Beating the Patriots (notes and observations)

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by TheWalrus, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    When the Dolphins are on offense:


    As I'm sure most of you are aware, the Patriots are without two of their stalwart front seven players -- Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo -- for the year. The chief defensive lineman the Patriots have turned to in Wilfork's absence has been #94 Chris Jones, a 2013 sixth round pick by the Texans who was cut and then picked up by the Buccaneers and also cut. The Patriots are in other words his third team since April, and his PFF grades have -- as you might expect -- been terrible all year until the last two weeks, when he's performed adequately. I thought he actually looked pretty good against Cleveland. Not a tremendously talented player but active.

    With Mayo out the Patriots have turned to a rotation of Dont'a Hightower and Brandon Spikes on running downs, with Dane Fletcher coming in on obvious passing downs. Hightower and Spikes are interior enforcers who've helped make up the slack against the run, and indeed Browns running backs only managed 47 yards on 22 carries on Sunday. By comparison, Texans running backs managed 115 yards on 25 carries two weeks ago against New England. Back on October 27th, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas managed 136 yards on 27 carries against the Patriots in the game where Wilfork was injured.

    Hightower and Spikes are excellent run defenders, however to call them plodders would be kind. Hightower ran decently out of Bama but he changes direction like a tugboat. Brandon Spikes is even slower, if that can believed, running the 40 in 5.05 out of Florida, making him slower than the guy who wrote this post you're reading.

    How should we attack Hightower and Spikes? I'd advise two methods:

    1. Attack the edges in the run game. Sweeps, running back flares, wide receiver screens. Pull Brenner and Pouncey -- out two most athletic linemen -- out on the edge, like on the long run that Daniel Thomas broke. Running up the middle will accomplish nothing, especially out of a heavy look with Egnew as a lead blocker. Egnew is hardly a prototype fullback but he's filled in decently. Hightower and Spikes will destroy him. If we're going to run out of a heavy set, the lead blocker should be Clay (who the Patriots are more likely to match up with Fletcher by personnel grouping). But I'd be more interested in running out of nickle looks. Dane Fletcher is overly aggressive and without instincts in the running game. He flies up to the line of scrimmage and plows into the back of his own linemen.

    2. Throw when Hightower/Spikes are on the field, especially when the Patriots show a man coverage look. This would be a nice game for Egnew to get a couple of catches, imo. We run most of the time he's on the field, which will key Belichick to put his heavy run defenders in the game. I say let's split him into the slot and try to get Spikes matched up on him. A simple out route could turn into a gimme 12 yards. Also, I think this would be a great game overall for drags and crossers. These routes take time to develop, but the Patriots do not have a great pass rush. Against man coverage, Charles Clay could have several nice YAC plays against the Patriots' inside linebackers on drags. And against zone -- if Tannehill gets the time for Mike Wallace or Rishard Matthews to clear into Hightower or Spikes' zone -- either one should have no trouble getting the edge and turning upfield.


    When the Dolphins are on defense:

    Everyone by now is aware of Gronkowski's injury, and the Patriots' relative success with him on or off the field is going to be discussed ad nauseum this week, so I thought I'd focus on a different place to attack the Patriots, their offensive line. In particular, right guard Dan Connolly and center Ryan Wendell.

    Both players have struggled all year. Connolly has received negative grades from PFF in nine out of the 13 games he's played this year, while Wendell has received hugely negative grades for his performances against Houston (J.J. Watt), New York (Muhammed Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson) and Tampa (Gerald McCoy). In other words, Connolly has been consistently poor, which Wendell has been adequate against mediocre defensive lines and gotten obliterated by good ones. FWIW, however, he received one of his best grades of the season against us in week 8. I deleted the game in disgust and have never rewatched it, but it might pay to go back and see what happened.

    Anyway, the Patriots have responded by giving Connolly and Wendell double teams on most passing downs, allowing them to pool their ****tiness, as it were, and try to form one good blocker. However, by sliding their protections so predictably to the right, the Pats have left themselves not only with one on one matchups on the rest of the line, but they're opened themselves up to blitzes to either side of left guard Logan Mankins.

    Like most Dolphins fans, I've been enormously frustrated with the play of Philip Wheeler this year, but there is one thing he does very well, and that's blitz. We should blitz him more this week than in any week since the Indy game, imo. And from the offense's left. I understand the danger in blitzing Brady -- and the Patriots are a very good screen team -- but if you hit on blitzes once or twice you might force Brady to rethink his protection, which could leave Jared Odrick a one on one against Dan Connolly, a matchup we should win.

