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A Special Victory Down in Miami.



October 5th, 2010

It appears to me that we’ve learned a few things about this years defense. The Pat’s appears to be more of a big play defense, like the New Orleans last year. It appears normally the Pats play defense like butter, but can make the big play when it counts, like N.O. last year. However, when they don’t make a big play they look as hapless as butter playing defense against a warm knife. However, just like I predicted this team biggest improvement from last year is on Special Teams. Granted, the ST play this week is all but guaranteed to be their best performance of the year, but what a performance! In the end the Pats ST out scored Miami ’s ST 25-2. Which gave the Patriots a special advantage that Miami could not overcome in the second half.  

Miami came out throwing the ball. Lining up in formations that looked like they were going to run, but threw the ball three of the first four downs. Then TB-C came flying around the edge with a soft Rip Move (if there is such a thing;-), and flushed Henne into the waiting arms of Mike Wright. However, A well-designed screen led to a terribly executed Wildcat run on third and six. The much-maligned Meriweather impacted Ronnie Brown behind the LOS in a perfect form tackle. A bumbling punt made my heart stop as Wes Welker fumbled the ball on the 10-yard line, but was able to recover his own gaff. 

The game started out predictably with the Patriots lining up in their Power Spread formation, their trickiest formation. Then they spread it out and trying to garner an early lead as they brace for the second half. Since BB advocated the running game, Brady has to be better then the great player he already is. Tonight he was pissed, for reason we all can picture in our perverted brains. He came out seeking vengeance on a foe, not just on the field, but in his mind. The only problem with that plan was the relentless Cameron Wake, who hit Brady right in the arm, and caused the Patriots to punt.

Miami continued to attack against the Patriots hapless pass defense. With the pass setting up the run, Miami ran the ball behind their giant O-Line three straight times, with a conscious effort to run away from Wilfork. It seemed only a clock error and a holding penalty could slow them down. However, on 2nd and 13, Spikes made a nice tackle, bouncing off the fullback and jumped around another blocker to make the tackle, which set up a 19-yard TD pass to the underrated Davone Best. Making it 7-nothing, and putting a halt to any hopes the Pats had at stealing an early led.

So out come the Pats throwing again. A nice first down reception by Tate, and the Pats run BJG-E up the middle to keep the defense honest. A great play by Hernandez is erased by an alleged Holding call on the O-Line. Back to Tate, and a Gronkowski Screen, and the refs ruin another drive in Miami , bringing back memories of Don Shula running the Competition Committee like Bill Polian. 

However, a bad throw by Henne and a great tackle by Wilfork, and the suddenly it looks like it has some life, and Rob Nichovich makes a geeat Interception on another bad throw by Henne. The Pat’s quickly handed the ball off to BJG-E, for a nice 6-yard run. Then G-E cuts back for an 8-yard first down run, then the Pats out think themselves with some silly trickeration play that looked like the Three Stooges had joined the coaching staff, making it 2nd and 11 at the end of the half. The Patriots now making an obvious effort to get the ball into Hernandez’s hands, threw him a bubble screen which he turned into a 3rd and one. A badly executed run made it 4th and 1, which led to Brady taking it into his own head, and he dived helmet first into the Miami Defense for a first down. They handed the ball to G-E who ran for 5 brutal yards as this game started to look more like a grudge match then a game. Another G-E run led to another G-E run on 3rd and 1 for another first down. The well-aged Sammy Morris lost a yard, which led to a 9-yard Draw play on 2nd and 11 to the new Boston media favorite Woodhead (because the media guys like any player who is smaller than they our). It was starting to look like Pat’s O-Line was inflicting its’ will on the Miami defense. Then boom, a play-action pass to Hernandez (who according to John Gruden he is the youngest player in the NFL), and the Patriots are in the Redzone looking to score. Unfortunately, the Pats learn why I predicted the edge rush would be the deciding factor in this game, as Camreon Wake blasted off the line like the Space Shuttle and exploded through Brady. Causing the offense to stall, and this beautiful well-executed drive ended in a field goal rather than a game tying TD.

Miami came out throwing against the hapless Pat’s pass defense. However, Mike Wright, who faltered in his passrush, got his big mitt up and tipped the pass. A short run 4-yard run set up a first down throw by Henne to the new Patriot’s worst nemesis Davone Best. Enter the much-maligned Meriweather who impacted Miami with a drive-changing smack-down of our new worst nemesis Best. It wasn’t a Sack, but it was a much-needed Tackle For a Loss. Wilfork made it 3rd and 10, with another crushing tackle at the LOS. Then the defense's young brain bailed Miami out. Jermaine Cunningham crushed Henne causing another errant throw, but the rookie sensation McCourty unwisely grabbed Miami WR Brain Hartline before the ball arrived to give Miami an unearned first down. Another short pass to Best set up a great run by Ricky Williams, and only a foolish foot tackle by Arrington saved a Touchdown, literally as Rob Nichovich jumped in front of a Henne pass to put the ball back in Brady’s brilliant hands.

