Things for Saturday: Part IV.
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Pats D Vs Jets O-
The first thing the Pats D has to do is stop Fournette. "Fournette?
Just a big, strong, physical runner. A guy that really can get the ball
vertical into the defense quickly," Patricia said. "He has a
great combination of size and power and athleticism that makes him very
difficult to bring down. So I think his run game obviously fits the style
that they block in front of him. His ability to continually just be that
workhorse for the offense definitely just pops out on tape. The speed and
his ability to make big plays are a big problem.
you've got an easy play he can just get outside or get through the line of
scrimmage quickly and into the secondary, then he's very dangerous in
those situations. [Just a] really, really good player that has just been
very explosive for them and been able to kind of carry their
offense." He can single-handedly devastate a defense.
they have to stop the run first. "I think the run defense, there was
some good and some plays that I think that we've got to do better on so we
looked at those on the sidelines and tried to get those improved as we
went through the game," Patricia said. "That was kind of a focus
for us there [Titans last week]. It's a good run team. They do a really
good job up front like similar to what we'll have to face this weekend
too. But I think those guys really tried to come out and play aggressively
in the run game, tried to play physical and really make sure everybody was
disciplined with their assignments." It is even more important to
stop the run game this week.
are run first, then second, then run play action if they have to team.
"So I think that was something as the game went on that we got a
little bit better with. They had a couple big plays in the run game that
we've got to try to improve on [that]," Patricia said.
"Certainly early downs always relates to 3rd down. Obviously the
better you do on 1st and 2nd down then the better situation you hope to be
in on 3rd down. We kind of got to defend whatever those are though. There
was definitely some third and shorts in there that we had to try to stop
and then some third and long situations that you had to go out and defend.
I think for the most part on third down, like I said earlier, those guys
tried to really do a good job of executing the game plan." This is an
odd offense where it is more important to stop Fournette than it is to
their HC even said he would prefer to run on all three downs this week.
"For me, I like to run the ball every play," Marrone said.
"[Pass? I'd prefer] none. Zero. I want to go back to the old way. I
want to change the game." They obsessively run the ball early often,
and as much as they can.
key to beating the Jags is more stopping the run than any other team in
the NFL. "I think if you look at the NFL, it's probably a lower
number [passing] than what people think [leads to wins], and a higher
number running," Marone said." When you have that, you're
usually in control of the game and you're going to win the game in
general. That's a general statement." If you stop their run game? You
is not as effective without play action. "I think Blake Bortles does
a really good job of understanding the skill players that are around
him," Patricia said. "So it's going to start with the run game.
Their offensive line, we're talking about a really big, strong, consistent
offensive line. A group that does a great job of both the run game and the
play action game which obviously complement each other." You stop
their run game you win.
that is easier said than done. "I think they did exactly what they
wanted to do and what they've been able to do with giving the ball to
Fournette and allow him to get downhill and get those tough yards,"
Patricia said. "He's obviously a very dangerous player. So when he
does get out in space that ability to just make those big plays. You're
talking about a group that's basically led the league in rushing all year.
Very dangerous from that standpoint." So the LBs and Safeties have to
keep creeping forward.
is what the Jags want the defense to do. "Then what that allows them
to do is open up that space maybe behind the front line there for the play
action passes, and those big plays downfield," Patricia said.
"So they're certainly doing a great job of complementing the run game
with the play action game, the play action game with the run game."
That's the basis of their whole offense.
they'll even move Bortles out of the pocket and let him run. "They'll
move the quarterback quite a bit. They'll get him out of the pocket,"
Patricia said. "They'll run some boots, try to get him in space and
then be able to use his other skill players whether they're moving in the
horizontal direction across the field, the tight ends, big targets in that
situation also." Their WRs are good, but without Allen Robinson they
are not great.
have some young speedsters, but they cannot control a game like Fournette
can. "I think they did a great job of executing that game plan which
they've done here the last several weeks," Patricia said. "I
think, again, and with the ability of Bortles to sneak in a run or a
scramble situation, his athletic ability and his ability to run just makes
it a very dangerous group." Stop the run game, stop the game plan.
Pats-O Vs. Jags-D-
You really have to start with the linebackers. "It's as fast a group
as we'll play, no question. As I said before, I don't know what they don't
do well because they: run and tackle, they make plays behind the line of
scrimmage in the running game, they blitz well, they're very fast,"
McDaniels said. "So run and chase from behind? They can do that. They
play with great effort. They cover well. They're asked to cover a decent
chunk of the time. They're asked to cover well. Whether that's backs or
tight ends, and they do that. You saw Jack make an interception yesterday
on 3rd down and in man-type coverage on a tight end.
they make plays on the ball, they pressure, they tackle well, they run,
they hit, they give great effort, they blitz well, so this is a very, very
talented defense, period, and their linebacking corps obviously is
certainly one of the best we've played all season and definitely the
fastest." Their speed is like nothing I've ever seen.
