Pats Vs Jags

 

 

Pats Vs Jags First Half,

with a little Nate Solder thrown in for fun.

By TOM

August 10th, 11th, and 12th 2011  

I just did the 1st half. As the 2nd half can be fun to watch as we can see a lot of player we normally don't. However, most of guys on the field are not going to play in the NFL. With that being said I would like to stifle this don't get excited about Mallett stuff. Normally second half hero's in preseason games are an illusion. However, with a rookie playing his first game in the NFL, it was a great performance that does translate to his potential. His ability to run the defense on such short practice and exposure to the NFL game is impressive. Now I'm not saying he is ready to take over for Brady this season, or even Hoyer this season. However, in two or three year year he could be something to see. 

The game started out in the new 4-3 with Ninkovich lineup on the right side rather than the usual left side. Jermaine Cunningham and Eric Moore were lineup at the D-End spots. The Jags ran a play action that fooled most of the front seven. Cunningham recovered a little and got a little pressure by impacting the FB as Blaine Gabbert Waggled over to his side. It was not a good rush by any measure, but he was the only front seven player who read the play right. The next play was also a 4-3 with Dane Fletcher and Gary Guyton lineup more like 3-4 Inside Backers and Ninkovich switching sides, and the D-End opposite Ninkovich lineup wide in I believe a 9-Technique. Love showed nice burst off the snap. He got his hands up on the Guard who was slicing past him to his left, and the Jags were running a Counter. As the RB came back against the grain "he run right into Love" (hey that sounds like a song;-). But he somehow missed the Jags runner Rashad Jennings (I writing this little thing after having watched the game Thursday night, were I was having too much fun to even bother to take notes. So I can say I thought Love had a real nice game). It was actually Darius Butler who snuck in and grabbed Jennings feet, while Meriweather hit him from the side. Fletcher landed on top of Jennings so was given credit for the tackle, but Butler got there first and Meriweather second. It was a 1st down run.

On 1st and 10 The Jags ran another play action, and with the Pats in a 4-3 only the D-Linemen rushed. Love got under the O-Guard and shoved him 4 or 5 yards straight back and almost into Gabbert. It was a nice push of the pocket on a passing down. I thought he caused a nervous early throw, but the ball was right on target between Fletcher and Butler for another 1st down. Butler was beat on a delayed Slant or skinny Post. The Pats lined up in a 4-3 again and Ninkovich switched sides again. Cunningham burst inside unblocked, but fell down, this left a huge lane to the outside. Jennings cut outside off of a Zack Miller block on Gary Guyton nicely and Chung and Meriweather had to drag him down after 7 yards. On 2nd and 3 the Pats came in the 4-3 with Ninkovich switching sides again, he seemed to be lineup on the strong side were ever the Tight End lineup. Jags ran a Dive right up the gut. The play was misread by Darryl Richards, the 7th Round pick from Georgia Tech in the 2010 Draft, and Cunningham. Both rushed the QB and forgot their run responsibilities. This let the O-Guard take out Fletcher, and let Jennings fly past them for a long 1st down run. Chung and Butler caught him way to late as he got 17 yards. They are definitely one-gapping and shooting the gap. The main slaw in that type of scheme is that defenders will rush at the QB consistently, and will often overrun the Runningback. That will be a big difference from past years.

The Pats came back out in a 4-3 with Ninkovich predictably switching sides. Gabbert came out passing off play action. Ninkovich had some nice pressure to the edge. Cunningham broke free a little late heat on the QB. However, it was Fletcher who got there. I don't know it was a called Stunt, but he showed his D-End experience in college on this rush. He hit it up inside, and bounced off the O-Guard, and then Stunted behind the charge of Love, and broke free right in the middle, and knock the Gabbert on his butt. That is what I am looking for this preseason, who can hit the Quarterback? This hit caused a terrific misfire by Gabbert make it 2nd and ten. They came out in the 4-3, but Ninkovich stayed on the Pat's left side. The jags run what looked like a Delayed Counter, but have just been a cut back by Jennings on a Draw. The Pats had three defenders well up field, but none saw the Draw. Ninkovich flew all the way across the field and hit Jennings from the side, and Chung came right in and hit him in the chest with his face mask, and the top of Chung's helmet knocked Jennings' helmet another 7 yards down field. However, the misdirection fooled the Pats D-Line and he got 7 yards. On 3rd and 2, Ninkovich switched sides and the Jags came out with two Tight Ends and FB. But Moore blew up the play with a great burst off the Line. He sliced between the OLT and the TE, and smashed the FB straight back onto his butt. Then he dived at Gabbert's legs. But Gabbert was able to weasel his way backwards and slipped a nice pass to Miller for a 1st down. Great pressure by Moore on 3rd Down, and a nice throw by Gabbert.

