Pats Vs Lions

1st Quarter.

 

 

Pats Vs Lions First Quarter.

By TOM

August 27th, 29thth, and 30th 2011

The Pats start off the game kicking off. Prior Started off next to the Might Vince. Mark Anderson lined up at RDE instead of Carter. They set up a nice Screen to slow down the rush and Mayo came across the field to stop him for 12. They tried to run to the left, but the Mighty Vince stuffed it for nothing. However, it was already clear that they were not attacking like they have in the first two game. The only defender past the LOS was Mark Anderson who was starting in place of André Carter.

Stafford snapped off a quick one for 8, and the reliable Meriweather was there to stop it cold. However, the D-Linemen where not one-gapping. They were coming out of their stance arms extending and peeling into the backfield to read the play. Once they read pass, it was to late to get their bursts back. Stafford had an easy throw with no defenders within 5-yards of him. The relentless attacking rush that had excited us so much in the first two weeks was clearly gone. André Carter, who was such a force last week, did not play in the 1st Quarter. One-gapper’s extraordinaire Shaun Ellis and Albert Haynesworth were still resting on the bench from the exhausting Lockout.

Detroit was clearly working on the Hurry-Up offense, as the exhausted Pat’s defense was clearly working on some two-gapping looks. Detroit came out in the shotgun again, and the Pat’s D muddled in-and-out of the 3-4/4-3. The Pat’s were in a 3-4, as Ninkovich stood up on Pat’s leftside. He locked onto the Tight End right off the line and chucked him off his route. Just as Prior Ripped inside the block of the ORG and looked like he had a path to the QB, Stafford went deep down the sideline. McCourty looked like he had the ball in his sites, but he misplayed the ball at the last second and the ball was caught.

The entire D-Line barely got off the snap. Anderson was stoned on what looked like was going to be a nice Swim. Stafford looked like he was in full rhythm in the shotgun. He took the snap, one-stepped, hopped and threw. He snapped off anther quick pass to the Tight End, Guyton arrived just a hair late and Pettigrew got 6 easy yards.

Detroit was in a hurry up shotgun. But Stafford handed off to Aaron Brown for an inside run for a quick two. They were back in the 3-4 with Anderson Standing up on the rightside and Ninkovich with a hand down on the leftside. It looked like which ever side the tight end was on the D-End was standing up. Pettigrew stay in and Sealed Anderson nicely on the inside run. Wilfork and Prior, while not getting any push in the rush, were holding their ground nicely, and allowed Mayo to slip past the OLG and make the tackle for a fall down 2-yards.

The Pats were starting to look like Tampa last week. They lined up in a 4-3. Stafford dropped back again and lofted a beautiful Fade to Burleson. McCoutry came in and jabbed right between his outstretched arms and just knock the TD pass into the turf.  Anderson tried to Rip inside, but got chipped by the RB going out on a pattern, looks like it might have been more a conflict of space than a designed chip, but it allow Backus to stone Anderson. Ninovich got chipped by the Pettigrew, and then the ORT tried to chop him. He failed, but the pass was away. Detroit had to kick a field goal to make it 3-nothing Lions. 

Tate took the kick off, and seems to look worse every year. He barely made it to the 12 and looked like he was going down before he got hit. Light came out as the starting OLT, and the terrific Solder experiment looked like it was on hold. Brady tossed the ball to Woodhead on a well setup Screen and he took for nine behind Connolly and Koppen.

The Pats came out in a 2-TE formation. Brady handed to Benny and hit it up inside for a 1st down. Connolly had a real nice block. He shoved Suh into Koppen and then charged to the second level and impacted the MLB out of the play.

Brady did a quick three step drop and flicked it quickly to Gronk and jugged for a 1st down, and the refs had their first act of random stupidity on the Pats. Ocho was speared to the ground and they called him for holding? The worst call of the year so far.

1st and 20, Brady drills the ball into the dirt within a clean pocket to make it 2nd down. Woodhead gets tripped for a short gain on a Draw. The O-Line actually did a nice job, but Welker couldn’t get inside the Nickel Corner who read run from the start and darted inside to trip him up.

3rd and 18, and Brady gets killed from behind by Cliff Avril. Vollmer had washed Avril past Brady, but got taken out by Lawrence Jackson, who was being washed by Light, to free up Avril for the Strip Sack.

They punted the ball away, and Slater had the returner dead to rights, but slipped off his tackle and allowed him to scoot forward for about 10-yards. Then, of course, my dish got hurricaned and I lost the game. It came back on the 2nd half, but by then it was too late for the Pats. The NFL channel replayed the game late Monday night, and so I able to watch the horror of the rest of the 1st half.

Stafford came out in the shotgun again, with the Pats in a 4-3. Ninkovich had a nice rush as the ORT tried to cut him and he danced around it. Anderson got some pressure as he bulled the OLT back and forced Stafford tossed it the RB in the Flat. Butler came up and made a nice knock out of bounds tackle for minus 1-yard. Detroit ran a perfect Screen. They allowed all four Pat’s D-Linemen to get past them, and still had four O-Linemen in front of the RB. If it wasn’t for Meriweather holding his ground and allowing Butler to come from behind and make another nice hustle tackle it would have been a touchdown.

The Pat’s two-gap, gapped-up the run to death on 1st and 10 from just in front of the 11. Here’s the problem, The rules have been changed so dramatically that the passing game is almost cheating. Stopping the run is no longer the primary goal of a defense. If you have a great running game and can stop the run, a great passing team who can hit your QB will win every time. Just look at Green Bay last year. They were a top five passing team, with virtually no running game, and they could pressure the QB and had DBs who made INTs. BB’s 3-4 is designed to stopping the Running Game first, as we saw all day against Detroit. That no longer wins games. On defense, it you don’t hit the QB you don’t win. And I started saying that five years ago. With even more radical changes to rules since to help the passing game even more, it has only gotten worse. The idea it is acceptable to stop the run first is out of date. Defenses need an all out blitzkrieg on the QB to win, like we saw in the first two preseason games.  