also have as good as group of edgerushers we've seen since their Seattle
Super Bowl. "They're very well balanced and you don't see that a
lot," BB said. "You don't see that type of balance with good
pass rushers, but as you said, they have a lot of good ones and they do a
good job. They have good players that do a good job with their scheme, so
yeah, it's all good." They get after the QB like Atlanta did last
loved Ngakoue at Maryland, and I think he has looked positively Vic
Beasley like this season. "He has a great motor. He is a great,
really good edge rusher. He has a great get-off, a great first step. He
wins a lot early in the down with his get-off, but he has a tremendous
motor so even when he is blocked, he is still not really blocked because
he plays relentlessly," BB said about Ngakoue. "He plays with a
very aggressive and non-stop effort [like Beasley]. Seeing him making
plays 30, 40, 50 yards downfield sometimes chasing the ball so it is not
just rushing the passer. I know that is what shows up in the stats and it
is what everyone wants to talk about, but he makes plays, like I said, 30
or 40 yards downfield on a screen pass that maybe don't show up in the
stats but to me they are more impressive than some of the plays he makes
behind the line of scrimmage. He plays hard. He is quick. He is a smart
player. He diagnoses and is very instinctive. He sees things well. He has
a tremendous motor." I thought he was great last week in Pittsburgh.
good news is that Pitt's young tight end MacDonald devastated the Jags
defense, so can you imagine what Gronk will do. "Rob's played a lot
of football in the games he's been healthy and he certainly makes an
impact in a lot of different ways. We've tried to use him in the ways we
feel like we can be most productive with him, both as a run blocker, pass
protector, pass receiver," McDaniels said. "Sometimes that has
to evolve as the season goes on. People play us differently and sometimes
you get played a certain way where you need to change some things and
adjust and adapt. And Rob has always been a guy who can do that pretty
quickly on the fly. He studies the game hard. He knows the game plan and
his role in it. We try to do as much as we can to put him in a position to
help us win by being successful in his role. So he's done a nice job in
what we've asked him to do." They are going to need Gronk to catch 10
dimes for over a buck.
This is going to be a tough 1st Half. I think things start off slow for
both teams. The good news is that Bortles had the best game of his career
against Pitt. Players never have their two best games of their career in a
row. He will not be nearly as good tonight. That is huge factor for me on
why the Pats will win.
Fournette sprained his ankle again last week. "He brings everything
to the table," Branch said. "He's a powerful running back that
can run like a 4.4 forty probably or something. He's pretty fast and he
has a great ability to find the hole so he's a great running back to play
this game against, especially as a defensive line. We like stopping the
run and he's definitely going to bring that to the table for us to try
defend." He is the real key to their offense.
he is running well Bortles can kill you with play action. Look for Brown,
Branch, and Guy to get some heavy run stuffing minutes. When those three
guys are on the field it is very difficult to run on the Pats.
Jags have some WRs who can hurt you outside. "They're pretty good.
They're talented," Butler said. "They've got a couple older
guys. They've got some young guys too that can fly up and down the field.
We've battled against these guys in training camp so we're kind of
familiar with them but nothing else matters but Sunday. It's all about the
performance on Sunday." When Hurns and Allen Robinson are on the
field together they are impossible to cover, but Robinson is out.
don't think there will be a lot of scoring in the 1st Half. This game will
be won in the 2nd Half, when things get cold. The later this game goes on,
the colder it gets, and the more of an advantage it will be for the Pats.
The only question left is will Brady's finger allow him to dominate in the
2nd Half? From what I'm hearing he was spinning it in their last practice.
that was still just talk on 'EEI. "We'll be ready to go,"
Amendola said. "We had a great week of preparation in our room, and
you know, running well. We're going to continue to prepare well for the
rest of the week and be ready to go, but our room is going to be
ready." The key to this game will be whichever QB throws it the most
Pats will have to run up the middle to take pressure off Brady. "It's
always important. I think we just have to be balanced," Dion said.
"The run helps the pass and the pass helps the run. We'll [try to] be
as balanced as possible. The more success we have early the more we stick
with it so we just have to execute. It's a team effort." That might
mean more Burkhead or Gillislee (I haven't seen whose inactive yet).
saw this defense in preseason, which is important because they haven't
seen a defense like this all season. "A little bit different. I think
they definitely do some different things schematically coverage-wise,
front-wise," Brady said. "The players are a little bit
different. It is a very unique challenge. I think their front is great.
Their linebackers are very instinctive, very fast. Great cover guys in the
secondary. A ball-hawking defense. They strip it off of you. They sack
you. They scored eight or nine touchdowns on defense. They are a great
defense." It is speed-wise were this defense is truly different from
any other defense this season.
usually speed defenses are smaller defense and struggle to stop power runs
inside. That is why they traded for Darius. "They've got a whole
bunch of guys in the front four that are ridiculous," Dion said.
"Their linebackers are fast. And they've got Dareus that rotates in
as well. It's definitely going to be a challenge/ But I think we're up for
it. We've still got the next 48 hours or so to keep preparing and get
ready for that." Pitt was not able to run effectively on them.
Jags will try to get Fournette or Yeldon going to take pressure off of
Bortles. Whoever gets the run going first is going to take a lot of
pressure off the QB. But Brady can win without a run game, and Bortles has
yet to prove he can do that.
biggest factor to me is that the Jags vaunted defense couldn't slow down
Pitts average TE MacDonald all game long. "That is a big challenge.
They have very talented players on both sides of the ball," Gronk
said. "Especially on defense, they have many, many great players. It
is going to be a big challenge. It is the best team we are facing all year
coming up in the AFC Championship Game this weekend. We have to be ready.
We have to be prepared. It is going to be a big, tough challenge, for
sure." Gronk is going to lead this team to a win in the 2nd Half.
A Citizen! Not a Subject!
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