2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Pitt.

2nd Quarter.


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Hogan's Heroes: Part II.


1st and 10 Pitt, they lined up in a Strong formation. The Pats matched up in a 3-4. Ben dropped. Hightower blitzed up the gut, and just got tripped up before he hit Ben. Ben panicked out of the pocket and threw it into the dirt at the FB's feet.

2nd and 10, Pitt lined up in a Strong formation. The Pats matched up in a 4-3, with a Chung in the Box. The Pats are all in on stopping Bell. Pitt ran. The Pats front-seven was all over it. Sheard, Hightower, Branch, Ninkovich, and Brown swallowed him up for nothing.

Bell left the field apparently injured. "We have a lot of experienced coaches so they just let us know that there's a different styled back that's in the game," Flowers said about Bell taking himself out of the game. "We had to adjust accordingly so he just reiterated to us that there's a more downhill runner so you have to play a little more aggressively and get off the block." Williams came in.

This allowed the Pats to get a little more aggressive in the rush. "It can make you more aggressive getting off the block and things like that," Flowers said. "We dealt with a downhill runner, a guy that's going to see the hole and hit the hole and not really wait for you to make a decision. You're just allowed to play a little more aggressive and more physical through the gap. We just had to do the switch up during the game." This was the second turning point in the game that Pitt just couldn't overcome.

It changed everything for the Pats defense who was clearly keying on stopping Bell first, because now Bell was stopped. "It wasn't a huge difference," Branch said. "[Williams] is a little bit more downhill, but he's just as great of a running back. His whole career has been awesome so we knew we would have a long day if we didn't stay on our P's and Q's. The game plan pretty much stayed the same. Just build a wall and not give him anywhere to run." Now the Pats front seven could concentrate more on hitting Rapistburger.

3rd and 10, Pitt in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. Ben threw to Rogers over the middle. He turned up field for Pitt's biggest play of the game so far.

1st and 10, Pitt in a Singleback. The Pats matched up with six guys on the line, Roberts was in at the Mike. They ran for very little. Williams was stuffed by Flowers. Butler and Robert both got in great hits as well.

2nd and 9, Pitt in a 3-Wide Weak Shotgun. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with six guys on the line. Bell being out really did make the Pats a lot more aggressive. Pitt checked. Pats get a good rush up the middle again, but can't reach Ben. He threw to Rogers flying outside. Ryan shoved him out of bounds.

1st and 10, Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with a Chung in the box. Ben dumped it off to Williams. Ninkovich took him down.

2nd and 4, Pitt in a 3-Wide Weak Shotgun. They ran Williams right up the gut, and he had a great run. It was a draw, and the Pats D-line was to far up field. He slashed through the line with very un-Bell-like aggressiveness. Chung just missed him at the marker, and he burst into the secondary. McCourty just tipped his leg, as Rowe tackled him from behind.

1st and 10, Pitt lined up in a 4-Wide weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3, with Roberts in at the Mike. Ben Dropped. Brown threw the OLT to the ground, and charged Ben. Ben threw it quick to Brown dragging short over the middle. He was able to turn up field for the 1st.

1st and 10, Pitt lined up Empty. Pats in a 3-3 Nickel they sent five, and can't hit Roethlisberger. He threw to Roger in the slot. 2nd and 2, Pitt lined up in a bunched up Singleback. Pats in a 3-3 Nickel. They ran Williams and he cut left for a First. Brown brought him down. And Flowers is down on the ground with a boo-boo. But unlike Bell he came back in later in the game.

1st and 10 at the 14, Pitt in a 4-Wide Weak Shotgun. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. Ben had time. As the pocket was pushed back into him, he dumped it off to Williams. He got taken down fast. Butler hit him behind the line, but couldn't bring him down. Hightower swooped in and took him down.

2nd and 7 at the 11, Pitt lined up 3-Wide Singleback. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with five guys on the line. The Pats continue to rush right up the middle. Ben finally dumped it off to the TE. Ryan jumped on his back, and took him down just short of the marker.

3rd and 1 just inside the five, Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. They ran for a TD. But they missed the extra point. This was a huge turning point in the game. The Pats D just doesn't give up TDs. When you score a TD you have to turn it into Seven. Missing the extra point gave the Pitt O two field goals instead of a TD. If you cannot score TDs, and get the Sevens on the board against the Pats-D, you cannot beat them (That will be the key to the Falcons losing the Super Bowl:). Pats-10. Pitt-6.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a Singleback. Brady hit Bennett on a little screen. "I can't really answer that question. I just know that here, you have these goals all the time, individually. But here it was never really individual goals that I set. From the moment I met my teammates, it was all about us and what can we do to get where we're trying to go," Bennett said. "Everyone here believes. There wasn't a non-believer in this room at any time about going to the Super Bowl or what our goal was from the moment I got here in March or April. That rubs off on you. Iron sharpens iron and attitude is contagious. A winning attitude is contagious. I definitely got affected since I've been here. I've got the winning disease right now and I'm enjoying this one. I don't need the antidote." He made a guys miss with some quickness, and almost ran for a First.