The Pats come out in a 4-3 again, with Ninkovich on his right side. Cunningham rushed from the other side, and burst up field and then turn perpendicular to the Line Of Scrimmage Setting the Edge of the Play-action Pass. He saw Gabbert Waggling to his side and redirected. The TE rammed into him. He shoved him off, and got the Sack. And also allowed Love to Sumo Flop on him like E. Honda in Street fighter. I don't know if it's just me, but I misremembered Cunningham from last season. I thought he did a pretty good job pressuring the QB in the first half of the season, but he only had 1 Sacks last season. I really thought he had a better season than that. I was shocked when I read that. He just match his Sack total from last season. 

The Sack made it 2nd and 17, and forced the Jags into the Shotgun. The Jags ran a Draw to Deji Karim, just as both Cunningham and Moore got the edges and where turning the Corner. Moore was able to slip back down as Karim cut towards, but Karim made a nice hop cut outside and back as Moore was diving inside and forward. With this quick hop he got outside and had some field in front of him. However, Guyton and Arrington attacked quickly enough to make it 3rd and 14. 

This is what we all have been waiting for all offseason, 3rd and long. They have been attacking nicely and quickly, and you could they have been abandoning some run responsibilities to flash up field. They were attacking the Gaps nicely. But here it was: 3rd and long, obvious passing down, and the time to insert the situational rushers. So on the first 3rd and long Cunningham and Moore were out and Ninkovich lineup on his left side and Mark Anderson lineup at right D-End on the QB's blindside. Ninkovich blasted off the line. He was Chipped by the Tight End, who knocked him back into the retreating Right Tackle who had been completely beat by Ninkovich's blast off the line. But he was late and had no Angle and Ninkovich easily Ripped past him. Ninkovich turned the corner, but the ball was gone. Meanwhile on the other side Anderson had a great rush. He burst right at Eugene Monroe, the Jags OLT. He did a little dance in front of him, and then Swam right around him like he was a frog in a pond. He turned towards Gabbert and leap into his legs and took him down. The hit predictable caused a another misfire by Gabbert and a 4th down field goal attempt. I thought Anderson was going to be the easy release come September, but if he can come in on 3rd downs and do that with any consistency the Pats will be legit playoff contenders. The Jags scored 3 on the first drive, but the Pat's Defense hit the quarterback three times as well. I can live that!

Nate Solder came out as the starting Offensive Left Tackle for your New England Patriots. He came out nice, though his feet looked a little nervous, he shuffled backwards rather than kickstepped. The D-End delayed a little, and it looked like Solder got nervous as they were running a short pass over his shoulder to Hernandez, and sometimes the O-Tackles are suppose to sweep the legs of the D-End on the side of the that short throw. He dived at the D-Ends legs, and the D-End leaped. Solder caught his foot just enough for Hoyer to throw. Okay, huh, it was a nice throw by Hoyer and a nice catch by Hernandez, but David Jones literally hip checked the ball out of Hernandez's hands for a Forced Fumble and the Pats first turnover. 

