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2017 Season Blog.

Defending

Super Bowl Champs.

Pats Vs Chargers: Part II. 

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

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2nd Quarter.

By TOM

1st and 10, the Chargers, after Slater and Brandon King bring the returner down short of the 20. They lined up in a Weak Formation. The Pats matched up in a 4-2 with Richards in the box. They ran play action. Rivers had a ton of time. He threw to the corner. Bademosi tracked that ball like a WR, and was about to bring it in when Allen tackled him smartly for an Offensive pass interference call.

1st and 17, the Chargers lined up in a Bunched-up Singleback. The Pats matched up in 2-4 Nickel, with a Chung in the box. They ran Gordon on a Dive. He weaved forward for nine, until Roberts and Van Noy brought him down with help from McCourty.

2nd and 8, the Chargers lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. They ran. Marsh doesn't set the edge, and the RB got outside. McCourty and Van Noy finally knocked him off his feet.

3rd and 2, the Chargers lined up in a Bunched-up Wildcat. Bademosi paid a little attention to Rivers outside this time. The Pats matched up in a  3-3 Nickel with three DBs in the box. They ran Oliver off tackle. Roberts bolted from the Mike, and grabbed his foot and twisted to slow him down.

Which allowed Chung and Harmon to cut him off from the magic yellow line. "For us it's the same. It always comes down to 3rd down," McCourty said. "I don't think they had any trips in the red area but third down in the red area is huge for us when we talk about points. You win the game if you don't give up points. We played well on third down and got them off the field and got our offense back on the field. Usually for us on the season when we've played well on third down we've been able to keep points off the board." Great play by Roberts, Chung, and Harmon to force the punt.

The Pats drove down field, and crossed midfield nicely, but were forced to punt. "Special teams played great, no question about it," Amendola said. "The kickoff team played great, and they gave us good field position for the most part. I felt like we could still play better. We're all happy we got the win, and we have some time off now, but we'll just be going back to work." They set up at their own 35.

Allen unleashed an incredible punt that went 55-yards in the air. "I'd say like special teams is a good example right there. We have several of our offensive and defensive players involved in the kicking game, some that aren't but some that are," BB said. "Dion as an example on the kickoff return. Marsh, Guy on the field goal blocks the last two weeks, Amendola returning kicks, McCourty, Chung, those guys. It's their offense or their defense and the special teams that they play an important role on those situations, as well.

"I'd say that's another good example of it, just everybody doing what they're needing to do, whatever it takes. Hogan last week gave us some plays in those areas. Guys just stepping up and doing whatever it is it takes then to be successful and putting the time and work in." Special teams was the biggest difference between the two teams in this game.

Benjamin fumbled it at his own 10. "It was a great punt by Ryan, number one. He gave us a great ball, a tough ball to handle. It was loose. Benjamin ran it into the end zone, so by rule once you run it in you've got to run it out," BB said. "It wasn't the momentum of the ball that took it in there. Once he reversed his field, which Benjamin does a good job of that. He's an excellent field returner whether he reverses field, or whether they run a field return. So cutting off the field and not letting him get back all the way over to the other side was key.

"It looked like Jonathan Jones and Brandon, I think it was Jon Jones cut it off between the two of them. He's a very, obviously, a very good punt returner, a very explosive guy. We saw that in Cleveland. We saw it last week in the Denver game, but it was a great punt. Anytime you have a great punt those are a lot easier to cover than the ones that are hard to cover. Ryan gave us a good ball, good team execution, good tackles." But he scooped it up and tried to wide angle it back around to the middle of the field.

He ran into the Endzone and saw Jonathan Jones charging, but he didn't see King stumbling and diving into his feet a foot inside the endzone. Then Jones hit him high to knocked him straight back for the Safety. "It was good coverage," Jones said. "The whole unit was down there. We were able to rally around him [Benjamin]. He ran back into the end zone, we were able to rally around him and make the play in the end zone." That was a great special team play by Allen, King, and Jones. Pats-9. Chargers-7.

