2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Houston.

1st Quarter.


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Erratic Osweiler.


The Pats defense stuffed Houston with a 3 and out to start the game. It started with a stop by Hightower on Hopkins in coverage. Then they stuffed the run, and ended with a Sack by Ninkovich on 3rd down to force the punt.

1st and 10 Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady hit Edelman off the fake Jets sweep. 2nd and 5. Pats in a Singleback. Lewis hopped, skipped, and jumped for Four. 3rd and 1, Singleback. Lewis got stuffed, for the second straight 3rd and out.

1st and 10, Houston lined up in I. The Pats match up in a 3-3 Nickel with a Chung in the box. Pats stuff them. 2nd and 8, Shotgun. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. Sheard had a nice rush. Osweiler threw it wildly. 3rd and 8, 4-Wide Trips-R Shotgun. Pats matched up with 5-guys on the line Flowers flushed Osweiler. Logan Ryan knocked the pass down with great positional coverage. Third straight three and out.

Logan Ryan had a great pass break up on 3rd down to force the punt. "Well, playing strength is an important component of really almost any position, as it comes to defensively, as it relates to tackling, defeating blockers, defending yourself, playing through contact and so forth," BB said. "It's an important component of really every position, but it's definitely an important component for Logan [Ryan]. But a big part of that position is just the difference in playing on the outside, because you're so much closer to the ball and there are a lot of different players that can get to you and your area, and the number of routes that an inside receiver can run compared to an outside receiver is different because he's closer to the middle of the field and there's more space available to him. It's a different game in there. It's a game within a game." The Pats offense looked like they had a hangover, but the defense was dominating Houston's offense to start the game.

1st and 10, 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Houston sent three and the O-line stuffed them. Brady went deep down the left sideline. Buoye elbowed Hogan to slow him enough so he couldn't catch up with the ball. The refs called it. They spotted the ball well past midfield.

1st and 10 at the 35, Pats in the I. Develin motioned out wide. They ran a play action, but no one fell for it. The O-line fought well. Shaq helped Cannon with Health on the edge. Brady had time, and he threw a high hard one that looked lost in the air. But it somehow landed in Hogan's hands like a hero for a nice 22-yard pick up inside the Redzone.

1st and 10, Pats in Singleback. Brady swung it out to Lewis. He made the slightest of shifts, that made McKinney freeze for the slightest tick of a second. Then he outran McKinney to the corner, turned up field and scored with speed, and not unholy quickness.

This play really saved the 1st Half for the Pats. "It was a great play, it was a huge play," Brady said. "We haven't had many of those this year, but the defense got a lot of turnovers in the second half of the year. Those big kickoff returns help a lot, so it was good, complementary football outside of our turnovers, which really hurt us. We're never going to turn the ball over as many times as we did and think that we had a good game." It was getting painful to watch. Pats-7. Houston-Zip.

1st and 10, Houston motioned into a 4-Wide Shotgun. Pats in a 3-3 Nickel with five guys on the line. Osweiler swung it out to the RB Hunt. Hightower and Ryan took him down. Then the refs called pass interference on Houston.

1st and 20, Houston in a 4-Wide Trips-left shotgun. Osweiler threw to Fuller, and Butler crushed him straight back on his butt. That was a huge hit, and was a large part of the reason why Fuller disappeared for the rest of the game.

2nd and 13, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Trips-left shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-4. Ryan blitzed from the corner, while Brown grabbed the OLT and OLG. He ran past the OLT, and Sacked Osweiler. The defense was on fire. They did not fear Osweiler at all.

3rd and 18, Osweiler dumped it off to Hopkins to force the punt. But Rowe was called for a random act of stupidity that they translate into an automatic 1st down. That play changed the shape of the game for the rest of the Half. Houston's offense had been completely shutdown before that odd penalty, and they found their groove for the rest of the Half.

1st and 10, Houston was in a Weak formation. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with five guys on the line. Miller snuck outside on a run. Roberts tried to get outside, but couldn't reach his shoestring. Ryan and McCourty took him down.