    Blitzing will be important against the Patriots for another reason: Brady loves Shane Vereen in the passing game.

    When Gronkowski went out of the game, no one saw a bigger increase in their workload than Shane Vereen, who's an excellent receiver out of the backfield. What people forget about Gronkowski being out is that Vereen was also out with a broken hand. Now that Gronkowski is gone but Vereen is back, expect the Patriots to turn to him the rest of the way. My counter to that would be to install a defensive check this week that every time Vereen in the backfield, we blitz. Any play where he's blocking rather than running routes against the likes of Ellerbe and Koa Misi is a win for us. I'm sure the Patriots will put Vereen and Ridley in the game at the same time often on Sunday, which will force us into nickle defense, likely with Jimmy Wilson matched up against Vereen.

    So that's all I've got. Hope you guys got something out of it. Go Dolphins!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2013
  2. archer101

    archer101 Rookie Finheaven VIP

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    I like the idea of blitzing when Vareen is on the field - you are quite correct that it is much better to force him in to block. Failing which, I would simply assign a CB to him as none of our LBs or safeties will be able to stay with him. With Gronk out and Vareen contained, we should be able to slow down the pass. BUT we have a terrible record against the run versus the Patriots. One of the reasons that our run defence has been so erratic is all the blitzing and stunting get people out of position and BB loves to run cutback plays against us. I would kill the stunting and only use it on obvious passing downs.
     
  3. moonman

    moonman >tfw dolphins fan

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    I like that you're thinking outside the box with the Vereen thing, but the last thing I want the Dolphins doing to blitzing Brady a lot. Jesus, he'd eat us alive. I'd rather rely on our front 4 to get as much pressure as possible while leaving the coverage in the defensive backfield. Be judicious with the blitzes.
     
  4. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    Agreed. But I'm not worried about Josh Boyce or Danny Amendola or Aaron Dobson beating me. I am worried about Shane Vereen beating me. And if the Patriots are going to offer up a way to take him out of the game because of where they're lining him up, I'll take it.

    Even if what you force them to do is to line him up outside the formation or motion him out there, you're making it easier for your defense. Any motion by Vereen would create a check that would cancel the blitz, and now you know where he is and -- based on route pattern matching -- the kinds of routes he's likely to run.
     
  5. cltchperf

    cltchperf Pro Bowler

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    fins need to be creative and do what they did against steelers, except the defense definitely has to play much better than they did against steelers. And running to do well again is huge, not just for offensive balance, but time of possession. We know how dangerous brady and pats are when they get in a zone and can comeback at any moment. so when having a lead especially late in the game, this teams needs to run well to keep the chain moving and eat up as much clock so brady has less chances and time to create a comeback. Need to seal the deal and run out the clock when having a lead.
     
  6. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    Belichick is really good at anticipating how defenses will react to what they see on film, its third level thinking and we need to be careful not to get caught on the second level.

    A good example of this was the first TD the Saints scored on us:

    Level one: Pass to Sproles in the flat is a nice play from x formation
    Level two: The Saints love the pass to Sproles in the flat from x formation, lets jump it
    Level three: Clearly they'll see we like to pass to Sproles in the flat from x formation so we'll change it to an out and up.

    The result was Jones went to jump a play he probably saw over and over on film and got burnt to a crisp.
     
  7. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    I agree. And the blueprint for how the Patriots are going to try and use Vereen is definitely going to be the way the Saints used Sproles. The difference being that against New Orleans we made the conscious decision to not let Jimmy Graham beat us, which meant we were sort of daring them to beat us with Sproles.

    Against New England, however, any sensible defensive game plan will focus on Vereen. The open question is who exactly it is that Belichick and Josh McDaniels turn to. I wonder whether it won't be Stevan Ridley and LeGarette Blount in the running game. Our run defense has been soft all year and is ripe for a game where it gets totally gashed. Back in October the Patriots ran the ball for 147 yards on 33 carries (a 4.45 ypc), despite being behind most of the game.
     
  8. TruePoizon

    TruePoizon Well-Known Member

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    We were winning by 17 at halftime last time we played the Pats, right? Next time, if the same happens...just keep running the ball. Wind down time.
     
  9. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    I think we have a really good shot at winning this game and if we're getting +3 or more come game time I'll be making a little wager. Brady was something like 0-4 playing at Sun Life in December until last year and this cold snap the country is experiencing is going to make the heat advantage in Miami even greater. Sucks we may not have Miller though, Thomas had a good game last week but I don't trust him to perform like that every week (if he even stays healthy).
     
