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I had a plan. I knew it was flawed. It was like looking at the face of the
Mona Lisa, and not noticing the rest of the brilliant painting surrounding
her. But so much of the Pats season is going to hinge on four games to
start the season. Two of which were going to be against Arizona and
Houston. That is when I noticed that Arizona and Houston were playing each
other in the third Preseason game, the "dress rehearsal". So I
thought I'd give my dyslexic scout skills a shot at scouting two of the
Pats first three opponents.
learned a lot about these teams, and the frailties of forecasting the Preseason.
They aren't really game planning for each other. But they are practicing
the basics of their offenses and defenses. You have to master the basics
of the scheme before you can move on to the more complicated stuff. They
were showing some tendencies. However, both starting QBs left the field in
the 1st quarter. Arizona took out their starting RB after the 1st series,
and their starting O-line in the 2nd quarter. They didn't play their
starters into the 3rd quarter. I think this bodes very well for the Pats
Sunday Night. Playing the starters into the 3rd Quarter is as much about
conditioning as anything else.
Well yeah. So I didn't watch every Cardinals game over the
past year. I am just breaking down a couple of quarters. "Well yeah.
Week One is always a tough week to prepare for because just the number of
unknowns, the lack of game planning that teams do in the preseason,"
BB said. "So we can go back and look at last year. That's a lot of
volume of stuff. So look, I know that's a lot of games. There's no way
they could do everything in our game that they did last year. Plus looking
at the preseason, just trying to plug it all in and think what you might
get but you know that they worked on some things in preseason that they
probably haven't shown in those games." I just saw that the Cards
were playing Houston in Week Three of the Preseason, and thought that
could give us a nice peek at two of our first three opponents.
Maybe find a few tendencies in their basic offense. "So we'll
just have to be ready to attack and defend the way that we want to,"
BB continued. "Kind of generally want to plan to go into the game
with, and then have to be ready to make adjustments during the game as we
see how schemes and matchups and so forth unfold. So, after you get past
Week 1 at least in Week 2 you can really see what your opponent tried to
do in the first game. They didn't hold anything back. They're playing the
people and doing the things that they think are the best and you get a
much clearer read after that first game, but it's all the same for both
teams, but that's part of the challenge of it. I'd say we'll get started
on Arizona, really Tuesday will kind of be like a Wednesday for us, so
that'll really be our big day in terms of digging into them. We'll get the
process started today but like I said, we have a long way to go in terms
of really hitting it from Tuesday through Friday this coming week."
Okay-okay Bill. So my plan wasn't the best ever, but it's the best I got.
the Cards on Madden, and beat them this week. "Oh-kaay,"
thanks Bill. "We're seeing obviously a lot of the film on the
Cardinals. It's a really impressive team. I think they do a lot of things
well. They're obviously well coached. They have a good organization.
They've done a great job of building the team and [have] a lot of
strengths, a lot of things, a lot to deal with. Offensively, it's probably
as good a group of skill players that we've seen in a long time. They have
great receivers, tight ends, running backs, obviously quarterback, a lot
of playmakers, a lot of players that can make big plays and they make a
lot of them." I beat them in my first try with Garoppolo.
When I lose the first game against a team, the Pats lose about 90%
of the time (well yeah. I know that sounds nuts, but it's true).
The amount of bad luck I have to have to lose at Madden often maddeningly
translates to the game. "The special
teams, Bethel [is] one of the top special team's players in the
league," Bill said breaking down the special teams, like he is
special teams coach. "He's about as good as anybody that we'll face.
We obviously haven't seen a lot of him but he's an excellent coverage
player, kick blocker. The returners are explosive players: [David] Johnson
on kickoff returns last year, Peterson [is] very dangerous, Ellington,
whoever we get back there. They are all big-play type of players."
Also, the Cards returned a kickoff for a TD. So look for a long kickoff from
the Cardinals (I know it sound crazy, but I never claimed to be normal).
It is amazing how consistently that first game on Madden is
predictive in my wacky world. It actually gives me the creeps sometimes.