Detroit came out in the shotgun again, and the Pats looked liked they were working on two-gapping run stopping, again. To me the reason the Pat’s defense looked so bad was because they were scheming to stop the run, against a offense that was obviously looking to pass, and was working on their hurry-up offense. Which happens in the preseason, where a teaming is practicing a specific aspect of their defense, and the opponent’s offense is practicing the exact opposite. Like on the Touchdown, the Pat’s defense switched into a 3-4 and was clearly looking to stop the run. Stafford did a simple play-action and opened up the middle of the Endzone for an easy pass. However, the Pat's defense clearly failed the "what happens when you are looking for a run and they pass", test. 

Detroit kicked off and the Pat’s couldn’t return it to the 20. I know this is not news, but I have seen a lot of Kickoffs this preseason, and this new rule is stifling returns even more than I think people thought. When guys take it out of the Endzone they are consistently not making it to the 20. In every preseason game I have watched so far, kick returns have been a disaster.

The Pat’s come out running. Light has trouble pushing Jackson Off the line in a Sweep to his side, something Solder was excelling at. He ended up getting pushed back three yards behind the line of scrimmage. While Jackson didn’t make the tackle, he strung out the play so the LBs and Louis Delmas could come in and make the play.

On 2nd and 8. Gronk lined up outside Light and really stifled Jackson. Light came in a little late to hit him hard. Connolly did an excellent job on Suh, who seemed more interesting in coverage than rushing. Brady threw the ball to Woodhead out in the flat, but Steven Tulloch defended the pass with his butt, literally.

3rd and 8, Light does a nice job slowing down Jackson. Vollmer lets Avril get by him a little too easily, but is able to just shove him past Brady, as Brady throws a strike to Welker for a first down.

1st and 10, Light did a nice job Sealing Jackson to the outside on an inside run. Connolly was really having a great game as they ran right up the middle and he and Vollmer shoved Suh two yards backwards and right out of the play. However, as Vollmer shoved Suh out of the play, the linebacker slipped in behind him. He tried to block him, but couldn’t get back and Justin Durant made the tackle.

On 2nd and 9, light was beat badly by Jackson. But so was Vollmer, Connolly , and the rest of the O-Line as the pass protection looked like a fire drill. Brady faded, faded, and faded back and looked like he was throwing the ball away as half the Detroit defense was attacking him. However, he throw a strike to Hernandez for 7-yards.

On 3rd and 2, Light pulls to the outside again on a toss play, and gets taken out by the Delmas (who had a hell of a game), and who get a hand on Woodhead’s foot. Then Tulloch came in and hit him. A nice spot gave him a 1st down.

The Pats go for a little trickeration. Brady play actions, and then fake the reverse and looks to go deep. However, Corey Williams, who went for the play-action, spun off of Woodhead and Connolly and crushed Brady just as he threw the ball, and Brady had wound-up and was going deep.

They tried another odd play on  2nd and 10. It looked like a Tight End Bubble screen. However, the blocking was breaking down all over the place so it was hard to tell. Brady his Hernandez 5-yards behind the LOS, and Price missed his block on the CB who was able to shoe tackle Hernandez for a loss of 3. On 3rd and 13, the O-Line let the Detroit D-Line through again, but this time it was a planned Screen executed perfectly. Hernandez caught the ball on the rightside with Vollmer, Connolly, and Koppen in front of him and the entire Detroit D-Line behind them. Hernandez weaved and wobbled for a 1st down.

1st and 10, The O-Line blocked well, but more important Brady was starting to throw in rhythm like Stafford had done all game. 2-steps, a hop, and throw to Gronk Dragging across the middle for 7-yards. 2nd and 2, again excellent blocking. Gronk stayed in to block, and washed the D-End past Brady easily. Brady threw a little low inside to Price, and he dropped it, badly. Not a great throw, but when the QB throws the ball to the opposite side of you body that the defender is on, you have to make that catch. Plus, to make matters worse it looks like this was the play where Connolly was injured. Ohrnberger was in on the next play. 

3rd and 2, a very nice play. Detroit was bringing the pressure. They brought five guys and faked two more. Ornbuerger did a nice job picking up the blitzing Tulloch. Brady 1-stepped hop and tossed it over the unblocked blitzer to Hernandez in the Flat. He turned up field and ran well past the 1st down marker for 13-yards.

Another very well blocked play. Ohrnberger got under Corey William's pads, and Vollmer blocked down and crushed him inside. Then Vollmer was able to pick up the Linebacker and knock him to the ground. Gronk, lined up outside Vollmer, blocked the D-End all the way down the line until he tripped over trash in the middle of the Line. Benny just bopped it outside. He got exactly what was blocked as three Lions met him at the pass and he dived into the turf for five. 

The Pats lined up in with three tight ends looking like it was time to practice pounding the ball inside. Two to the left and one to the right, and then ran right. Ohrnberger got out and Sealed the MLB nicely. Benny slipped past a Vollmer's block, and then cut up inside a Gronk block, and looked like he had some turf to run. However, Price whiffed on a block again and he only got four to make it 3rd and 1. Connolly left the arena to receive some medical attention.

Suh was back in on 3rd and 1, and the Pat’s O-Line lost this one. Ohrnberger got tossed into Benny by Suh which helped bring him down. It wasn’t Ohrnberger’s fault the play didn’t succeed as only Vollmer had a good block on this play. With two tight ends and Morris in as a full back they have to do better than that. This play also ended the 1st quarter.

 

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