What's up slackers? Tuesday might be the worst day of the week. Monday is horrific but I'm ready for it to be. Tuesday is, believe it or not, after Monday, so I think I'm in the clear, but it's still far enough from the weekend that it hits me in the mouth. So I feel for you, but get a coffee and head to campus. Class is officially in session.
With so much to talk about on the defensive side of the ball it was hard for me to narrow down the lesson plan today. I landed on the thing that drives me absolutely insane about football players. When they over pursue and lose contain. I realize they are tremendous athletes with Intel Core i7 Processors, moving at speeds that would allow you to play Fortnite, stream Netflix, and watch porn simultaneously without a seconds buffering. But I flat out refuse to believe they are moving so fast they can't break down into an athletic stance one god damn time.
Here are three third down plays that make me want to have my stomach flip inside out and launch its contents into a trash can under my desk. (Do you realize that's what happens when you puke btw? Your stomach lit-trally turns inside out. That's why retching feels so violet. The body man, wild stuff)
Early in the game on the third and long we come out with that high powered front I was loving so much from last week. Clayborn, Butler, MY BOY Trey, Wise. Like that has got to be Sack City, USA Population every QB we play. Not to mention on this play we're going to send extra pressure. Both Bentley and Van Noy are showing blitz, forcing the OLine to communicate pre snap who is coming.
It works perfectly. They take the Van Noy bait. The two tackles take our two edge rushers and the three interior linemen are left in a 3 on 2 vs Butler and Trey because Van Noy drops back. Unfortunately for the Jags, Bentley actually is coming and has a FREE LANE to Blake who is deader than Jon Snow was dead that one time.
Unfortunately for the Pats, Bentley is an ass hat. Blake is no longer dead like Jon Snow was that one time. Bentley decides to fly by Blake like a couple homies out fishing on the lazy river Saturday afternoon. Hopefully he gave him a wave and asked if the fish were biting. If you can't catch a Bass catch a Buzz, amirite Bentley?? Now this play wasn't a scramble. It was a completion to Cole for a first down. But if Blake hand't thrown it, he could have run for it, because WHAT ARE YOU DOING on the edge?? Looking at you Clayborn and Wise. The only way Blake doesn't run for a first here is if he has too hard of a time deciding which MASSIVE hole to run through, and during his indecision he has a midlife crisis on if he wants to play football anymore, and retires on the spot, Vontae Davis be damned.
Still in the first quarter, another third and long. At this point Trey is long dead. So we come out with Clayborn Wise, Butler, and Grisson. The next time I see Grisson on the field will be the 8,564th time too many. Paging Derek Rivers... Paging Derek Rivers... Paging the BUST Derek Rivers...
Anyway, once again you've got Bentley and Van Noy close to the LOS, trying to make the OLine figure out our plan.
This time both our LBs drop back into coverage. Again, I love this. Take away the quick throws. Adam Butler eats a double team. And we're man to man on the edges. The more times we can get pressure sending four like this the more times I can watch Cyrus Jones takes punts to the house for us. Oh wait, he was cut after not playing for 2 years because he doesn't know how to play football? My mistake, but you see my point. Get pressure with four on 3rd and 6+ and expect the kicking team to head out next. But instead, WHAT ARE YOU DOING Clayborn?? I respect Grissom for not forcing Blake into a decision this time, because through the hole to his left he can see all the way to California, where the beer flows like wine. Just off camera in the middle of the field are Van Noy and Bentley, but there is no way they can beat Blake to the sideline so he struts for the first with ease.
The game is starting to get out of hand here, and this feels like one you really need. Same front. Clayborn, Butler, Wise, Grissom. But you've got Van Noy, Bentley, and Dev all jammed up in the middle there. Anyone could come or we could send four. And please don't forget, we know what play we've called. They don't. That's this really cool and fun and unique thing about defense.
On the snap we go screw this. We've been crossered to death all day today. No CHONCE we're letting Blake hit another midget wideout on a 5 yard in cut with nothing but daylight ahead of him. Dev and Van Noy and Bentley each double a receiver in the middle of the field. Beat me out side the numbers one time Blake, I dare you!! (One more time as he had already dropped multiple dimes on us*)
But instead, WHAT ARE YOU DOING Clayborn?? Just open the bifrost and send Bortles to Asgard why don't you. I feel the need to repeat, we know what plays we are calling!! If you know we are doubling all his intermediate throws and we desperately want him to be forced into a deep shot, then please for the love of all things mozzarella stick, slowly collapse the pocket and don't let him escape. And when I say escape I mean take a leisurely stroll through the park with his golden retriever and a Nicholas Sparks book that he can read while walking because he doesn't even have to look up because there is no one within 8 miles of him.
I borderline don't even want to talk about the offense because I'm so worked up now, but I'll die before I hear one of you call me a bad teacher. A bad person, sure, but I wont sleep on your education like you're my buddies couch and I've had too many IPAs but my car is here.
The game was essentially over by the time Hoags caught his second tuddy, but it was a cool play because it illustrates something that makes the New England offense so special. I'm not saying this is unique to the Pats, I'm just saying we do it very well. And that is the good ol' fashioned set up. Remember when people used to say Manny Ramirez would look bad on a pitch on purpose, just to bait the pitcher into throwing it again and then he would hit it to the moon? Well, that was on display on Sunday.
Josh ran Patterson in motion early in the game for a jet sweep. Then he motioned him again, right to left, only this time Tom threw a screen left. JO, would this be the play where Patterson fell on his ass with an easy first down in sight to essentially lose the game? Yes, the very same. Then even later in the game Josh motioned Patterson left to right, and Tom hit on a screen to that side. This one Patterson went for 10 and a first down, but only because he out ran his blockers so it should have been much more. Can't wait til DEZ takes this fool's roster spot.
There are two Corners at the top of the screen, to the left of Tom, covering Hoags and Flip. Plus the strong safety deep. Ramsey is on Patterson at the bottom of the screen. Patterson motions to the top of the screen, so now you'e got three wide receivers left, with three DBs in the area. We know the Jags are probably running some version of cover 3, which makes sense when Ramsey goes deep with Gronk at the bottom, the top corner wants to go deep with Flip, and the free safety is hanging in the middle. But that slot corner and the strong safety have seen this Patterson motion bullshit one too many times. They both sniff out the screen. So as soon as Patterson goes into his (MORONIC) back pedal to receive a screen pass, both the safety and the slot corner jump it. The safety looks especially bad here as he blows past Hoags who is NUDE on a slant. Hoags makes the free safety miss in space and the rest is history. Or at least a meaningless fantasy tuddy.
But the points remains, that wasn't a fluke play by this offense. They will set you up with the screens and the sweeps knowing they are going to burn you on it later. As frustrating as some of the cheekier plays are from time to time, know that there is usually a bigger plan at work.
Now its time to pay the piper
Prediction: 1 turnover for the Pats. Result: Bing! But it sure was a big one. Even a FG there and I think we still win.
Prediction: Gronk goes scoreless. Result: Bing again! I'd be lying if I said I was expecting 2 for 15, but they definitely did a lot to take him away. I need more big plays even if he isn't getting in the endzone.
Prediction: Jags get less than 20.5 first downs. Result: Try 49. Sheesh. I thought they would run and play D. Well they played D, but Blake Bortles took a flame thrower to our entire secondary.
Prediction: The Pats win 24-13 Result: I thought the Fournette injury would have a bigger impact. I thought we would move the ball a bit better. And I don't know where the defense was, but it wasn't Jacksonville, FL. Tough loss but I ain't worried about a thing.