But I have been doing it for almost 20-years (I found my ancient
Madden '99 cartridge for Super Nintendo [or N-64 I can't remember] recently). "And defensively this is a
team that turns the ball over very well," Bill said. "They have
a good pass rush, a lot of big guys up front. They're hard to block.
Bucannon, Mathieu, Peterson are all good ball-disruption players. They
cause fumbles, intercept passes, sack the quarterback. They're very fast.
The team has good speed. It's hard to outrun these guys. They track
everybody down." And no! I didn't play on '99 (I played them on
The good news is that it looks like Solder, hamstring, is going to
play (I subbed out Solder and Vollmer and got my ass beat, twice).
"They had a great year last year going to the NFC Championship
Game," Bill continued to try and scare me. "They're just very
consistent in their ability to score points, turn the ball over, and make
a lot of productive plays in all three phases of the game. They've had
great success playing at home in their stadium. It'll be a big challenge
for us down there opening on the road against this quality of a football
team and the way they play there. We need to have a really good week and
obviously need to go down and play a good football game in all three
phases of the game." Unfortunately winning the first game isn't as
predictive as losing it (it is a video game, so I should win by at least
four TDs every time). So I'm still a little ah-scared.
With all due respect to Madden, here is a break down of the
Cardinals Vs. the Texans with more of a look at both teams, for obvious
reasons, than normal. This is the third Preseason game for both teams.
came out with the starting offense of: Palmer,
Veldheer, Iupati, Shipley, Evan Mathis, and DJ Humphries. That is one hell
of an O-line. There are three guys who have been to the Pro Bowl (four if
you include Palmer). Javon Brown (who didn't make the team), Michael
Floyd, and John Brown were the WRs, and Gresham is the TE. Larry Fitzgerald
Dave Johnson is in at RB. "He's a big back kind of like Bolden, maybe a little bigger than Brandon, but
a bigger back that has good speed, good passing game skills, good in blitz
pickup, he's a strong runner, he can get some tough yards, run inside, run
outside," BB said. "[He] had a long kickoff return last year
against the Bears. 100 and whatever it was yards. So he has got good long
speed. Really he does an excellent job for them on all three downs, all
four downs, if they want to use him as a kickoff returner. Again, it's a
combination of his size, his playing speed, quickness, has got good
run-vision, and is a smart kid. So, he does a great job for them." I think he is going to be a star.
played all three RBs in the 1st Half. "You
can start with David Johnson," Patricia said. "#31: big,
strong, fast, very patient runner. A guy that can get downhill into the
defense very quickly. He's very elusive, a patient runner, so you think
you might have him pinned in the backfield and he just slides into open
space and has enough strength and power to break tackles and get vertical.
Very dangerous from that standpoint, can get out of the backfield, can
catch the ball, can make plays in space. Certainly a guy that can get to
the edge, get downhill, kind of, ‘do everything' running back
Johnson we obviously know is very explosive, very fast player, very good
space player, but is a guy that will run the ball downhill and take it
into open space and try to get positive yards. I think that's one of the
things with all their backs that they do [very well]: they try to make
sure there are no negative plays. If you look at it: they're falling
forward, they're getting yardage, they're always positive with their run
very productive players, and even Ellington, 38, is another: explosive,
fast guy, and really good in space. Does a good job with the ball in his
hands, whether it's in the pass or the run game, A guy they're putting out
there to try to get the ball to. Three very good backs, all a little bit
different, but all still do a lot of the same things.
" They are going to be a big challenge behind
the Cardinal's big O-line.
Quarter: Cards Vs Houston.
The Cards lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback with the TE on the
Strongside. Houston matched up in their big 3-4 with: Clowney and Mercilus
at OLB, Covington and Devon Stills at D-end, and Wilfork at NT. Cushing
and McKinney lined up inside. They had two good Corners in Kareem Jackson
and Jonathan Joseph, with Quentin Demps and Andre Hal at Safety.
