out for the season. Indy is thin at DT. So, the Pats should be able to run the ball. That said, Joseph Addai has killed the Pats throughout his career. Addai is particularly adepth at running delays, and catching passes out of the backfield: ADVANTAGE: Even      RESPONSE: Though many will blame Maroney for this loss, the blame is misplaced. The Patriots are what they are...a finesse passing team, like the Colts. Though his fumble at the one yard line was unforgivable, it had little to do with the eventual outcome.      f.) Redzone Proficiency: This has been a weakness for the Pats for most of the season. The absence of Sanders should make it easier for the Pats to score TDs instead of FGs: ADVANTAGE: Colts      RESPONSE: Tom Brady made a horrible decision in trying to force a pass to a double-teamed Moss...and the aforementioned Maroney fumble. The Pats should have been more aggressive on their final scoring drive to score a TD...instead of settling for a FG.        g.) Coaching:  Coach Caldwell has done a marvelous job thus far. But, this is his first "big" game against a team with equivalent talent to his own. BB is the best in the business: ADVANTAGE: Patriots.      RESPONSE: In light of the "D"'s habitual bad performance in the 2 minute drill, I can understand why BB decided to go for a 4th and 2 from his own 28. But, it you're going to go for it, its' imperative that the pass attempt be thrown to a player who is past the first down marker. The Pats also seemed to go into a prevent defense mode too early, once they forged ahead, 31-14.      Here are my grades:       A.) OFFENSE : Anytime an offense holds the ball for 35 minutes, runs 72 plays, gains 477 total yards, and scores 34 points, it should be enough to win. But...   1.) QB: Two poor decisions and losing marred what was Tom Brady's best performance of the season. The first was the above mentioned interception, in which Brady tried to force a pass into a double-teamed, blanket covered Moss in the endzone, and that horrific choice of a play on the 4th and 2 from their own 28 (although, in fairness to Tom, that play likely was called by the coaches). No way that a pass should have been thrown to a receiver who was short of the first down marker.       That said, its' hard to criticize Tom's 29/42 for 364 yards, and 3 TDs effort. Two of his completions were beautifully thrown balls to Moss (one setting up the first Patriots' TD, the other a rainbow 63 yarder to give the Pats a 24-7 lead). But, for Tom's part in that horrid fourth down play call, his grade somewhat suffers: GRADE: A-; 2.) RBs: The Maroney bashers will be out in full force after Laurence committed the second fumble of his career. But, this was in a huge game, and at the one yard line. Still, as noted above, it had little impact regarding the eventual outcome.       Kevin Faulk has his best game of the season, finishing with 12 rushes for 79 yards. But, on his last carry, Kevin seemed to slip while trying to cut back...and lost a yard. This turned out to be a huge play, as it led to the Pats having to settle for a FG, and a 34-21 lead...when a TD would have iced the game: GRADE: C; 3.) OL: To quote Al Michaels, the Pats appear to have a star on their hands in rookie LT, Sabastien Vollmer. Sea-Bass was outstanding in completely neutralizing Indy All-Pro DE, Dwight Freeney. With the exception of RT Nick Kaczur, the OL did a great job of protecting Tom Brady. Kaczur, however, was the own personal turnstile for most of the night of Colts' DE, Robert Mathis. As for run blocking, that simply isn't this groups' forte.  GRADE: B; 4.) WRs & TEs: Both Ben Watson and Chris Baker contributed somewhat to the passing attack. But, they were kept in most of the night to help out against Indy's menacing DEs. Randy Moss and Wes Welker were incredible, as Moss finished with 9 receptions for 177 yards, and two TDs...while Wes Welker also had 9 receptions, for 94 yards. Julian Edleman chipped in with a TD reception as well: GRADE: A;      B.) DEFENSE: After playing well for three quarters, allowed the Colts to score 21 points in the final 12 minutes of play. Unless this unit learns to stop an opposing teams' hurry-up, 2-4 minutes offense, the Patriots have no chance of playing in another SB. 1.) DL: Did a reasonable job in pressuring Peyton Manning, and stopped the run. Tied up the Indy OL, allowing the LBs to make plays: GRADE: B-; 2.) LBs: Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton accounted for 14 tackles, including 10 solos. The OLBs, on the other hand, failed to contribute much in pass pressure, or coverage: GRADE: C; 3.) SECONDARY: Played extremely well for 48 minutes. But, unfortunately, NFL games are still 60 minutes long. Darius Butler had seven solo tackles, but got a tough break on the obligatory ticky-tac at best PI call that always seems to befall the Pats in Indy. It was a 31 yard killer of a penalty, and keyed the Indy comeback. Leigh Bodden had a rough night...and the Pats seemed to drop too far off the Indy receivers after amassing a 31-14 lead. You know what they say about playing a "prevent defense"...and the old addage proved true once again: GRADE: C-;       C.) SPECIAL TEAMS: The kick coverage was fine...and both Stephen Gostkowski and punter Chris Hansen had good games indoors. Punt returner Wes Welker stole the show, and nearly the game, with his electrifying 69 yard punt return. GRADE: A;      D.) COACHING: Great job, up and until the games' final 12 minutes. At that time, panic seemed to set in. Instead of grinding the Colts into dust, the Pats nursed a 34-21 lead...and seemed to go into a prevent defense. The decision to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line, with just over 2 minutes left to play, was a clear indication of just how little confidence BB has in his young secondary. But, if your going to gamble like that ...run a play thats' going to net you a first down!!!! Why throw a one yard pass, when two yards were needed !!! To me, the play call was much worse than the decision to go for it. This was a game that was there for the taking. It was a game where the Patriots, for 50 of 60 minutes, completely outplayed the Colts, and should have won. BB has lots of "splaining" to do for this one: GRADE: F      E.) PLAY OF THE GAME: Has to be Indy stopping the Pats on that 4th and 2;      F.) GAME BALL: Peyton Manning. His presence alone caused BB to go for a 4th and 2 deep in his own territory, rather than give Peyton the ball back, and allow him to run his 2 minute drill.       Here are the stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=291115011      Thoughts?                                        
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]
     
