Film School: Patriots at Dolphins

I don't even know what to compare that to. A test you didn't study for? No, because we were crushing it. Knowing everything but the extra credit question? No, because we lost at the end, so the rest of the test doesn't matter. The closest I can get is you blow off school one morning because you've had enough. You narrowly ducked a few teachers in the hallway, but you got out ok. You tried to go to the movies because fratinees are dope, but your dad was there seeing a movie so you had to bail otherwise be grounded. You find other fun things to do and figure despite the close calls this day was a win. When the bell rings and your other friends get out of school you find out it was surprise carnival day. Everyone went on rides and ate candy. So what you thought was a semi stressful good day, turned out to be one of the worst dick punch days you've had all year. Shouts to my Rocket Power friends. Class is officially in session.

What a weird game. I was so shook by that endings it's all I wanted to talk about in Ramblings. Like a dude I've never heard of blocked two punts!

And he doesn't even get a mention?? What planet is this? Jimmy Neckroll scored again after I banned that play for the season. Josh basically spitting in my eyeball. Gronk had his first, lit-trally his FIRST, reception in the red area all year. Couldn't even sniff the blog, ya boy was so wound up.

I want to blame the offense for not executing in the second half, especially those final three plays. But them I'm like they hung 27, shoulda been 28, really shoulda been 35, points in the first half. Not a bad day at the office! Then I want to blame the defense for running around like chickens with their dicks cut off on the last play of the game and for giving up 8 billion yards per carry on the ground to the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Brandon Bolden and Frank Gore. (God that joke works so perfectly for both of them. I am fucking FUNNY sometimes.) But then I'm like they completely woke up in the second half and did enough to win the game.

But if we're splitting atoms here, I still think the defense lost us this game. Putting up a Larry Legend against the Fins in a building where it's been hard for us to score, against a mediocre at best offense, should be enough to win the game. Especially up 5 with 7 seconds left, no timeouts for the other guys, and they are 69 (nice) yards away from ruining my life.

So for that reason I'm going to save the worst for last and start with the offense. You know, there were a couple cool plays I wanted to put up here that shined a positive light on this unit. As I said, they were electric in the first half. It was a welcome back party for Gronk. Jules was running routes he used to end the Seahawks franchise. Flash continues to be a bright light. (I'm on fire today) It was good things all around. Did you know we had 9 third down conversions in the game on Sunday and 5 were on passes to Jules? Right after I was bitching about that too! I said where is the kid on this crucial, usually point swinging, down?? Well he showed up on Sunday and I hope he's here to stay.

But since I am a miserable prick I have to go back to a play that I haven't been able to get out of my head. Brady missing Hoags in the back of the end zone at the end of the half. Hoags was targeted ONCE all game. We're not doing this again are we? The throw was so bad that it took a stat correction to change it from a throw away to no one to a target for Hoags. True story. Anyway, the ensuing sack on third down was brutal and is what actually fucked us. It might be the most game ending play minus the last play, but believe me there are other candidates. The reason I'm highlighting this second down play isn't to rub Tommy's face in the throw. It's to call him a....liar?

Check this out. Pre snap we've got Flash iso'd at the bottom of your screen. Then a trips formation with Jules, Hoags, and Gronk to the left. Wiggle in the backfield next to Tommy in the shotgun. How this is ever defended defies logic to me, but I digress.

On the snap you've got Gronk running an in cut, and Flash running a little post, both towards the middle of the field. Both look like they couuuuuuuld have a step, but with that Miami DB lurking, that's a Russell Wilson esque throw. (How hard did you guys laugh at that on Monday night?) Keep in mind, Tom knows the routes here. So he probably sees what I just said, so he's looking left. He's got Jules running a hard out along the goal line, and Hoags running a deeper out behind him. The key here is the corner back technique. The DB on Jules is perfectly in line with his shoulders, and is already breaking outside. The DB on Hoags is playing extreme inside leverage. Like 'you are only running an inside route over my dead body' type leverage. Tommy sees this. He's the GOAT. And he knows Hoags has a deep out, so this is a dream scenario. Run a tight break, and its pitch and catch.

I know things move fast in the NFL. The processing speed on elite QBs like my boy Tommy would put first generation iPads to shame. So keep in mind this is only half a heart beat later. But you can see both Brown and Cannon are getting worked around the edges by the Dolphins rushers. The pressure is coming. Tommy sees that coming, and you will notice he is already starting to throw, despite the fact that Hoags hasn't even broken his route yet. I reiterate. This is pitch and catch if you let it develop. Not to mention, what have we seen Tom do ALL YEAR, and really the last few years, better than anyone in the league? Well, a million things, but in particular I am talking about stepping up in the pocket to buy time. Sometimes its not available, but look at that interior protection!!!!! Tom could take one crow hop, throw a fucking tea party, and then hit Hoags for a game ending tuddy while he added a lump of sugar to his Earl Grey.