1st and 10, Palmer dropped back to pass. They ran a screen, but
Houston was all over it. John Simon and Mercilus got out there fast and
took him down at the LOS. On 2nd and 10, they lined up in a Trips-Right
Singleback. Houston shifted into a 4-2 Nickel. David (Johnson) ran for a
cloud of dust.
3rd and 7, the Cards lined up in a 4-Wide Strong-shotgun. Houston
matched up in a 2-3 Dime with the two linebackers in front of the center,
and an OLB lined up outside the ORT and 5-Tech. Cushing and Clowney got up
field and tested the edges nicely. But they get washed past Palmer as he
threw. He double clutched, and the ball was tipped by the Mighty Vince.
Hal intercepted the ball.
Mr. Jones is in wearing #55. Houston came out with Osweiler at QB.
Clark at OLT, Su'A-Filo, Mancz, Jon Allen, and Lamm at ORT. Lamar Miller
at RB, with Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Strong at WR, and Fiedorowicz at TE.
1st and 10, Houston lined up in a 3-Wide I-formation. Cardinals
milled about in a 3-4, with a linebacker standing up right in front of the
1-gap. They handed the ball off to
ex-Dolphin RB Lamar Miller. He ran a smash to the strongside. The Cards
gave up nothing. Buchanan, Josh Mauro, and Frostee Rucker made the tackle
at the LOS.
2nd and 8, Houston lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. The Cards
matched up in a 4-2 Nickel. The Cards sent four, and all four got
penetration. Osweiler threw as he was being hit. He threw it into the feet
of Miller, who dropped it.
3rd and 8, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Weak-shotgun. The Cardinals
matched up in a 2-3 Dime. They brought four, and got up field again. These
guys can really get up field in the rush. Both DTs got 5 or 6 yards up
field and forced Osweiler to throw underneath. He hit Braxton Miller
underneath, and three defenders took him down quick.
4th and 3, and Houston went for it. They lined up in a 4-wide
Strong-shotgun. The Cards matched up a little more aggressively in a 2-4
Nickel, with six guys who looked like they were blitzing. But they brought
four instead. This time the D-ends got up field fast, and forced Osweiler
to step up in the pocket. He had to throw on the move. He hit Miller with
a bullet and he got hit inside the Five.
1st and goal from the 1 and a half, they both went into Goal line
formations. Houston ran off tackle with Lamar Miller. He ran at a
45-degree angled straight
into the endzone following his blockers well. Minter caught him at the
One, and he powered through him.
1st and 10 Empty, Houston lined up in a 3-3 Nickel with four guys on
the line and two ILB. The pocket was perfect for Palmer. He hit Fells the
tight end 15-yards down field in a flash. And he turned up field and ran
to the Houston 35.
1st and 10, the Cards lined up in a Singleback with a Bunch on the
left. They tried to run David (Johnson) up the gut behind Iupati. Cushing
took him down at the line.
2nd and 8, the Cards lined up in a Trips-Right Singleback. They sent
one WR to the left. Palmer dropped and the RB picked up a blitzer nicely.
It gave Palmer time to throw deep into the Endzone. Houston brought five,
and then Cushing came late as he saw the RB stayed in to block. Cushing
hit Palmer on a Jamie Collins like Blitz up the gut, which forced Palmer
to over throw JJ Nelson (who ran a 4.27 at the combine).
3rd and 8, the Cards lined up in a tight 3-Wide Strong-shotgun with
the TE with his hand down outside the OLT. Houston went into a Dime, and
brought five guys up to line: three-up two-down, and they all looked like
they were going. Houston brought four. Cushing broke free to pressure
Palmer up the gut again. He is a guy the Pats are going to have to watch
in Week Three. Javon Brown made the catch for the 1st, but didn't make the
team. He beat Jackson on a crossing pattern. Houston brought four as both
LBs who play the Hightower and Collins roles dropped. Mercilus had a great
rush again. He faked outside, and ripped inside the ORT. He got his arm up
in Palmers face as he threw.