The Pats came out in a 3-4 with Ninkovich on the Storngside and Cunningham standing up. Darryl Richard got some nice penetration, but Karim was able to dance by him on the Dive. Fletcher made another nice play. He took on the Tight End who had lineup like a FB, and knock him down to his knees. He then was able to get his shoulder pads and hands on a Karim long enough for Love to shot over like an arrow and drive him into the turf. Karim got a tough three yards and paid a heavy (pun intended) price to make it 2nd and 7. The Pats stayed in the 3-4 as the Jags come out in the shotgun with four WRs. Ninkovich dropped and was man-on-man on the TE with nice coverage. Cunningham blitzed. They didn't get any pressure, but Gabbert threw a floater over the head of Karim. I don't know if Gabbert misread the play or Karim ran the wrong pattern, but the mistake made it 3rd and 7. Time for Pat's fans to stand up and watch situational passrusher time. Cunningham came late, and didn't seem happy about it, which I like (he wants to hit the QB as much as me;-). So they went into a 3-4 Nickel, with I believe Kade Weston and Steve Williams really lined-up like D-Tackles. Mark Anderson lineup out wide at Right D-End and Ninkovich line up wide at OLB on his left side. Ninkovich turned the corner but was to deep to get Gabbert. However, Anderson had another great rush. He blasted up field towards the OLT outside shoulder, and just punched him on his outside shoulder and skipped to the corner. He turn the corner with the OLT shoving him and got his hands on Gabbert just enough to disrupt the throw just enough to cause the WR to drop it. The throw was just a hair behind the receiver. He should have had it, but with just a little hit on the Quarterback, wacky things happened. Anderson's rush caused another field goal attempt on 4th down to make it 6-zip Jags, but things could have been a lot worse, if the situational rusher applied pressure like they did last season.

The Pats came out running. It was a simple off tackle run to Solder's side. They had both wide receivers lineup on that side and the tight end Will Yeatman next to Solder. Yeatman and Solder double teamed the D-End Jeremy Mincey and drove him five yards down field as Woodhead turned the corner out wide. Then Solder slipped off that block nicely and one-armed blocked the ILB Paul Posluszny another five yards down field. That was an exceptional play by Solder. Oh by the way Woodhead gained five as he dribbled over the LOS. On 2nd and five Solders feet were a little calmer as he kickstepped back. They kept the Tight End in to help him block. But Mincey delayed rushed again, and this time didn't really rush at all. Solder got tired of waiting and charged forward two steps to hit him. I can't say Solder had a nice block as Mincey, for some unexplained reason, stalemated himself. Still, Solder and Yeatman completed their assignments nicely. Hoyer threw a nice bullet to Edelman 25 yards down field, but Edelman dropped it. I don't know if it's just me, but Hoyer's arm looks stronger than last season. I will say it is absolutely stronger than his rookie season. Granted they kept in six guys to block, but the O-Line did a good job. Until the OLB Darly Smith came on a delayed blitz came through unclean and knock Hoyer straight back onto his butt. So on 3rd and 5 it was time for Hoyer to step up. They ran a Power Toss away from Solder. Solder dived down into the legs of the D-Lineman again, and this time successfully swept his leg. Woodhead reach the edge but got hit just as he turned the corner. It looked like Steve Maneri was going to make the block way out on the edge on the CB to give Woodhead the 1st down. However, it looked like Ohrnberger got there late and the ILB shot through so he had to redirect to Posluszny and the CB was able to get in front of Woodhead. However, Woodhead cut back and made Mathis miss, but he slowed down enough for the D-End to stop him short of the 1st down. So the Pats had to punt.

The Pats came out in the 4-3, with Ninkovich sticking with the Tight End, who hsifted form his left to his right side. Dane Fletcher made a great play. He blitzed right up the middle and shot the gap. He got there so fast he was able to smash past the FB who didn't have time to get squared and suplexed the RB down for a six yard loss. On 2nd and 16 I was looking for a situational rusher, none came. Gabbert was able to complete an out to Dillard for 8 yards. Now 3rd and 6 and looking for a situational rusher. Ninkovich lined up on Gabbert's blindside and had another nice rush. He burst up field, got stopped, and he slapped the arms off his shirt and sliced inside as Gabbert shuffled away from him. However, Anderson lined up on his left side, and blast off the line and gave the ORT a sweeping Swim move, and lowered his shoulder almost into Gabbert, but the ORT was able to get just enough of his side (had a lot of back to;-), but Anderson was able to reach out and hit Gabbert enough to rattle him. Gabbert's feet panicked just long enough for Landon Cohen to Rip into him for the Pat's second Sack. So far this silly preseason, 3rd and long has been a Pat's defensive strength and not their Achilles Heel.

