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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 just can't overcome the Pats scoring touchdowns. Jonathan Jones
destroyed the return on the kickoff. This essentially ended the 1st
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