1st and 10, the Cards lined
up in a Trips left Singleback. Houston matched up in a very Patriots
looking 3-3 Nickel with Mercilus standing up at the end of the line in the
Chris Long role. David got the ball and danced past Mercilus
and John Simon in the backfield. Simon actually grabbed him, and he dived
forward for three.
2nd and 8 at the 22, the Cards line up in a 3-Wide Singleback: pass
1 for 1. Houston matched up in a 3-4 with Mercilus standing up like Long
again. Mercilus set the edge as they ran to his side. He grabbed and threw
the ORT to the ground, as he was lunging at him. David slashed past him
inside. He weaved his was down to the Six, where McKinney tackled him out
of bounds. Devon Still almost got Chris in the backfield.
1st and 10, and the Cards lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback again.
They motioned the outside WR inside like an H-back, so is looked like a
twin-TE-L Singleback. They ran David on a Dive up the gut. He powered to
the Two behind Iupati. Cushing, Clowney, and Jackson made the tackle.
2nd and goal from the Two, and the Cards hurried into a Singleback
Bunch-L: run 1 for 1. They hand it to David on a Dive. But Cushing burst
up the middle. David made a great stop and go move to his left that made
Cushing miss. Then he ran through Clowney for the TD.
1st and 10, Houston lined up in a 3-W Singleback: Pass 1 for 1.
Osweiler ran a little, a very little, playaction. He turned around and
rusher was right in his face. Kevin inter exploded right up the gut like
Collins and sack Osweiler before he had a chance to do anything. The
3-Tech slanted outside, and the OC doubled the other DT and left a gaping
hole right in the middle for Minter to run through untouched.
Andrews is going to have to watch that.
"I think that playing time helped any rookie player going into the second year. David played really well for us last year,"
BB said. "He’s really smart and has a good instinct for playing the center
position. He’s played it his whole life, since fifth grade or whatever.
So he definitely knows how to play in there. But I would say the extra year probably just moves everything along a little
bit. [He's] a little bit quicker, a little bit smoother with the identifications.
"Again, not that any of this I would say was a problem
[his rookie year], but it’s just better with more experience, and [he
has]: more decisive, quicker recognition, just more experienced inside and on different plays, and protections, and looks, and where to help, and how long to help a guy, and when you have to leave him for an assignment or sometimes you can’t help them at all. Sometimes you can help them a lot depending on what the play is, or the assignment, or the location of the other defensive lineman, or the linebackers as the case may be. It’s a lot of little things like that."
He is going to have to watch that ILB/Collins blitz up the gut, before he
helps his teammates.
2nd and 18, Houston lined up Empty. The Cards matched up in a 3-2
Dime, with the three D-linemen on the line, and two ILB. The slot guy
hopped inside to blitz, and the ILB Minter moved outside to cover the slot.
Osweiler threw to the TE in the slot being covered by Minter to pick up
3rd and 11, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Strong-shotgun. Cards
matched up in a 3-3 Nickel, and sent all six. The O-line and RB blocked
it well. Osweiler had time to hit Hopkins dragging over the middle. He
made two guys miss, including Mike Jenkins, to reach the marker. Then
Swearinger and Mr. Jones brought him down. Mike Jenkins didn't get back
up, and was carted off the field (I'm tempted to say that Hopkins
literally broke his ankle, but would be in bad taste).
1st and 10, Houston lined up in a Twin-Twins Singleback right out of
the Pats playbook again. The Cards matched up in a 3-4. The Cards twisted
the two ILB inside right at the OC. Osweiler handed the ball to Miller.
One ILB turned to Miller, he bounced it outside to the strongside, and
slid down. Minter hit him first, and Peters, Campbell, and Red Bryant
helped out. That is a big run defense.
is going to have to get the inside guys in position to stop that twisting
ILB blitz. "[His job is] kind of tying it together," BB said
about Andrews. "That’s an important part of the center position.