The Pats come out in Trips Left. Solder's happy feet Tommy-gunned into the dirt as he danced backwards. Mincey finally got a nice burst off the line and really went hard for the Corner. Solder got his long arms up, but Mincey got his outside shoulder and had him beat by half a step. However, like I showed in the film of Solder, he lost a lot of second effort battles as a Junior, but he rarely lost second effort battles as a Senior. Just as Mincey tried to Turn, Solder caught up and stopped him cold. He just doesn't give up the edge. Hoyer threw another nice pass to Edelman who decided to catch it this time for a quick 4 yards. On 2nd and 6, they lined with two tight ends outside Solder. Solder pulled to the outside, turned the corner, and knocked the Corner five yards backwards and out of bounds ten yards down field. That is a great athletic block for a 6-8 319 pound O-Tackle. Unfortunately, Darryl Smith snuck through the trash and tackled Woodhead short of the 1st down to make it 3rd and 3. The Pats ran the ball on 3rd and, huh, medium? Solder pulled forward like a hunchback, with Hernandez following behind him. Solder crashed right into Smith and turned him to the outside in a perfect Seal block. Hernandez smashed into the OLB like a FB and knocked him back just enough. However, Posluszny made a great play. He took on Ohrnberger (who started at Center) and knocked him to the ground, and jump on top of Woodhead like a monkey attacking a squirrel. However, the Amazing Woodhead was able to carry the monkey on his back past the 1st down marker.

On 1st and ten the Pats come out with an empty backfield and Hoyer in the Shotgun. Solder stalemates Mincey easily as Hoyer throws another terrific pass to Hernandez flying across the middle. Hernandez jets down the field for another 20 yards, and the Pats are in the Red Zone for the first time this game.

The Pats came out in a three tight end set with Hernandez lined up at H-Back just behind Carson Butler who was lined up next to Solder. The Pats ran what looked like a Dive, but turned into an off tackle run as Stevan Ridley bounced it to the outside. Solder tried to Seal the D-End to the outside. He got position quickly and efficiently, but tripped and fell down, which essentially Sealed the D-End out of the play. Ridley meanwhile had a real nice run. He bounced it outside as the D-End beat the Lee Smith backwards and disrupted the play, though Smith recovered and drove him into the ground. Ridley got off Tackle and was met by two defenders who had him dead to right. However, using his nifty feet, he stopped, skipped, and shuffled suddenly further outside and turned the corner for a scatback like run of 6 yards. On 2nd and 4, Solder had another great play. Yeatman lined up outside of him again. The double teamed Mincey and drove him back towards the sideline forcefully. The OLB hopped outside of Mincey, and Yeatman slide off the double and impacted Smith, as Solder continued to drive Mincey to the outside. However, in the confusion, Woodhead cut up right behind the Solder's block as his driving Mincey ten yards to wards the sideline open a huge hole in the middle. Unfortunately the Safety Dawan Landry filled the hole nice and shoulderpad cracked Woodhead to the ground to stop him just short of the 1st down. They went empty on 3rd and 2 with Hoyer in the shotgun. Mincey blasted off the line and Solder shutdown the edge. However, Mincey spun inside and charged towards Hoyer. Solder was able to use his feet to stop, redirect, and keep his big mitts on Mincey's shirt. Mincey got half a step on Solder, but Solder was able to slow him down enough for Hoyer to hit Hernandez. Mincey was able to get his hand up in the passing lane, but never really got within three yards of Hoyer. Another nice second effort recovery block by Solder. Oh by the way, Hernandez caught the ball and ran it to the two. Where he dribbled the ball to the one, and then dribbled the ball again (for his third fumble;-) and finally recovered his dribbling at the 1-yard line.

1st and goal, and the Pats are going to run behind Solder. This was one of his top plays of the game. He came off the snap and chipped on the D-Tackle just a little to help Thomas Austin. Then Posluszny, who had really been having a nice game, charged into the hole. Solder meet him facemask-to-facemask, turned him, sealed him, and then shoved him through the air straight backwards onto his butt. Ridley meanwhile, slithered behind Solder's behind, and somehow someone tunneled his way into the Endzone under three Jag's behinds. This was a second straight impressive run by the rookie Ridley 7-6 Pats.

