2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Ravens.

3rd Quarter.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Oh Crap!


The Pats forced a three and out to start the 3rd. They got the ball back at the 35. They came out Empty looking to put the game away. Brady threw in rhythm to Edelman on the sideline. He tried to spin up field. But got taken down short.

2nd down and 4, the Pats lined up in a Big Ugly Singleback. They ran Blount off tackle. He tried to straight-arm a 1st down, but the Raven were on it. 3rd and 3, the Pats motioned into a 3-Wide Winged shotgun. Brady hit Edelman on the seam for a First.

1st and 10, Pats lined up in a Singleback. Brady handed the ball off the Blount, on an off tackle run. But it was a Flea Flicker. What makes this play so interesting is that when they run the Flea flicker the RB always runs up the gut. What made this work is that Blount ran to right, stopped, and flicked the ball back to Brady. He then spotted Hogan crossing the 30. That was a beautifully designed play. It didn't go smoothly, but it worked.

1st and 10 at the 24, the Pats lined up in a Twins-Left I. Brady handed it to Blount. He followed Develin between Solder and Thuney, as Shaq slipped down. He was five yard downfield and had garnered over a 1,000-yards on the season before he went down. "It's a huge accomplishment," White said. "I think the last person to do it was Ridley a couple years ago. So it's a huge accomplishment. He's been running hard and I'm really happy for him." So am I.

1st and 10 at the 18, the Pats lined up in a twins-Left I. Brady ran a little play action, but the play fell apart. Mitchell was covered by Wright on the edge. Brady had to throw it, as he didn't really drop and pressure was coming. Mitchell caught it for a loss.

3rd and 5 from the 19, Pats Empty. Brady had time and lofted it down the sideline. The Ball dropped into Bennett's hands as he was fighting Orr. "I had it," Bennett said. "Sometimes there's one slice of pizza left and there's two hands that reach into the box. I'm always going to eat mine. I'm always going to get the last slice." Orr grabbed the ball and tried to calm it as his slice of pizza, but the ref stepped in on the attempted theft and called it a Touchdown. Pats-23. Ravens-3.

Then of course nothing really happens as the Ravens are forced to punt and completely concede the game. The Ravens came out to punt on 4th and 3 with 7:08 to go in the 3rd. I was smiling. The game was done, and I could just relax and watch the rest of the beating.

Football is such a game of momentum. In the 1st quarter, when the Pats Special Teams and defense got the Safety, they got all the momentum in the game on offense, defense, and special teams. The entire Ravens team was affected. They never really got over it… Until… Oh Crap. I mean, let’s face it, there are only two plays to talk about in the 3rd quarter.

The Ravens were forced to punt on their own 32-yard line. "We were just trying to stay mentally prepared for when we were going to have to get back on," Edelman said. "That's just how the game rolls sometimes and I've been in that situation. Those guys work hard on a weekly basis. Sometimes that just happens so it's unfortunate and we have to get better and have to learn from it. But, it was good to get hit in the face and go out and still get a win." Cyrus Jones ran down to the 20-yard line looking to catch the punt.

He let the ball hit the ground at around the 25. "Well, of course, once the ball hits the ground we don't want to be near the ball and have that hit us," BB said, of course. "That goes for everybody, but yeah, look, in general, the same thing I said last night. We turned the ball over three times and that's three too many. So we've got to do a better job of coaching and a better job of playing to eliminate those turnovers." Then instead of running away, he moved towards the bouncing ball, like it was a pretty girl and he trying to ask to dance.

The ball tick-tacked off his toe, and then he danced with the ball and the cover guy for about 16-yards to the 4-yard line, but never really tried to recover it. That was the friggin' mystery of the whole deal. He made a mental mistake, and then just watched the horror unfold without clawing, scratching, or diving his way back to the ball.

The returner slide down at the One, with Jones standing there looking at the ball rolling on the 4-yard line, and he didn't do anything. "On the ball that hit him the returner, I mean," BB said. "I mean [I mean, I'm sitting here on the Group W bench with all sorts of mean and nasty an' horrible crime-fightin' guys…], any punt returner, once we don't field the ball, then we have to get out of the way, and keep it from hitting us. Yeah, that's a fundamental thing. But relative to ball security, I mean we all have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. We turned it over three times! And all of those players, and all of the other players, we've, got to do a better job of it. We've got to coach it better. We've got to handle it better." He actually let the cover guy get up and dive back, onto the ball, without making a move on the ball at all.

