2016 Season Blog.


1st Quarter.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Mercy Killing: Part I.


The Pats D forced a three and out to start the game. Is it too early to call the Game? 

FINALLY! Brady comes out on the field, and BB was positively giddy. "Our expectation was to come out here [and] perform as a team and win," BB said. "I'm talking about the whole team. That includes everybody. What else would we come out here for? I think Tom works hard. He's always worked hard. I don't think there's any question about that. I think there's a lot of things he needs to work on. There are a lot of things we all need to work on as a football team. There are things we need to improve on. That's all of us: players, coaches, everybody."

It is amazing the treatment he has received around the NFL, shameful. But now? Our Brady's back and your gonna be in trouble. "I want to do the best job I can for the city, for all of New England and for my team base and my family," Brady said. "With all of these players, you put a lot into it, and there's a lot that goes in. You have to make certain choices in your life in order to play this game. You need a lot of support from your family and friends to do that. I love running out in front of 70,000 people that are cheering for us. I love running out to 20,000 fans that are cheering for us and 50,000 are against us. We're just going to run out and play. If I have a chance to run out and play, I'm going to do it."

The Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback, Brady three steps, and hit Edelman in the flat. He shaked and baked for a First. "You play with a guy for a long time and you build a friendship. You get excited for guys who haven't been around for a while," Edelman said. Then continued. "He knows the system. I mean, it's Tom Brady so you don't except anything less."

1st and 10, they stayed in the 3-Wide Singleback. Brady ran a play action, and then showed why he is the best. He turned and fired the ball on a rope to Gronk, while he was being hit. "Everyone was intense today," Gronk said. "Everyone was amped up. Tom always brings that to the table. We were just excited to get out there and get back on track and get a win."

Thuney had pulled over to the right. He went to hit the D-End Nassib, who was left unblocked on the play action. Then he saw the safety Campbell blitzed off the edge. He redirected to the Safety, with Blount. Both guys hit the safety, and left Nassib to hit Brady in the gut as he threw, and he knocked him off his feet.

1st and 10 at midfield, the Pats lined up in a Strong formation. Blount ran a Dive right up the middle. Andrews left Shelton unblocked to go and get a LB, and Develin crashed into him with a beautiful block. Blount shifted masterfully behind the block and was at the LOS in a flash. Then a quick shimmy and a great cut outside between Fleming and Andrews, and he slashed past Edelman for the First.

Fleming has really saved the Pats bacon more than once this season. "Cam has done a good job for us and he's one of our most dependable players," BB said. "He's very smart and he works extremely hard. For his size he works very hard on his conditioning and he really doesn't get tired, or at least it doesn't seem like he does. He's right at the top of his group in sprints and works hard in the weight room, both on strength and flexibility and does a lot of extra things to try to continue to improve." Stepping in and starting for Solder at OLT to start the season was huge for this team.

Then Sunday he quietly swung to the other side. "I think he's quiet, but he's probably one of the most respected players on the team because of his work ethic and his toughness and his dependability," BB said. "We've asked him to do a lot of different things, play multiple positions, guard, both tackles, the jumbo tight end spot and he works very hard to do all of those, and as I said his intelligence is excellent. He has the capacity to handle a lot of things but he's a flexible guy and nothing really seems to rattle him." He showed his great versatility again Sunday. 

He started for an injured Cannon, who was starting at ORT for an injured Vollmer. "He's got a very even temperament," BB said. So whether it's: to start, or come in, or change his role, or go from one side to the other. Whatever it happens to be, he's been very dependable for us. He's [saved our bacon] again. Yesterday was another solid, really solid, job for Marcus at right tackle. And he's helped us out a lot. " Fleming is the Swing Tackle that BB thought Cannon was going to be.

1st and 10, the Pats motioned Gronk outside into a Bunched up Singleback. With Bennett, Hogan, and Gronk in the Bunch. Brady swung the ball out to Bennett on an H-back screen. He tried to get outside, but the safety Campbell grabbed his foot and refused to let go.

2nd and 8, and the Pats lined up in 4-Wide Singleback They ran a fake end around to Hogan. Brady flipped the ball out to White with Shaq, Andrews, and Thuney out in front of him. But the ball was thrown to low to catch.

3rd and 8, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. The Browns brought six. So White had to stay in to block. Which gave Brady time to survey the field for a second, and then hit Gronk crossing under Edelman and Amendola. Which trapped four defenders on the wrong side of the field.

