2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Houston.

2nd Quarter.


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1st and 10, 3-Wide Pistol. Pats in 4-2 Nickel. The Pats matched up in a 4-2.  Houston ran play action. Osweiler hit Fuller on a little screen, but Flowers, Brown, and Ryan were there to take him down for less than two.

2nd and 8, Houston lined up in a 3-Wide Strong Shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 Nickel with Chung at ILB. Flowers got pressure and forced the quick throw, but Mumphery caught it. Ryan dragged him down short to end the 1st.

3rd and 1, Osweiler looked like he was going to run it, but Branch got in front of him. So he tried to dump it to Fuller, but Ryan was all over him and stuffed him out of bound short to force the punt. Not only did Ryan stuff Fuller, but as Fuller was dragging outside along the line of scrimmage, he shoved him in the back, and Fuller bounced two yards behind the LOS. So he caught the ball two yards short of the First. Then Ryan knocked him out of bounds. That was great smart defensive football. Understanding the situation and knowing what to do to not give up the First.

If Flowers was the best player on the field in the 1st quarter, Ryan was the best player in the 1st Half. "Logan's done a good job for us all year. He did a great job for us last night," BB said. "It was a big matchup on Hopkins and then inside in the nickel position, where Hopkins aligned a lot. Not always. He ended up on him in there, too. But really, that's what football is about, is to continue to work hard and get better…"

"Logan has done a great job. He's worked had. He's very conscientious, He takes coaching well, try's to do what he's instructed to do and when you identify something that he's doing wrong he tries to correct it and improve on it. I think that player is improving over the course of the year. That's the way it should be, and every player has an opportunity to do that. He's done a great job of taking advantage of those opportunities."

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. Brady threw it high and outside to Floyd, he dived forward and the ball bounced off his hands, and turned into a pop-up. Buoye got underneath it and held on. He tried to return it but Bennett knocked him down

1st and 10 at the 27, Houston Empty. The Pats matched up with a 2-3 Dime with all 5 guys on the LOS. Osweiler threw it quick, which is never good. Osweiler hit Fuller high, and Butler hit him low.

2nd and 3 at the 20, Houston lined up in a Strong formation. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with four guys on the line. They ran Miller up the gut. Roberts met him at the line. But Miller carried the arm tackle for the 1st.

Flowers, McCourty, and Ninkovich finally helped to get him down. "He was definitely a focus in the game," Branch said about Miller. "He had a decent game and definitely broke out for a couple of runs. He's a shifty quick guy so he definitely exposed a couple of gaps. I think we did a pretty good job getting to the sideline looking over our mistakes and trying to make sure we didn't let it happen again." He always seems to play well against the Pats.

1st and 10 at the 16, Houston lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with McCourty in at ILB. But picked up Fiedorowicz as he went down the Seam. Osweiler threw it to Fiedorowicz in the endzone. However, McCourty caught it in front of Fiedorowicz with elite coverage. Fiedorowicz had to rip it out of McCourty's hands. Then the refs called holding. To force the field goal. Pats-14. Houston-6.

1st and 10, and Lewis fumbled it. And the Offense has now made every mistake they can possible make to lose this game. "It's playoff football. It's a team game. It's not always going to be how you picture it," Ryan said. "This game felt a little bit like the Baltimore game with all of the turnovers. We were able to respond. I think that we've been there before and we didn't panic. We made them kick a lot of field goals and we knew field goals weren't going to beat us. I think we did a good job responding when we could." If not for the defense it could have been a disaster here.

They cannot expect to beat the Steelers if they turn the ball over. "It's tough when you're in the playoffs and you turn the ball over against a good football team," Edelman said. "We weren't on the field that long in the first half; I think we ran like 20 plays so it's tough. We made plays when we had to, but if we want to keep winning and move on we can't play like that. We're going to have to have a really good week of preparation this upcoming week and learn from the stuff we didn't do well. We're going to have to build off the things we did decent and focus on trying to take care of the ball." The Steelers have a QB who will take advantage of the field position garnered from turnovers.

1st and 10, Houston lined up in a Bunched up Strong shotgun. The Pats ended up in a 4-2 Nickel with five guys on the line. Houston ran. The big Branch shed the OC and swung outside and right into Miller. Brown also slammed into the RB, and knocked him back.

2nd and 8, Houston lined up in a Singleback. They put twin-TEs on the right like it was a run. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel.  They ran a double play action. First to the RB, and then the WR faked a reverse. This froze the linebackers and safeties. Fiedorowicz snuck down the seam and broke outside, no one covered him. He caught the TD.

It was the first mental mistake by the defense in this game. "Our defense played an amazing game today," White said. "I don't know how many, but like three or four turnovers. They had our back throughout the whole game, even holding [Houston] to field goals, and gave the offense the ball in the red area. They did a great job, and we just need to play better come next week." The Defense really had bailed the Offense out, right up this point. Pats-14. Houston-13.