[It] is helping the other four guys, two on either side of you, all see the same picture of the people that you’re responsible
for. A lot of little things. I don’t think there is any [one] big
[thing]. But each protection is different, each play is different. Every front that we go up against has a little bit of a nuance that’s a little different than the next
one [like doing the ILB Twist]. So, it’s a lot of little things like that."
Come on baby, let's stop the Twist.
2nd and 7, Houston lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Cards
matched up in a 4-2 Nickel. Mr. Jones pushed the OLT back, but got
stopped. Osweiler threw deep to the rookie Will Fuller flying down the
sideline. He caught it at the 25, and got taken down by BB's favorite
special teams guy Justin Bethel.
1st and 10, Houston lined up in an I-formation. Which was really
telling the Cards they are going to run. The Cards lined up in their 3-4.
Houston ran a sweep to the strongside. Frostee Rucker busted through the
line and fell down trying to grab Miller. But the play was blown up. Mr.
Jones set the edge outside, and turned Miller inside. Buchannon, Tony
Jefferson, and Xavier Williams made the tackle.
2nd and 11, Houston came out Empty. Cards line up in a 2-3 Dime with
four guys on the line. Then the two OLB put their hands down and shifted
into a 4-1 Dime. The pocket was good. Osweiler hit Anderson underneath.
But the tight end was called for a push off.
2nd and 21, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Weak-shotgun Pass 1 for 1.
The Cards matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with four guys on the line, with Mr.
Jones standing up outside the OLT. Osweiler had a ton of time. He hit
Hopkins again on a deep In. He caught it at the 20 for a First.
1st and 10, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide S-shotgun Pass 2 for 2. The
Cards matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with all six guys lined up tightly on the
LOS, with Mr. Jones standing up outside the OLT. They brought four, and
the two ILB dropped. Mr. Jones sacked Osweiler and did a little dance. He
just blasted off and Ripped under the OLT as he turned into Osweiler, who
had no chance.
miss Mr. Jones already. "I called him the next day and said, 'hey, you could’ve traded me to any other
team. So thank you for not trading me to a ssshhhh [crappy] team,"' Jones
said. "They’re not known for really paying guys over there. There were rumors going around that I might be traded, but you never really read too much into rumors. When it happened, it was just a tad
shocking." I was more than a "tad shocked". Houston kicked the FG. Houston-10. Cards-7.
1st and 10,
the Cards lined up in their odd Bunched up Singleback,
where the TE had his hand down, with the WRs lined up right next to him.
So far they have run with the Bunch on the left, and passed with the Bunch
on the right. Singleback Bunch-L: run 1 for 1. Houston matched up with a
big 4-3. They had five guys on the LOS, and brought a Safety up as the
Will, like Chung is wont to do. They handed the ball to Chris (Johnson).
He had to turn inside and slammed into the line. He got his helmet knocked
off by Quintin Demps.
2nd and 7, Empty. Houston matched up in a 3-2 Dime with four guys on
the LOS. The Cards O-line was perfect. Palmer had to step up as time ran
out. Then he finally had to take off, as no one was open. He ran for about
5-yards and slid down untouched.
3rd and 1, the Cards lined up
in that same odd Bunched up Singleback.
With the H-back outside the ORT this time, and two WRs standing next to
him, one on the line and one off. Houston matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with
the D-line shifted to the right. Clowney is lined up with his hand down
just outside the OLT's shoulder, and the Safety was playing the Chung role of
Nickel linebacker. Two LBs come up to the line, and one lined up a couple
yards behind Clowney's inside shoulder. The two ILB and the
Chung-Safety all creep up to the line. They brought six, and the Safety
stayed with the tight end. They gave the ball to Chris. They ran a
smash to the right, and he got the first a little too easily.
Their run game is really looking good. "Bruce
[Arians the HC of the AC] has a pretty, I'd say, diversified attack,"
BB said. "So, they do a lot of things that they do consistently.
[Bruce] did them in Pittsburgh and a year in Indianapolis and in Arizona, but every game has its own variations and its own individual matchups and all of that. He's a very creative coach.