On 1st and ten the Pat's lineup in a 4-3, and the Cunningham shifted up into a 3-4. Gabbert threw a quick hitter that didn't allow the rushers to get there, though it looked like they had a chance. The Tight End caught the ball right over the middle for 7 yards. On 2nd and 3 the Jags ran a Sweep, and Meriweather broke through the line for another nice play to make it 3rd and 3. The Pats lined up in the 4-2 Nickel, with Anderson and Ninkovich at D-End. They were stalemated, but Cohen got a nice push into Gabbert's face and looked like he was going to hit him, but he fell down. However, it panicked Gabbert's feet just enough to cause a misreception and force a punt.

With 2 seconds left in the 1st quarter they came out in a two tight ends. Solder protected the edge nicely. But Hoyer slid over in front of his block, and Mincey was able to stop and get inside Solder as Hoyer moved into him and he slapped Hoyer in the ribs as he threw. But Hoyer who had been perfect so far continued his stellar play and hit Hernandez Dragging across the middle. Hernandez out fought Posluszny for the ball, shook him off, and was able to turn up field and run for 19 yards and inside the Redzone again.

Solder had to face-off against some-guy-named-Odrick, and stalemated him easily. Hoyer had his first misfire as he heaved the ball over Lee Smith's head and well out of the Endzone. However, it is never a bad play to throw the ball away in the Redzone rather than risk a Sack or an INT. The Jags really had great coverage, and it looked like the ORT may have been beat. On 2nd and 10 Solder comes off the line low and mean and bends the D-Tackle backwards. Ridley follows Solder's block, but then cuts back to the middle and gets pounded to the ground for a gain of 3. The Pats come out with four wide and Woodhead set next to Hoyer. Solder dances back with great feet as Aaron Morgan bursts up field and tried for the edge. Solder stops him cold, but Morgan Spins back inside and has Solder beat and a clear path to Hoyer. However, Hoyer was riffling the ball to Taylor Price, who somehow snagged that ball with his hands and he dropped both feet down in bounds. It was a great grab and really showed how strong his hands are. However, after a bad snap it was 13-6 Pats.

The Pats come out in a 4-3. Cunningham makes a nice burst up field, but actually overran the play, and allowed the RB to Draw underneath him for 8 yards. They lined up in the 4-3 with Moore and Cunningham still at D-End and Ninkovich following the TE to Cunningham's side. Cunningham came up the field nicely, but got cut down by the FB. Ninkovich charged up to set the edge and ran smack dab into the RB. He slowed him down just enough for Cunningham to get back up and make the tackle for a loss. With it now 3rd and 3 it was time for some situational rushing. The Jags ran the ball, but Fletcher cut inside and burst right up the middle and crushed the RB in the backfield for another impressive play in the 1st half.

The Pats came out running, and Ridley lowered his head for a tough two yards. Hoyer then goes deep and lofts the ball up to Matt Slater on the sideline. He leaps high and over the shoulder of the CB and somehow snags the best catch his made in a Patriots uniform. Solder meanwhile had easily stalemated the 4th string D-End on both plays. I had Slater listed as gone already, but he has made two of the biggest plays of the game. Make a special teams tackle at the ten and then catching this 42 yard bomb. It was not a great throw by Hoyer and the CB had great coverage.

Solder tried to get out and hit the MLB, but the MLB jump inside his block and made the tackle on Ridley. That is one of the hardest blocks for an O-Tackle to make on a Dive. I don't give him a negative for that. To get to the Mike when the ball is run right up the middle at him is not a block you are going to see often. On 2nd and 8, Solder dominated the back up D-End, as Hoyer hit Ridley swinging out of the backfield for a gain of zip to make it 3rd and 8. Solder fought off the D-End how made a nice inside move for a while as Hoyer had trouble finding an open receiver. Hoyer had his first miscue as he really had nobody open. It set up a Gostkowski field goal. 16-9 Pats.

The Pats came out in the 4-3. Gabbert looked like he tried to throw the ball twice, and in the meantime Darryl Richards dug his way to the QB and got a nice Sack. Then the Jags try and run it up the middle and Richards give up nothing to make it 3rd and 15. The Pats send seven guys, but Gabbert got it off quickly for a nice reception. However, the ball was spotted a yard short of the 1st down. The then refs made a terrible call giving the Jags a free first down. The Jags cover guy moved, and the Pats blocker pointed to him after he moved. So the refs called him for inciting movement by pointing at him after he moved.

