View Full Version : Week Six

10-18-2010, 08:45 AM
Week Five was the bye. Week Six led to one of the best games of the NFL season, a very well played, hard fought, almost 5 quarter long game between the Pats and Ravens. The Pats won with about three minutes left in OT. Both teams had 3 OT possessions.

Officiating was very spot on. No bad calls against either team, and one (IMO) iffy PI, and only iffy cause the ball was clearly uncatchable.

Both defenses played very well. The Ravens shut down Green-Ellis completely, and for the most part held the Pats short passing game in check. Woodhead played amazing. Thank you REX!! Great Cut!!!

Passing Stats:

Welker: 11 targets, 8 catches. One of the catches was negated by a penalty.
Branch: 12 targets, 9 catches, 1 TD.
Hernandez: 6 targets, 4 catches. Both his misses were drops and both in OT.
Woodhead: 6 targets, 4 catches.
Crumpler: 2 targets, 1 catch
Gronkowski: 2 targets, 1 catch
Tate: 2 targets
Edelmann: 1 target


Lack of Balance. We ran, including OT 48 passes (including sacks and ints) to just 27 runs. Woodhead had 11 of those, of which 10 counted, for 60 yards. Two were receiver runs with Tate (21) and Hernandez (19), one was a Brady sneak, and the rest were Greeen Ellis being eaten by the Raven's D. I would have liked to see more Woodhead touches and a few less passes.

Time Management: At the end of first half, Pats down 10-7, the Pats D stops the Ravens with :55 seconds on the clock and 3 timeouts. Tick - tick - tick - finally a timeout with 0:33 seconds left and a kneel down after the punt. The crowd was rightfully booing. At the end of the game, with 0:04 seconds left, tied 20-20, instead of trying a 63 yard FG, with the wind, with Steven nailing kicks all day, we went for a hail mary. Which was picked. While both plays are low odds, I'd have tried the FG, which does have better odds.

Branch: I'm not on the Branch bandwagon. Yes, he had a huge fourth quarter after doing nothing for three quarters. What was missed was what started that Branch explosion. Early in the 4th, we're down 20-10. Branch has 2 catches, for 21 yards and one miss - a broken up pass I'll come back to. Pats drive looks to be stalling, and Woodhead breaks two runs (12 and 14 yards) back to back. The Ravens adjust the defense to be able to defend that and that opened Branch up for the rest of the game.

The problem, IMO, with Branch are four fold:

1. The fixation issue. First offensive play of the game for us, down 3-0, Branch is in - and everyone in the world knows the ball is going to him. The Raven CB jumps it, and was one step away from a pick 6, 10-0 Ravens and likely a Ravens win. Brady's weakness is locking into guys he likes too often.

2. Durability: Branch has one 16 game season in his career. He always gets hurt.

3. Role: Branch is a less talented Welker, or, one could argue, a slighly more talented Edelmann. He does not give anything new to the team. IMO, mid season trades should fill in a weak spot, not reinforce a strength.

4. Reps: This one is the key. In the whole Brady/Belichick regime, the Pats greatest weakess has been developing young receivers. Between them, in a game with 48 pass plays, the three promising young wideouts - Tate, Slater, and Price, got 2 targets between them. We need at least Tate to develop, he's a legit home run threat, but if Branch keeps him off the field, he won't do that, and we lose him in three or four years and he does it for someone else. Branch might make the Pats better this year, and I don't think he does, but thinking long term, he's not a great pickup. A pass rusher would have been better.

Basically, Branch is being praised today for catching a TD, and having two good possession on FGs drives. For most of the game, he didn't do anything - he did shine in key moments, and that's good, but, for the vast majority of the game he was totally shut down. He's not a savior, he's a solid possession receiver.

I'm happy with the win, and like Kaba was with the Ravens, I would have been ok with the loss. Both teams played well enough to win, and I think they'll meet again in the AFC Championship Game.

10-18-2010, 11:17 AM
I think she does protest too much .... ;

a win is a win is a win. The Defense shut the Baltimore Offense at the end of the 4th Quarter and OT, something Pats defense haven't been doing since the Superbowl loss to the Giants.