Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    The defense has done a tremendous job generating turnovers. But they have too often showed their achilles heal to future post season opponents: Trouble setting edge and trouble handling inside runs with consistancy. There are mutliple reasons for this: key injuries on the DL (Ty Warren all year, Pryor, Brace and Wright the last few games), DL youth, suspension of rookie Spikes, and poor position play by Banta Cain and most DEs (Wilfork seems least at fault when playing DE). There have been edge setting break downs by other OLBs but Banta Cain is about a fifty-fifty proposition which is very bad.

    The greatest problems seem to be simply bad position play and sometimes bad technique. For example, there have been far too many plays where Banta Cain either shoots upfield or collapses into the edge of the line. In both instances he gives up his position on the edge. Of course he is trying to make a play but this defense REQUIRES proper position play especially by the edge setters.

    So this is not a matter of lack of strength or lack of effort but simply "stupid" play - that is - bad decisions. This is correctable but at this point in the year it should be a rarely occuring problem.

    This weakness has been best exploited when the opponent mixes succesful runs with an efficient passing game. This prevents the D from being able to focus on stopping opponent situational preferences - and not just on 3rd downs.

    Exacerbating the whole thing have been the above mentioned injuries. Brace for example had been guilty of some of this bad play earlier in the year but appeared to be playing smarter, more consistent position play before his injury. Having Pryor, Wright and Brace all out not only means less of the frequent substitutions that had been effective, but meant that the D was forced to press less efficient D linemen into regular service.

    The D roster is still being built up into a top unit and looks like it could be special with the addition of a few more key pieces and a little more seasoning. Still, they can be effective if they can get healthy and Spikes can step back into his ROLE alongside Mayo and the other roleplaying ILB Guyton. But the current D effectiveness does REQUIRE the O to be ON their game. This is no absolute in the postseason even though one would expect this O to keep on truckin'.

    The Ravens, who the Pats were able to handle in a tough game earlier this year, could be more difficult the second tme around. Do not discount last years playoff game as an example of what the Ravens are capable of if the D continues its recent mistake prone positon play agasint the run and if Flacco is able to give a good performance. In such a case the O will have to be close to unstoppable because the Ravens O will take lots of time to complete drives featuring Rice.

    Pats will be favored in any case but if someone is going to beat them the above is how they will have to do it.

    Here is hoping for a healthy D line and a well prepared, not rusty, Spikes.


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

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    ^^^Did you watch the last game? Why do you nay-sayers and gloom and doomers keep looking for something to whine about.

    Aren't you enjoyiong this season? Sheez Buffalo had been on a greta streak offensively and we shut them down to 3 points

    yes, once we get out frontline players and spikes back we should be even better on D

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    This doesn't make any sense.  When the players get back they will have their depth again.  This defense has improved since the last time the Pats played Baltimore too.  The Raven game was one of the games I was scared about but if we get them in the playoffs I'm pretty confident the Pats will win.  The Pats are not the same team.  They're better.

    Folks have started to throw away from McCourty.  Arrington has gotten better mostly because he has been picked on every game.  Cunningham will be back who has improved as the season moved on.  Chung and Mayo are having a great season.  Guyton has been playing well in the full time roll while Spikes is out. 

    The thing is this defense is still learning.  That's the great thing about youth.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    I would love to have Pryor and Wright back and have to believe they will be or Bill would of put them on IR by now. Deadric, Love, and Brace are big bodies, along with Warren, but we need some of the athleticism that Pryor and Brace give you. When it's third and long you need these guys out there to apply the pressure without blitzing. Banta Cain has been the most disappointing thing on this team all year considering he was one of our best players last year and got the big contract. Having Cunningham, Spikes and hopefully all the mentioned above back will hopefully help our chances.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from NY-PATS-FAN4. Show NY-PATS-FAN4's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    The original post is thoughtful, so it does not fall into the "whining" category (i.e., "This D suckkks!") so prevalent on these boards any time an opposing offense manages a 5-minute drive against our D. Let's be honest; the Bills are too inept to be a good forecaster of future success on D.

    It is true that we have had edge problems, as well as gap-technique problems on our front line; to ignore that is to be willfully blind. Portfolio1 did acknowledge the lack of experience up front--we're starting a guy from the UFL, for crying out loud--and the fact that our main plugger ILB, Spikes, is a key missing component. So there are legitimate reasons for some of our defensive shortcomings; hopefully, Wright, Brace, Deaderick and Pryor are all healthy for the playoffs, and Spikes stays as sharp as possible absent of playing actual games.

    But it would be a mistake to discount the fact that this defense generates turnovers as an aberration. Rather, it is an intricate component of who they are and how they play, and they have been generating these turnovers not only against doormats like Buffalo, but against the iron of the league as well.