Oh, my nose is itchy. I have to sneeze. Hah-hah-hah-Griff-Whalen. "We have confidence in all of our players," BB said. "We've seen [Matthew] Slater fumble before. We've seen [Tom] Brady throw an interception before, too. We'll always do what we feel is best for the football team based on the situation and the particular game and what we're dealing with." It was so strange, because he was such a heady player at Alabama.

The punt return situation has to be fixed immediately. "It is very important because it is the third phase of the game," Devin Hester said. "Field position is important. It can lead to field goals, penalties can hurt and of course turnovers are part of the game. Tonight we had two turnovers that were real crucial. That can make the difference in a game. That's the way things go.  Sometimes you have control of it and sometimes you don't. The one that hit his [Cyrus Jones] foot, he couldn't get to it in time and he tried to move out of the way." As we have seen dozens of times, a Special Teams blunder like this can cost a team a game in the Playoffs.

What made this play worse is that earlier in the game, Jones skipped-to-my-lou over a ground ball punt. WHEN THE PUNT TURNS INTO A GROUNDER YOU GET THE HELL AWAY FROM IT! YOU DON'T DANCE WITH AN OBLONG BALL BOUNCING DOWN THE FIELD, LIKE A DORK AT A SCHOOL DANCE WITH HIS MOTHER!

This play led to a Ravens touchdown, of course. The momentum has swung so far in the Raven's favor that it affected the Defense. The Pats had punched the Ravens in the face and they had turtled. However, Jones allowed them to counter punch and knock him out of the game. Pats-23. Ravens-10.

The Ravens then lined up to kick the ball off to the Pats. Slater caught the ball at the 1-yard line. He ran untouched to the 18-yard line. "I would say it's overall pretty similar to what we could say about our whole performance on offense, defense and special teams. We had our moments. We did some things well," BB said. "You mentioned some of those. We missed an opportunity to down the ball with good field position. I'd say we missed some opportunities in the return game. We were close on a punt rush, but didn't have a lot of production in the return game in the end.

"I thought the onside kick recovery was obviously one of the big plays in the game, probably the most important play of the game on special teams, even including the blocked field goal because of when it happened. I mean, that play is always a critical play. I thought our punt protection against a good punt rush and field goal rush team for that matter, our punt and field goal protection were both pretty solid, which is as I said, a real challenge against that team; Baltimore. Nobody's blocked more kicks then the Ravens have in recent years.

"There were good things and there were individually a lot of good things even on some of the plays that didn't go well. We've just got to keep working at it but that was a good special teams unit that we faced, and as you said we made some, they made some. We'll just keep working to make those plays. That group works hard. The unit works hard. I thought our three specialists gave us a lot of good plays." The Raven had three players who got in front of him, and corralled him.

Patrick Onwuasor stuck his helmet right into Slater's hands, head-butted the ball, and popped it out. "We have confidence in all of our players," BB said. "We've seen Slater fumble before. We've seen Brady throw an interception before, too. We'll always do what we feel is best for the football team based on the situation and the particular game and what we're dealing with." Shareece Wright jumped on the ball.

Now the question is can Cyrus recover mentally from this self-inflicted wound. "Just keep on him, keep telling him, keep on coming out here playing," McCourty said. "I'm not new to struggles. I've had struggles throughout my career here and you've just got to keep playing. It's football. We have a tough football team. We have a lot of guys in that locker room that care about each other, great leadership. That's what helped me through was just keep playing when I had some struggles throughout my career.

"He's a very talented player. He's young. He's a rookie. You're going to have some bad plays out there. You've just got to keep playing. We'll continue to count on him, keep on making sure his confidence stays high. I have no doubt that he's going to rebound and keep playing for us and keep playing well for us." The good news is that he is a rookie, and rookies will do stupid things no matter how smart they really are.

The Ravens scored easily again, as the Pats were still recovering from the roundhouse, and then head-butt by the Ravens special teamers. Everything had changed in this game. The Pats had all but sealed the deal, and then two special teams blunders gave all the momentum to the Ravens. They had just punched the Pats in the face three straight times.

The Ravens landed their forth-straight straight haymaker when they scored the touchdown that essentially ended the worst quarter of the season for the Pats. The game was all but over after the 1st Half, but then it seemed that the Ravens had counter punched their way to the lead. However, the Pats had dominated them so much in the 1st Half that even though the Ravens had scored 17-straight points, and knocked the Pats to the canvas with two straight combinations, the Pats were still up. Pats-23. Ravens-17.

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