2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs. Cincy.

1st Quarter.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Stupid Internet! Part I.


My WiFi is down, stupid internet. I personally think it is a plot by Darth Trump to rig the internet. I might be wrong, but this ain't goin' up until Darth Trump and his boyfriend in hacking Sith Lord Putin decides to let the stupid internet work again.

That field goal was really the difference in most of the 1st half after the offenses sluggish start. "I don't think it was sluggish," Bennett said. "I thought they made some plays and we were trying to figure it out. [Our] coaches did a great job coming in and making some adjustments at halftime and we came back out and executed a little bit better. We had some penalties earlier in the game that could have put us behind the eight ball, but guys just kept chipping away." Yeah, it was pretty sluggish.

Cincy came out 1st and 10, in a wacky college formation, with their O-tackles lined up outside on the numbers. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel, which was spread out almost to the numbers. In the end, the Bengals lined up was a 4-Wide Strong shotgun, with two blockers lined up on the numbers. I am praying to God that this is not where football is going. The Bengals actually hiked the ball. Dalton immediately threw the ball outside to Green. Butler was blocked by the other WR, and he shed him, and tackled Green who fell forward for four. The O-tackle didn't really do anything on the field. That was dumb.

The Bengals lined up in a 2-Wide Strong-Formation Shotgun (with a FB in the backfield offset to the right). The Pats matched up in a 3-3 nickel with a Chung in the box. They ran Bernard up the gut on a Dive. Brown held up and grabbed him as he tried to slash by. However, no one else could touch him, so he was able to surf the wave of his blockers for a 1st.

Cincy lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with Long and Hightower standing up outside. Elandon Roberts blitzed the A-gap and got his hand on Bernard 4-yards deep in the backfield. But Bernard was able to hop out of it. Then he took off forward, until Long took him down.

2nd and 4, the Bengals come out in the wacky college formation with three O-linemen in front of Dalton. They have four guys lined up on the strongside numbers, like a screen already set up. The Pats had three guys out in front of them. Dalton threw Tyler Boyd the ball, and his three blockers took out the three Pats. He ran between his blockers for a 1st, and then skipped out of bounds.

1st and 10, the Bengals lined up in a Singleback. The Pats match up in a 4-3 with five guys on the line. The Pats rushers all seemed to go inside in the rush and clog each other up. Dalton was still forced to throw underneath to Bernard, because of good coverage. Roberts flew in like a rocket and took him down instantly.

2nd and 7, Cincy lined up in a Weak formation. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with six guys on the line. They are clearly keying the run. They tried to run Bernard on a smash, but Hightower and Ninkovich met at Giovani 4-yards deep in the backfield. Sheard stepped in and helped knock them all backwards.

3rd and 9, Cincy lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a Nickel, with the whole front six standing up on the line in front of Dalton. They sent five. Sheard and Ninkovich twisted. Roberts stepped out of the rush and jammed Bernard at the line. Dalton was able to throw to LaFell, but Butler dragged him down short of the marker. 4th and 2, and Cincy was forced to punt to Amendola. The punt only went 31-yards.

The Pats came out 1st and 10, and lined up in a 4-Wide Strong Shotgun. Brady dropped and threw in rhyme to White swinging out of the backfield. He caught it, and got close to a 1st down, before he was escorted out of bounds.

2nd and 3, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady fired another perfect pass to Edelman dragging over the middle. "It was great," Edelman said. "It was great, you know. We had him back last week and it was good to get him home. It was an electric environment out there with Tom back. It was good." They are starting to get that spark back that made Edelman the best 3rd-down WR in the NFL last season.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. Brady gave the ball to White. He ran off tackle, and then turned up field a little to get seven. "It feels good, whenever I get the chance to help this team I want to do it," White said. "Whether it's scoring touchdowns or just getting yards, pass blocking or running the football, I'm just doing whatever I can to help this team." White just keeps getting better running the ball. 2nd and 3, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide weak shotgun. Brady dropped, looked right, and then threw left to White out of the backfield. He tried to make Burfict miss with a quick shift, but Burfict just grabbed his foot and wiped him out.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. They ran play action, and Brady turned back to the line with two rushers in his face. He got killed as he fired the ball instantly to Gronk, who just couldn't escape Pat Sims to get the 1st.

