2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Houston.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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2nd Quarter: Cards Vs Houston.


So even though he was sacked twice, he was 7 for 7 in the 1st quarter against the Cards. "I mean they've won with both, both quarterbacks," BB said. "They get a lot of production out of their receivers, their tight ends, their running backs. They use a lot of people at every position and they've all been productive. Whoever they put out there we'll have to defend, but they've all had success. I'm sure they're confident in all of them." Which granted probably speaks more to the simplicity of Preseason defenses than Osweiler's acumen. 

But like he did against us in Denver last year, when he gets hot he can kill you. "I think he's a big guy in the pocket. He can stand tall in there, he can make all the throws," Ninkovich said. "And he's also athletic so he can get out and extend plays. So as a front you have to do a great job with your pass rush integrity, and understand that he's a good quarterback in the pocket and can make all the throws." The Pats can't let him get hot. 

When he gets confused, he looks like a squirrel looking for a nut. "The situations have changed," Patricia said. "They're obviously coming in here coming off a big win this past weekend, a lot of energy, a lot of confidence so I would say we just try to attack it from the standpoint of, ‘Hey, this is this week's game and it's not the same as the last time we played them,' if that makes any sense, and it's just a situation where you try to attack them fresh. We're looking at with new eyes and you want to go back through and do your due diligence. Of course just like when we play any opponent, whether it's earlier in the season or a previous year, you really want to look at that game too to see if there's any correlation to what they're doing now as compared to what they were doing then to see if anything can relate from before so if there's anything that carries over. But really for us it's taking a look at these guys and where they're at right now from a completely fresh standpoint." They are as different a team now as they were in Week Three, as they were as different a team in Week Three as when they played the Cards in the Preseason.

So this is not the team that we played in week Three. "We played those guys in Week 3," McCourty said when asked how they have changed. "I think one thing is their tight ends are making a lot more plays now than the first time we played them. The running game has really been working for them, getting Lamar Miller going and really feeding him. I think he had the ball 30 times last game; well, he ran 30 times. I think for us we just have to be ready to go and know this team knows us well. They're going to come in here with a game plan. I think we've changed some since we first played them, so they'll come in ready to do different things that they feel we don't do well just from knowing the coaching staff and how they game plan. So what exactly they'll go to, we're not sure until we go out there and play, but they still have [DeAndre] Hopkins, they still have [Will] Fuller to take you deep and make plays. We were able to do a decent job the first game, but I don't think that's really going to matter for this game Saturday night." They also have the confidence of a Division winner, and a team that just won it's first Playoff game.

This is a whole new game. A whole new battle. A whole new war. But things can certainly be gleaned looking back in the Preseason and Week Three. They were building their team fundamentals in the Preseason, and adding to their fundamentals in Week Three. So while a lot has changed, the fundamentals of the offense and defense they displayed in the Preseason are the basics of their offense and defense. So here is another quick look at their offense under the reign of Osweiler in the Preseason:

The 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.

Still 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.

Palmer 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?

Palmer 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.

1st 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.

2nd 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.

That 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 hard.

3rd 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.

1st 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.

Except, 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.

Unfortunately, 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.

The 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.

Because 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.

The 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.

If 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.

1st 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.

He 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.

2nd 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.

3rd 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.

The Cards came back out in a Singleback, without a concussed Palmer. So why bother…

1st 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.

2nd 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.

1st 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 in coverage.

2nd 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.

Cardinals Offense 1st Half:

3-W S-Shotgun: Pass 7 for 7

   (5 passes w/out Palmer)

4-W S-Shotgun: Pass 3 for 3

   (1 pass w/out Palmer)

3-W I-Shotgun Motion TE-R: run 1 for 1

Singleback: 3 for 7 run.

   (3 passes 2 runs w/out Palmer)

Motion- twin-TE-L Singleback: 1 for 2 run

3-W Singleback: Pass 3 for 6

   (2 runs w/out Palmer)

3-W Singleback Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Trips-L: Run 1 for 1

Singleback Bunch-L: Run 2 for 2

Singleback Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 3

   (1 run 3rd and 1)

Strong: Run 1 for 2 1 pass W/out Palmer

2-TE Strong: Run 1 for 1 W/out Palmer

Houston Offense 1st Half:

I-formation: run 1 for 1

3-W I: Run 1 for 1

3-W Singleback: Pass 2 for 2 (sack)

3-Wide Weak shotgun: 6 for 7 pass

4-Wide W-shotgun Pass 2 for 2

4-Wide S-shotgun Pass 3 for 5 (sack)

Twin-Twins Singleback: Run 1 for 1

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