PatsDraft.Com

2016 Season Blog.

The ALT Vs Packers.

1st Quarter Part I.

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

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Opening Drive.

By TOM

1st and 10, Atlanta lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback, and motioned into a Twins TE right Singleback. They start off running a toss to the Twin-TE side. Which should not be a surprise. Shanahan loves to run the ball.

He has been the top proponent of Zone blocking runs. "They're tough. It's hard in this league when you let these guys, if they get in the open field and you've got to have one or two guys just try to bring them down in a one-on-one situation. It's tough," McCourty said. "Freeman is very elusive. So is Coleman. Those are guys that it's not even just breaking runs, it's when they split out and they run a route that a receiver runs and he catches the ball.

"Now, you've got to try and tackle him, so they're both very elusive and tough in space, so it's going to be tough. If I'm in the deep middle I'm not going to be two yards [back from the LOS], but even trying to get on that 10 yards is going to be tough. It's something that we talk about a lot in the secondary of trying to be a good secondary tackling team, trying to get all four or five of us that's on the field, if a run breaks through getting as many guys to the runner and trying to get him down."

The whole O-line ran to the right and blocked, including the TE. "They're very explosive, have tremendous playmakers on offense, very fast, and playmakers on defense, turn the ball over, create a lot of negative plays," BB said. "They're just a solid team that's had a great year. They've kind of been on top there wire to wire. They're an impressive team to watch. We've got a lot of work to do. We've got a lot of things that we need to understand and how to play Atlanta, how to play them well. Things that we're going to need to do well in this game are different from any game that we've played here in a little while. We've just played opponents that have a little bit different style of play. These guys have a very good style. It's been a very successful style. We have a lot to get ready for, a lot of work to do, but it's good to be working this time of year. We're excited, ready to go and we'll dig into it here, get on the field today and start making some progress." The Pats have to stop the Zone runs first.

2nd and 6, Falcons lined up in a Singleback with the H-back moving around a little. They passed, which made sense. They used the H-back motion to see if the defense shifted, which meant they were in Man. They didn't. So Ryan just zipped the ball to the H-back, Austin Hooper dragging outside as the DBs dropped back into their zone. He powered through the Safety for a First, like Martellus Bennett.

1st and 10, they lined up in a Singleback Bunch-Right. Ryan dropped. One TE and the RB stayed in to block. Ryan had to step up, and threw to the WR Gabriel who had no DBs within 10-yards of him. He dropped it. He has some very nice speed, but will get the dropsies.

One of the things that worried me was that I though the NFC was better than the AFC this year, which would give the Falcons a level of competition advantage in this game. But I don't agree with myself anymore.

The NFC clearly had better QBs, which is too often the measuring stick. Of the four or five QBs who had legit shots at the MVP, only Brady was from the AFC. In fact, if you look at QB rating Matty Ice and Brady were one and two, then four NFC QBs followed: Prescott, Rodgers, Brees, and Cousins. So the offenses in the NFC were clearly better.

However, I do not think that the defenses were better in the NFC. In fact, after watching every game of the Playoffs so far, I can say unequivocally that the defense were better in the AFC. Rogers destroyed the Dallas defense. Ryan has destroys ever defense he faced in the Playoffs.

The Green Bay defense was terrible. They had allowed 31 points per game on their last seven road games. On the first drive, their DBs allowed receivers to be open by 10-yards twice. Plus their two best passrushers were nowhere to be found, as one was injured and the was other showing his age. This led to one of the worst defenses I have seen in an NFL Champ Game.

The coverage on that last play was terrible. The WR just ran about 16-yards down field and turned Out. The CB looked like he had never seen that pattern before. "I think it's part of the program and the way things are ran here. A lot of people talk about the 'Patriot Way'. There's not a straight definition of it, but here you know that we're going to work every day," Hightower said. "Whether it's just coming in for run groups, it's expected to get better. Around here you're either getting better or you're getting worse. That's kind of the mantra that's kind of bestowed around here. Also, a lot of the players that you just said are guys who work hard, who already have that in them. They already have that dog in them, maybe it's just not the right way that they're doing it. I feel like Bill [Belichick] does a great job of that, of getting the right stuff out of guys and saying the right things to get them to work hard." He will not get that wide open against the Pats unless the CB falls down.

2nd and 10, the Falcons lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun, with stacks on both sides. Jones just curled over the middle in front of two LBs, and they didn't react at all. Ryan threw it to him, and the LBs tackled him right away.

3rd and 6, the Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun Stack-L. Ryan threw a beautiful low pass to Jones in the turf. Jones scooped it off the ground short of the marker. The refs gave him the First with a bad spot of the ball.