The Pats really struggled in the 1st quarter to get the offense going. "I mean, Sims beat us on an inside move and then I think Burfict got us on a blitz pickup," BB said about the 1st half woes. "Again, look they're a good defense. They have a good front. They have a lot of good players. They got a lot of good linebackers; Burfict, Maualuga, Rey, Dansby and then they got several guys that can rush on the front. They've got good depth at end. They've got good depth at tackle. Atkins and Dunlap, I mean they're two of the most disruptive guys in the league and if your helping on them then you're not helping on somebody else. We've got to do a better job of getting open, getting the ball out and blocking them. So I'd say some of the problems we had were just team execution plays. Coaching, playing, just a little bit of everything." 2nd and 1, the Pats shifted around into a 3-Wide I. Brady handed it to White for the First.

1st and 10, the Pats shifted into a tight 4-Wide Singleback at Cincy's 45. They ran Blount off tackle. Solder lead him outside. He took out two DBs, and Blount was able to cut back behind him for a nice 7-yard run. But Holding was called on Hogan.

1st and 20, at the Pats 45. They lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. They ran Blount on a dive. He hit the line and danced back like he was just kissed by a frog. He then hopped around Andrews, and lowered his head for four. Andrews and Shaq both had good blocks right in the middle of the line.

2nd and 16, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. The Line was terrific on this play, and no rusher got to within 5-yards of Brady before he threw. Brady dumped it off to Blount underneath. He made one guy miss. But just as he started to run again, Josh Shaw grabbed his foot and tripped him up. He skidded into the turf.

3rd and 12, Empty. White motioned back into the backfield. Brady had time and stepped up into the pocket, but couldn't make a decision. Then he took off the right, with two rushers circling behind him, and couldn't make a decision. Then he finally was flopped to the ground, as he flipped the ball out of bounds.

He sat on the ground with the frustration of guy suffering from 2nd game back syndrome. "Well I can do some things better out there and I think offensively, we can too, but it's good to be 5-1," Brady said. "I think we're at a decent place, so we've just got to keep stringing these games together. There's a ton of football left. It's a good defense we played today. They made it challenging on us, but we're trying to figure out what we're made of, and it was good to get going there in the second half." The best news is that with the 2nd game back syndrome is over, and Roethlisberger out, they are almost 6 and 1 already.

The Pats are forced to punt. "Yeah, we played a lot better during the 2nd half," Brady said. "I thought our execution was a lot better. It took us a little bit of time to figure out how to kind of get our guys open, and once we did that it was good. We got the ball to a bunch of different guys in space and made a bunch of guys miss. The running game was effective when we did it. So it was a good team win." If he gets started in the 1st Half next week, the Steelers are in trouble already.

The Bengal lined up 1st and 10 in a 3-Wide Strong Shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with all six guys on the line looking like they were blitzing. They ran Bernard. Long gave up the outside. Bernard got the edge as Hightower and Brown gave chase. He turned up field, and McCourty thunder cracked him out of bounds.

2nd and 4, the Pats lined up in a 3-3 Nickel. They sent four. Dalton dumped the ball off to Bernard right over the middle. Hightower and Roberts took him down too late.

It was amazing how well Roberts played in this game. "Each day going to practice I feel like being on this level your number gets called and you have to go perform," Roberts said. "When my number got called I went and preformed for my team. I'm not really worried about individual goals right now." He stepped in for Collins, and we barely missed him.

1st and 10, Cincy lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel. Roberts shot the A-Gap, but the OG picked him up. Bernard had to slow and hop around him. Which gave Brown time to shed the OC and hit him in the gut. As Brown fell to the ground he grabbed Bernard's leg. Hightower slammed into Bernard, and helped to take him down.

2nd and 8 Cincy shifted Empty. The Pats matched up in their 3-4 Nickel, with Ninkovich and Hightower out in the slots in coverage on the tight ends. The Pats sent Four. Sheard had a great inside Swim move, and got to Dalton as he threw. Brown put the OLG on skates. and pushed him into Dalton as he threw as well. But Dalton was still able to hit Kroft in the box. Ninkovich, who was covering him, and McCourty instantly slammed into him and held him short of the 1st.