Gronk skipped-to-my-lou over one DB, and made another miss. Then he was stampeding over the 20. He straight-armed a defender to the ground. Then danced ever so elegantly over another. "I love playing with Gronk," Bennett said. "I'm very excited for him. It's pretty dynamic with both of us out there today, and he played very well. I expect him to continue to play like that. That's what Gronk is. That's what Gronk does. That's why he's the Gronkinator." The Gronkinator got inside the Ten, and powered over a mix of six players from both teams to announce that the Madden Curse was finally over.

1st and Goal from the Two, the Pats lined up in an Goal line I-formation. They just rammed their Blount force weapon into the defense with an off tackle run. Blount follow Develin between Solder and Bennett. It looked to me like Bennett hurt his ankle, as Sheldon rolled up on his ankle as he tackled Blount. Plus, I saw him putting his shoe back on before the next series like he just got his ankle taped.

2nd and goal from the 1, the Pats stayed in the Goal line I. They run the same play, but Gronk and Develin had the two outside guys walled off, and Solder and Thuney had sealed the rest of the line inside. Blount read it right, and popped it outside for an untouched touchdown. "That's how you always want to start a game," Gronk said. "You want to start the game with a touchdown to get ahead. It was a good start to our offense, and that's how you get on a roll." Pats-7. Browns-Zip.

Cleveland lined up in a Singleback to start their second drive. The Pats matched up in their 4-3 with a 3-4 look. They had four down linemen on the line, and both OLBs on the LOS as well. Kessler dropped. Sheard got a great inside rush. The OLG had to come over and double him. He grabbed him from behind with an obvious uncalled Hold. But Sheard was still able to flush Kessler out of the pocket. Kessler had go to the outside. He hit Hawkins coming back to help him out, for a First.

1st and 10, the Browns danced around the backfield for while and landed in an Empty formation. The Pats stayed in their 3-4 looking 4-3. But they only rushed three. Long dropped into coverage. Kessler was able to hit Barnidge running behind Long. Ninkovich slammed over and took him down.

2nd and 4, the Browns lined up in pure foolishness, with half the O-line outside the Seam. I just lost all respect for the offensive coaching staff on this college play. Kessler called them back, looking like a idiot. Meanwhile the Pats were just milling about at the LOS, and refused to pretend that they would snap the ball with two O-linemen in front of Kessler. They end up in a Weak formation. The Pats finally matched up in their 3-4 looking 4-3.

The Pats strategy was clearly to dare the Browns to throw. They are lined up to stop the run on every down so far. Collins and Long got up field to set the edge, but Crowell was able to juke outside of them. Hightower got outside, but took a bad angle. Crowell was just able to squeegee past him. But Hightower was just able to reach out and grab his foot as he dived to the ground. Crowell dived forward for a few. Then the refs called a Hold on Malcolm Brown.

1st and 10, the Browns motioned quickly into a Strong formation. The Pats stayed in their run first scheme. Kessler dropped. The Pats brought four. Sheard had a good rush. He got up to Kessler's level but couldn't turn at all. Brown had a nice rush. He bulled the OLG back and slapped Kessler on the left shoulder a split second after he threw. Kessler got the ball to Crowell. But the ball slashed through his hands, and bounced off his facemask.

Okay, they took Kessler out and put Pryor in a Winged Shotgun. Which is going to be an option run 90% of the time. The Pats actually backed off a little, and went into a 2-4 Nickel with a Chung in the box. They ran the Option. Pryor handed the ball to Crowell on a dive, and he fell forward for a few. Brown, Long, and Hightower took him down. Then they brought Kessler back in. It all seemed so silly to me.

3rd and 7, the Browns lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with Ninkovich lined up outside of Long on the Blindside. Ninkovich rushed and Long covered the RB out of the backfield. Sheard had a nice rush. He got up to the QB, faked inside, then burst back outside and scared Kessler. Kessler broke inside, and Sheard finally shed the ORT and broke inside to hit Kessler as he threw. But he was able to hit Crowell, who ran past Long over the middle. He was able to turn up field, and curled inside for about 21.

1st and 10 at the 25, The Browns go I, and the Pats matched up in their stop the run first formation. They ran Crowell. Hightower met the FB in the hole, and won. Branch helped to bring Crowell down.

2nd and 6, Browns lined up in 3-Wide Strong Shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel, with Collins sneaking up a little. Collins and Hightower faked the blitz and drop. Sheard panicked Kessler out of the pocket again. He beat Kessler to the corner and grabbed his shoulder. Kessler was just able to throw the ball away before Sheard could knock him down.