    If the Pats D holds any playoff opponent to 14 points or fewer, I will be thrilled, if not surprised. And yet, if they allow 20-24 points to any opponent--but also take the ball away twice--I still am confident that we can (and will) beat any team in this league, providing our offense continues its efficient ways and does not turn the ball over itself.

    For better or worse, this is the Pats current identity. I prefer to see it for better.



     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from dmcpatsfan. Show dmcpatsfan's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    I am so sick of all this negativity towards our D...yes there are injuries, yes they are young & yes they are doing an awesome job as a unit.....what the F do you guys want???!!!

    Go Route for some other team or just enjoy what we've got & support them!!!!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from SANPAT. Show SANPAT's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    If you want to find problems with the defense.  Become a TEXANS fan.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from oklahomapatriot. Show oklahomapatriot's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal:
    [QUOTE]I am so sick of all this negativity towards our D...yes there are injuries, yes they are young & yes they are doing an awesome job as a unit.....what the F do you guys want???!!! Go Route for some other team or just enjoy what we've got & support them!!!!
    Posted by dmcpatsfan[/QUOTE]

    exactly, i agree. but its "go root for some other team". Laughing
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    I think the defensive struggles of the Pats are pretty well known to everybody by now.  I suppose I would be more worried if they hadn't won 13 games already despite some fairly poor defensive performances. 

    There have been some good games for the defense, but I think what you see is what you get.  They may not be the best in the league but they get turnovers and make the necessary stops to win.  With how young they are it's likely an issue that will not be resolved overnight but rather incrementally throughout this season and next.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from NY-PATS-FAN4. Show NY-PATS-FAN4's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal:
    [QUOTE]I am so sick of all this negativity towards our D...yes there are injuries, yes they are young & yes they are doing an awesome job as a unit.....what the F do you guys want???!!! Go Route for some other team or just enjoy what we've got & support them!!!!
    Posted by dmcpatsfan[/QUOTE]

    I don't like negativity either, but honesty doesn't bother me at all. Portfolio1's original post is simply a good assessment of the current state of affairs...as BB would say, "It is what it is." You'll find no bigger supporter of the Pats than me, and I am proud that this young D is mentally tough enough to overcome their obvious deficiencies, especially by creating so many turnovers.

    You do realize that BB's primary job is to recognize problems and fix them, yes? One can't do that by burying his head in the sand.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from jazzpelli. Show jazzpelli's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    The D-line is definitely a weak link because of injuries but its still a solid unit.  The D is doing an incredible job considering what was expected of them to start the season (especially after Bodden went down).  The first round bye will be great in helping the Pats get healthy so no worries and Spikes will be back as well.  The run D will be solid for the playoffs. 

    Not saying it doesn't need help and I fully expect BB to draft 2 or 3 guys next year but its a good group.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from raptor64d. Show raptor64d's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    Did you notice the first drive from the Bills looked pretty bad for our run defense and then after the next drive they got less and then poof the Bills stunk on ice. Now I will say the run D right now is a weak point but the defensive unit has a warrant out on them for stealing the ball to many times this year, and our offensive will get  the Scrooge award for not being very charitable with the ball. :)   Now in the end they have 2 count them 2 losses and I am stinking happy about that.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Artist-Frmrly-Knwn-As-NickC1188. Show Artist-Frmrly-Knwn-As-NickC1188's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    Wait - they just won by 31 points and only gave up 3 points and you're writing THIS????

    If the Bills want to run the ball down by 2, 3, and 4 scores, be my guest!  And they wonder why they've lost 15 straight to us...
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kebbe. Show kebbe's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

             I'm not sure I have ever heard such carping and demeaning of a 13-2 team which has secured home field advantage thoughout the playoffs with a defense that is in the process of being rebuilt and has improved indidually and collectively incrementally through the season to an extent that anyone who ever seem let alone played the game of football had any right to expect.Are they an elite unit yet?Of course not,but they are competative,make big plays(the lack of which everyone bemoaned last season)and has not begun to be what they could well be in the next two years.By the way,as for Price,I will say again that the offensive system at Ohio University is nearly the antithesis of a pro offense and mitigates against preparing their players(especially QB's,Wr's and TE's)for the next level.the Pats knew this when they drafted him and were well aware that he was a major project requiring a year and perhaps two  years of learning what an NFL WR needs to know and do.Once that is done,he will be able to use his considerable physicaLskills,intelligence and work ethic to their bet advantage in this league.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brad34. Show Brad34's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    D is really coming together. They get a host of players back for the playoffs. They are similar to Saints D from last year in that they give up yards but they seem to generate a turnover when they need it the most
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Muzwell. Show Muzwell's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    The Pats first opponent will be Colts or Jets, not Ravens. Ravens will lose to Indy like they always do, especially at Indy.  So that means the Pats will build a big lead until about 10 minutes to go and then all of a sudden forget how to move the ball and hold on with white knuckles to win by 3 when Manning throws a late pick. 
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from NY-PATS-FAN4. Show NY-PATS-FAN4's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    Come on, guys, he's not talking about the BILLS, here; he's talking about how the D-line could be a weakness against PLAYOFF caliber teams, if we don't regain our health. It's a fair assessment, because we had trouble against a Green Bay team missing its starting QB.