3rd and 2, Cincy lined up Empty again, and the Pats lined up EVERYBODY straight down the line (okay, only 10-guys on the line). They brought five, but two dropped out. Sheard dropped from the middle, surprising super-rookie Roberts dropped out as well. Dalton tried to throw over him as he dropped and knock the pass down.

He showed some great explosion off the ground to hop up and slap the ball down. "Well, Elandon's instinctive," BB said. "He sees plays quickly, reacts quickly. I think he has pretty good playing strength and he's an explosive player so he does all of those things well." He is not the athlete Collins is, but he is closer than I thought he could be.

But, the refs dropped another crap flag on the Pats to give the Bengals a free 1st down. Ryans fingers just scrapped Green's facemask as he sent a right cross into Greens inside shoulder. "That's why you get a nice salary if you're a good one," soon to be getting a very nice salary Logan Ryan said. "I think that just shows it's a really hard position. But I mean, that's what I get paid for, that's what I get paid to do and that's what I put all the work into. Guys like Malcolm and Rowe and everyone else we have in there, no one said it was easy." You could not play press man if the refs made that call consistently. It had no effect on the play.

The Bengals lined up in a 2-Wide 2-H-back I-shotgun that looked like a running formation to me. The Pats matched up in a 4-3 with Hightower and Ninkovich on the line as well. They ran play action. Brown got a little bit of a rush, but the coverage was good. Dalton had to dump it off to Hill outside, Hightower quickly shoved him out of bounds.

2nd and 7, Cincy shifted into an I-formation. The Pats defense matched up again in a scrambled 4-3, with Hightower and Ninkovich on the line. They just run a smash into Branch. He held up pretty well at the point, and allowed the LBs run in under him. Woody Hamilton held the OC on the line. Hill slashed past Brown and Ninkovich, and got three.

3rd and 3, Cincy lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Then motioned empty, as the Pats milled about in a 2-4 Nickel, with Hightower outside on the tight end. The Pats got good pressure, but can't get their hands on Dalton. He hit Uzomah for the 1st between Hightower and McCourty.

Cincy came out in a 3-Wide I Shotgun, and the Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel. Sheard broke free inside, and chased Hill. But just missed him, as Hill hopped over him as Branch grabbed him, and Hightower slammed him down.

2nd and 5, Cincy lined up in a 3-Wide I. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 nickel. Hill ran over three Patriots, and burst to the second level. Chung was just able to take him down, and I am in near panic mode.

1st and 10, Cincy continued the drive in a 3-wide Weak shotgun. The Pats match up in a Spread out 2-4 Nickel. They fake the Sweep, and Dalton spiked the ball dead as he saw the false start. 1st and 15, Cincy lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with the whole font-six on the line. They slammed Hill up the gut. Branch caught him, and dragged him down all by himself.

2nd and 14, Cincy stayed in the 4-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 looking 3-3 Nickel. Both OLB dropped, and they sent Roberts up the middle like Collins. He slammed into Hill in blitz pick up, and tried to get a hand on Dalton.

Dalton had to take off as Hill tackled Roberts, and Brown gave chase. Dalton threw the ball away. "E. Rob, he's a small, feisty guy you know he's out there hitting everything moving," McCourty said. "So you know I think now it's what we expect, you know. He's not a rookie anymore. He's been out there, and we expect him to go out there and play fast and play at a high level. And its great just to see him put in the work and to getting it done." The refs actually called the Hold on Hill for the rookie LB.

2nd and 24, Bengals went Empty. Pats matched up in a 2-3 Dime with four guys on the line. Anthony Johnson, who was absent last week, had a great rush. He swam over the OLG, and jump in front of Dalton as he threw. However, Dalton was able to hit Green at the 40. Ryan and Roberts took him down after 16-yards.

3rd and 8, Bengals lined up Empty, and the Pats lined up in a 1-4 Dime. Hightower blitzed up the gut and just got a hand on Dalton as he threw. Johnson had another good rush, and Sheard almost got to him as well. But he threw a beautiful pass to Bernard deep down the seam. Bernard had beaten Mingo down field. Mingo caught up as he caught the ball, and he wiped Bernard out. I am in full panic mode now!