The Chargers lined up to free kick the ball back to the Pats, looking completely shocked. "Our special teams units covered well, returned well, had a blocked field goal," BB said. "We made our share of plays in that phase of the game. That was really helpful. Again, those guys worked really hard. Joe [Judge] and Bubba [Ray Ventrone] do a great job and those players put a lot into it. No one guy can cover kicks against Benjamin. Nobody can block everybody for the returns. You've got to have it all. Everybody doing their job in those situations and I thought we had some well-executed plays there." Amendola returned it almost to midfield.

The Pats lined up in a Singleback looking to put the nail in the coffin. Brady ran play action to Burkhead, turned back to the defense, and dumped the ball off to Burkhead. "That just kind of happened. We've got backs that can do multiple things," Burkhead said. "Tom did a great job checking it down to us when we were open. Whether that was in the zone or man coverage, we were just doing our best to get open. It ended up kind of being that type of game." He was able to cross midfield for the first.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in an I. Burkhead motioned out of it. Brady threw to Cooks short in the flat. He turned up field into three DBs for a beating. 2nd and 1, the Pats lined up in a Singleback. They ran the ol' flee flicker. Cooks was double teamed down the middle, and the Free Safety flicked it away. 3rd and 1, three-TE Singleback. They Ran Gillislee on a dive. He doesn't reach the LOS. 

The Pats go for it on 4th and 1. They lined up in a two TE I. They ran Gillislee on a Smash and Develin destroyed the Mike. "They did a great job. They do a great job every week, and they set the tempo for the game," Burkhead said about the O-line. "When we get going in the run game, and Tom's able to hang back there, and throw some passes. That really gives us some momentum going forward." Gillislee cut inside the block for an easy First and more.

1st and 10 at the 28, 3-Wide Weak Shotgun. They ran Burkhead again. He has trouble in the backfield, but used his good feet to get back to the line. "Just being patient. You never know when your opportunity or your number is going to be called, so you sit there, wait for it and you keep your mind in the game," Burkhead said. "It's a team game, so I'm still doing whatever I can, whether that's on special teams or looking out from the sideline, if I see something, letting a guy know what I see. So, just whenever that opportunity comes, being ready for it." 

2nd and 9. Pats in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady got pressure, and grabbed as he threw it to Burkhead underneath. He ran for the First. 1st and 10 from the 14, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. They are running the clock out of the 1st Half. They ran Burkhead on a Smash for a few.

2nd and 8, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Singleback. Brady threw short to Cooks over the middle, and he got concussed for 7. 3rd and 2 at the 7, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Brady can't find anyone. So he did a little dance, made a little love, and threw the ball away tonight. Gostkowski hit the FG. "It picked up here and there, it was kind of gusty," Gostkowski said about the wind. "It wasn't terribly bad, but you got to be able to deal with it a little better." Pats-12. Chargers-7.

The Chargers were forced to punt at midfield after the Pats D stuffed them. So the Pats got the ball back at the 2-minute warning at the 9. Brady just took them methodically down field to kick the field goal, and put the Pats up 15 at half time. Brady is just so clutch that a drive as brilliant as that seemed a little disappointing because they didn't get a touchdown.

The Chargers looked absolutely shell shocked at the calm, clutch, and controlled drive that made the Chargers look like buffoons. "We're going to need to play well on all three phases, absolutely. I think good football teams play well in all three," Brady said. "You know, our special teams has been really solid. Defensively, they're working hard to improve. Offensively, it hasn't been horrible. It just hasn't been up to what we're capable of doing. I think we come in every week and we say, 'We missed this opportunity, we missed this opportunity.' It's not one play, it's not one player, it's just all of us collectively trying harder, doing better and making the plays happen when we need to make it happen. Hopefully, our best games are still ahead of us. You know, that's what our goal is." Gostkowski hit a 36-yard FG.

The brilliant throw to James white to get them in field goal range set up the infamous double half time score that BB loves so much, and he set up by deferring the kickoff to start the game. If the Pats score to start the 3rd, this game is over.

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