for Sunday, Part I.
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.
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.
all my faithful followers. Thank You.
What Matters Now- I'm
struggling to do a review of the KC game. I feel like this is the Playoffs
and it just doesn't matter. The only thing that matters in the Universe
now is the Broncos. KC What? Alex Smith who? Foxboro's where? What matters
now is Denver.
it matter that the Pats took on one of the most physical teams in the NFL
and beat them up? No. "It was very important, just look at the score.
If we didn't hold them to field goals, we could have possibly lost that
game," Harmon said. "The game was a lot different toward the
end, so holding them to field goals really helped us. Any time you can
hold a team to a field goal in the red zone, it's a four-point swing, so
we can say we took eight points off the board from them and we won by
seven. If we didn't, it could have been a whole different game."
Denver is not going to beat you up.
Denver offense is a finesse offense. They want to beat you with Payton's
brain more than punch you in the mouth. The want to run draws to slow the
rush. They want Payton to be the center of attention in every way. Insane
stat of the week: Payton Manning threw for one regular season TD in FIVE
Home games in Denver, he did not throw a TD pass against Pitt yesterday at Home, and
Brady threw for three TDs in Denver. So in six games at Home Payton has
thrown for 1 TD against Minny, and had 2 INTs in that game as well. So
Brady has a 3 to 1 Passing-TD advantage on Payton in Denver (even though
Payton played six games in Denver and Brady one, lol)! They
win with Payton playing the ultimate game manager, and defense. So in that
sense they are very similar to KC. Only Alex Smith is a better QB than
Payton sucks, and I'm watching ESPN knuckleheads talking him like like he
is, well... Brady.
matters is that the Bronco defense wants to punch you in the mouth,
especially the quarterback. "It was a great win," TB12 said.
"Took everything we've got, so a lot of guys played hard, a lot of
guys have been fighting through some stuff. So it's pretty special to get
back to another AFC Championship Game." Their defense is geared to
crushing the quarterback.
if the Pats O-line wins on passing downs (which is apparently every down)
the Pats win. "Again, I think the offensive line did a great
job," BB said. "The receivers did an excellent job of getting
open and getting separation. Tom got the ball out quickly, so all that
worked together. In that first drive, they came after us at least three
times, maybe four, and we made plays on all those. We had a third-down
conversions. [We] hit James White out in the flat for an easy 20 yards.
Amendola, that was another probably easy 20 yards or something like that,
whatever it was. They came after us and we hit them pretty good on those,
and then that really slowed it down for a while. We didn't see a lot of
pressures. It was a lot of four-man rush, other than when they were in
some of their five-down looks, but those were relatively easy to identify.
So we didn't see after that first drive a whole lot of pressure, but I
thought again those are good pass rushers on the edge there: Hali and
Ford, Houston when he played, big guys inside. So I thought we held up to
them pretty good. A big part of that also was the quarterback and
receivers being able to get the ball out on time and make some yards after
the catch, which Rob did, James White did, Danny, Julian, so it was a good
team effort in the passing game. The offensive line had a big challenge. I
don't know how many times they threw the ball but it was most all of them,
I know that. They pass blocked well." Like KC's trio of edgerushers,
Houston, Hali, and Ford, Denver wins with their great edgerushers: Von
Miller, Ware, Shaquil Barrett, and Shane Ray. If the O-line is as good as
it was against KC? We win.
matters it that the Pats are going to their unprecedented fifth straight
AFC Champ Game! "It's a real credit to the players," BB said.
"I think that's number one. Those guys, we demand a lot out of them.