  10. finfan54

    finfan54 A True Fan Donator

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    Alfonso Dennard left the game last week. look for him on the injury list. starter. RT will attack the weakness for sure.
     
  11. LANGER72

    LANGER72 A True Fan

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    I am worried about committing turnovers in this game. If we can hold the ball, and not give up cheap points, we have a chance to beat them.
     
  12. gofins60

    gofins60 A True Fan

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    This Pats game is so important that jobs should be on the line. They have the talent to beat NE, so they'd better get it done! Losing any of the next 3 games would probably kill any likely chances of making the playoffs.
     
  13. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    He came back to the game. Also injured his shoulder in training camp, fwiw. Unclear which shoulder it was. No updates on his conditions right now that I can find.
     
  14. Ilovemyfins4eva

    Ilovemyfins4eva A True Fan Donator

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    nope, we must continue to attack until we crush them.

    back in 2011 same thing, up 17-0 at half then they come back. same thing in 2013 as we all remember.

    we cant be conservative no matter the score. attack, attack, and attack.

    playing not to to lose will end up causing us to lose.
     
  15. 100% Dolphins

    100% Dolphins Starter

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    Each game is becoming more and more important, as the Dolphins are now very relevant in the chase for the final wild card spot.


    Nice write up!
     
  16. maralieus

    maralieus Lets get those balls deep!!

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    Wouldn't they just have the linemen run out to block on a quick screen if we blitzed? Those are scary plays, when you get a fast back on the sidelines with blockers in front.

    Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk
     
  17. 100% Dolphins

    100% Dolphins Starter

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    I hope Tanny doesn't throw anymore pick 6's........ those really hurt us.
     
  18. 100% Dolphins

    100% Dolphins Starter

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    ANUfan, I'm calling you out. Why did you "thumbs down" my post?

    Tanny has thrown MULTIPLE pick six's this season, which has hurt the team. We can NOT afford that versus the Pats if we plan to have any success.
     
  19. laxcoach

    laxcoach Pirate Lacrosse King

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    If you want a gunslinger at QB, you have to be ready for some bad plays. Anyone else remember pick 6s from Marino on those out patterns? It's the whole reason JJ hired Kippy Brown to dumb down the offense.
     
  20. mithga13

    mithga13 Well-Known Member

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    Offensively, run early against the Pats...they are weak against the run other than Spikes. If that works, look for play action deep to wallace later in the game if he gets single coverage on anyone other than Talib.

    Defensively? And I promise this would work, shadow Vereen with Vernon or Wake if he goes outside and blitz up the middle with Ellerbe. If Vereen stays in have a 5 man rush. Put Grimes on Edelman and take him out of the game. I'll give one on one with deep help to Nolan Carroll or Patterson on Amendola. Amendola may have a big game, but overall it'll throw off Brady's timing, and the Pats passing game is all about timing. Gronkowski was the only guy they had that they didn't care about the timing or the coverage they just expected him to beat whoever was on him.

    The Fins MUST MUST MUST take Edelman out of the game early or Brady will use him like he used to use Welker. And if he can do that, it'll open up the outside stuff to Boyce/Amendola and possibly Vereen who they like to swing out or line up in the slot and send him into out routes or the corners of the end zone.

    But Edelman and then Vereen are the keys, if they take those two guys out of the flow of the game, Amendola will not be able to do enough on his own to win it.
     
  21. phins_4_ever

    phins_4_ever E22 FH Tailgate Gang Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    You really expect an answer?
    You won't get it.

    Sometimes I have the feeling people don't even know why they use the thumbs up or down. And anytime yiu use Tannehill with INT or pick six in the same sentence you will get a thumbs down. The modern version of a 'hit and run'.

    You can't evaluate Tannehill objectively here without getting the "You are a h.a.t.e.r " line which is the most ridiculous sentence of our times.
    It has gotten so bad that if you would write down Tannehill's stats from last game like that
    20 of 33 for 200 yards and 2TDs you will get a thumbs up.
    But if you put in the entire stat line
    20 of 33 for 200 yards, 2TDs and 1INT you will get a thumbs down because you dared to associate Tannehill with an INT.