"He has got a foundation that he builds from and then he can also expand that into whatever areas he feels like you're vulnerable at. He does a good job of it. You kind of know what they want to do but there are a lot of changeups, there are a lot of variables that he'll throw at you. I think if you just read the article last year in Sports Illustrated you get a sense of how broad their game plan is, how many options they have. I mean it would be impossible to get ready for all of those just based on the volume of what they do, but I'd say that's reflected in the way they play.
"There are a lot of things that are consistent and then each week there are things that you haven't seen before that you wouldn't have been able to practice.
Whether that's moving players into different positions and doing the same things, or doing new things or doing things that.
Something they've done a lot of and then off of that they set up something else that you haven't seen but it's a complimentary type of
Their O-line gets better every year.
1st and 10, the Card stayed in the Singleback Bunch-R. Houston
matched up in a 3-4 with a Safety creeping up into the Box. Houston read
run fast and the whole front seven got past the LOS. Chris had to bounce
it outside. He was tackled out of bounds by Clowney.
1st and 10, the Cards motioned into a Twin-TE left Singleback.
Houston went 3-4. They ran play action. Palmer had a great pocket and
threw in rhythm to Floyd at midfield.
1st and 10, the Cards lined up in a 3-Wide Singleback. Houston
matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. The rush was stuffed again. Palmer had too
much time, and finally dumped it off underneath to Fells very short to end
the 1st quarter.
2nd and 6, the Cards lined up in a 3-Wide I-Shotgun (the RB lined up
behind Palmer). Houston matched up in a 2-4 Nickel with four guys on the
LOS. Houston has been copying everything the Patriots defense has done the
past couple years. They send the TE in motion to the right. This seemed to
signal run to the Houston defense.
The whole Front-Six slid over to the strongside. Three defenders
meet Chris at the line. He shifted and stopped a little, and all three
defenders mostly missed him. Which allowed Chris to get to the second
level where Demps took him down. That was a great shifty power run by
1st and 10, the Cards went Empty. Houston matched up in a 3-3
Nickel, with all six guys looking like they were going. They sent four and
dropped two. The blocking was good. Palmer hit JJ Nelson in the hands by
the marker, and he dropped it.
2nd and 10, and the Cards lined up in a 3-W Singleback: Pass 2 for 3.
Houston matched up in a Patriots 3-3 Nickel. They brought four. Palmer ran
play action. He had time, as they were running a tricky screen. I don't
remember ever seeing a screen run off a play action. Wow! Some OLB named
John Simon was rushing from the strongside. The tight end let him go, and
drifted into the flat to catch the TE-screen. Simon broke free and flew at
Palmer. Palmer tried to throw it over Simon to the TE right behind him.
But Simon leaped up and tipped the ball, twice, and then caught it for a pick-six.
Offense 1st Quarter:
S-Shotgun: Pass 1 for 1
S-Shotgun: Pass 2 for 2
I-Shotgun Motion TE-R: run 1 for 1
twin-TE-L Singleback: 1 for 2 run
Singleback: Pass 3 for 4
Singleback Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1
Singleback Trips-L: Run 1 for 1
Bunch-L: Run 2 for 2
Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 3
run 3rd and 1)
Offense 1st Quarter:
run 1 for 1
I: Run 1 for 1
Singleback: Pass 2 for 2 (sack)
W-shotgun Pass 2 for 2
S-shotgun Pass 3 for 3 (sack)
Singleback: Run 1 for 1
Quarter: Cards Vs Houston.
Cardinals came back out to start the 2nd quarter, and bring in the back up
QB. Palmer got cheap-shotted
with a helmet to helmet hit by a diving Devon Still after he threw the
Pick Six, and nearly got decapitated.
dive-speared with his helmet aimed right at Palmer's head. "I turned
around and I saw him dive for John and I took him out," Still
said. "It was simple. I see a lot of people saying it was a cheap
shot, but what if he made the tackle." Simons was already gone when
he dived, and it was clearly a cheapshot. Palmer helmet went flying off
and spun on the turf for while.
was clearly dazed and confused. "You can't be light on your coverage
in the deep part of the field or he'll kill you," BB said.