2nd and 1, Pats lined up in an I. They ran Blount on a Dive. "Just the tradition of winning," Blount said about he is happy to be here. "Tradition of winning and having the opportunity to get to this position every single year. We always give ourselves a chance to get to this position every single year, but we've just got to stay consistent with it and we've got to finish it off." He stumbled forward for a First.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a bunched up Singleback. Brady ran two fakes, and then threw to Hogan's wrong shoulder 20-yards downfield. He can't pull it in. 2nd and 10, 3-Wide Weak shotgun, and Brady had to dump the ball in the dirt. He was hit and then had to throw it down.

3rd and 10, Empty. Brady had time and threw to Edelman on a rope for a long First. "That and the combination of playing against a good football team," Edelman said. "We had to make adjustments and keep on playing and find something, and we were able to do that." He caught it right over the middle, and was crushed by two guys.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a Singleback. Brady threw a quick screen to Hogan. "He played tremendous," Ryan said. "He plays with such a high effort that he makes every corner expend a lot of energy on every play, and every corner he's gone against I feel like he's done well. That's something I've noticed from practice, and he also plays with so much passion. When you cover a guy you have to match that passion and if you don't he'll make you look bad." He fought forward for a few.

2nd and 6, Singleback. They try to run Blount off tackle, but he got taken out by Tuitt. The Pitt D-line was chewing up the Pats O-line.

3rd and 8, 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Pitt got some pressure from the edge. Brady stepped up in the pocket. He threw it to Hogan. "Just his hard work. It helps that he played high school football in New Jersey like me, so that's always a big help," McCourty said. "You know, I got to train with him in March. And as soon as I started training with him, I knew this guy was going to be a great receiver for us. He's going to really produce and that's what he's done. He works hard at everything: running routes in the offseason, lifting hard. It's been great just to be around him and learn from him and his work ethic is unbelievable. So I'm extremely happy for him." He was completely uncovered stranding at the marker on the 48. He turned, and ran to the 34.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. Brady handed the ball off to Dion, but he flicked it back to Brady. "Oh, the flea flicker. How could I forget that? It was just a great call. They were a little winded I thought. Got the pitch back from D-Lew, and I saw Hogs burning up the field and just laid it out there for him. It was a great play," Brady said, and then continued. "If it's in the plan, we practice it, some weeks more than others. We ran one earlier in the year, against, I think it was Baltimore, and it worked. I hit Hogan on that one too on a crossing route. Those were well-executed plays. It's nice when you can take advantage of some of those plays, nice to gain some chunks that way when you kind of get some misdirection or double pass, flea flicker, something like that. It's a big spark for the team. It was a great effort by our team and a great win " It was a Flea flicker that stunned the Pitt defense.

Hogan was in the slot. He slowed to a trot as he pretended to block the slot corner. "He's been incredible. I mean, to lead the league in average yards per catch is spectacular. He's made big plays for us all season, he made big plays in the biggest game of the year for us," Brady said about Hogan. "Julian, Malcolm, Danny, what they've done. And Mike Floyd, what he's done in a short period of time. And Marty and Matt Lengel. What Gronk contributed this year. What the guys up front did, D-Lew and LeGarrette and James White and Dev, it's been really spectacular. We should enjoy this. You never know if you'll get these opportunities in life and fortunately this team has got the opportunity and now we've got to do something, go try to take advantage." Then he took off across the field.

Brady was able to stand in the pocket for a second, and let Hogan cross. Then he threw him a perfect floater to the Three. Hogan skipped untouched into the Endzone. "I mean, the time is whenever you think that time is, and that can change from obviously week to week, or by your personnel depending on what the play is and so forth. I mean look, it's not the kind of play you can run three or four times a game, so you know, you pick your spots on it," BB said about the flea-flicker. "Part of those plays are the timing of when they're called. Any play can be a bad play if it's called at the wrong time, and a lot of plays can be good plays if they're called at the right time. So some of it is timing.

"Obviously a lot of it is execution, which had some difficult ball handling there and timing and getting a certain sell to the defense, and then being able to take advantage of that and so forth. It's not an easy play to execute but it was very well done. That's an important key to it. Again, drawing a play up on paper is one thing. Being able to go out and execute it at a high level against a good defense is a whole other story, too. Give the players credit for their execution and it was a great play call by Josh" Pats-17. Pitt-7.

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