    Though your comment was a general comment which you can say about any and all QBs the best you can expect is: You are a h.a.t.e.r.
    :lol:

    Edit: You really did it Bill. :lol::hclap:
     
  22. slk018

    slk018 A True Fan

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    Definitely worth a 15 yarder and a fine for someone to put Edelman to sleep over the middle
     
  23. slk018

    slk018 A True Fan

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    I agree with the OP. Don't run early use play action and take advantage of Spikes in coverage in early downs
     
  24. mithga13

    mithga13 Well-Known Member

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    I think that's playing roulette with Belichick, who is very good at disguising his weaknesses. and Spikes is often more in zone than man, and I don't think we have a back that can take advantage of that. Plus the Pats take Spikes off the field on passing downs and play Dane Fletcher, who is a solid cover linebacker. The reason the Pats D is ranked so low is because they can't stop the run and they give up big pass plays late in games. Don't re-invent the wheel. Wear them out in the Florida sun, then go deep. Just my two cents from watching the Patsies every week in Boston.

    Also if Dennard doesn't rip Charles clays arm down late in the last game, its a huge gain, maybe a TD. That plus a missed field goal and a blocked field goal and that game is tied late in the 4th.

     
  25. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    True, but two things:

    1. The Patriots do not have very dynamic run after catch players. Certainly not of the standard of Demaryius Thomas, to use the example you're probably thinking of.

    2. If we can't stop those plays, we won't beat them anyway. The Patriots screen a lot. We have to attack screens in both man or zone coverage. Fortunately, the Patriots also don't have a deep threat -- unlike, say, the Broncos -- which should allow us to play single high/man under defense most of the game with Reshad Jones in a Kam Chancellor-like rover position. That should help snuff out these plays.
     
  26. slk018

    slk018 A True Fan

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    I agree with you. After I posted that I thought about all the times I have seen Spikes in zone, recall hiom deflecting a few passes against us. To be honest there is no matchup or player I am really worried about. It is New England's ability to find ways to win late. If we have a lead in this game say, 17-10. We need to try and score 35 plus, they will score late we need to keep scoring. It is a double edged sword though, last time we had a lead on them we abandoned the run in an attempt to puit them away IMO
     
  27. mithga13

    mithga13 Well-Known Member

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    Dobsons out, and Boyce and Brady are not competely on the same page. It is Edelman and Vereen. Much like the old Jordan rules...I'll give Amendola 120 yds and a TD if we shut out the other two we probably still win the game.

     
  28. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    Thank you. I thought he was but I wasn't sure.

    Yeah, Amendola isn't winning this game for them. If we can't stop him and Edelman then we deserve to lose. Taking Vereen away has to be job #1.
     
  29. mithga13

    mithga13 Well-Known Member

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    Either way its gonna be a close one I think, which is an improvement considering with Gronk I don't see Miami winning at all. To this day TE's kill us repeatedly.

     
  30. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger A True Fan

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    I give up on handicapping the Patriots based on Xs and Os. I've tried it countless times and it seldom pans out.

    I'd also be very careful bucking New England in this game, when favored by only 2.5. Brady has a phenomenal record against the number when the spread is low. They often sleepwalk or are somewhat overrated in games like last week, as considerable favorite, but once the number basically asks them to win the game they prosper because they are very skilled in doing just that, winning the game, especially late in the season.
     
  31. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    i agree with the focus should be shane vereen...they are going to try and offset the loss of gronk by getting vereen in mismatch situations and the ball in his hands at or near the los and on wheel routes out of the backfield etc...

    stop shane vereen...
     
  32. Roman529

    Roman529 Moon Runner / The 3 AM Crew

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    The Pats have forced turnovers and then scored quickly in each of their comeback wins the past three weeks. That is what they always do. We have to do this to them and get all over Brady. Play 60 Minutes of football. Not have one good half and then relax.
     
  33. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    I agree. I'm not saying we will win -- in fact I don't think we will -- just that these are the kinds of things we're going to have to do if we are going to win. Part of the advantage of having a franchise QB is that they make so many other factors irrelevant. I wonder whether Shula would have gotten fired in the late 80s -- like Chuck Noll and Tom Landry were -- if he hadn't had Marino around to keep the team a "contender."
     
  34. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    work more pa on first down to try and get vertical...but you better watch out for and focus on chandler jones cause he can beat you by himself...attack the lbs in coverage the base guys that's a no brainer...no one can cover worth a hoot but we always seem to have a hard time getting after them...

    cam wake needs to dominate the right tackle cannon too...i suspect vernon or jordan is gonna struggle with solder
     
  35. olivadotti

    olivadotti Well-Known Member

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    If there was ever a game we need Wallace to get involved...this is it...I know he sucks a lot of coverage away from our other receivers but if we could just get 3-4 deep passing plays out of him it would really open other doors on our offense...hope he has a HOF game...

