2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Pitt.

1st Quarter.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Hogan's Heroes!


The Pats started out looking to score and score fast, which meant passing their way down the field to the WRs. "I think you have to give a lot of kudos to Chad O'Shea, our receivers coach. The patience, the dedication that he's shown to our group, he's given a lot of himself over the last eight years," Slater said. "Then Coach McDaniels obviously puts us in great positions to have success. But you look at our group, you look at the guys that were out there tonight, Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, a lot of teams didn't want those guys. A lot of people would say, 'well, that group of guys can't get it done." They were going to prove they could get it done.

The Pats WRs were the clear difference in this game. "But I think the one thing that I've learned from being around those guys is, there's no way to measure heart. There's no way to measure toughness, competitiveness." Slater said. "I'll take those four guys over anyone in the National Football League because they have toughness. They have heart. They compete. Look at Chris Hogan's story: a lacrosse player in college, played one year of football, and he has 180 yards receiving in the AFC Championship game. That tells you a lot about the character of that young man. And Julian, we all know his story: 7th round pick. Danny: undrafted. Malcolm: a 4th round pick. So a lot of teams pass on these guys. But again, one thing that the Draft, the Combine, things like that can't measure is heart and we've got a lot in that room." They showed their heart in this game, that's for sure.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. Edelman went in motion to show that the Steelers were in a Zone, as no DB followed him across the LOS. Brady had time as Pitt sent three.

Brady finally found Bennett going over the middle like he was Gronk. "I think Tom did pretty well. He did okay," Bennett said and laughed. "Tom did what Tom does. He's fired up and laser-focused. All the guys just came through for him to make plays when we had the opportunities." Bennett was about his fourth option on that play.

1st and 10, Empty. Brady had a ton of room in the pocket. He threw to Edelman dragging over the middle six yards down field. "They did what they did. We were just able to execute today," Edelman said. "They're a tough team. We just made plays and have respect for their franchise. They fought hard, but today was just our day." Then he broke two tackles and ran past four other defenders for 35-more yards to the Pitt 22.

1st and 10, Empty, The Pats flashed up to the line to try and catch Pitt off balance, but the D lined up quickly. The O-line didn't let anyone near Brady again. Brady hit the rookie Malcom Mitchell short on an out in the Flat.

2nd and 5 from the 17, Pats rushed up Empty again. If the Pats score a TD here this game is over, like I said in the preview I didn't think Pitt was going to score TDs on this defense. Brady hit Amendola short over the middle. He was able to dive forward, but couldn't get the 1st.

3rd and 1, they flashed up to the line Empty again. "Whatever it was that Josh saw that made him do it (go into the fastbreak offense), obviously you're going to trust in what he says and what he does," Blount said. "He's the offensive coordinator, and he doesn't make too many mistakes. Usually if he says something, most of the time he's right. That's what he wanted to do and it worked." Brady threw it right into Mitchell's hands and he dropped it force the field goal. Pats-3. Pitt-Zip.

1st and 10, Pitt lined up in a twins-twins Singleback. Pats matched up in a 3-4 Nickel with a Chung in the box. They ran up the gut. Bell can't dance and tried to slash past Brown. Brown grabbed him from the side, and Ninkovich and Ryan helped take him down.

2nd and 7, Pitt in 3-Wide Weak Shotgun with a Stack-left. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with five guys on the line. They gave the ball to Bell heading to the right. Bell was dragged down by Roberts, and McCourty got a little shot in just for fun.

3rd and 1, 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Pats matched up with nine guys on the line. Rogers went in motion to the left to show Ben that they were in Man. Ben Checked, and then he went deep to Coates. Rowe had him shut down to force the punt.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a Strong formation. Blount had to change direction three times, as the O-line got beat by four guys. He still couldn't reach the LOS. 2nd and 10, 4-Wide I. Brady threw a miscommunication pass to Mitchell. Brady threw the quick out, and Mitchell headed upfield. 3rd and 11, 4-Wide Weak Shotgun. Hargrave beat Thuney like a drum and sacked Brady. They were teammates at NC State. Pats were forced to punt.

1st and 10, Pitt lined up in a double stacked Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel like they were daring them to run. They ran Bell up the middle. He stopped a yard deep in the backfield and peeked behind the line. Then suddenly burst forward for Five. Roberts slammed into him first, and Chung and Sheard helped bring him down.

2nd and 6, Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. Ben tried to throw a quick screen to Brown, and whipped a wacky Osweiler-like pass into the turf. He had some real erratic throws against KC, and a few this week as well.

3rd and 4, Empty. The Pats matched up in a 3-2 Dime with all five guys on the line. Long got within a foot of Ben, but the ORT somehow kept his hands off of him. Flowers broke free at Big Ben as well, but the ORT and Long got in his way.

Ben finally threw at James down the numbers. "It was huge. We talked about it all week. Not just being Bell and Brown, but also Ben being able to get the ball deep down field, being able to hold the ball, drawing the defense one way and throwing another, so that was huge for us," McCourty said when asked about their Big Three. "It was an awareness of knowing who was in the game, knowing the fast guys, knowing the scouting report of their offense, and all 11 guys were in tune. There were times where we had six guys calling out what we thought the type of play was going to be and that's what you need. Once you get in these games, you need everyone zoned in and everyone knowing their keys, knowing what that offense wants to do and that's what we got tonight." They really had to use all three of their big three to get one first.