    I have confidence that the Chargers can/will beat either team in January. A sloppy game from both teams with mere flashes of brilliance. Worst call in BB history. The biggest consequence of this game is the head coach completely deflating the confidence the defense had established to that point in the season.  
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsiefan. Show pumpsiefan's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    TexasPat...
    Are you actually based in Texas?
    I screamed when the Pats gave Kazur that contract extention. He is a below average player at best. Obviously Vollmer should be moved over there once Light is back.
    The only thing I hate more than JD Drew taking a called third strike with the winning or tying run on second, is a QB who throws a one yard pass on fourth and two. Cover Boy had the stats, but he also did not make the key play several times when it was needed. Manning just seems to have a higher "will the win".
    With Kraft, Bellichick and Brady all exuding arrogance, the Pats have become the team America loves to hate. It really isn't difficult to see why.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from LuvsThosePats. Show LuvsThosePats's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    O.k., I'm going to keep beating on this 4th and 2 call:  It's easy to understand why BB went for it  -- he'd just seen the refs make the obligatory phantom PI call on Butler to get the Colts the touchdown that put them at 28 pts.  Like death, taxes, and sunrise, PM knows that if he's desperate, all he has to do is launch a  pass, and if the pass is well and LEGALLY defended, he will STILL get a PI call to put the ball on the Pats' 10 yd line with 1st and goal.  BB KNEW that was going to happen if he punted away with 2 mins left in the game.  Dale Arnold said something stupid this morning - that Peyton was now in BB's head.  Not so -- it's the refs who are in his head; he knows what they're going to do, and it ain't pretty. Call me paranoid or whatever you like, but can you say this has not happened before?  Think 2006 AFCCG with the call on Ellis Hobbs.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

         From what I'm reading in the responses to my report card, it seems that the defense is getting a pass. They don't deserve one. I'm am sick and tired of watching the Pats blow leads late, especially to the Colts. The Pats must do something to improve their defense against the hurry-up offense.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from DBAZ22. Show DBAZ22's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Thought this game was a lock when the Pats picked off Manning midway through the 4th quarter.  Think there was something like 7 minutes at the time.  They ate through a little of the clock at that point.  The loss doesn't shock me, but how they lost shocked me.  That call will be talked about for many years to come.  This is probably the most painful regular season loss I can recall.  The defense which was short-handed to begin with (not to make excuses which was done for the Indy defense) was down Warren and Green, and then lost Ninko and TBC.  The latter two in-game losses left them with Derrick "I have not made a play all season" Burgess and AD for the entire 2nd half.  That left no rotation on the front 7, and gassed the D.  That being said BB's epic brainfart left the D with no chance at the end of the game - 30 yards v 60-70 yards and 2 ints in the 2nd half, at least give the D a fighting chance.  If want to be aggressive, be aggressive when you get that int in the 4th quarter and play for a FG - go for the jugular then...Now it is all about fighting for the 2nd seed - it is a reach, but it is attainable.  How does this team respond? 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from DBAZ22. Show DBAZ22's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    One more thing kudos to you Tex, analysis was spot on.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from LifeTimePat. Show LifeTimePat's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    Tex, you noted:
    Its' a game in which BB showed absolutely no confidence in his defense by inexplicably going for a 4th and 2 from his own 28 yard line
    AND
     c.) Zebra Factor: The Patriots can expect the obligatory bogus PI call(s), which always seem to befall them against the Colts.