Enter Wes Welker who caught two balls just before the two Minute warning. And then the miraculously brilliant Hernandez somehow caught a 5-yard pass after the Two-Minute warning had struck the play dead. A Draw to Woodhead made it 3rd and 1, and the Pats were in a no-huddle mode. Another sneak by Brady, and a pass to Welker, and the Pats where over midfield, and  throwing the ball to the continually improving Brandon Tate for two straight receptions. A quick catch and run by Welker, and it was first and ten at the 11. But a horrible drop by Moss and a Sack on Brady set up a Field goal to make it 6-7 Miami at Half Time.

The good news is that the Pat’s defense which always seems to be teetering on the edge of disaster, was making more big plays then rookie mistakes and held the Dolphins vaunted offense to one first half Touchdown. Enter my main-man Brandon “the Tempest” Tate who tore down the Patriots side line with a wind-blowing burst into the endzone for a 103-yard or return for a second half opening kick return. Patriots 13 Miami 7.

Miami looked stunned as the came out to try and win back the lead. Running the ball weakly for two yards, and then Henne threw the ball to a leaping Devon McCourty who couldn't reel it in, to set up 3rd and 8. Pressure by Mike Wright caused Henne to throw short to Marshall and forced a punt. Then Boom, my other main man Patrick Chung blocked the punt, and the Patriot’s Special Teams units have taken over the game. First, the Pat's Special Teams are responsible for all 13 of the Patriot's points. Second, they make a spectacular punt block to give the ball to Brady in the Redzone. Enter the O-Line and two straight run by G-E, and the Pats are up 20-7, and the Dolphins look like they are drowning in a Patriot’s special team tempest.

The hard-nosed Miami Dolphins came out fighting. Three runs and a pass and the Dolphins were angrily approaching midfield. However, Mayo made a great diving Pass Broken Up, and it was 3rd and five. But a complete lack of pressure led to two much-too-easy receptions to give Miami the ball at the 22-yard line. After a penalty to make it 1st and 15 from the 27, and the Pats called an all out blitz, which led to a quick screen behind the rush to Ricky Williams who jogged way-too-easily into the endzone. Miami 14 Patriots 20.

So what possible solution could the Patriots have, why Brady to Welker sounds good to me. Then two quick runs to the other Wes Welker clone Woodhead and the Pats are moving down field. Then Brady goes to the real Wes Welker again, and the Pats offense is over midfield, and handing the ball to the other Wes Welker clone Woodhead, for three straight runs for a first down plus. Then back to the real Wes Welker for a 15-yard reception and the Pats are in the Redzone again. And just for continuity-sake Brady throws an 11-yard TD pass to guy my wife calls “Little Woody” for another TD, and the Pats are up 27-14. 

Miami comes out attacking again. An alleged penalty makes it 1st and 20. An ankle spraining catch by Marshall and a back door pass to Roberto Wallace, and a pass to our new nemesis Best makes it a first down. Marshall makes a nice catch and run. A pass to Anthony Fasano drags Miami over midfield. Ronnie Brown catches a pass and runs the ball to end the third quarter with another Miami first down.   

Pressure-pressure-pressure. Cunningham does not have a single career Sack, but his pressuring the QB has lead to a lot of big plays by the Pat's defense. This time his pressure lead to a tip pass that seemed to stall Miami for the first time this drive. Boom! Enter big-play-Rob, who hit Henne hard for his first Sack this season, setting up a 3rd and way too long even for the Pats new nemesis Travis Best to overcome. So Miami had to try a 54-yard field goal. BOOM! Do you remember the Patriot’s special teams unit led by my other main-man Patrick Chung who blocked another kick, which allowed the football to weeble-wobble into the awaiting hands of Kyle Arrington, who shortstopped the ball and returned the blocked kick for what appears to be a 60-yard TD return. Suddenly, the Pats were up 20 point in the forth quarter down in the Miami heat. 

Miami tried to no-huddle it to victory. However, with a discrepancy of 22 special teams points to overcome (24-2 at that point), it would be a battle against a torrid tempest wind led by the Patriots new stars Brandon Tate and Patrick Chung. And though the hard nosed Dolphins kept fighting all the way up to 4th and 2, a terrific submarine tackle by McCourty and the much-maligned Patriots defense stopped another drive short. Leaving the only question, could the Pats run the clock out? 

Woodhead and Hernandez set up a 3rd and 5. but edge pressure led to a sad little run by Brady which almost by definitions leads to a punt with 9:15 on the clock. Cunningham then hit Henne to cause a drop by our new worst nemesis Best. However, the resilient Best caught an 8-yard to make it 3rd and 2. Ronnie Brown bulldozed for a first down and conveniently kept the clock running. A short pass to Best (who could have gotten out of bounds but didn’t) and Anthony Fasano (who hurt himself) brought the clock under 7 Minutes, and made it look like the Dolphins were willing self-destructing. BOOM! The Patriots new superstar Patrick Chung slipped in front of a Henne pass for a Pick-Six. Patriots 41, Miami 14. Game, set, match. Good night Patsfans.

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