The Haphazard Blog

Tag: buffalo bills

Patriots vs. Bills Recap

by on Dec.26, 2010, under Football, Patriots, Sports

This was a game where it looked like it was over pretty early, the only question was “How much would the Patriots win by?”. I think the prognosticators were shaken by the close game Green Bay had. I think that’s a case of them discounting how good the Green Bay defense played (and is). There isn’t a whole lot to say about this game, but here are my thoughts.

The front 7 is down to the last bit of their depth, mostly due to injuries and a suspension for Brandon Spikes. With that, the Bills were running wild on the defense and inexplicably started to pass in red zone. Killed their momentum and they were forced to settle for a field goal and let Bill Belichick make adjustments for the next series.

I’ve noticed that as much praise Devin McCourty gets, teams are not afraid of him. They attack him and are able to complete passes against him. I think who should get some consideration/recognition for defensive rookie of the year, but Ndamukong Suh has been a beast and quarterbacks must be scared of him.

Rob Gronkowski seemed to have a possible touch down, but the ball was under thrown by Tom Brady. It would’ve been a great way to open the game with a 77 yard touch down on their first play. On the day, Brady had 3 touch downs, 2 to Gronkowski, and set a new bar for most consecutive passes without an interception. CBS was showing the graphic comparing him to Bernie Kosar and Bart Starr. They included the number of touch downs over that span and Brady was way ahead. I wonder if that’s a record for most consecutive touch downs without an interception. People are pretty quick top point put that there have been some lucky drops during this streak, but I doubt any of them have reviewed all the passes that Kosar and Starr threw. Obviously there is a luck component to a streak like that.

Gronkowski pulled in a great catch running down the seam on a safety. He has the safety trailing him and reached back with one hand to pull the ball in for a big gain on 3rd down. The Patriots played well without Aaron Hernandez this week. (I wonder if Hernandez was injured while high stepping (I think that’s what it was) into the end zone against the Packers?).

Wes Welker had a tough drive (2 drops) and overall a tough game (he added another drop). You could see he was not pleased with himself.

The defense continued to do what it has done all year. They forced turnovers (6!) and hit hard. It was an impressive job by them and now they can rest players as needed with nothing to play for next week. They have locked up the AFC East, #1 seed (home field throughout the playoffs) and the best AFC record. As an added bonus, the Raiders were knocked out of playoff contention which guarantees the Patriots a top 20 pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

Update: Saw a couple interesting Patriots tidbits.

Brady has thrown a touch down in each game this season. If he throws one next week he will be the fifth quarterback to do it since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978. I was surprised by this for 2 reasons. First, just how rare it is and second, that Brady didn’t do this in 2007. I checked, and the Jets shut him out in week 15.

The Patriots have gone 7 games without a turnover, which extends their own record. The old record was 4 games.

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Patriots vs. Bills Recap

by on Sep.26, 2010, under Football, Patriots, Sports

I’d say this game played out as I expected. The offense would put up points and the defense would give up points. I didn’t buy too much into the idea that the Patriots would blow out the Bills. It would really take one or two non-offensive TDs for them to really blow the game open. I really think the defense we saw from the second half of the Bengals game through the Jets game is the baseline for the defense. I continue to hope they improve as they play, but that remains to be seen. The offense is good and they just have to find a way to get the job done.

Aaron Hernandez has looked really good these last two games. He is a great target for Tom Brady. I like that he almost always cuts back to the inside and isn’t afraid of contact. It’s scary that he will only get better.

The defense continues to help opposing quarterbacks. CBS ran a stat that said the Bills had failed to convert their last 40 3rd and 10 or longer. So of course when the Patriots had them at 3rd and 18, the Bills got the 1st down pretty easily. There was no pass rush and no coverage. As much as Bill Belichick empasizes that pass defense is a combination of the pass rush and coverage, the Patriots are inconsistent at both once again. They desperately need to find an OLB who can put pressure on the QB. I noticed that Belichick has a play calling sheet in his hand. I wonder if he was calling plays for the offense or defense?

Although the Febreze commercial highlighted the Patriots loss to the Jets, I was amused that they said Mark Sanchez was able to win the game with Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller while ignoring Braylon Edwards who was arrested for DUI (and now will apparently claim antibiotics caused him to blow a 0.16).

It was at home, but we got to see Clutch Brady show up at the end of the half to move the team down for a quick FG. Later, we saw him run the ball for a 1st down and emphatically assist the referees in signaling the 1st down. I’ve been waiting to see him run with the ball since last season. It was good to see ┬áhim do that with so much room. Last year, he would’ve still tried to dump the ball off to someone.

I think I saw the reason why Brady doesn’t pass more to Brandon Tate on the second touchdown pass to Randy Moss. Moss beat double coverage and Brady through the ball to him deep. Tate also decided to run towards the ball bringing another defender with him. I can’t imagine they drew up a route that had two people running to the same location and I seriously doubt it was Moss who made the mistake. Brady has to be able to trust his receivers will go where they are supposed to go.

That TD they gave up on the kick-off was bad. They’ve been covering so well all pre-season and to start the year. It let the Bills get right back into the game. I still wonder if Stephen Gostkowski is fully healthy. On 2 drives, the offense killed them with penalties before they even got started. They have to be more disciplined, especially when they go on the road. They made it very likely to go 3 and out (and they did).

Chung still continues to look like the best guy on defense with Vince Wilfork. His decision to run the interception out of the end zone didn’t seem like smart situational football, but he did get an interception at a critical point. Danny Woodhead had 2 good runs on draw plays; a Kevin Faulk specialty. That’s an important hole to fill with the loss of Faulk. We’ll have to see how he handles pass protection against blitzers. Best of all, the Patriots were able to close out the game. A big test next week at Miami before they have their early bye week.

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