So why, I ask you, WHY, would Tom not step up here, turning this into a timing throw? The only answer I can think of is he knew we didn't have any times outs. If you try to step up here and one of those Dolphins edge rushes makes a fantastic play, sticks an arm out and gets a hold of your shoulder pads to haul you down, that ends the half with no points and that CANT HAPPEN. Tom knows that and it's the only reason he would rush this throw. The risk of getting sacked, while low, wasn't worth the gamble. He knew we had another down to work with so he took a shot with a throw that he knew could never be picked off. It's not even a bad play. Well, it's not bad logic I should say. Because the throw sucked and Hoags is NUDE. But he believed we would score on third down and so did I. My gripe is, when he takes a sack on third down and claims he thought we still had one, I ain't buying it. Because this throw in the image above is a decision made by a man who knows he can't be sacked under any circumstances. Tom, I will love you til the day I die, and if there is an afterlife I will love you there too. I don't want to call you a liar...but I can't think of another way to finish this sentence. Here it is one more time for your viewing pleasure.

Buzz's girlfriend. WOOF.

I'm really pissed about the defensive clip I wanted to show you here, because there was a great sack I thought I might choose. Four of our five sacks in the game came on third down, which is MASSIVE. It's the sack that set up the second blocked punt, which should have been points at the end of the half if not for the play listed above. We broke out the Amoeba defense again, and it worked to perfection, and I didn't get to do this for the Vikings game when we unveiled it, and I'm just all sorts of frustrated about a lot of things. My sex life certainly isn't helping. I thought this could be the outlet. But it can't. I'm going to talk about some shitty run defense, and please direct all your prayers to my right hand tonight.

This is the corpse of Brandon Bolden running for 54 yards and a tuddy on a single play against the New England Patriots. Read that sentence again and then find the nearest ceiling fan and put your belt around your neck. To Miami's credit, it's a well set up play. They line up with a heavy set to their right (your left). Five traditional OLinemen, then the TE to Tan Man's right. On the snap, both guards are going to pull left, giving the impression that it must be a run play in that direction. Good design and a formula we use a lot actually. You have to trust your blocking assignments and the deception, but when it works it's almost always a positive play. We have four down linemen. Van Noy, Guy, Brown, and Wise. Behind them you have Chung, Roberts, and HIGH filling up the rest of the box.

Ok so watch this. It's actually a beautiful blocking scheme. The Right Guard pulls through all the way in front of Guy, to slam into Brown. The Left Guard, who Brown thinks he will be dealing with, pulls around the edge to slam into Wise. The Left Tackle heads straight for the second level to engage HIGH. The Right Tackle fires off in front of him trying to push Van Noy outside to create the hole. This would leave Guy unblocked, but here comes the TE for a killer wham block that seals him off. Chung is there to fill that hole but the WR from the outside comes flying in to lock him up. Like I said. Great design. Blocked perfectly. Called against the right defense. This should gain yards every time. But it should gain 5 yards. Why? Because look at Roberts. He's the "MIKE" on this play. He is reading the offense and filing the gaps. And considering he is only even on this team for his ability to be a downfield bulldozer on running plays, this is quite lit-trally his ONLY JOB. And it's the center of all people, whose responsibility it is to go straight to the second level and engage the MIKE. You can see he's making his way towards Roberts here.

Again, things happen fast in the NFL. These are split second decision. But how the FUCK does Roberts get himself so far to the left (our right) on this play??? I understand the pulling guards should make his first twitch in that direction. That's the entire point of pulling the guards. To move the MIKE backer. It's like a QB moving the safety with his eyes. The pulling Guards are a running back's eyes. But that was hours ago in NFL time. Bolden already has the ball. He's already making a cut. He is clearly running right (our left)!! So why is Roberts still electric sliding to his right as if there is some hidden ball trick play on. You can keep knocking buddy. Nobody's home! And I only highlight Harmon here too because he is a little slow on the uptake for my liking. I know he's the safety blanket against play action, and I know we pull guards on our play action because we are beasts, but use your eyes. Bolden has the ball. Maybe he just thought they'd NEVER hand the ball to that idiot.

Well unfortunately, my dog, they did. And he took it to the crib. Even after the Roberts misread, this run should have been a 15 yarder. When I show you this screen shot my mind is in a bottle as to how this goes for a tuddy. Bolden is getting a head of steam going, and Harmon is flat footed, for sure. But Bolden STINKS and he's at the hash mark already! There is no where to go but outside. Put your head down, strap up the PF Flyers, and beat him to the sideline. It's BRANDON BOLDEN.

The run defense has been suspect for the past two weeks, and while that was a well blocked play there is no reason it should be turned into a nuclear meltdown. Football is about managing the damage. The opposing offense is always going to move the ball. But its hard to do it consistently. That is the entire rock our defensive church is built on. Just don't give up the big play, make them earn it for 10-15 play drives. Giving up a 54 yard tuddy to a Patriots cast off has people deciding maybe they don't like these sermons so much after all. Let's reel in it, and step on the throats of the Steelers this week. After they lose to us, there is a legit chance they miss the yoffs. Retire Ben. Do it. Do it.