1st and 10, the Pats offense lined up with the team in full self destruction mode. Pats lined up in a Strong Formation. They slammed Blount into the line. 2nd and 8. Pats in a Singleback. Brady dropped and hit Bennett dragging over the middle short. 3rd and 5, Winged shotgun, and Brady got sacked to force the punt.

The Offense had been strangely self destructive in the 1st Half, right up to this point. "We know we can't play like that moving forward, with all the penalties and turnovers," White said. "Because like you said, every team is good, they're going to capitalize on those opportunities, so we really need to cut those out. During the game, [we need to] keep being level-headed and keep moving forward. We can't keep thinking about the turnovers, because then it's only going to go downhill from there. You've just got to keep moving forward and just continue to get better throughout the game." They cannot have turnovers against Pitt, because the Steelers have a QB who can take advantage of it.

1st and 10, Houston lined up in a 2-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 4-2. Chung snuck up to the line. Osweiler threw a grounder to Miller. That was one of the worst throws I have ever seen. Osweiler was simply not consistent enough to take advantage of all the Pats miscues in the 1st Half. The Steelers will not be affected by a cold New England night. They are not a Dome team. They are a North East team as well.

2nd and 10, Houston lined up in a Singleback. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with Chung in at ILB. They gave it to Miller. He powered through the line. He was finally brought down by Sheard and Roberts.

3rd and 5, Empty. The Pats crowded the line with six guys. They send five and Van Noy hit Osweiler as he threw. Ryan got a hand on the low ball just before it hit the dirt. He was awesome in coverage and the run game in the 1st Half.

Pat O needs to wake the F up. "It was good to win this game and be able to move on. You've got to give these guys a lot of credit, that we didn't play particularly well, but we hung in there," BB said. "We ended up making enough plays to win. You've got to give Billy and the Texans a lot of credit. They played well. They did a great job defensively. They knocked the ball off of us. We fumbled, they intercepted us, we had too many balls out and we're lucky we didn't lose more than we did. But in the end we were able to take the ball away and play good in the red-area defensively. That was helpful, and able to come away with more points." They were hanging on by a thread here.

1st and 10, Pats lined up Empty. Brady threw it into the dirt near Lewis. 2nd and 10, Pats in 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Brady had time. He threw deep to Lewis. He leaped up and grabbed the ball thrown behind him, but Mercilus slapped it out.

3rd and 10, Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Brady stepped up and threw it deep to Hogan. Hogan, spun back to the inside and grabbed the falling egg, like a stork just dripped it 40-yards down field. He fell down inside the Forty for four more yards.

That was a great play by Hogan. He made an outstanding reaction to the ball in the air. "People that are good in that area like Logan or Danny or Julian that play that spot, a lot of it is physical characteristics," BB said. "A lot of it is the feel and instinct and quick reaction, recognition to all of the things that are happening in there and there are a lot and they happen a lot faster than they do out on the perimeter. I'm not saying it's easier or harder or better or worse. It's just different." He had to spin to the other side of the DB covering him to catch the ball. It was not just thrown on the wrong shoulder, it was thrown on the wrong side of the DB.

1st and 10 at the 37, Singleback. They ran play action, and Brady threw to the wrong shoulder for the third straight time. Bennett couldn't drag it in. 2nd and 10, Pats lined up in a Singleback. They ran Lewis on a Smash. He collided with Cannon's Butt, and then was able to scamper for a few more. 3rd and 6, Pats Empty. Mercilus sacked Brady right off the snap. He spun right past Andrews. Allen punted it out of bunds at the Four.

1st and 10, Houston lined up in a Singleback Pats matched up in a Bruschi, and I must say it has been a while since we have seen a decent 5-4. They ran Miller for a cloud of dust. Brown, Roberts, and Ninkovich took him down.

2nd and 7, Houston lined up in a Singleback. Pats matched up in a 3-4. They ran Miller again. Flowers, Brown, and Ninkovich took him down.

3rd and 3, Houston in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. With five guys on the line. They sent three. Osweiler tried to smash it into a crowd, but Ninkovich leaped over and knocked the ball down.

Houston is forced to punt, and a flag flies for a block in the back. "I don't think anyone was in a panic mode or anything," Branch said. "We know what type of team we are and we know what we're capable of. We just went out there and executed the plan." The Pats Offense has to stop sabotaging themselves.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a I. Lewis cut back for very little. "Dion did well," Bennett said. "He's an explosive back and you see him out there for kickoff returns, catching the ball, there's a lot of stuff he can do. He's very dynamic and he's played well throughout the season. He's worked his way back from injury and you just love to see guys have success." He cut back away from his blockers, and was swarmed over.