Bengals lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback, 1st and Goal from the Six. Pats lined up in 2-4 Nickel. With a McCourty in the Box. Chung moved into the Box as he followed LaFell, who motioned inside. They ran a Dive. Bernard ran past the two D-tackles, Hightower, and Roberts. Luckily they had a McCourty in the Box. He shed LaFell, and got in front of Bernard. He cracked him hard enough to slow his momentum. He held on until Ryan hustled over and helped bring Bernard down.

Whew! "It's huge. I mean, that's how we're successful, you know: pass rushing and covering," McCourty said. "When all those guys do well up front it makes our job a lot easier. And if we can cover and give them some extra time it makes their job easier." I feel like this is the game here.

Good gravy! The Bengals lined up 2nd and goal for the One, in a Giant-I, with Peko in at FB. The Pats put everyone up on the line except Hightower and Roberts. Hightower and Roberts immediately head to the right. They read the hand off. Roberts blasted off in front of Hightower, and shot like a rocket outside the line.

He slammed into Bernard like a runaway train. "Well you know, as linebackers we just play downhill," Robert said. It was a double team on the guard and I was just going downhill to get the guard off our guy. Just playing assignment football, just doing my job, that's coming downhill. So I'm going to do my job to the best of my ability." He didn't knock him down. But he took all the momentum out of Bernard's legs, and fell to the ground. Roberts was concussed on that play.

The veteran linebacker Hightower then slammed into Bernard, and stopped him cold, with help from Malcolm Brown. "High's got a lot of skills, a lot of things he can do," BB said. "He can blitz, he can rush, he can cover, he can play the run, he can run and play in coverage and he's smart. And he's smart, too. He's pretty versatile. He can handle a lot of different assignments and not only just knowing what to do but instinctively he handles those well. He's got good feel, and rush techniques, and leverage and that kind of thing. Same thing, it could be in the passing game. He's a good player and he had some big plays for us today; no question." Chung and Ebner jumped on Bernard's back and helped him fall forward. But the ball didn't cross the line.

The Bengals lined up in 3rd and Goal from the Half-yard line in a 3-Wide Singleback. The Pats matched up with a spread out goal line, with Hightower in at the Mike as the only defender off the line. Dalton stepped back into the shotgun. He caught the ball, and threw a flat-footed Fade to Green, who was being covered but Butler. The Ball was just short, as Dalton never moved his feet. Butler leaped up and got his hands in Green's face.

The ball actually bounced off of Green's facemask. "A.J. is a great player, one of the best wide receivers in this league. It was an honor to play against him. I just went out there and competed," Butler said, then continued. "You know once the release comes, it's either going to be a fade or a slant. So you just got to know what's going on is all." Then Green cried for the flag.

The Bengals lined up on 4th and goal from the 1, in a goal line I, with Peko back in at FB. The Pats matched up in a goal-line formation with Roberts and McCourty the only ones off the line at ILB. They ran the exact same play to Bernard as they did on 2nd down, a Smash to the left. Branch stacked it up, and hit Bernard with the OLT. Bernard bounced off, and tried to slice sideways into the Endzone. But Branch reached a big mitt out, and grabbed him from behind to stop his momentum again.

He held him just long enough for the newly returned Anthony Johnson to slam into him and push him down backwards. "I mean, it was a big stop for us," BB said. "We ended up giving them the ball back and then they ended up scoring the next time down, but of course any time you make a goal line stand that's a big lift for your defensive unit. We were able to dig the ball out and get a little field position when they did get it back. It was a lot of bodies down there. I'm not sure exactly how that play went down but it looked like we had a number of players that penetrated, kind of set the edge, and forced the ball back inside and just had too many guys for them." It was a great play by Branch and Johnson.

WOW! "Extremely happy," Ryan said. "Five-and-one and we just defeated a good team, a hungry team that came in here today and we couldn't be any happier with where we're at." I though that goal line stand was going to be the game.

The Pats D held on the goal line for four downs. "It's something that we work on a lot. Obviously with red zone, coach is big on it and we just got to continue to improve on it. Every week red zone is a big-time play." The defense stepped up big time with Brady struggling with 2nd game back syndrome.

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