1st and 10 Pitt, in a Singleback. The Pats matched up with an aggressive 3-4 with both Safeties up in a Bruschi. The 5-4 vs. the Big Singleback. Ben dropped and he threw it to the big WR Ayers. Ryan cut him down instantly.

2nd and 9 Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun, Stack right run 1 for 1 vs KC. Pats matched up in a 4-2 Nickel. They ran Bell to the right. Sheard beat the ORT and sent Bell inside. He didn't make it past Flowers, Brown, and Branch.

3rd and 6, Pitt lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun Bunch-Right 1 for 1 pass against KC. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 Nickel with all six guys on the line. They sent three, and stunted. Ben had to throw fast outside to Brown.

Butler jumped in front of him to intercept the ball. "You got to go out there and match his intensity," Butler said about Brown. "He's going to come out there ready to play and leave everything on the line. You just got to go out there and compete every play and just play without thinking." Brown had to knock it out of Butler's hands to force the Punt

1st and 10, Pats in a 3-Wide Singleback. They ran play action, and formed a screen to the right. But Pitt is all over it. Dion danced for a little, but can't break free.

2nd and 7, the Pats rushed back up to the line, into a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. They quick snapped before Pitt was ready. Brady hit Edelman on a short out. He snuck past an LB, and ducked out of bounds under the safety short of the marker.

3rd and 1, Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. They ran a Dive. "They played good. I thought their linebackers played great," Brady said about the Pitt D. "It's a tough run-stopping defense. It always has been over the years, and I don't think we were as productive as we wanted to be in the run game. It was a little bit of a slug fest there at the line of scrimmage. They've got a lot of big tough guys so to go fast and try to keep them off balance was good. It worked a little bit. I still wish we had made a few more plays out there tonight, but we'll watch the film and try to figure it out for next game." Lewis got hit at the line, but he kept fighting forward. He just squeaked through a crack for the first.

1st and 10, the Pats fastbreak into 3-Wide Singleback. Brady quick snapped it again. He handed the ball to Dion. He burst right up the middle in a straight line for about five yards, and spun back for a few more.

2nd and 2, the Pats fastbreak into 3-Wide Weak Shotgun. Brady handed it to Dion. He tried to run behind Thuney pulling to the right, but a blitzer sent him inside. He got tripped by the blitzing Burns. He can't get the 1st.

3rd and 1, Pats in a 4-Wide Singleback. Brady turned and threw outside off the one step. He threw to Hogan in a little slip screen. Amendola and Edelman had good blocks. Hogan ran for the first.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in an I formation. They checked Empty, and confused the defense just a little. Brady had time. He hit Hogan going down the Seam. He double clutched as he caught hit, and tripped over the Pitt-35 to the 31. I told you in my breakdown of the Pitt-KC game that the Pitt defense left the middle of the field open to passes all game.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Strong. Brady fired in rhythm to Hogan, who just turned In a foot past the marker. "He had a great week of practice," Edelman said about Hogan. "He's been playing well all year. All those things kind of collided and he had that day. It was an unbelievable day for him. Anytime you've got guys making those plays, it's going to be great for the offense. He deserves it. He's been working his tail off." He caught it for another First, and his third straight catch.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in an I. They ran Blount on a Smash left, and he cut upfield to hurt the defense a little more. 2nd and 6, Pats lined up in a 3-Wide I. They ran Blount again.

But Shazier wasn't fooled. "I don't know about as far as defensively, but offensively, we've just got to pay attention to details, stick to the script," Blount said. "Stick to the game plan, play disciplined football and make sure that we don't make mistakes to hurt ourselves. And we have a really high percentage chance of winning if we don't turn the ball over." Hargrave and Harrison got in on the tackle as well.

3rd and 5 at the 16, the Pats lined up 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady had a ton of time. He hopped around the pocket looking and searching for someone to help him.

Then he finally spotted Hogan uncovered in the endzone. "Chris is a very gifted athlete. He does a lot of things well and can't speak enough to his toughness, his physical and mental toughness," Slater said. "I think, here's a guy who's pretty much willed himself into being a great NFL receiver after having not played a tremendous amount of college football. I can't speak to how tough the transition may have been but I would imagine it wasn't an easy one." Then Brady finally threw it to him for as easy a looking TD as you will ever see.

It was so smooth. "I moved a little bit to the left because they were pressuring up the middle and the pocket kind of collapsed, so I kind of slid to the left and I had good vision," Brady said. "They kind of bit down on Julian [Edelman] pretty hard and then Hogs [Hogan] just was standing there in the back of the end zone and I saw him, and then I just wanted to kind of confirm that no one was too close to him, and I just tried to put it on him." Pats-10. Pitt-Zip.

Game-Set-Match. Pitt just can't overcome the Pats scoring touchdowns. Jonathan Jones destroyed the return on the kickoff. This essentially ended the 1st Quarter.

Be A Citizen! Not a Subject! 

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