This is a hard place to play. It's from the first day of spring OTAs all
the way through training camp all the way through meetings. We're over 100
practices now this year. That doesn't count the walkthroughs and the
meetings and everything else. Those are just the actual practice
practices. You know it's definitely a grind, but they come in here, like
this group, and I've said this the last couple of years, too, these guys
come in here every day, their pencils are sharpened, they're sitting right
there in those seats, they're ready to go, they're attentive, they want to
learn, they want to know how to get better, they want to compete and they
just do that on a daily basis. That's been week after week and year after
year. It's really a great credit to those guys. We have some great
competitors on our team: obviously Brady and Edelman, and Gronkowski and
Vollmer, and Chung and McCourty, Hightower, Collins, Chandler, those guys
on the other side of the ball, too, Stephen Gostkowski. Those guys, you
just can't say enough about them. Ninkovich, I mean you just go right down
the line. The credit goes to them. It's a tough league. It's tough to go
out and play good every week, especially when you've got a target.
Everybody is trying to knock us off, as they should be, and we've just got
to stand up and compete every week. The players do a great job here, they
really do. I'm really fortunate to have that group. And the assistant
coaches, you can't say enough great things. I thought Josh and the
offensive staff did a tremendous job this week game planning and play
calling. Josh was magnificent. I thought he really had everything dialed
in. Pretty much everything he called it came out the way we thought it
would. As we were breaking the huddle, we could already see we had what we
wanted and Tom and the offense executed it perfectly. The staff did a
really good job, as they usually do. Look, these guys work hard here. The
coaches work hard, the players work hard, and it's very gratifying to see
those kinds of results pay off for all the hard work. It's what we do,
it's what we're here for is to win." The only thing that matters is
getting all those guys together to beat the Broncos on Sunday.
Broncos were barely able to beat a Pitt team with Roethlisberger's binkie
missing (Antonio Brown), and a bad defense. Just like when the Pats played
in Denver and they were even more undermanned. "When you get 11
[Edelman] back it makes things out there easier," Keshawn Martin
said. "Not just for a couple players, but for everybody. You've got
to worry about so many different players out there and it was a good job
by everybody today." The Broncos will be facing the full wrath of the
Patriots offense this week.
matters now is that Hightower, Jones, and Collins got injured and didn't
come back into the game. "Any time one of your guys goes down your
heart goes out to them because you know these guys that you have blood,
sweat, and tears with all year since training camp, OTAs, all of those
things," Johnathan Freeny said. "You've been working with these
guys so any time one of them goes down and they have an injury your heart
goes out to them." So I'm not really sure they need those guys on the
field to win in Denver. But I don't see how the Pats lose if they are
on the field in Denver.
matters now is that Edelman, Amendola, and Gronk are back. "It
changes everything," Slater said about having Edelman and Gronk back
together again. "Julian Edelman is a very unique player in this
league and the things that he's able to do, inside and outside route
running-wise, poses a lot problems. You're maybe looking at the tight end
of, definitely his generation, but maybe the best tight end that's ever
laced them up. Obviously that says a lot in itself." The Denver
defense couldn't stop the Pats when Edelman and Amendola weren't on
Pats offense was kicking Denver's ass until things went wacky in the 4th
quarter, but Brady still had that miracle drive at the end of regulation
without Edelman and Amendola, and Gronk in the 4th. "Just
being around the guys all the time, being with the coaching staff, we
prepare well together as a team, as a unit; It felt like we were all ready
to go and on the same page," Gronk said, and then continued.
"You always want to get a fast start, especially being together with
everyone, Julian, Danny, everyone back out there on the field. We were all
just clicking on that drive and it was great to get a touchdown [on the]
first drive. That's how you always want to start." People forget
that: both Edelman and Amendola where out of that game, Gronk went
down in the 4th Quarter, and Brady still threw for 3 TDs and no INTs.
