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Pats Vs. Houston.

7-Things For Sunday.

 

Part II.

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.

As result of all your great support, the start of the Patriots season, and the release of my third book And One (or should I say second novella on kindle), I will be offering Manfred's Argument (my first novella) for free on Amazon.com from September 10th to September 14th.

To all my faithful followers. Thank You.

Sincerely,

TOM

3. Hightower and Collins- It looks like the dynamic duo will finally be back together. I think we win this game because when the Dynamic Duo is on the field villains best beware. Hightower has practiced for two weeks and is expected back. If he can step onto the field this week, the Pats can be a top four defense again.

Just like last week when Collins returned with some huge impact plays. "It's good to have Jamie back out on the field and trying to do everything he could to be in the right position and certainly we haven't had him out there in a little while so there's going to be a getting back into the swing of the things," coach Patricia said. "Jamie is a constant professional. He comes in and works hard every day and tries to get himself prepared to play whether he is on the field or not. At this point in his career he understands that and we have a lot of guys, whether you are active or inactive for whatever reason, you just get yourself ready to go and mentally prepare every week like you are. He does a great job of that. He's a student of the game. I know he is ready to go when he gets out there. As far as the other question, it doesn't really matter. I couldn't really see where I am on the far sideline. Plus it's all about Houston, it's all about pushing forward and getting ready for their offense and the things that they do, and that's the biggest challenge right now, [is to] turn the page and get ready for an extremely difficult offense to defend. A team that will throw a lot of different personnel groups at you, put a lot of different players on the field in different positions, and you have to do a great job of recognizing and handling that." Hightower is maybe the top brain on the defense, and his leadership and physical abilities should have as big an impact as Collins had last week.

They both are so versatile and can do so any things on the field. They can both stuff the run, rush the passer, and cover. And while Collins is a better rusher and Cover guy, Hightower makes up for that gap by running the defense and hitting QBs and RBs like a rhino. They both stand out in so many roles on defense that offenses can't predict what they will do.

I love when they both line up right on the nose of the center. And either one, or neither one, can rush up the gut, drop, or loop around outside. They are both just as likely to sudden drop back into coverage reading the QB's eyes the whole way. And then suddenly one drops and one shoots the gap. Then one loops outside and then drops, and the other delay blitzes. They do so many things together that confuses QBs that it is beautiful to watch. And don't kid yourself, they are going to need both guys this week. Houston's defense is ten times better than Philly's. The Pats defense has to be tops again this week, and hold the offense to 14-points or fewer.

4. Yeah! LOL! Brady Ain't losing Three In A Row (Crap, didn't I say that last week?)- Gronk is the Number One receiver who draws all the attention away from the other receivers. While Edelman is the Number Two receiver who excels at making the clutch catches on 3rd down. The Pats aren't just missing a TE and WR. They are missing the two guys that make things work for Brady.

And of course, Brady misses his wittle Gwonky. "He's a great player," TB12 said. "I always wish we had these guys out. Everyone, whether it's Julian or Gronkowski but different guys are dealing with different things. It's part of football season. I think you still have to be mentally tough to overcome whatever adversity you face and try to win a game so it may take on a little different form. Obviously when you lose good players it doesn't help at all but you've still got to figure out a way to have production and score points." It looked to me like they may have figured it out at the end of the Philly game. Brady was throwing well and scoring points, which is not easy with the elite and clutch play of those two guys suddenly gone.

Now the Number Three Receiver is the Number One, and the number Four is Number Two. Which is a whole different defense for Amendola and LaFell. "No, I think I never really concern myself with that," Josh said about Brady trying to overcompensate for the loss of Gronk and Julian. "I think Tom always is aware of what our game plan is and how we feel best about trying to win the game as part of the team offensively. We always talk about playing complementary football and with the special teams, the defense, the offense kind of playing hand-in-hand with one another and not putting the other groups or units in a bad situation. And I think Tommy always understands that, has a great grasp of what we're trying to do to win the game, how we're trying to attack the defense, and the fact that we try to game plan specifically for each opponent, each team, based on the personnel that we have kind of allows the transition. When you don't always have everybody available at the game, it doesn't really change how we go about setting up our plan because we do that anyway. So we just try to take the people who are going to be available and active on Sunday and try to put them in the best positions we can, and Tom certainly contributes discussing all of that stuff. And I think he's generally right on top of how we want to do things on Sunday, and I have tremendous faith in everything that he's going to do." LaFell, Martin, and Amendola have to come through this week.

Getting Amendola back was another step up last week. "Yeah, Danny really competed hard," BB said. "He's physically and mentally as tough of a player as we have. It was good to have him back out there and he really fought hard. I don't think he could have done any more than what he did. He gave us all he had on every play and we needed that." He has to continue to play the Edelman role with the aplomb of Bruce Willis (Yippee ki yay mother…).