    The perfect game would be for us to be losing 24-3 at half time then run off about 40 unanswered points.....
     
  36. Shula01

    Shula01 Member

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    kill the power during halftime, that would be our best bet.
     
  37. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    I agree with this, but for a slightly different reason.

    Belichick's MO as a defensive mind has always been to do anything he has to do to take away what you do best. And by anything I mean... almost literally anything. At points against the Falcons he had two guys up on the line of scrimmage against Tony Gonzalez, playing more like offensive linemen than defenders. That left the defense with, essentially, 10 men. But Belichick didn't care. He wanted to stop Gonzalez.

    The worst kept secret in Dolphinland is that our offense runs through Hartline and Clay. Not the $60 million receiver. And I think that's where Belichick's focus will be. He'll be trying to take away those two guys, even if it means leaving Wallace out there in one on one coverage at times.

    Dangerous strategy? Sure. There's nothing worse than a 75 yard touchdown play, and Aqib Talib's weakness has always been long speed. But look at our play designs. Look at Wallace's route running and his effort on 50/50 balls. Would you be scared if you were a defensive coordinator? Honestly, I wouldn't be. Where's the evidence that Tannehill and Wallace can hook up for these plays with any consistency, even if you give them the coverage? If Wallace shakes loose, say, twice, then maybe you change your plan. But the short passing game has become our bread and butter, and for two reasons. First of all, our offensive line is a sieve, as has been well publicized. But Wallace has forced coverages to stay back despite our OL woes, which has helped us move the ball with controlled passing.

    If I'm Bill Belichick, I'm coming out with a plan to make us be the first team to beat him with long balls from Tannehill to Wallace. Make us prove it.

    As a result, I honestly do think this could be the game where Wallace really breaks out. Or perhaps the game where he's finally the indisputable goat.
     
  38. Drfletcherdc

    Drfletcherdc A True Fan

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    Official Patriot Strategy for beating the Dolphins

    1. Run the ball
    2. Pass the ball
    3. Hope the NFL has given the officiating crew comprehensive instructions to call at least 4 totally bogus penalties to include at least 2 pass interference calls.
     
  39. maralieus

    maralieus Lets get those balls deep!!

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    Why would this get a downvote? Come on people! Dont abuse it. This is just a valid thought, he's not bashing anyone, just saying that yes indeed, the pick 6's hurt us.
     
  40. maralieus

    maralieus Lets get those balls deep!!

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    Just imagine if we had a seam threat TE like Graham (or maybe a little lesser version of Graham) streaking down the middle
    , what does a safety do then?
     
  41. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    our offense runs thru hartline??? i'd like an explanation into that one...wallace is the focal point and clay the biggest benefactor no doubt but runs thru hartline...struggling with that
     
  42. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    Well, surely you don't think it runs through the running game. This is a passing team. And surely you don't think it runs through Wallace, who is functionally a decoy based not only on his lack of chemistry with Tannehill but on our offensive line's inability to protect long enough to throw the ball deep regularly.

    Hartline is who Tannehill looks to when he's in trouble. He's who he looks to on third down. He's the focus of the passing game. And, as I said, the passing game is the focus of the offense.

    Now, what perhaps you thought I meant was that Tannehill himself wasn't the focus of the offense. That's not what I meant. What I meant was that that Hartline is the focus of the offense the same way that prior to this year, Wes Welker was the focus of the Patriots' offense. That wouldn't have taken anything away from Brady. He goes without saying.
     
  43. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    i see it more as hartline being tannehills security blanket...he's the to the sticks wr who runs solid routes but also the primary bait one cause there is a heavy tendency for his routes to be run to the sticks...allowing for bait plays when the down and distance dictates it...and he's not a wr that you have to worry about creating much rac or blow by you in space if you do guess wrong...he's the bait guy all the way

    and in years past with the pats as in a few years ago i would go along with welker was the focus but gronk took that from him a couple years ago when they decided that the 2 tight end sets with gronk and hernandez were what they were gonna make as their bread and butter and best mismatch options...gronk especially being the focal point...
     
  44. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    I don't disagree on what Hartline is or what his limitations are. Nevertheless he's the focal point of our passing game and therefore our offense. In fact, I would argue it's why our offense is not very good.