"[He's a] tough guy. [He will] stand in the pocket, take a hit, make
a good throw. But he's smart. We'll have to do a good job of not making it
easy for him and we've got to do a good job of not giving up big
plays." If it wasn't a Preseason game, would he have come out?
was falling down after Simon ran through his little hand grab on his
shirt. That guy has to be suspended. If
Still were a Patriot Goodell would suspend him for all eternity. So
I'm sure the Ass-Monkey won't do anything, because his number one priority
is player safety. I don't know if Palmer was out because of the Still
cheapshot that sent his helmet flying, or if BB has created a monster, and
now every backup QB is going to sub in during the 2nd quarter of the Third
Preseason game. But he was clearly concussed.
and 10, Drew Stanton goes under center in a Singleback. Houston matched up
in a 3-4 with one ILB creeping up to the line. Then he dropped back into a
straight up 3-4. Stanton stepped to the wrong side, turned back, and
handed the ball confusingly to Chris (Johnson), and there are four
defenders unblocked in front of him. He dived into the dirt.
and 11, they come back out in a Singleback and a basic 3-4, and what
little we could glean from this game might be over. Stanton dropped,
looked to left, didn't like what he saw, and took off. He did not look
ready to play QB in the NFL right now.
was two straight plays, in the most basic formation, and he looked
completely confused and almost disoriented on both. If the Pats can knock
Palmer out of the game the Cardinals are cooked. And since he was so
obvious concussed (I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'), it might not be that
and 6, 3-wide Strong shotgun. Stanton dropped to pass. The slot WR was
wide open on his left. But he threw to the outside WR on his left. #10
(who is not on the team) had Charles Jones in front of him, and was very
well covered. The ball hit Jones in the back of the helmet. If he had
turned back that ball would have been right in his hands. He didn't turn
back and the refs called a little hometown pass interference.
and 10, and the offense had completely changed. The Cards lined up in a
Strong formation. Which is a running formation. Houston matched up in
their 3-4. The Cards ran a dive to Ellington. He just ran in a
straight-line downfield until three defenders smashed into him, and this
is a waste of time.
the doctor came over to Palmer on the sideline and started asking him
questions about his obvious concussion. Palmer just kept shaking his head
no. Then after a bit, it appeared he said, "I chipped my tooth."
Then he picked something off his lower front teeth, and you could see his
lower lip was swollen.
that isn't going to help us on Sunday night. "Carson
is definitely willing to stand in there and deliver the ball under
pressure and wait until the last second to get rid of it," BB said.
"I mean he is a big, strong guy now. He's big for a quarterback and
has a good frame so I'm not saying any quarterback wants to get hit a lot,
but there are some guys that can absorb more of those than others. [He's]
not as big as Roethlisberger but he's a big quarterback." He is tough
old school QB.
good news it that BB does have some familiarity with him. "We had him
out in the Pro Bowl for a year and it was good to get to know him out
there," BB said. "He's sharp. He knows when he needs to get rid
of the ball and I think he also knows when he might need to hold it just a
little bit longer to give the receivers a chance to get into an open space
or make a play. And he's strong and tough and able to take those hits [to
the tooth]." The Pats need to hit him hard to rattle him.
he has seen every trick in the book. "We have a lot of respect for
him as a player, as a person, and he has certainly done a great job for
the Cardinals in leading them to the success that they've had since he has
been there," BB said. "He is playing at a very high level. He's
in a great offensive system with Coach Arians' offense and they have a lot
of great players on that side of the ball. They have a lot of great
players, period, but they have a lot of great players on the offensive
side of the ball and they are a hard team to stop. They score a lot of
points and they can move the ball up and down the field quickly, so he is
one of the many problems we'll have to deal with on Sunday night."
The Pats defense has to play at their highest level if the Pats are going
to win this game.