But (and this one has a big butt) they have to hold onto the damn ball. Brady was hitting them, and they couldn't consistently hold on. "I think we work on all those things in practice and the communication of when to expect the ball," Brady said about all the drops. "Coach [BB] puts together a great game plan for us. Like I said, I know we're all capable of doing it. I certainly have a lot of confidence in the guys that I'm out there playing with. I certainly have confidence in the guys that I'm throwing the ball to or else I wouldn't throw it to them. I think it's just a matter of us ultimately going and making the plays when we have the opportunity to do it, and that starts with practice and doing it consistently in practice so we all can do it with confidence in the game." They have to put it all together offensively as quickly as possible.

Plus, the old in-out in-out of the O-line has caused continuity to fly out the window for the offense. "I think there are a lot of things that go into finding a rhythm in any phase of the game, but offensively, our overall level of execution and consistency of that execution is really, to me, what defines rhythm," coach McDaniel said. "What you're looking for is [to] continue to make positive plays and drive the ball down the field, and if you're doing anything that kind of deters that from happening, then that certainly is going to disrupt your overall rhythm on offense as a whole. So whether that is a penalty, some type of a negative play in the running game, a sack, a negative screenplay, any of those things could certainly affect your rhythm. And we've got to do a better job of coaching and executing to try and stay away from those negative plays and negative situations that obviously put you in more negative situations to convert on third down, which the more of those you're in, the more difficult it's going to be to stay in a rhythm any point in the game." They have to get things straightened out on the O-line first and foremost. 

The Texans are clearly from the BB Tree, and I think that is more of an advantage for Brady than Hoyer. "The Texans defense, they've got a scheme that's kind of their own," coach McDaniels said. "I think comparing it to our defense is [like totally awesome dude!] I'd say there maybe a few similarities to it, but I think each group has their own design and all that. And what we've studied this far relative to the Texans, there aren't many things that they don't do well, and they present a lot of challenges for you in every area. They do a good job of limiting big plays, and then they do a great job of creating negative plays, so like I said before, they're going to challenge us in every way. We've got to have a great week of preparation, got to really get familiar with this group. And they have a lot of great players we're going to have to deal with on Sunday night. And then relative to the game on Sunday, I thought our guys played with great effort, obviously played with a lot of fight. It wasn't an ideal situation we found ourselves in the second half. Look, there are a lot of guys out there. For one reason or another we didn't make enough plays to win the game. It certainly doesn't fall on any one player, and I wouldn't question the effort of anybody on our offense." The main thing is that it is hopefully an advantage for the O-line.

The good news is that they released the RB Trey Williams, and signed him up to the Practice Squad, not Michael Williams the OT/TE who has to help block the One-Handed JJ. Watt is the best I've ever seen at bursting through the inside shoulder of the ORT, and getting to the QB and hitting him. Having Williams lined up outside of Cannon, will allow Cannon to over protect the inside from Watt's elite burst inside. 

If they can contain JJ and Hopkins, they win this game going away. Of course a lot of teams have said that, including four teams in the past five weeks, who have lost to the suddenly resurging Texans. Is there a dumber name for a team than the Texans? It is as absurd as calling the Patriots the New England Massachusetians (well, maybe a little less absurd). Between Williams, and one or more of the other four tight ends still on the roster, they have to stuff JJ. Which is also very funny. When you consider that if you include Gronk they now have a total of eleven Safeties and tight ends on the roster.

5. The Season Is On The O-Line- We cannot afford another loss if we want to go to the Super Bowl. This is another chance for Vollmer and Cannon to prove themselves. They have to do a better job against the one-handed JJ than they did against the one-handed JP-P. Even though he'll have a damn club on his hand as well. If they lose this game they lose their number two slot for the Bye. Remember the Broncos and Bengals have to play each other so the Pats are really perched in second and not third place in the AFC. So they just have to survive, get Gronk and Edelman back by the Jets game, maybe, while still somehow winning out.

They won the First Bye last year at 12-4. This year looks like they need to be 14-2 or 13-3, and they still have two Division Road games left. And we all know that the wackiest things happen in Division Games, when the worse teams players knows the opponent's players too well. So this game is a must win. They should beat Tennessee at home relatively easy. If they can go into the Swamps of New Jersey on a two game winning streak, with Gronk and Edelman ready to help out a little, they get the Bye. Plus Denver is playing Oakland this week, and Oakland has shown they can come up big at odd times.

Cincy is also in a Divisional dogfight with Pittsburgh this week. I don’t buy the Steelers winning, not with the warm weather this week. Dalton is a Texas boy, and has shown that he folds in the cold weather. However, Roethlisberger and the Steelers have been on a phenomenal roll the past few weeks, and if that continues they could easily roll up 30-plus points on the Bengals, especially if Pacman is out. Their 2nd and 3rd Corners are nowhere near the cover guy Pacman is, and if those two guys have to cover Brown and Bryant they are going to score some points.

So with four game left, this is not just a must win for the Pats, it is also a must come together, right now, over Brady. With Gronk and Edelman out Brady needs more time in the pocket, and will not be as confident throwing the ball. So they have to run block better to take some of the heat off of Brady, and definitely pass block better so he can have some extra time. The season is not just on the line. It is on the O-line.

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The dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.

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