PatsDraft.Com

2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs. Pitt.

1st Quarter.

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

First off I just want to thank all the fans of this site. I have been promoting my books for sale primarily on this site. As a result, I have sold almost 500 books in the past year. Thank you for your support and patronage, both are greatly appreciated. I cannot tell you how happy it made me when I read that report. So thank you Draft fans and Patriot fans alike, and mostly thank you to all the fans of my books and website worldwide.

Pass First and Foremost.

By TOM

The Pats came back out for the second time, and remarkably less than five minutes had been taken off the clock. They lined up Empty, as they wanted to play right handed. The Steelers lined up in a spread 3-3 Nickel, with all their DBs playing Off. All four Steeler rushers got up field fast. Brady had one behind him, and two charge right into his face, as he threw to Edelman crossing the middle. Edelman was being covered by Vince Williams for some reason. Williams did a good job diving out, and grabbing Edelman from behind after he was beaten by the catch. Edelman did a good job dragging him for a hair over four yards, and almost picking up the First.

2nd and 1, the Pats lined up in a run formation. A Singleback with both TEs on the line, and Edelman behind Bennett. Brady just snuck it for the First. He just followed Andrews, who won right off the snap.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 3-Wide Strong Shotgun, with Mitchell in for Hogan on the Blindside. Brady handed the ball off to Blount underneath, and this play turned into an instant war.  He ran straight up field, and hop cut around Andrews. Thuney had doubled the DT at the point, shoved him into Andrews, and slide off on the Combo Block to hit the LB. Blount hopped behind him, as Andrews held. Shaq and Cannon hopped on the 5-Tech on the other side and collapsed him to the ground in a heap. Thuney reached the ILB, and jacked him up. Solder got beat inside by Jarvis Jones, but he held on and pushed Jarvis back three yards after he grabbed Blount.

Blount just lowered his head and kept his little feet chuggin', and by the end of the play half the players on the field were on the ground. "It's great when we get the run game going," Gronk said about Blount. "It just helps out overall with everything. Just the balance of the offense running the ball, passing the ball, it's huge. And to see him come in, run the ball super hard downhill, it's just awesome. They have a great defense, the Steelers. It's a great football atmosphere here and to see him come ready to play. The way he was rushing was awesome." He was the difference between the offense helping to win the game, or losing it.

2nd and 3, they lined up in a 4-Wide Strong Shotgun with Gronk lined up like an H-back on the left. He motioned inside a little, right before the snap. Then he ran right into the middle of the huge hole, as Shaq had washed the DT upfield as he was rushing, and Thuney jammed the other DT to the left. Andrews and Cannon both got to the LBs on the 2nd level right in front of Blount. Gronk crushed the LB in the hole like a FB, and Blount slashed past him. He broke over the magic yellow line and past Cannon and Andrews. The Safety finally cracked him down by the knees almost at midfield.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in an I-formation with Bennett motioning around like an H-Back. Bennett went to the Strongside and sealed the OLB.

Cannon blasted the DE back so quickly I thought he might have whiplash. "We knew what we had to do going out there," Hogan said. "I thought LeGarrette Blount and the offensive line were able to run the ball very well today. We certainly stressed that throughout the week and we were able to do that very well throughout the game." That was a whiplash block.

He knocked him back so violently that he was able to leave him to Shaq and go outside to box out the Safety. Blount followed Develin through the massive hole. It looked like he was going to run for a while, But Jarvis flew over from the backside and form tackled him down right on the 50.

2nd and 7, the Pats lined in a Trips-left Weak Shotgun, which just looked like a screen waiting to happen. White went up field on a little play action, and Brady whipped the ball to Edelman on a screen. Which I can dig, but I though they going to give the screen to White. The Steelers D just wasn't fooled, as they are looking for the Pass first and foremost. Two linebackers burst past the line and TFLed Edelman.