The difference between Ryan this season and past seasons is that Matty Ice was the best QB on 3rd downs in the NFL. "Just making plays everywhere," Harmon said. "I mean, you've got Julio Jones, arguably the best receiver in the game. He can run. He can catch the ball. He's fast. He can jump. He does everything that you want a receiver to do. And then you've got Mohamed Sanu continuing to make big catches. I mean, this whole postseason he's made touchdowns and he's making great catches. You've got Gabriel. He's fast. Coleman, Devonta, those guys running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield." He has some series weapons to help him.

Which is a big reason why this has been Matty Ice's best season of his career. "Matt Ryan getting the ball out quick finding his receivers," Harmon said. "So this whole group is a dynamic group from the top to the bottom. We're going to need all 11 guys to come ready to play, be locked in each and every play, doing our assignment and just playing hard each and every play. It's going to take every play. We've got to focus on every play, one play at a time, and just play the best ball that we can play to try to stop these guys." But Brady was right there with him on 3rd downs.

He kept drives alive throwing on 3rd downs, and that is why he is likely to be the NFL MVP this year. "I mean, certainly we had a good awareness of Matt here. That wasn't a player that we were going to take. So he really wasn't a factor for us at that point in time," BB said. "He's had a great career. He, again, does everything well. He handles the line of scrimmage well, gets the team in the right plays, plays good in critical situations, deep balls, intermediate throws, possession passes, red area. He's athletic. He can get out of some trouble, so there are really no weaknesses to his game. He's a team player. He does the right thing for his team. He puts his team in a position to win. There's not much to not like about him." He completed 71.2% of his passes on 3rd and 4th downs during the season.

That really is a spectacular stat. "To me I always thought he was a great quarterback. When we played them last time he had a pretty good game against us, so I've always had that viewpoint," McCourty said. "I think this year he's gotten a lot more attention for it, probably because they're in the Super Bowl, but he's been a great quarterback. I think for us, he's one of those very cerebral guys, too; reading coverages, knowing what you're in. it's hard to trick him. It's like when we're in training camp and we talk about practicing against Tom. It's hard to draw up some defense that's going to fool him and he's going to have no idea. He knows pretty much everything. I'm sure with the extended time they have, he's seen every defense we have during the season.

"He'll be well-prepared. He's a guy who knows where he wants to put the ball and he has some great weapons. It's going to be a tough task. He knows what he's doing offensively and where he wants to go with the ball, so that's why you go out there and you average 40 points in the playoffs because your quarterback is on it and knows exactly what he wants to do with the offense." The Pats defense will have to play their best on 3rd downs to win this game.

1st and 10, the Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback, motioned into a Twins-Right Singleback. Packers defense shifted to show they were in Man. They ran Coleman on a Dive. He creased the line and dived forward for a First. 

They are not a big pulling team. "That's the most important thing is to recognize the concept," BB said. "I mean look, they're not going to come in here and run 60 new plays. They're going to run the plays they've been running all year but dress them up differently, put a different look or a motion or combination and try to make it look a little bit different than anything we've seen or maybe something that they think will give us a problem to adjust to, and then do the things that they've been doing." They like the O-line to attack forward.

They also like to slide to one side or the other to create cutback lanes. "I'm not saying there won't be a handful of new plays in there, but I mean, look, the way they move the ball and score points, they're not going to come in here and put in a new offense this week," BB said. "They've had so much success with what they're doing, they're going to keep doing it but make it hard for the defense to recognize this is the play, and by the time you recognize it, the play is over. You know, they're spotting the ball and it's like, ‘Aw, that's what that was.' You have a second-late reaction to that, so they do a great job of that." Both RBs will hurt you if you let them.

Tevin Coleman is a great low running slasher. "They do what they do, they do it well. They really know what they're doing, but defensively it takes you that extra split second to recognize it and sometimes you're just a step too late and they got you. Then the next play it's the same thing or another version of the same thing," BB said. "In addition to that they have very good players, guys like Freeman, Coleman, Sanu, Jones, all of them. They've got the ball in their hands and what looks like a seven-yard gain could be 47. Their ability to make yards with the ball in their hands, break tackles, in Coleman's case, out-run people. I don't know how many times we've seen guys have a good angle on him and it looks like, ‘Ok, they're going to intersect here,' and they don't. [Tevin] just out-runs him and now they're chasing him and now 15 now looks like 35, so they get a lot of yards on the ability of their skill players to gain yards after they get in the space." He can also cause some trouble in the passing game.

1st and 10 at the 48, I formation, which is really just declaring a run. They try to run what looked like a Dive, but the OLB blitzed off the edge, curled inside, and took Coleman down it in the backfield.

2nd and 11, Falcons lined up Empty. Ryan threw to Julio. He just ran down the sideline, and was open by three or four yards. Not sure how that happens. Ryan threw high and outside. Julio spun back to try and catch the ball, but dropped it.