    I do agree with Portfolio1 that D-line is a weakness (particularly with depth) at the current moment. This may not be true come playoff time, but even if it is, the Pats may be resilient enough to overcome it.

    Do you really want to start the PLAYOFFS with Kyle Love, Eric Moore, etc. as our starting defensive linemen?

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from jjaycee. Show jjaycee's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    Excellent analysis of the D. Yes, and fortunatly due to some depth, and a weak
    opponent, Wright, Brace, Pryor and Deaderick,  could rest and heal for another game. And even with mistakes,  players like Love, Moore and Warren filled in adequately, around the big guy. And compared to last year, the D line is beginning to appear like a force to be reckom with. The LBs also- especially with Spikes returning ( 1st or 2nd playoff game???), Mayo really becoming the player he was in 2009, along with Guyton, Nikovitch and Cunningham improving every game. Even Dane Fletcher, usually playing only on specials, has shown he can contribute there as well.  
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal : I don't like negativity either, but honesty doesn't bother me at all. Portfolio1's original post is simply a good assessment of the current state of affairs...as BB would say, "It is what it is." You'll find no bigger supporter of the Pats than me, and I am proud that this young D is mentally tough enough to overcome their obvious deficiencies, especially by creating so many turnovers. You do realize that BB's primary job is to recognize problems and fix them, yes? One can't do that by burying his head in the sand.
    Posted by NY-PATS-FAN4[/QUOTE]

    NY-Pats_Fan4 got the intent right here. Clearly this team is the team to beat in the AFC. Yet there are issues with the D. That doesn't mean the D is no good. In fact, one of the points I mentioned was that "the D roster is still being built up into a top unit and looks like it could be special"...  

    But right now there are issues. They had been getting better and better in front of our eyes over the course of the first 10 games or so but they have clearly had trouble with the run, especially setting the edge, and especially when the games are still very competative. And especially with the abscence of Spikes and those 3 D linemen.

    Look at the Packers who, after losing Grant at the beginning of the year have had one of the weaker running games in the entire league. Yet they ran the ball very well. Who else has that team been able to run against? They have had some OK games running but very few. Look at the Buffalo game. The Bills ran something like 7 times for something close to 70 yards early in the game. And they continued to have a high average per carry during the game. I am not sure why they went away from running a balanced attack on their SECOND possession of the game but they did.

    Of course it is great if teams are down by a whole lot and choose to run, run, run but that wasn't the question. It was a question about where this D is headed over the next few games. Over the long haul I expect it to be a real strength (McCourty does look great doesn't he... and Chung is a playmaker isn't he... and Mayo is a stud in the middle isnt he... and Wilfork is a stud... and Sanders is a heady player... and Arrington is a pleasant surprise... and Bodden and Ty Warren will be back next year... and they got Spikes, Guyton and Cunningham who are all AT LEAST very good role players and maybe more than that... and..., etc. So for all you who want to yell rah rah, I am right there expecting this D to be the basis for a real strong unit in the future even while they can be competative in their growing pains).

    The question is not will the Pats win it all. If I had to pick one team right now it would be them. But we will have to wait to see how far they go. The question here is will the defensive players currently missing playing time due to injury or suspension, and in particular those three key D linemen and Spikes, players who had helped gell the run D, upgrade the D to the point where they will be a more reliable unit and so lessen the critical need for the O to be totally dominant in every game inm the playoffs.

    This is not a negative eval of the D as a whole, and certainly not of a healthy D. But it is a legitimate question about whether the D will be able to take it up one or two notches with these players getting back on the field. And in light of the way the Ravens are playing lately and the way Rice is being so productive this is a meaningful question.

    If you just want to say in post after post after post "the Pats are great aren't they", "the Pats are great aren't they", well, yes they are great and have fun masterbating. So what else do you want to talk about? How about making it interesting rather than just a drool fest? Its a great team. But it isn't a perfect team. If it was BB wouldn't be so important except as a personnel manager.

