So far this year Tommy boy has been hit 32 times and sacked 16. For reference, he was sacked 15 times all of last year. That is not a typo. Mike Reiss did a piece on this topic today and the reasons he highlighted for the increased pressure are: losing Jules, more vertical passing, oline suckage, short yardage suckage. I agree with all.
Every QB has a "binky" out there. When things are falling apart they think about what route their binky was running and just chuck it. They dont even have to look. For Tom, that's Jules. With him gone, it leads to more double clutching and thus more sacks. The vertical passing I will live with. That's the skill set of the guys on our team, and it sounds like we've spent a ton of time working on that all off season.
The other two problems I take major issue with. The oline has to be better. Solder was coming off his best game of the year against the Panthers. I thought maybe the rust from missing the preseason was finally off. Then he did his best imitation of a traffic cone against the Bucs. We had to keep Dwayne Allen in for half the game trying to add in a chip on the DEs, but unfortunately Dwayne also sucked at his job worse than the guys who greenlit Young Sheldon. Scar better get these boys gelling again, because I still have nightmares about the AFCCG in Denver a few years ago and I can't afford to wake up in cold sweats more than I already am.
We've talked about the short yardage running over and over. I even did a think piece about it. I don't know what to say other than GET A FUCKING YARD. It's mind blowing. Get a yard. It's not hard. Stop getting blown backwards at the line. Stop running into your blockers. Hand the ball off to our "power" back and get one yard. I'm so sick of it. Part of me wants to yell at Josh for calling better plays but that's not the problem. Any pro football team should be able to break the huddle and yell out loud to the defense, "We are running a half back dive to left!" and still pick up one yard. That's not even an exaggeration. Currently on the season we have 195 passing attempts and 128 rushing attempts. Not exactly the balance I've been preaching since the beginning of the year. A big part of this discrepancy is we have to throw every time it's _____ and short.
One thing I would add to Reiss is maybe cool it with thsese slow developing play actions. I like those plays when we are firing on all cylinders. But when Tom is being tee'd off on like guy who drives the pick up cart at the driving range maybe don't fake to Gilly, fake the end around to Hoags, then have Tom turn around for the first time in 7 seconds to see two dudes unblocked ready to rip his head off.
I was legit scared at one point last night. When it was 7-3 I could feel the negativity start to creep back into my brain. Here we go again. We can't stop them. We can't move the ball. This is another loss. Meanwhile, Tom was getting drilled and I straight up wanted Jimmy in just to keep Tom's ribs in tact for the rest of the year.
I finally know what it feels like to be a parent watching your child play sports. I remember growing up playing hockey, and my dad used to coach our youth teams. My dad is a god damn saint, and is very mild tempered. When were crushing teams he would always pull the reins on us and make sure we were sportsmanlike and respectful. But one game, we were up big and taking it easy on the other guys, and some cake eater from Reading drilled me from behind. I got a stinger, my whole right arm went instantly numb, but that scared the shit out of me because I was 12 and a moron (still am.) All I remember hearing is a scream. I thought it was me but it was actually my dad. He pulled me into the locker room, and after a few panic tears in my eyes I informed him I was totally fine. We came back to the bench and my dad pulled our team into a huddle and told us to fucking BURY them. We scored like 10 more goals in the last 7 minutes and celebrated like animals after each one. That's what seeing someone hurt your child can do to you.
A handful of times last night Tom got drilled and was verrrrry slow getting up. Visibly wincing, which you never see with Tom. Remember the Hawks bowl? "Good hit 72!" I'm not proud of the noises coming out of my mouth each time he got hit. But it reminded me of that scream I heard from my dad. I get it now. So when his legs were getting rolled on, or his shoulder was being driven into the ground I was all
I want to add one last thing, and this is going to sound like typical Pats fan bitching, but I stand by it. What's with the late hits on Tom??? We took two roughing the passers for bumping into Famous late (UNFORGIVABLE penalties) but Tom got hit way harder multiple times well after he got rid of the football. The first one I was happy to ignore. But then one play he threw a pass with a D lineman at his feet, then the guy got up and dove at his knee. No flag. Another time Tom threw it, got wrapped up, the dude rolled over, then fired Tom to the ground. No flag. Listen fellas, Tom is getting hit enough as is. I know he's PLIABLE. I know he doesn't eat tomatoes. But if I see one more mother fucker hit him after the play is over I will cut a man. Consider this your final warning.