First off I want to say I am not trying to directly call anyone out or do any type of name calling. Please if you are going to reply with a flame or troll post, just don’t bother. I would love to encourage an open dialog concerning the Patriots weaknesses and what could be the cause. I also will try to answer my own questions but I would like to see what some of the other intelligent posters think. Personally I think there have been quite a few sub-par areas in big games but the current state of the board has turned into this war between Brady is at fault or the defense is at fault and when anyone brings something else up it just get buried.
So my concept is just to have a conversation on what are the Patriots flaws against elite defenses?
1. What is wrong with the game planning and why can’t they seem to adjust during a game like they use to? Example McD getting too cute at times and call overly complex plays such at a end around at the worst time when a draw would do….. ect. I tend to believe that the coaches know what they are doing and the shotgun use and the quick snap play style is by choice, therefore they are doing what gives the team the best chance to win and cover weaknesses. Why else would this go on for years, in almost every game? Think about how many game planning sessions the coaches went through to come up with these play concepts. Does anyone really think they say “oh let’s just give Brady the offense and see what happens? “ So if we start with the premise that everything has been by design, how can the coaches improve the team performance? Where have they gone wrong with the game planning and what would you love to see more of?
2. Why does the offensive line seem to fold or have trouble in the biggest games? Although interceptions and safeties are on a QB, the line has to do better. I never seen a four man rush gives a QB so little time and constantly push/ collapse the pocket when we have 5 to 6 blockers. Some will look at the stats and say this is one of the best lines in the NFL, but sometimes I just don’t see it. If Brady doesn’t get most plays out in 2.5 sec or less seconds these guy would be more toward the middle of the pack in hurries and sacks.
3. When the defense is in max coverage why can’t the RBs run better? Although, they have occasional 4 to 5 yards rushes, over 50 percent are less than 2 yards. The Pats are not seeing 8 men in the box so what gives? Are the holes not there? Do the RBs not give the play enough time to develop and hit the holes too early? Do they not look for the cut back lane, or is the line not great at opening holes? Is the play calling too predictable in that the LB and safety are able to fill in too fast? Do they have backs that can break first contact? How many times on third down with 3 or less do they pass because there is no rusher that can get those hard yardage when the D know it is coming. I am not just talking goal line situations; I mean 3rd and 2 on our 35 when it is get the yards or punt.
4. With all this said….. I am not excusing the QB and the WRs. Does Brady take too much on his shoulders that he has been forcing it when he should be throwing it away? Has he gotten too reliant on the systematic and timing plays that he has lost some of the improvising and/or finding that third or fourth read? Both the QB and the WRS need to make game changing clutch plays and that has not been happening. Key drops and miscue have hurt the team in a battle of inches. How can they improve this?
Are there any major areas I missed? I could say a lot more but this is a good start.