    So if you haven't voted, go back, read the original post and vote what you think.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Pats7393. Show Pats7393's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    instead of looking at this as a weakness I'm looking at it as an evaluation period.  BB has had a chance to see a number of different guys play DL because of the injuries.  Once everyone is back, those guys are more experienced and he'll have a good idea how to group different guys for specific situations because they are all good at a specific assignment when stuffing the run or pass rush from the DT spot.

    This has been a great scouting run for BB, most impressive he did not give up any Ws and got a ton of game time tape on guys who were not getting a ton of playing time before the injuries.

    I'm confident (Because they are not on IR) Wright and the rest will be back healthy playoff time.  Spikes will be a man with a mission, he will be looking to redeem himself and make it up to his team.  Ask who is the most dangerous team going into the playoffs?  it is the Patriots, they are injured all over the DL and secondary but are still winning.  When healthy and you have boddies to send fresh legs in, it will be a nasty affair for a few teams.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal:
    [QUOTE]The Pats first opponent will be Colts or Jets, not Ravens. Ravens will lose to Indy like they always do, especially at Indy.  So that means the Pats will build a big lead until about 10 minutes to go and then all of a sudden forget how to move the ball and hold on with white knuckles to win by 3 when Manning throws a late pick. 
    Posted by Muzwell[/QUOTE]

    Manning does change the dynamics of everything doesn't he? If they face him in the playoffs maybe the difference will be better control of time of possession in the fourth quarter and so not give him the opportunity to get quite so close. Or better yet, remeber the game where Law and Harrison played a game with him and picked him off something like 3 times. I think I am less afraid of playing Manning and this Colts team than a Raven rematch (even though I think the Pats win that one... it is just a tugher match up because the Ravens are just a better team than the Colts).
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal:
    [QUOTE]instead of looking at this as a weakness I'm looking at it as an evaluation period.  BB has had a chance to see a number of different guys play DL because of the injuries.  Once everyone is back, those guys are more experienced and he'll have a good idea how to group different guys for specific situations because they are all good at a specific assignment when stuffing the run or pass rush from the DT spot. This has been a great scouting run for BB, most impressive he did not give up any Ws and got a ton of game time tape on guys who were not getting a ton of playing time before the injuries. I'm confident (Because they are not on IR) Wright and the rest will be back healthy playoff time.  Spikes will be a man with a mission, he will be looking to redeem himself and make it up to his team.  Ask who is the most dangerous team going into the playoffs?  it is the Patriots, they are injured all over the DL and secondary but are still winning.  When healthy and you have boddies to send fresh legs in, it will be a nasty affair for a few teams.
    Posted by Pats7393[/QUOTE]

    Yes, another good point. It is certainly a good chance for BB to evaluate the players getting more time than they otherwise would. It is also a great learning experience for those players. And what is more, it is a great way to build not just depth but to build on the "team" concept as preached by BB. It has not hurt them in terms of winning and it is helping in all these other ways. It would just be more advantageous for the playoffs to have those players back. And the question was of course whether those players would bring the run D up to snuff.

    But yes, this will be an advantage - having these players getting real meaningful playing time and evaluations - going in to next year... and going into the draft and free agency!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Quagmire3. Show Quagmire3's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    You spent way to much time creating a  moronic thread. What games are you watching? Its called gameplans, they vary from game to game. Go out and shovel or something and stop this nonsense.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brad34. Show Brad34's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal : Manning does change the dynamics of everything doesn't he? If they face him in the playoffs maybe the difference will be better control of time of possession in the fourth quarter and so not give him the opportunity to get quite so close. Or better yet, remeber the game where Law and Harrison played a game with him and picked him off something like 3 times. I think I am less afraid of playing Manning and this Colts team than a Raven rematch (even though I think the Pats win that one... it is just a tugher match up because the Ravens are just a better team than the Colts).
    Posted by portfolio1[/QUOTE]

    If Jughead does come to Foxboro in Week 2 of the playoffs lets hope it is snowing - he can't handle the cold and snow and we all know Brady thrives in it.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from BBReigns. Show BBReigns's posts

    Re: Young and Depleted Defensive Front Showing Achilles Heal

    What a stupid thread.

    First of all, it's "heel", not "heal".

    Second, if the D Line is a scrap heap line because of injuries, that's the context needed to explain why it doesn't look consistent.

    Duh.

    Lastly, anyone who has watched a healthy rotation around Wilfork, completely contain very good offenses and running games, knows that this Run D is legit and certainly better than last year's group on the edges.

    Outside of the 1st drive in Buffalo where they had 64 yards rushing, I thought Love adjusted well at NT, and the run D was very good.




     

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