2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs. Bill.

1st Quarter.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Going Deep.


The Bill lined up 1st and 10 at the 7 in a 2-Wide Winged shotgun. "Defensively you always have, especially in the secondary, kind of [have] a clock of 'ball is coming', but when you play against him you don't know," McCourty said about Taylor. "And you saw it today, there was times where we thought we had him. We came free. We got two hands on him, he somehow breaks a tackle, he somehow comes free, he is still looking downfield. That's always tough rushing him and playing him in the secondary." The Pats matched up in 3-4, as they just don't fear the Bills weapons in the passing game.

They handed the ball off to Gillislee, and Branch jammed the ORT back into the backfield. The RB found a little crack and hurdled through it. The rookie Roberts took him out. "No, it wasn’t third down," BB said. "We used our linebackers based on the personnel group that we had called. So those groups could have come up at any time. So yeah, that’s how we did it." He is turning into a nice surprise at LB (but serious? Not that much of a surprise! Oh where, oh where, can pure Jamie be? Oh where, oh where, can he be?).

2nd and 6, the Bills lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats mocked them in the 3-4 again. They rushed five. Brown got his hand up in Taylor's face as he threw. The ball was wildly off, and Clay had no chance to catch the pass only 4-yards down field.

3rd and 6, the sad sack Bills went into a 3-Wide Strong shotgun, and the Pats lined up all six of the front six in their Nickel on the line. They brought five. Then Ninkovich dropped out, as Collins picked up Clay in Man. Taylor finally made a nice throw. He hit Tate right in the hands 20-yards down field on a pick play.

Tate was lined up in the slot, and the Outside WR slanted inside and picked Rowe off. Tate dropped the best throw Taylor had made in the game so far. The Pats had an odd rotation of Ryan, Coleman, and Rowe at CB. "I think that’s a good observation," BB said. "I think all those players have practiced well, have played well, deserve to play, and so they all had an opportunity to play. They’ve all had an opportunity to play on multiple occasions during the course of the season and their performance will dictate future playing time and future opportunities.

"Some of that, as you noted, is related to certain defensive groupings and packages, and I would say some of it isn’t. Some of it is just the rotation and some of it’s just, once there is enough evidence in and there is a performance component to it where one exceeds another, then that changes the decision making pattern a little bit. If we have several guys that are playing well and playing competitively, then I don’t think there is any reason to just play one and not another one if we can play more than one." I didn't think it was particularly effective, especially when you consider the complete lack of dynamic players Taylor had to throw too.

Again, I am forced to cover special teams. The punter shanked it in the rain and the ref spotted the ball at the 45. And I feel dirty again. Is this what it feels like to be a Bills fan?

The Pats lined up in a Bunched up Singleback on 1st and 10. Brady faked two fakes that the Bills defense had to respect: one to White, and a reverse to Edelman. Then he waddled outside like a penguin, and hit White on a Screen right. White dashed past five Bills, as blockers and Buffaloes fell all over the field. He cut back on Blanton, and turned through the arm tackle. But big Darius hustled downfield behind him. He grabbed him and tossed him over the 20.

However, the refs called pass interference on Amendola. He was blocking the douchey Safety 20-yards downfield, a little early, on the screen. It had no affect on the play. Blanton shed him quickly, and Andrews had to hit him, and he shed him. Then Amendola has to go over and hit him again. That really has to be let go. There were three blockers between Amendola and White when he caught it. That was the case of over-scheming the Screen, and the timing just wasn't right.

1st and 20 from the Pats 45, they lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun that was another over-schemed play. They kept Gronk and Bennett in to block on the blindside. Gronk had a bad block. Brady was forced to intentionally ground the ball over the middle, as he was being hit as he threw. But the refs stepped in and called a penalty on the Bills, and this game had officiously turned ugly.

1st and 10 at the 50 this time, with the Pats lined up in a trips-right Weak shotgun. They ran Blount up the middle he slammed into Lorenzo. Blount decleated him, but he can't fall forward.

2nd and 8, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun, and bring Bennett in motion a little from outside the numbers. Brady faked to Bennett as he went the wrong way up the field. Then he turned to threw to White. But Hughes was all over it. Cannon actually defended the pass and punched Hughes to the ground as he got his hands up on the interception. The ball and Hughes crashed to the ground.

3rd and 8, and I'm was hoping they would end the shenanigans and run a real play. They lined up Empty with Brady barking. He had time. He took off to the left, as all the rushers ran past him. The O-line followed, and Cannon crossed the line of scrimmage. So I guess they can't stop the shenanigans, as the refs took away an amazing TD Pass by Brady to Edelman for a flag.

Brady was ab-so-lute-ly crushed to the ground by Preston Brown. "Tom is a tough player," BB said. "So we've seen that since day one and that's never been an issue. Mentally and physically, he's as tough as they come." He put the ball in Edelman's hands at the 15, behind the entire secondary.

3rd and 13, and this is the sixth play of the drive, without a 1st down you over-officious jerks. The Pats somehow lined up on their own 46, in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady had time and lofted a deep one to a wide open Hogan, who had two steps on Stephon Gilmore.

He dropped a 54-yard TD pass into the bucket. "That was something that was pretty early in the game and Hog's just looked like he had a chance," Brady said. "It looked like they were giving favor in coverage to the other side of the field [the Safety went to the other side of the field]. And when you do that it's one on one back side, and he had a good inside release. And Hog's fast. He runs by people and they don't catch him. So if you can put it out there for him and let him run under it, he's able to make those plays. And he's done that all season long so it was great and that put us up 13-3. It was a big play in the game." It was so beautiful that Stephon Gilmore stopped playing defense to watch in awe.