2nd and 9, Pats in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Clowney Swam right over Andrews and slammed into Brady as he threw. He was lucky to get it anywhere near Dion, but unfortunately it was at his feet. Clowney went right up the middle again.

3rd and 9. Brady waved Edelman deep over and over. "Jules Edelman did a great job. He always does," Brady said. "He's a huge playmaker for us and his ability to create separation, and make plays down the field. He did a bunch of that tonight. So he did a great job." Brady finally flung it to Edelman past midfield at the Houston 20. He fell forward to the 18. That was an incredible play.

Brady may have saved this game throwing deep in the 1st Half. "Playoff football is playoff football. Everyone wants to talk about playoff experience, but it's a new year and you can never really prepare for it," Edelman said. "Once you get out there it's definitely a different speed: guys are playing hard, there's nothing to lose. No game is guaranteed. It's full-throttle, so that's kind of what you expect going into these kinds of games." He went full throttle on that play, that's for sure.

Houston played the short zone on the Pats, and forced Brady to go deep. "We were able to hold the ball a little bit and get the ball down the field, let our guys kind of get into the defense. They were kind of covering some of those shorter zones, and we did have some chances," Brady said. "We had more chances to take advantage of some of the ones down the field that we didn't come up with, too. So it was just one of those nights where we really never got into a rhythm on offense. But we'll learn from it and try to be better next week." Those uncharacteristic long throws may have saved the game.

They decided to rush three guys more than we've seen before. "Well they were dropping everyone," Edelman said. "So you know anytime they're rushing three the plays are going to go longer, you're going to have the ability to make a play downfield. We were able to make a couple, but we missed a couple too." This was something that we haven't seen a lot of from opponents.

They tried to take Brady off his game, but he made the throws. "Give the Texans credit. They did a good job," BB said. "Defensively they gave us a lot of problems. We had six 1st-downs in the first half. We threw up a couple of prayers and came down with them, made a couple of good catches with Chris [Hogan] and Julian. We just didn't have any consistency at all offensively, couldn't run it or throw it very well." I would be shocked if the Steelers don't steal some of that game plan.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a convoluted Singleback. They ran Dion up the gut. The line got some nice push right in the middle. But Clowney flew around the left edge unblocked, and dived inside to grab Lewis.

Lewis was as great as he was troubling, with a schizophrenic mix of TDs and turnovers.  "He's one of our guys. He's a key guy on this team," McCourty said. "In college he played in the Big East [Pitt]. Man. they make us tough. He did a great job. I think just working all offseason, giving himself a chance to, when called on, be ready to go. And he's a veteran player now. He understands what it takes to play in these games. I think as a teammate you're just happy to see him out there and looking good and creating big plays for us." They need the dynamic from him this week, without the disaster.

2nd and 8, Pats lined up in a stacked up Singleback. They ran a Toss to Lewis. Solder got outside and lead Dion. He curved inside that block, and got close to the 1st down.

3rd and 2, Pats in a Strong Formation. Brady ran a tiny bit of a playaction, and quickly turned back to Hogan running a quick Out. He turned out at the Three. He tried to turn into the Endzone, but Buoye dragged him out of bounds so he couldn't score.

1st and 10 at the 2 and half, Pats Empty. Dion motioned into a tight 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady had too much time. He looked like Aaron Rogers hopping in the pocket. He finally took off and almost scored. But Clowney grabbed him at the One.

2nd and goal from the One, Pats lined up in a Goal line I. They ran play action. Develin was open sneaking out to the Flat. He looked like he had time. Brady threw instantly to Develin, and he turned instantly to the endzone. But the DB following Bennett left him and crashed into Develin at the goal line. He didn't get conclusively in.

3rd and goal from the half-foot line. Blount got hit, and bounced outside. Then he got hit by two guys, and fought forward. He actually tripped over Bennett, who had driven a defender into the turf, more than he was tackled. Pats are forced to kick the field goal. Pats-17. Houston-13.

They take the three points and will receive the ball to start the 3rd. "It was good to be able to get the last opportunity there. We drove it down. We got the ball to the one-inch line but couldn't get it in," BB said. "I might've thought about going for it on fourth-down. But when we lost yards there on third-down, the ball was on about the one one-and-a-half, whatever it was. Instead of on the one-inch line. Then I didn't really think very much about going for it at that point. It's good to get the three points." The field goal ended the game.

They were set to receive the ball to start the 2nd Half. "We had the ball to start the second half because we deferred to start the game," BB said. "But it would've been nice to get seven. We had a couple of good chances. We just didn't get it done. Again, like a lot of things tonight, if we don't improve in those situations the next time we play then it'll probably be the last time we play. We've got to take advantage of our opportunities. We've got to coach and execute better. Hopefully we'll be able to get that done this week." No Dome team is coming into Foxboro at night, in January, and beating the Pats in the 2nd Half, period. Game-Set-Match Patriots.

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