2016 Season Blog.

Pat Vs 49ers.



Greetings Pats Fans,

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Who Are They?


2. Who?-  Okay, I admit it. I don't know crap about the 49ers, other than they stink. "I think I'd expect their best," Brady said. "I think any time we play a team, we're going to get their best shot and I'm sure they're excited about playing this week. We are too. I don't think you take any team lightly because all these teams are so talented. I've played on a lot of teams where they were 2-12 and we got beat, or 3-11, we got beat. They've been close in a lot of games. They've had a lot of leads in these games, they just haven't closed them out, so we're going to have to go start fast, try to play with the lead, and try to get ahead and stay ahead if we can." But they are 1 and 8?

I mean, I know the Bay Area is sort of Brady's hometown. "I'm excited," Brady said." It will be nice to see my parents and my sisters, but hopefully we can go out there and win. It will be a special weekend to go out there and play great for our team, and then to have everyone watching is pretty cool for the first time ever, so I'm excited about that." This is not good news for San Fran.

It is never good for opponents when Brady has extra incentive. "I've never had a chance to play in front of my family like this," Brady said. "I've never had a chance to play in front of my friends. Growing up in the Bay Area and loving football, it was a great time for me to grow up and see the success of the 49ers and the great quarterbacks, Steve [Young] and Joe [Montana] and what they were able to do. I was lucky to grow up in the Bay Area at that time and I always remember it being all the Super Bowl rallies and my mom taking me out of school and banging pots and pans on the El Camino after they would win Super Bowls. Those memories never go away." He is going to be looking to go wild.

With Gronk out, I know they are going to need Bennett to step up. " He's been great," Brady said about Bennett. "He's been so productive for us and I really enjoy playing with him. You talk about a guy that's been out at practice every day. I mean, he's fought through a lot of stuff over the course of the year to be out there, trying to get better and improve. I think it shows a lot of mental toughness but it's showing up with his ability to produce on the field. He's been tremendous so we've got to keep it going. He's got to keep it going. We all do. It's kind of the meaty party of the schedule right now. I mean, this is not the second week of the year. We've fought through it for a long time but this is a chance to really separate yourself from these other teams and show everyone your mental toughness and ability to play through different things, different situations and still play at a high level." I'm not sure San Fran has anyone who can cover him.

I also know that the Pats have Tom Brady, and the 49ers pass defense is average at best. "Very impressive," Brady said. "I mean there are a lot of great qualities that Tom has. That's right at the top of the list, and it's not only his, certainly it's important for him to be physically healthy, but it's very important for the team on a weekly basis to be able to go out there in practice and get the timing with the quarterback who's going to play in the game with the other people, the linemen, the receivers and so forth, that are going to play with him.

"So if you're missing one receiver then maybe you can get the timing with the other 10 players, let's call it. If you're missing the quarterback then, you know, you can still get it and certainly we have a good quarterback in Jimmy. And Jimmy can go out there and run everything that Tom can run. We've seen that. So I'm not saying that he's not capable or qualified to do it. He is, and he does a great job of it and when we put Jimmy in there it's really seamless. Unless you were actually looking at the position, if you just could block out that position and say which guy was in there at quarterback, I don't know if you would know a lot of times.

"For the quarterback to have that kind of consistency with the snap count, the cadence, the way that his voice or mannerisms or reminders are in the huddle, little things like that, the whole timing and everything on the line of scrimmage and running the plays in practice; that is a huge carryover to the games. Again, Tom's consistency to do that, again, not only for himself but for the rest of the team and the ability for the rest of the team to be able to have been able to count on that is very important." Brady just needs to be consistent in this game for the Pats to win.

I know the 49ers have not learn how to win yet. "I think they have some very talented players, but I think they're hungry and they're trying to find ways to win," Brady said. "It's tough losing in the NFL, but these guys are all supremely talented. They're in the NFL for a reason. They've very competitive in the secondary. They've had some injuries at linebacker, but those guys play hard. They really can power guys in the rush. They've got some good scheme stuff, so we don't take anything lightly. We've got to put in all the preparation this week coming off a tough loss at home, so it's a big challenge. I've played in a lot of games where one team is favored, and at the end of the day, none of that ever matters. It's how well you play on that day. We've got to go out and expect to play our best game if we want to win." I know it is always tougher on the road, and tougher when you have to travel 3,000 miles.

I know that the Pats have never played in San Fran's new stadium. "I think it's the same every week whether you've been there or not. Of course if you haven't been there [than] there is a newness to it, but even if you have been there at most you're probably playing in that stadium once a year," BB said. "So just re-familiarizing yourself with the conditions, the sun, the lights, the scoreboard, the 40-second clock. I would say in most of these stadiums, the way they're built, there's a difference in the wind between in the end zone where it's more protected and out at midfield and usually the flags are no indicator of anything other than it's the opposite of whatever they are.

"The turf, the footing, the consistency of that, if cleats are an issue. [If] it's a turf field then obviously it's not the case, but if it's not then what are the conditions? Cleveland's surface versus, let's just say Arizona's surface - I mean, they couldn't be more different. So each game is different so even if you've been in the stadium before, if it's a day game, if it's a night game, whatever the wind is, whatever the sun is, it's different for that day. I think fundamentally you just always want to go through that process and re-acclimate yourself to the specific conditions for that particular game." That is just too much for me to think about before a game.