The ball dropped gently into his Hogan's like a baby. "It's just one of those plays," Hogan said. "You know? When it's third down you don't have the chance to do a lot. The defense was good on the line and the ball was getting dunked to me. So once I got off the line the ball was already in the air. It seemed like the ball was up in the air for a long time, it was just one of those things that I go up and make a play.'' He strangled it into the Endzone like it was Halloween.

That was a great a play as you will ever see. "Yeah that was huge," Gronk said. "I'm so happy for Chris Hogan to see him get that touchdown. It was a bomb. I was in the middle of the field so the ball got thrown over my head. And I was watching it like 'whoa'. It looked like a bird just going [by]. And then I just saw Hogan. I looked at Hogan I was like, 'Oh he's got his man beat', and I saw him make the play and score the touchdown, I was super happy for him and he deserves it. He's a great guy, great teammate, and a hard worker." The call, coverage, route, and pass were all perfect, after all the shenanigans.

Hogan was one of the best free agent signings BB has ever made, so far. "I think probably 90 percent of the process is all the same whether it’s a player that we’ve played against or haven’t played against. There are certainly enough, if the players play, there are enough examples in the NFL where you can see how he is going to do against a high level of competition," BB said. "Through enough games you’ll see a variety of schemes and matchups that he’ll have to face to have some idea of a projection of how he would be, how you would anticipate him doing for you. That’s a much tougher evaluation in college because the level of competition isn’t consistent and the schemes aren’t necessarily all NFL schemes. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, it’s just different.

"In the NFL, you’ve got that advantage to be able to see NFL quality players and NFL schemes. I would say that other 10 percent, if it’s against your team, then you know the player that you’ve matched up against and you can evaluate that matchup a little bit better than watching them matchup against somebody else because you have better knowledge of your individual players. There is some benefit to that.

"But again, I would say in Chris's case, his situation is a little bit unusual because he didn't have a lot of playing time offensively. Some of that came when Buffalo had injuries at the position. I think Buffalo felt they had a lot of depth at the receiver position and that affected a little bit of Chris’s play time. When there were injuries, he played more, but he also played very well in the kicking game which gave us an evaluation, not only of him in the kicking game, but also some of skills that you could see on special teams that maybe weren’t as evident on offense.

"Blocking for example. Not that he didn’t block on offense, but just the number of times blocking on kick returns that you’d be able to see that in space against good coverage players and so forth. I’d saying playing against a guy gives you a little bit more of an evaluation because you can see him against one of your players and that individual matchup, but I think there is a lot more to it than just that. There’s the whole body of work that you want to evaluate, not just one game." Hogan was a big reason they only had three WRs on the roster for this game.

But Brady was All-World again, as he threw two 50-yard TD passes on that drive. "I think Tom  has done a good job on that (throwing deep balls). He’s worked hard, and our receivers have done a good job, too," BB said. "We’ve gotten behind the defense in position where those throws are a little bit, a little higher percentage, I would say. Really the combination of the quarterback and receiver and the work on both ends for the timing, Tom has done a good job. 

"I thought he made a real good throw to Danny on the scramble play: the vision, and to be able to get back to the other side of the field. The play got called back, but it was a very aware play and he made a good throw to get the ball out there. Chris did a real good job of getting behind Gilmore on the touchdown and stacking him. That was not as hard of a throw but it was a really good route. Chris put himself in position there for that to be a big play. Rob with the matchup on Robey-Coleman, again: a good route, a good throw, good execution on both ends there.

"I think we’ve hit more of those, certainly on a higher percentage than we have at some other points. Hopefully, that will continue. We had some good opportunities yesterday. I would say even overall here in the last two or three games, we’ve had some opportunities where teams have played us without really a deep field player, either one or two. A lot of times they’ve played some quarters, some variation of blitz-type coverage, things like that where there has been less defense in the deep part of the field and that’s created some opportunities for the receivers and the quarterback." Brady had turned his biggest weakness into another asset so far this season. Pats-14. Bills-3. Over-Officiousness-2. 

The Bills lined up 1st and 10 at the 19, a little confused as to how five straight flags could turn into a 53-yard TD pass by their old buddy Chris Hogan, and how come they kept lining up inside the Twenty instead of at the Twenty-Five like everyone else. They moseyed into a wacky College-Shotgun again. The Pats matched up shockingly in a 3-4 again. They just won't put extra DBs on the field. I guess they thought that Blanton, Robey, and Aaron Williams are douchey enough. The Bills ran the ball to Gillislee. Valentine hit him at the line. He crashed forward for a few.

2nd and 6, Same-same, only the Pats now have a Rowe in the Box. They run up the gut again. Gillislee waddled up to the line without much commitment, and got driven back into the backfield by Branch, Valentine, and Chung.

3rd and 4, the Bills finally lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. They just aren't doing any of their defensive tendencies in this game. Taylor had time, but had no WRs talented enough to get open. He finally started to take off. Then flicked the ball to Gillislee in the Flat. Chung and Rowe take him down to force the punt.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up Empty. Brady barked. The O-line formed a nice pocket. But Brady had to take off to the right. A rusher finally broke free, and Brady had to fire it into the turf at White's feet. 2nd and 10, the Pats lined up in a 2-Wide shotgun. White motioned into a 2-Wide Empty. Brady tried to go deep to Gronk, but the pass was overthrown. 3rd ad 10, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun and Brady got sacked to force the punt.

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