2nd and 5, Houston went Weak again. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 Nickel with Chung in at ILB. Osweiler hit Miller on an Out. Sheard took him down at the marker. So instead of a punt after they didn't convert on 3rd and 18, Houston was able to earn it's first 1st down of the game.

1st and 10, Houston stayed in the Weak formation. The Pats stayed in the 3-4 Nickel, only Chung was lined up as the on the line OLB. He even blitzed the edge. They ran up the gut and Hightower and McCourty finally took him down past midfield.

2nd and 3, Houston lined up Weak at the 42. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with Chung in the slot. Miller got stuffed by Branch at the line. 3rd and 3, Houston lined up in a Trips-left Weak Shotgun. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. Osweiler fired a scorching rocket to Rowe's man Grimes, who snuck out of the backfield.

1st and 10 4-Wide Trips left Shotgun. Pats stayed 3-4 Nickel with Chung at ILB. They rushed four. Flowers pulled his way past the OLG with his elite hands, and hit Osweiler as he threw. But Osweiler completed the pass to Fiedorowicz close to a First. Chung, Roberts, and Ryan brought him down short. 2nd and 1, Houston went Strong. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. Grimes ran easily for the First.

1st and 10, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Trips-right Weak Shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with Ninkovich standing up at the end of the line. Flowers, who was the best player on the field in the 1st Quarter, got pressure on Osweiler as he threw again. But this time Fiedorowicz couldn't hold on. Chung had great coverage.

2nd and 10, Houston went Strong. Pats stayed in the 3-4 Nickel, with a Chung in the box. Miller had to bounce it outside. Flowers shed the OLT and dived at his feet, but couldn't hold onto his shoestring. So Miller was able to scoot outside for four. Rowe took him down at the 17.

3rd and 6, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Trips-right Shotgun. Pats brought five guys up to the line in a Dime. They sent four. McCourty, Van Noy, and Flowers conspire to stop Akeem Hunt from getting the First, and forced the field goal. McCourty and Flowers slowed him down, and Van Noy blew him up. Pats-7. Houston-3.

And just as I was thinking why the hell is Dion Lewis returning kickoffs, he ran it back for a 97-yard TD. "I mean the wedge rule, the only change in the wedge rule is just you can't have three players together. You can have kind of the two man wedge, which is basically what that was," BB said. "So they stopped the outside penetrators, what we call the one and the two come from the outside-in. They ended up blocking the one and the two. A big block on the play was with Bolden on the double-team with, I think it was Brandon King, and that created some initial space.

"Nate had a key block for us there and Shea did a good job on [Brian] Peters, who's one of their top tacklers. The two guys you've got to get are Don Jones and Peters, and so Shea did a great job on Peters over the top, and Chris Hogan, who obviously has a lot of responsibilities offensively, was also on the team and on that unit. He and Chung made a couple of big blocks on the backside and then once Dion got up to the line of scrimmage, then he was able to make a good cut there and break a tackle and outrun the rest of the team.

"That's kind of the way it looked. [Robert] Nelson, the backup corner, was the safety I think that Dion made the final move on, if I'm not mistaken on that. It was a good job all the way around. Lengel had a key block on the backside. I mean look, when you have a play like this you've got 10 guys all making key blocks. They're all important. It only takes one guy to make the tackle and if you miss that one then you're in trouble. Lengel did a good job of cleaning up on the backside. Ebner at the point of attack. King and Bolden on the double-team block.

"The key thing on the double-team block is not just to block the guy, that's part of it, but the other part of it is to move him out of his lane and get him out of the way so there's some space to run, which when you have that and then you have the kick-out block by Develin and Geneo and Slater moving up to the safety on [Corey] Moore. Slater got the safety on the play side. And then Dion, he made the backside safety, Nelson, miss on the backside, so that was the guy we weren't blocking." And Eric Rowe just stopped sweating on the sidelines.

That was a great run by Lewis. It was a great return and great execution. "The guys made their blocks," Lewis said. "All season since I've been back, I knew we'd get one, but just haven't had too many opportunities to take it out with all those deep kicks, but we knew there was going to be opportunities and I hit it. The guys did a great job for me." He found a lane and outran everyone behind his blockers. Pats-14. Houston-3.

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