At the end of Sundays game against the Vikings, you had to ask yourself where was this D last week against the Dolphins? The Pats wreaked havoc on the field Sunday against a Peterson-less Vikings squad that just didn’t know which way to turn because, quite frankly any way they turned, Chandler Jones was there. But we aren’t here to pat Bill’s crew on the back for last week; we are here to break down what they need to do this week against the Raiders. So lets get into it.
Limit the Laundry: I can’t believe this key is first on my ring this week but its something that has to be fixed. There are far to many camera shots of refs during Patriots games. And far to often, those refs are pointing fingers at whatever side of the ball the Pats are on. New England is FIRST in the league in yards panelized (263) and second in penalties (24). They would easily be first if Refs could march off multiple penalties, but the opposition can still, thank God, only accept one at a time. Yes, I’m looking at you Nate Solder…knock it off…most of these calls are moronic personal foul calls or even dumber mental errors in jumping off sides or moving too soon. Yes, I’m still looking at you Nate…
Fist down Patriots: I didn’t hear enough of this last week. Five rushing, nine passing and a third down efficiency rate of 35 %…the team that lost Sunday was 36% on third down -get my drift?
Run Ridley, Run: Steven Ridley reminded everyone Sunday what kind of talent he is. The line opened up holes for Steve and he got into the second level and made things happen. Ridley touched the ball early and often his 101 yards and a Score was 32 % of the Pats total offence. This week he gets a chance to build on that against one of the worst rushing D’s I’ve ever seen.
Time to Split Shane: Alan Ladd (Shane) knew when it was time to go. Vereen can’t call his own number or plays. We have to let Tom and Josh McDaniels (God Help Us) handle that, but the Pats need more balance to this attack. I think this week they can do that by utilizing Vereen more in the passing game. Shane had one catch last week. If Tom isn’t going to look at Amendola and Dobson, lets use Vereen in the way Hernandez was – and leave the Raiders yelling “Come Back Shane, Shane come back”.
Win The Turn over Battle: Worked last week didn’t it?
Don’t Settle: The Pats got into the end zone three times last week. One of those scores was Chandler Jones blocked FG and mad dash. Another was Ridley going in from the one after D-Mac ran an INT back 60 yards. The Pats managed just two field goals after the half. That’s not going to get it done every week. That’s the mark of an 8-8 team.
Utilize the whole field: yes I’m getting on Tom Brady’s case. Its my job, its what I do. In the first two weeks, Brady locked in on his primary target and refused to look anyplace else. Wide open receivers in both the Vikings and Dolphins games were not seen because Brady had to get the ball to his trusted first options – Edelman and Gronk. What did this get the team? One scoring drive over 60 yards in two games. Brady needs to get back to hitting the open man and don’t be fooled, they are out there.
Paging Dr’s Dobson & Thompkins
The D: Excuse me while I rub some Icy-Hot on my shoulder. I’ve been blatantly patting myself on the back since 5 pm Sunday and it’s killing me.
Keep it up, but Mix it up: While the Pats weren’t exclusively in the 4-3 I called for them to use, they were in it a lot – and shock, it worked. Chandler Jones looked like an All Pro as he was all over the field. The DB’s were trusted to make plays – and they did. The Raiders are going with Rookie QB David Carr and the Pats need to confuse this kid with different looks and bring pressure again from all over the field. Force Carr into bad decisions.
Stuff & Wrap: We all saw week one what can happen when holes are opened up and even bad running backs get to the second level. The Raiders line isn’t great, but I didn’t think the Miami line was either. The fat men need to plug those holes up and the GQ cover models at LB need to stop anyone that squeezes through or try’s to sweep around.
Win the turn Over Battle: I’m superstitious I said it twice last week so here we are.
That’s it Folks, simple and to the point. Asking for solid football from a team with this variety of talent isn’t a lot to ask …Is it?
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