On 1st down Dane Fletcher burst through the line again, and shoulderpad cracked the RB down into the turf for a loss, again. He has been the best defensive player on the field in the 1st half. The Jags come out in a four wide set, as the Pats stay in their even front. Cunningham Turns the Corner and just misses Gabbert as he throws, but he get his hand up and slaps him on the way down. And just as hitting the quarterback has a way of causing wacky things to happen, even when it is late, it was a misreception as the tight end dropped the ball. Which set up another 3rd and long, just what we have been waiting to see since the Lockout ended. The Pats brought seven guys again. It looked like two guys were going to going to get there, but Gabbert threw it fast for a 1st down.

The Jags ran that odd Counter Draw again, and Karim had a nice run for a 1st down as Meriweather had another nice tackle. Gabbert was starting to look like he was in the zone as he caught the ball out of the shotgun, three stepped, and threw in perfect rhythm. But the throw was short and set up a 2nd and 6. A series of miscues and penalties led to a 1st and 15 the Pats 43.

With the Jags in the Shotgun, Gabbert Waggled to his right with no real pressure put on him. So he completed the easy pass to Inman to set up 2nd and 5. They ran a Draw from the Shotgun and it was stuffed by Gary Guyton and Anderson to set up 3rd and 5. 3rd and long time, and Cohen burst up the middle hit Gabbert and and drew a Holding penalty. Though I don't know why the Pats couldn't refuse the penalty as the pass went incomplete? However, 3rd and 15 and another test for the Pats Passrushers. The left D-Tackle beat the O-Guard with just a burst and some hand fighting, and caused a terrible throw by Gabbert that hit Chung right in the hands. However, another win on 3rd and long has to be seen as a pure positive for the Pats.

On 1st down he ran a sweep to the left. Solder got in blocks on two defenders again, I'm telling you he is going to be a great one. However, the Corner was able quick his was past Hernandez and tackle Ridley for no gain. On 2nd and 10, the D-End was able to jump inside Solder, but he was met by the O-Guard as well and got nowhere. Morris shot it up the middle on a quick Draw for three. On 3rd and 7, Solder stoned the D-End. Hoyer was able to take his time and swing the ball out to Ridley coming out of the backfield, and he hopped and bopped for a 1st down.

On first down, Solder squeezed between two guys and dived into the OLB and swept his legs. Ridley cut back up the middle for a tough two yards. With Mincey back on 2nd and 8, Solder tried to cut him again, as it was a short pass over his shoulder. Hoyer fired a bullet to Price who snagged the ball and ran for a 30 yard gain. On 1st and 10 the Pats were in the two minute drill. Solder stalemated Mincey again as Hoyer threw a high pass to Taylor on the sidelines. Taylor reach high and snagged the ball with his hands, but just couldn't quite sneak his toe inside the chalk. On 2nd and 10, Solder played a Stunt perfectly as Hoyer flicked the ball out to Hernandez for 9 Yards. On 3rd and 1 Solder stoned Mincey again as Hoyer hit Ridley out of the backfield for 3 yards and a 1st down.

On 1st down, the right side of the O-Line survived an all out blitz, including Ridley who was lined up on the left side of Hoyer, but they had overloaded the rightside and he was able to dance in front of Hoyer, get over the rightside, and take out the free blitzer. That allowed Hoyer to hit Hernandez for 5 yards. Solder stone the D-End again, and Ridley snuck out of the backfield and Hoyer hit him right in the middle of the field. He was so open he had time to turn and run and get the 1st down. Solder was left on his own to face two D-Linemen as Thomas Austin fell down. He stoned the outside guy, but the inside guy leaped into Hoyer and hit him, which caused his worst throw of the day. On 2nd and 10, Solder made the D-End give up after going two yards up field. But Hoyer had his first unforced error and missed Buddy Farnham by three yards. Hoyer heaved the ball to Farnham, who held on, but got smacked down from behind by the Safety Whitehead. However, it was short of the 1st down, and the Pats kicked the Field Goal to go up 19-9 halftime lead.

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