Cards offense brought in the 2nd team O-line, and the 3rd string RB. Along
with the back up QB we won't see Sunday Night. We can't glean anything
from that. However, it is interesting that the 1st team offense did not
get at least a full half of work in the Third Preseason game, which is
just as much about conditioning as anything else. I watched the Denver
game opening night, and Carolina had a 17 play drive. The Broncos defense
was completely gassed. I think this could be a big advantage for the Pats.
the Cards defense or offense gets gassed for a long drive Sunday Night,
and I can't see how the offense could possibly be ready after throwing
away the Third Preseason game, the Pats offense and defense will do some
real damage. I think the Pats win this game. Their 1st string offense has
already hit the showers with just a quarter of work. And if the Broncos
were gassed after a full work load in the 3rd Preseason game, than the
Cards cannot be as ready as they were.
and 10, Houston Empty. Cards matched up in a 3-2 Dime, with four guys up
on the line, and no sign of Chandler Jones. The Cards have the subs in on
defense as well. Osweiler threw deep down the sideline to a wide open
Fuller. Osweiler put the ball just over his head, and hit him right in the
hands. He dropped it really with no defensive pressure at all.
burnt Brandon Williams with his speed. "Of course I know I’m going
to be picked on," Williams said. "I’m [playing] opposite a Pro
Bowl cornerback. Arguably the best cornerback in the game right now. Of
course I know I’m going to get those eight or nine targets. The mindset
[has just] got to be, 'I just got to make more [plays] than I give
up.'" The Pats will be going after him.
and 10, Houston lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. The Cards matched up
in a 2-4 Nickel. They ran Blue on a Dive. The Cards stuffed it.
and 8, Houston lined up Empty. The Cards matched up in a 2-3 Dime, with
Mr. Jones standing up outside the OLT. So it appeared the defense was
staying in for some necessary game conditioning. Osweiler dumped it off
underneath and the WR can't convert the 3rd down.
Cards came back out in a Singleback, without a concussed Palmer. So why
and 10, Houston lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun: 1 for 1 pass. The Card
lined up in a 4-2 Nickel with a Safety up in the Box like a Sam. Osweiler
hit Fuller outside short of the First.
and 4, 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Cards stayed with the 3-4 Nickel, with
Tyron Branch at the Sam. He picked up the tight end Griffin crossing in
front of him late. Griffin caught it for an easy First down. That is one
route that the Pats are going to copy early and often.
and 10, 3-Wide Weak shotgun: 3 for 3 pass. Cards stayed in the Nickel, but
Branch moved up to the line a little. He hopped outside on the slot WR.
And Osweiler threw it to him instantly. Branch tackled him quickly. When
the Pats play Houston, if Branch is on the team, the Pats will target him
and 5, 3-Wide Weak shotgun: 4 for 4 pass. The Cards shifted into a 3-3
Nickel. Osweiler had time and threw it over the top of Bethel to Fuller
for a touchdown. Stanton came back out for the Cards and went 3 and out.
Then Osweiler went to the bench for Houston.
Offense 1st Half:
S-Shotgun: Pass 7 for 7
(5 passes w/out Palmer)
S-Shotgun: Pass 3 for 3
(1 pass w/out Palmer)
I-Shotgun Motion TE-R: run 1 for 1
3 for 7 run.
(3 passes 2 runs w/out Palmer)
twin-TE-L Singleback: 1 for 2 run
Singleback: Pass 3 for 6
(2 runs w/out Palmer)
Singleback Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1
Singleback Trips-L: Run 1 for 1
Bunch-L: Run 2 for 2
Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 3
(1 run 3rd and 1)
Run 1 for 2 1 pass W/out Palmer
Strong: Run 1 for 1 W/out Palmer
Offense 1st Half:
run 1 for 1
I: Run 1 for 1
Singleback: Pass 2 for 2 (sack)
Weak shotgun: 6 for 7 pass
W-shotgun Pass 2 for 2
S-shotgun Pass 3 for 5 (sack)
Singleback: Run 1 for 1
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dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.