PatsDraft.Com

2016 Season Blog.

Pat Vs Ravens.

7-Things-For-Sunday Part III

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.

Pats Win.

By TOM

The Pats play better in December because the defense is smarter, and they build their run game during the season. "[The] urgency of everyone starting with the coaches, from the older guys on the team, because it's what you come into," McCourty said. "When you get here it's the first thing you hear about right after Thanksgiving and you continue to hear it week in and week out. I think addressing it and talking about it gives you a chance to go out there and try to play your best football, and like you said, last year, but it's something that you have to do every week. Just talking about it doesn't mean that it's automatically going to happen but I think it gives you a chance and then it's up to the guys to go out there each day in practice and try to get better at a time in the season when some people are just trying to get by and hurting and it's a long season and you have to really mentally try to do those things which is tough this time of year." When you have a strong defense and Brady, and you add in a run game to that equation then you are impossible to stop.

Last year the O-line was in complete disarray coming into the Denver game. "It's been pretty amazing what he's been able to accomplish to come back from his injury last season," Brady said about Blount. "He was having a great year for us last year and then got injured, but this year he's been so consistent, dependable. He's running the ball great, long runs. He looks very decisive. He's catching the ball whenever we throw it to him, so he's been a great factor for our team. We've got a great backfield." Now the O-line has come together, and they have the thunder in Blount, and Dion is just starting to bring some lightning.

They have-have-have to win this game to all but secure Home field advantage in the AFC Champ Game, which they will because Brady, the O-line, and Blount are healthy. "He's had some big games this time of year. It's tough if you get wet weather or cold weather. It certainly gets harder to tackle, and he's hard to tackle anyway given that he's 250 pounds," BB said. "It's tough to bring him down. You've got to be able to win in a lot of different styles this time of year. You don't get too many great days to throw the ball, so you've got to be able to be multi-dimensional and to hand it off to him and then to force that defense to tackle him is a big challenge." Play tough defense, power run the ball, and then play action pass this team to death.

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Now, things are different. Cannon is a completely different player than he was last year. He is worlds better at washing the speed rushers past Brady. A very large part of his improvement is that he dropped 15-pounds this past offseason. After getting beat by Von Miller's speed to the Corner in the AFC Champ Game, he has dropped from 350 to 335.

Plus, he garnered a ton of experience last year, in the Regular Season and Playoffs, and especially matching up against Miller twice. "He's been a good player for us," BB said. "I mean, everybody improves with experience and more time, so forth. There really hasn’t been a point where he’s played tackle and hasn’t played pretty well." Cannon is going to be the most important player in this game for the Pats.

Because he either protects his QB's back, or Brady can't throw. One of the reasons they signed him to his new contract is that he has improved dramatically in pass pro this season. His size hurt him last year, but his length is helping him this year.

He has to use his long arms and nimble feet to shut Miller down, with some help. "He hasn’t used his length," Scarnecchia said. "His arms are really long, but he doesn’t use them like a guy that has long arms needs to use them. The more you keep the defenders out and away from you, instead of letting them get into your body and grab things, the better off you’re going to be at tackle. He seems to grasp that very well and embrace it. If he will continue to play that way, he’ll be fine. And he has been fine." The Broncos can't win if Miller and Ray aren't hitting the quarterback.

Brady will not be hit 23 times in this game. He will not be sacked 4 times in this game. A healthy Solder and a lighter Cannon from this year have stopped the speed rushers all season long. What happened in the Champ game is irrelevant to this game. The Pats led the NFL in games lost do to injury by O-linemen last season (by like double, maybe). This years O-line is happy, healthy, and wiser.

He has been terrific blocking speed on the edge this year, which he wasn't great at last year. "The improvement we've noticed has really been this year," Scar said. "We asked him to play a different way and do things differently. He's such a good guy, he really tries to do them that way, and I think he's made great strides. He's improved over the course of this season, and that is all you can ask of any player. He's a big man that moves very well and uses his hands much better in pass protection. He can be a real force in the run game, so I'm pleased with where he is. But neither one of us is satisfied, so we just keep moving forward." When he clamps his hands on a rusher he is done.

Plus, he has been a beast in the run. "Marcus is having a good season," BB said. "He’s been a good player for us. He’s had to fill in for Sebastian and Nate in previous years. We’ve felt like we’ve had three good tackles, and usually two of the three of them wound up playing, however it went, varied from year to year over the last few years." He needs to hit, knock down, and hurt Miller by moving him backwards in the run game.

He needs to move forward into Miller and knock him back when they run Blount into him on a Smash. "Marcus has always done a solid job for us whenever he's played," BB said. "So, I’m glad we have him moving forward. Works hard, quiet kid, but he’s very dependable, team oriented. He’s done a good job for us in the running game, passing game, good player." They can hit Miller in so many ways that it better be fun to watch.

You cannot pretend that this is just any defense. The Ravens are a better team, and have a better defense than Denver. But, the Broncos have the best defensive player in the NFL, and the Pats offense has to start acting like they understand that fact. Miller can single-handedly make the Broncos defense better than the Ravens defense if you play him one on one all game.

So if you want to watch the real game, focus in on the ORT in this game. If he is moving Miller back we are winning. When Miller gets either one of Cannon's shoulders they are winning. Josh McDaniels sole job in this game is to not let Miller make the Broncos defense better than the Ravens' defense.

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