He will do that from time to time. "You go down a long list. I mean big guy, 6' 3", 220, [runs a] 4.3, great hands, explosive in and out of cuts." McCourty said. "We were just watching film on a double-move he ran against Green Bay and he didn't come down with it, but just out of the double-move in two more steps he was 10 more yards down the field it feels like. Usually big guys like that don't accelerate that fast. It usually takes times for them to get going, but he's very explosive, tough to tackle." He is freak.

His explosion from stop to start and changing directions was unseen in a guy his size before. "I think a lot of times you hear Julio Jones and you think of the deep routes, the posts, the nines, but you don't think about the five-yard routes he catches on unders and breaks two tackles and scores a 60 or 70-yard touchdown." McCourty said. "Really Matt Ryan is able to get him the ball in so many different areas. That makes it tough. You can't just sit there as a defense and say ‘He's going to be here at the X.' He's going to be all over. He's going to be at the 'Z' sometimes, he's going to be inside of the slot, so tough." If they take Julio out of this game, the Pats win.

Butler is going to have the most difficult assignment in this game. "I think that probably gives a lot of credit to him learning the playbook and him being able to do a lot of different things," McCourty said. "[He's] a very versatile receiver for them. Like I said before, we'll have another tough task this week, but you get into the playoffs and it doesn't get easy with these receivers. We'll have to really have all 11 guys ready to stop them. The biggest thing will be if he does catch the ball, is trying to make the tackle." They will put Ryan on Sanu, because he is the slower one, and Butler on Julio, because he hopefully has the speed to stay with him.

3rd and 11, the Falcons lined up in a 4-Wide Weak Shogun, with a Bunch on the right. The middle receiver cut over the middle between the other two guys, and Ryan threw it to Sanu. He grabbed it and fell down for a 1st.

By the way, Sanu was awesome in this game as well. "He's big. He's tough.. He's got great hands, tremendous hands!" BB said. "He has a great catch radius. He catches everything. He's a tough blocker. He's hard to tackle. He's an explosive player" Sanu would help any team. There's not a team in the league that he wouldn't help." I think they put Ryan on him all game long.

1st and 10, the Falcons lined up in a Stack-right I. They ran a fake reverse and a play action to the RB. Nobody covered the FB and he was open with no defender within 10-yards of him. He ran all the way down to the Five. The Packers secondary was so devastated by injury that they could barely put up a fight on that play.

1st and goal from the Five, the Falcons go I. They ran a Dive up the gut. 2nd and Goal from the Three, the Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun, with a stack on the left, and send the third WR in motion to the right. They ran another Dive. 3rd and Goal from the Three, Falcons lined up, and motion Empty. Green Bay doesn't respond to the motion to show that they are in a Zone. They send three, and zone up the Endzone. Ryan fled the pocket, and then flipped the ball Sanu. Who ran outside behind the two WRs in front of him, and then jerked back into the middle. He ran by an LB who didn't even look at him.

The Falcons have now scored on their opening drive seven straight game. "It's a very, very talented offense," Harmon said. "Again, there's not one thing that you can point out and say stop Julio Jones, stop [Mohamed] Sanu, stop the running game, because Matt Ryan does a good job of distributing the ball to who's open and Kyle Shanahan does a good job of mixing those calls up and putting those guys in the best situation. They literally just do a really good job on offense." It would be nice for the Pats D to stop the on the first drive. It could really hurt the Falcons mentally.

1st Quarter:

Singleback Twins-TE-R: Run 1 for 1

Singleback H-B motion: Pass 1 for 1

Singleback Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Double-Stacked: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, Stack-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Motion Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

I-Formation: Run 2 for 2

4-W W-shotgun, Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 1

Stack-R I-Formation: Run 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, Stack-R: Pass 1 for 1

1st Drive:

Singleback Twins-TE-R: Run 1 for 1

Singleback H-B motion: Pass 1 for 1

Singleback Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Double-Stacked: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, Stack-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Motion Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

I-Formation: Run 2 for 2

4-W W-shotgun, Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 1

Stack-R I-Formation: Run 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, Stack-R: Pass 1 for 1

Be A Citizen! Not a Subject! 

The Horror of the republican's hijacking of Senate rules, to unconstitutional not allow Obama to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, FOR A F-ING YEAR, has to be paid back with equal vigor, vitriol, and vileness. If Dems don't stand up to the (R) bullies now? They will burn the Constitution to the ground, as Trump is so obviously trying to do. Democratic Senators cannot allow under any circumstance (R)'s to nominate an idealog, who pretends to believe the insanely stupid lie-lie-lie (that none of them really believe, but are PAID to lie about) that corporations are people. The (R)'s leaders have said that from now on all Supreme Court Justices must be republican idealog. That is horrifying! THEY CHANGED THE RULES! DEMOCRATS HAVE TO NOW HAVE THE SAME RULES AND IDEAS. Until Merrick Garland is appointed to the Supreme Court, NO (R) NOMINEE CAN BE ALLOWED TO BE CONFIRMED, PERIOD

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