    I suppose this is true. Before Gronkowski came along you would agree that the offense went through Welker and not through Moss, yes? Or perhaps you wouldn't. In any case the example is only meant to illustrate a point.
     
  45. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    our offense is doing more than it probably should be because the qb is carrying it...we have limitations that a lot of qbs would fail miserably with...in that regard tannehills saving some of these guys skins...

    i think when moss was getting up there in years as in he couldn't separate anymore from single coverage vertical which was a major red flag i saw before the pats traded him they did the right thing and went with welker as the focal point...that's one thing about beli and the pats they id their future returns studs and guys who are about to or are falling off with almost perfect timing and adjust their scheme and who they should hitch their wagon to damn well...and usually can find some sucker still living off what a players past reputation is instead of future return...

    imo off what i saw it went moss, welker, gronk and 2 tight end...it was gronk still this year and they were starting to kill people with it before he went out sunday although the 2 tight end mismatch thing was out the window cause they didn't have it...thus more slot emphasis with amendola and edelman...nothing was gonna change any time soon there barring yet another major injury

    now it looks to me like shane vereen is gonna be driving the train for the short term...although i don't think he's the level of any of those guys who carried em in the past and easier to limit
     
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  46. dolphinheel

    dolphinheel A True Fan

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    On offense: We have to be able to run the ball...period! Not every play but enough to control the clock and keep Brady on the sidelines where he belongs. Short passing game, getting first downs and not turning it over is how we beat them, not 45 yd bombs. If we have to kick a field goal so be it, but Sturgis has to be money on Sunday. Tannehill HAS TO avoid his one boneheaded INT this week.
    On defense: it's simple--pressure Brady and take away the running game. He rolls up like a little girl when he feels pressure. Wake will not consistently get to him on the outside--he will just step up and avoid it. We need to attack him up the middle with more twists and stunts. Not having to face Gronk is HUGE for us, as we can focus on stopping the run. I believe it will be a very close game and if we can finish in the 4th quarter we will win. We are going to shock the world, but our players will not be shocked--they expect to win this game.
     
  47. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    The point in this case, though, is if you're Belichick and you're looking at Dolphins tape... which skill position player are you trying to stop? For me it's Hartline, with your second focus on Clay. Take away Tannehill's security blanket. Make Rishard Matthews beat you between the hashes and make Tannehill and Wallace connect deep.
     
  48. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    i know clays on that list...i guess i could see where they would feel confident talib can handle mike wallace for the most part on his own...physically he will own him so sherman needs to understand this and work to get him off the los clean etc...talib does a pretty good job of shutting down your top weapon

    but if we work off pa on first down like we did vs carolina we could have some vertical success...problem is though that the pats aren't gonna play it like the panthers did where they commit 8 to the box when they can limit our run game with just 7 as it is...carolina dared us to work em deep with wallace on early downs...i don't think beli will play it like that...he could but talib could have problems with that speed...

    so yeah they are gonna make mathews make plays and show em and like you said probably focus on hartline and the move the sticks guy and they know that they got some issues with a lb on clay so may see more safety attention there in some sets
     
  49. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    Until Wallace and Tannehill prove they can hit consistently I wouldn't pay Wallace any special attention at all if I'm a D coordinator. When they had the chance in that Panthers game if they would have hit on 3 or 4 of those wide open TDs and blown the game wide open it might be a different story, but that was as good as it'll ever get for those 2 and they still only managed 7 points.
     
  50. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus 1/7/14 Finheaven VIP

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    Exactly. Now that the coaches film has been released I can go and take a look at the Patriots' tendencies but I'd expect a good deal of cover 6 in this game. That's a cover 2/man under (or flat/zone) look to one side and a cover 4 look to the other. That's not an uncommon coverage against us, but usually it's Wallace that gets the cover 2 side of the defense (as that is the "double team" side). Belichick might give those looks to Hartline instead.

    Anyway, what you give up here is the comeback to Wallace's side. Not his best route. And you leave yourself open to the deep post if your pass rush doesn't get home (if the offense can influence the cover 4 side safety with something in front of him).

    Here's a diagram of what I'm talking about:

    [​IMG]

    In the scenario I'm talking about, the defense would be in this alignment with Hartline to the bottom of the screen. Wallace would be on the top. You can see how Wallace would have the comeback open to him because of the delay the linebacker has in getting into his hook/curl responsibility. However, the corner to Hartline's side would essentially be eliminating any comeback Hartline would try to run, which is his best route.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2013

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