    If we fans can see this, I'm sure BB can. The lack of confidence was not in the D, but in the officiating.  BB knew if he punted, the refs will just make it up to manning by another phantom PI...

    I stand by his decision.  too bad he got jobbed again by the poor spot.  BB even question the refs on that call... "
    i don't know how we couldn’t get a yard on that completion. I guess we didn’t."


        
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Tex - can't disagree with most of what you wrote, but here's a couple of wrinkles. I don't look at the 4 and 2 so much as BB not having confidence in the defense as much as trying to keep the ball out of Peyton hands.
     
    RESPONSE: Isn't that really saying the same thing? Sometimes a defense has to step up and make plays. Apparently BB had little doubt that, if he punted, Peyton would have taken the Colts right down the field for the winning score. 

    Look at it this way...the Colts got the ball back at the Pat's 29 - they defense could have stopped them there. But you are absolutely correct...why in the world do offensive play callers insist on running patterns for less yardage than what is needed for a first down?

    RESPONSE: Amen;

    But here is where I fault BB more than the 4th and 2 call - you've got two minutes left and NO timeouts. After the first pass to Wayne, BB has got to tell the defense to LET THEM SCORE ON THE NEXT PLAY. Stopping the next two running plays on the three and then the two assured Brady of having no time left. If Addai scores, they're down by one but Brady has close to 90 seconds to get back into field goal range instead of one play.
     
    RESPONSE: Interesting point.

    If BB really felt the defense was gassed (which it was), he's got to realize his best chance at winning was to put the ball back in Brady's hands with time to work for a field goal to win.

    RESPONSE: Why was the defense "gassed"? They were only on the field for 25 of 60 minutes. The Pats added youth and depth at LB and in the secondary to combat this.  

    Posted by sml1210[/QUOTE]
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TOGAH-2009. Show TOGAH-2009's posts

    Chokers

    The Pats simply choked.  Again.  Peyton owns the Pats now.  The Pats were exposed as the FRAUDS they are.  They still have to play New Orleans.  Hope you guys can do better than 8-8 this year.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from gfkr2. Show gfkr2's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    You have been exposed as a CLOWN.  Now, run along.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

         The biggest problem with the Patriots continues to be the inability of the defense to stop opposing teams in their 2-4 minute drills. Unless and until this problem gets' corrected, there will be no more Lombardis arriving in Foxboro.

         Here are some cold, hard football facts, documenting the failures of BB defenses to stop opposing offenses in their closing drives: http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_2969_Belichick%27s_mojo_kicked_in_the_nuts.html
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Patriots @ Colts REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Tex, you noted: Its' a game in which BB showed absolutely no confidence in his defense by inexplicably going for a 4th and 2 from his own 28 yard line AND  c.) Zebra Factor: The Patriots can expect the obligatory bogus PI call(s), which always seem to befall them against the Colts. If we fans can see this, I'm sure BB can. The lack of confidence was not in the D, but in the officiating.  BB knew if he punted, the refs will just make it up to manning by another phantom PI... I stand by his decision.  too bad he got jobbed again by the poor spot.  BB even question the refs on that call... " i don't know how we couldn’t get a yard on that completion. I guess we didn’t."     
    Posted by LifeTimePat[/QUOTE]

         When asked whether he thought BB's decision showed no faith in the defense, Leigh Bodden replied that he believed that in going for the 4th and 2, BB showed great confidence in his defense, to stop the Colts from 30 yards out.

         The PI call really hurt. But, those types of calls have to be expected whenever a team plays on the road. As for the "bad spot", Faulk appeared to come up short to me. I'll have to watch that play again this evening.

         As stated above, the biggest problem with the Pats is the inability of their defense to stop opposing offenses in the hurry-up offense. Heres' a great article on this weakness: http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_2969_Belichick%27s_mojo_kicked_in_the_nuts.html
     
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