offense will crush Denver. "Julian is a good player," BB
said. "He's a good route runner and he's good after the catch. He's a
strong runner after the catch, can make yards on his own. The more of
those guys you have out there the harder it is to defend. We got plays out
of James White, Danny, Julian, Rob, LaFell, Keshawn. They all made big
plays for us. The more play makers you've got out there on the field, and
Tom knows what to do with them, he can find those matchups, that's what we
need to do and have that in sync with our line, our communication and
making sure we're in the right play when they give us a different look or
being able to handle the pressure like we did on the first drive. I
thought that was obviously a big drive for us for a lot of reasons. Number
one, it gave us a lead, we had points, but number two, we handled those
pressure situations and that certainly toned that down for quite a while
after that. It's great to have Julian back. It's great to have a lot of
guys back that we had back today. Hopefully they'll all be out there again
Sunday." They can't cover
Edelman and Gronk. Plus, Amendola had a bad game against KC and will be
desperate to rebound.
matters is that when the Pats played a weak-armed QB who couldn't throw
30-yards downfield with enough velocity and accuracy to hurt a defense,
they only gave up two field goals. The Pats beat Houston 27 to 6, and the
defense pressed the WRs and left everything open deep. They didn't bother
to play Cover Two and try and prevent the long passes that the QB couldn't
make. They strangled Houston's WRs within 15-yards of the LOS and made
Hoyer have to throw over the top, which he couldn't do. Payton now has a
similar arm to Hoyer, and I would argue a weaker arm than Hoyer. The Pats
will press the WRs at the LOS and make Payton throw over the top. Which
90% of the time he can't do any more.
matters is that your three best defensive players got injured. They have
to get those three guys on the field. "Yeah, our depth there at
linebacker really came through for us and like we talked about after the
game, it’s one of those situations where everybody’s got to be ready
to go," BB said. "You never know how it’s going to go in the
playoffs. We talked about the situation in the Super Bowl against Carolina
where we end up with two guys playing safety who hadn’t played all year
after Eugene Wilson and Rodney Harrison went out. It’s just everybody
being ready and being ready to go and they did a good job. Dekoda [Watson]
gave us some good rushes there on the edge. Darius [Fleming] and Jonathan
[Freeny] both stepped in. Of course, Jonathan has played a lot of football
for us this year and Darius has played multiple spots from defensive end
to outside linebacker to the inside linebacker spots. All those extra
sessions, things that he does after practice and things like that really
paid off. Darius is a hardworking guy that doesn’t say a lot but he’s
always trying to do extra to get better so it’s good to see him, not
surprisingly, but good to see him take advantage of the opportunity. He
kind of did that for us a little bit last year in the kicking game when he
was on the practice squad most of the year and then came in and played
well for us in a lot of big games down the stretch." Those three guys
are you want hitting Manning and making his legs and arm even weaker.
backups played well against the run, but gave them nothing in the rush.
"Third-down, I’d say a combination of a number of things," BB
said. "At times it was not enough rush, at times it was a good rush
and not enough coverage or losing leverage on coverage. There were some
obviously good plays by the Chiefs. They ran some good routes, made some
tough catches in traffic. [Alex] Smith made some good throws. We were
close on a few of those but not close enough, but it was good execution on
their part so I’d say a combination of all those things but giving up 60
percent on third-down is not good enough." Jones, Collins, and
Hightower are the prime 3rd down players that get the defense off the
is the Playoffs. So what matters now is the next opponent. "You can't
take those for granted," Hicks said. "I was in New Orleans for
three years and went to the playoffs one year. We came up and beat
Philadelphia then went down and lost to Seattle the year they won the
Super Bowl. So you just can't take these moments for granted and you've
got to always be prepared." The only thing that matters in Patriot's
land is Denver.
matters now is how do they slow down their passrushers? How do they create
some cracks for their runningback to run through? Or do they just abandon
the run and throw-throw-throw? How do they hit Payton? How do they handle
the Broncos great edgerushers (yes, that has to be asked twice)?
only thing that matters now is beating the Broncos. "Playoff time,
you really try to put every other game during the regular season [and the
last one, in the rearview mirror]," Akiem Hicks said. "It's
almost a new season. You try to put all that stuff behind you and move on.
So now it's another set of one-game seasons. That's how we approached
it." Because it's the Playoffs, where you win or go home.
me if you'd like a question blogged:
dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.