3rd and 6, the Browns lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with Sheard in the Box. He kept creeping up to the line, and then blitzed. The Pats brought six, which is remarkable against a 4-Wide shotgun. They just have no respect at all for the rookie QB. Collins dropped out of the rush. Hightower stayed locked on the RB, as he tried to stop blocking and go into the flat (High was called for a Hold). So Kessler had time as the O-line took care of the other four rushers. Kessler hit Pryor, who beat Butler on a Comeback, for a 1st.

1st and 10 from the 11, the Browns in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 nickel. The Pats rush four, and Cyrus Jones got toasted by Hawkins for an easy TD. He beat Cyrus with an outside release that left him in the dust. Then just broke outside completely free. Pats-7. Brown-Irrelevant.  

The Pats came out Empty, which drew a penalty on the Browns somehow. Bennett was back in. "You lay down for a second and feel sorry for yourself," Bennett said. "But then you remember all of the people who are counting on you and you just kind of find a way to suck it up and go out there and play for those guys. I didn't want to let my teammates down. A lot of stuff we worked on in practice [involved me helping them]. So I had to figure out a way to get back out there and play with my teammates." He was seen on the sideline tying up his sneaker. So it was just a sprain.

The Pats lined up Empty again on 1st and 5. Brady quickly hit Edelman going over the middle. He scooted around like a maniac for a while, lost it. Then dived back for the 1st. "We had a lot of fun," Edelman said. "We tried to go out and get a good team win like we did against a conference team on the road. It's a good win."

1st and 10, the Pat lined up in a Twins-Twins Singleback. They pounded Blount up the gut for a few. 2nd and 7, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Singleback. Brady threw it quickly to Edelman. He dropped it. 

3rd and 7, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Edelman broke free over the middle, and Brady hit him with a bullet for a First. "It was awesome," Edelman said. "I played football here in Northeast Ohio, and they're very passionate about their team. To see a lot of Patriots' fans out here tells you something."

1st and 10, the Pats in a Goal line Singleback. They give it to Blount. He tried to get outside, but got cut off at the pass. 2nd and 9, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady dropped slowly looking at Gronk on the right. Then suddenly turned and hit White sneaking out of the backfield on a screen. White caught the ball with Thuney, Andrews, and Edelman blocking in front of him. He faked inside of Andrews and then jumped backwards to make an LB miss. Then scooted outside of Andrews.

Edelman took out three defenders with a vicious chop-block/cut-Block that helped the three Browns knock each other down. "Julian did a good job [blocking], but our receivers have blocked well for us all year," BB said. "They really compete in the running game and after the catch in the passing game, whether it be stock blocks or crack blocks or just second effort type plays. They've done a great job for us, all of them. You can't say enough about them whether it be Mitchell on Brissett's touchdown run against Houston, or Chris, Julian, Danny does a great job. Slater's given us some snaps in there too doing those kinds of things, so that group really competes hard in the running game. They give good effort and they're tough. They do it consistently." That block allowed White to get the 1st, and turn up field. He ran past two Browns until he was slowed by a Safety after 36-yards.

1st and goal from the 9, the Pats lined up in a Singleback. They gave the ball to Blount on a Dive, but he had to slow a little as it was clogged up inside. He tried to cut to the right a little, and got chopped down.

2nd and goal from the 7, the Pats lined up in an I. They ran play action. Bennett did a great job blocking the blitzing Safety. Then he let him go, as Blount was there to pick him up. Everyone is covered, while Bennett snuck out into the Flat. Brady tossed it easy to Bennett. He caught it easy, and jogged easily into the Endzone.

That was too easy. "He's a great player," Gronk said about Bennett. "Great dude and a great teammate to have out there. You learn a lot from a guy who has about nine years in the league. We've been waiting for this moment since we got together to both get out on the field both healthy. It's great working with each other, and we just have to keep improving every week and keep helping each other out." Pats-14. Browns-7.

The Browns lined up in a Singleback. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with three DBs in the box. They ran Duke Johnson while faking the end around. The Pats D looked confused, except Branch. He popped the ORG out of his way, as the ORT grabbed him from behind. Then he ran right into the RB. Collins swooped in after, and helped him out a little.

2nd and 12, Pats stayed in the 2-4 Nickel, with a Chung in the box. Hightower blitzed right up the gut. He dived into Kessler as he threw. The ball went backwards, as Kessler landed like Garoppolo on his shoulder. The ball bounced out of bounds in the endzone for a safety, as Kessler's right shoulder folded like an accordion on the turf. Pats-16. Browns-7.

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