3. The Run Game- Okay, they activated Dion Saturday. "I think any time a player is coming back from missing a significant amount of time, there's a certain buildup process. Sometimes that accelerates, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it just stays on a straight line course. It's hard to predict how that's going to go," BB said about Lewis. "There's a big difference between training and playing football. You can run around a track, run up and down a hill, do 10,000 pushups and all of that. I mean, that's great, but that's not being out there with 21 other guys playing football. Football is football. "Training is an important part and component of being ready to play football, but playing football is playing football. Especially at this time of year where you're halfway through the season and teams have quite a bit of scheme in, both us and our opponents, we're not just looking at kind of some basic stuff like in the beginning or the year or in preseason, which is what preseason is. It's very basic. We're at a whole different point. So how does that get acclimated? What's the right time? It's a little bit of a feel situation." Well, it felt good on Saturday.

Which is good news because the San Fran run D stinks against the run. They have struggled to stop the run all season. If the Pats can get the run going they can make this a short game, and put the 49ers defense back to their heels. David Johnson tore them a new one in San Fran. He ran 157-yard and two TDs in week Five.

However, they held him to 55-yards on 19-carries last week in Arizona. "Dorsey helped, [NT Mike] Purcell helped, their tackling was [bad, but] they tackled better. I know that's what they said after the game. I would agree with that," BB said. "I thought they tackled well, and we know Johnson is a hard back to tackle. I mean, all their backs are for that matter. But I thought their tackling was good. They didn't give them much yards after contact or after first contact.

"I'd say that was a problem for them in some earlier games, where you look at the play and you stop the film, it doesn't look like they're going to gain a lot of yards, but somebody missed a tackle or somebody takes a bad angle and then a five-yard play becomes a 20-yard play. I've certainly been in that situation a number of times and you have to look at it and say, 'okay, well is it really the defense or is it our fundamentals with leverage and tackling and that kind of thing?'  I think they've identified the problem, and it certainly looked like they took a big step last week in terms of correcting it. I mean, under three yards per carry for Johnson, I think just about any team in the league would take that." The Pat O-line has to step up in this game.

If they get Blount going he can pound a defense into submission. They have to get him going down hill. Maybe put Dion in for 5 to 7 carries to get him used to playing again. But don't expect him to have many carries. He will not be a factor in this game. James White on the other hand can really hurt this team sneaking out of the backfield. This is the type of defense that gets beat by RBs.

4. Must Win Game- After last weeks lack luster loss, the Pats need this win. The whole team didn't seem to be ready to play. I thought the team was clearly divided by the previous week. They had the election where a blatant bigot won, and the loss of Jamie Collins to overcome. I think the defense was a little bland in that game.

Even the offense was off, and not connecting like in previous weeks. "You’re going against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady, a really good set of receivers, two outstanding tight ends," Chip Kelly said. "They can run the football. They’re very balanced in terms of how they can attack you from an offensive standpoint and then Bill’s (Belichick) defenses are always going to be well-coached and solid." But not last week.

Last week they were a mess. "Our execution wasn't great, and they put a lot of pressure on you defensively," Brady said. "They have a lot of good players and they make you earn every yard. That's what I respect about that team, that defense. They play to the end. They've been in a lot of close games. It came down to one yard at the end and we didn't get it." They have to execute better this week.

So they have to come out this week like it is a business trip." I mean that's part of the game planning of every week and really every play, every situation, first, second, and third-down, goal line, red area – I mean you name it – where you feel like you can gain an advantage," BB said. "Maybe it's something that you can force them into or how they play a certain type of look or formation or whatever it is and now you can attack it. That goes on for every play throughout the course of the game; not just on the goal line.

"You've seen us play plenty. We have spread formations. We have tight formations. We have two backs in the backfield, one back in the backfield, no backs in the backfield. I mean whatever we do on any of those is to try to create some type of advantage in some way for the play that we have. What goes into it is the game planning and the matchups that occur every week and try to find the best ones." I say they lost their Super Bowl chances in Philly against Chip Kelly last year, and they can't do that again this year.

So just go out, execute, and bring home the win, without getting into any foolish shenanigans. "I guess first of all as it relates to the going out there and travel and all of that. I think that's something that we've done quite a bit of. We already had a west coast trip this year earlier," BB said. "I mean, it is what it is. It's not something that we do all of the time but we've already had one this year and we've done it in the past so we'll kind of use our experience in that routine. The stadium we haven't played in, so there will be an acclimation adjustment there for all of us, but certainly an advantage for San Francisco.

"We're not familiar with that at all. That's something we'll have to consider. And you're right as far as the team goes, there are not a lot of carryover players from when we played them in 2012 here. They have a new coaching staff. We have some familiarity with some of the systems that they employ but not directly with the players that they have now. So that'll be an adjustment for us. Certainly, we didn't do very well last year in the Philadelphia game in both the kicking game and really in any phase of the game.

"Coach [Chip] Kelly's a great coach. I have a lot of respect for him. I'm sure that he'll do things that will attack us as he did last year against Philadelphia so we'll have to not only do a good job preparing for those schemes but also again with players that we're not really familiar with or as familiar with, with their skill set. It'll take a lot of good preparation and film study. We have, whatever it is, 10 games on them, so there's a lot of information out there.

"Again, this is a game plan team so just because they have or haven't done something on film doesn't mean that we're going to see it. They'll have things specifically designed for us, so I'm sure they'll be an element of making adjustments during the game and figuring out how this matchup game is going to be played as opposed to just what our scouting report says on the 49ers. Those are all big challenges this week, as you said, traveling, just forcing the whole issue on the preparation so we need a great week of preparation and concentration; really utilize all of our time and meeting and practice opportunities efficiently. There's just a lot we have to get ready for." That's it. Business trip.

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