3rd and 9, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. Bolden motioned into a Winged-Shotgun. Neither White nor Bolden chipped coming out of the backfield. Hargrave beat Shaq on an inside rush right off the snap. He crossed in front of Brady as Shaq pushed him past. Brady had to bolt out of the pocket. Cannon kept Chickillo at the line. So Brady had a clear path to his right. He ran past the numbers, and looked back to see no one was really coming to kill him. He turned back up field, and spotted White past the Marker. He hit him right on the sideline. White wrapped up the ball with both arms like he was cradling a baby, and hopped out of bounds.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a Singleback. Shaq and Cannon won right off the snap again. "We're not coming off of blocks," Jarvis said. "We have to come off of blocks and make plays. I don't know another way to say it." They collapsed the right side of the line, and Thuney pulled over to the right and took out the OLB. Blount hop cut to the right and was past all three of his blockers 5-yards down field before any defender had a chance. Timmons finally hit him about 7-yards down field. Blount powered over him and rolled over the 40-yard line.

2nd and 1, the Pats lined up in a powerhouse Singleback with trip tight ends at the end of the line. They handed it to Blount. Jarvis Jones slashed through Gronk, and smashed into Blount, and TFLed him in the backfield.

Jarvis was by far the best defensive player on the field in the 1st Half. "Regardless of what the offense has going on, we on defense, we hold ourselves to a standard," Jarvis said. "The last couple of weeks, we haven't been that defense. We have to get it corrected." It looked like he had it corrected on that play.

3rd and a long 2, the Pats line up Empty. The Steelers brought four. The pocket collapsed around Brady. But all the O-linemen were able to stay between their man and Brady, and washed them past him. Brady was forced to take off. He pumped faked and took off up field. He was past the magic yellow line before anyone got near him. He slid down after three more yards. Gay gave him a cheapshot as he slid down, which of course wasn't called.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in the I. Bennett motioned right. He got outside and blocked the OLB again. The O-line zone blocked to the right. Cannon sealed the DE into Shaq again, and then got to Vince Williams on the 2nd level, Blount followed Develin into the hole. They both disappeared in a sea of violence.

2nd and 9, Pats lined up Empty. Brady had time as the O-line held just well enough. He hit Edelman dragging over the middle. He was spun down by Timmons for seven.

3rd and 2, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Brady checked. They set up the screen to White. Thuney had a great chop block outside the seam. White caught the ball and turned up field. Andrews hurdled over Thuney and got in front of White. White cut back behind him as he out ran L.T. Walton, and Andrews hit Gay. Then he flew into the endzone, and was tackled from behind, for another cheap shot, by Mike Mitchell. They all crashed to the ground 5-yards deep in the endzone. No call.

The Pats whole offense blocked so well on that play. "For the most part on the screen once you get past the, maybe call it the first five to eight yards from the line of scrimmage to five-or-so yards down field, that's really where all the action takes place [on a Screen]," BB said. "You get the ball to the screen back, and then you have one or two blockers, three blockers, whatever it is to block two or three guys. Whether it's a slip-screen to a wide-out or a back-screen. You've got a couple of blockers.

"You've got a couple of defenders and say whether the ball is on the 20-yard line, their 20 or your 20, it's probably going to be about the same space where those blocks occur. How much the deep guys get run off. I mean, not as much obviously in the red area, but they're usually not the main factor on the play. The main factors on the play are the guys that are close to the line of scrimmage. 

"Like the play that Shazier made, I think it was in the second quarter, we actually kind of had two blockers there. We couldn't quite get him. He made a nice play. He kind of knifed in between us and broke it up, but had we gotten him I think it would've been quite a few yards on that play. Again, it's usually really about getting the runner started and getting them I'd say, once you get them more than four or five yards down field then a lot of the rest of it takes care of itself. It's getting them to that point cleanly." Pats-7. Steeler-Zip. Ugly Referring-3.

The Pats D three-an'-outed the Steelers. They forced the Steelers to punt, and then repunt. Then the Offense came out and finally ran the clock down in the 1st quarter. Whew!

Strategically, I thought this was a big mistake by the Steelers at first. If you let the Pats run the ball they will kill you with playaction latter. If you jump up on the playaction, Brady will kill you over the top. But the Steelers stuck with their stop the pass first and foremast strategy. They never played run first, and got themselves trapped in the middle of the play action. Which is very difficult to do. And, a strategy that a lot of teams will be trying to copy in the next few weeks.

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The dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.

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