Week 1 has passed by, and we are both still wondering the identity of our teams. I mean we all have an idea, but after week 1, who knows what can happen (pats had a top 3 defense in yards allowed the first 3 weeks of last season I think...). The game is only two days away, and so I thought "why not" and wanted to answer some questions/concerns that we have heading into our first encounter of the season.
Observations of Patriots first game
Danny Amendola was a godsend for Brady last game. He may have more dependable hands than Wes Welker, and is more versatile. He made catches over the middle, even when he was clobbered by a nearby defender. In the last drive, Dola made a clutch 3rd down catch (well he made 3 that drive) that included him getting hit in mid air, and his body rotating before he hit the ground. It was insane.
Edelman though, is looking real good. He had nagging injuries the past couple years, but just to report last game, Edelman was dependable, and grabbed 2 TDs from Brady in the endzone. He's kind of like Welker, only not as quick, but he is faster and does what he can to get the extra yards.
WHile the two above were real good for us last game, Brady struggled because of a few things:
- The OL looked rusty, moreso on the right side where Connely played. The left side seems fine, but Wendel and Connely (who is decent) had a rusty game. Wendel was very good last year, so I don't think he will have a repeat game, but we'll see.
- Kenbrell Thompkins. In camp and preseason Thompkins was a STAR. His first NFL game though eft much to be desired. He was targeted 14 times, but only caught 4 for 42 yards. However, on one hand other NFL rookie WRs (like first rounders this year) did not do as well, but Thompkins slipped on the field a few times, and failed to reel in a few catchable passes. We still expect big things from him though in the future, and Brady still likes him as a WR.
- The TEs. For an offense that features TE sets, Sudfeld wasn't very good this game, and Hooman only sowed his blocking skills more than any receiving skills.
- The running game before Vereen. Ridley broke off a couple good runs, but he struggled for the most part in finding a hole to run through. No running game didn't help Brady at all, as it set up a ton of 3rd and longs. Vereen however, faired much better. Now this game, Blount and Ridley will likely get their fair share of touches.
Really, the only targets for Brady were Edelman, Amendola, and Vereen (who will be out this game with a broken wrist, no doubt you guys have already heard).
The defense though, did it's job nicely. Last year, a least the first half of the year, the defense would struggle to hold an offense in a close scoring matchup. The game against the Bills the defense did it's job really well in doing that. They only gave up 14 points (7 came off of Ridley's fumble), had a very good 3rd down percentage, only one pass was completed deep (blown coverage most likely from Steve Gregory), and our run defense was spectacular. Pass rush was alright, but they had to contain Manuel for the most part. Arrington forced a couple fumbles too, which is sweet. CBs looked good, LBs great against run, but alright in coverage. DL strong and stout against run, but looking for more pass rushing roles this game than against the Bills.
Keys to the Game for the Jets
- Stop the run, and force 3rd and longs. This will leave Brady to stand in the pocket longer to looks for a WR to get open 6+ yards. More chance to get pressure quickly, and tackle a receiver short of the first down.
- Force the turnovers. Bills forced 2 turnovers (gifted by another from Ridley loosing control of the football as he fell to the ground without getting any contact on him... and that fumble was scooped up and went in for a TD), which got them momentum, and chance to score.
- Take advantage of Patriot LBs. They are alright in coverage. Get any mistmatches against them as much as you can, and exploit them.
- Don't get too over-confident. If the Jet players saw the game against the Bills, perhaps they will get over confident (perhaps even for the rookie Geno). Over-confidence is never a good thing, and can lead to miscues, and frustrations that will hinder decision making.
- Try not to run up the middle. Seriously.... there is Wilfork, Kelly, and Spikes. That is pretty much a "no-run" zone. lol Plus HIghtower and Mayo are above average against the run too. Runs to the outside will work better if you want to get a run game going, but imo it would be better to pass to set up the run here.
That's all I got for now. Ask any other questions, and hopefully we'll just have an injury free game. :)
And someone post an "Ask a" thread on Pats Pulpit too please. Two days till game time! =D