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Discussion in 'Blinded by the Lombardis: Patriots Forum' started by RedOctober3829, Apr 26, 2018.
I was saying it last night. He had 17 carries in the first half so I think he was gassed.
Think this is it. He had some runs in 2nd half where I felt he lacked his usual explosion. Must have been wearing down.
May have had to do with what KC did to adjust to the run. Having White/Burkhead out there opens up options to run/pass versus Michel who just hasn't been a threat in the passing game. That could change next year.
Edit: By the way, it can't be understated how good of a rookie season Michel had. Such a solid dependable player who will only get considerably better.
In an overall healthy season for the Pats that ghastly looking but actuallly relatively minor knee injury to Michel late in the year was huge. The gamethread was saying “see you next season” at that point.
I made the same point to a Giant's fan-Mom (caught in the grip of Saquon-mania) back in May. I plan to email her today to admit that she was right and I was wrong.
White wasn't in there either. I fear he is hurt.
Michel did have 7 carries in the 4th quarter for 31 yards and 1 TD. Should note that he got the ball in 29 of the 34 offensive snaps he was on the field.
On the final 3 Pats drives, they threw the ball 22 times versus 10 runs, as they were going to put the ball in Brady's hands. 3 of those 10 runs were when the Pats got into the red zone in OT. Burkhead can catch the ball (4 receptions in the game), so it was often him and White out there on the passing plays, whereas Michel had 11 targets and 7 receptions all season.
Not sure what happened with White late.
On the highlights reel it looks like he’s there and that a S or CB was spying him on every snap, hence the over the middle openings.
I'm not a big fan of taking a RB top-10, but at pick 31, who cares? And Belichick has made a career of cutting against the positional value grain (they draft S and TE high and don't draft DEs and WRs high).
I had the same concerns, but then noticed the highlight that Michel ran in for his second TD with 3:32 left in regulation.
He was out for a stretch but he was in there for all the big third downs in OT. They had him chipping on some of those though, so he didn't get targeted late. The slant to Gronk, he ran a route, but it was short and KC had a DB on him, so Brady went elsewhere.
He had 25% of his carries in the 4th quarter and scored a TD. The next drive was the final one that was pretty much all through the air.
Anywho, he's the first rookie RB in NFL history to have multiple 100 yard games with multiple TDs in the postseason.
He was also out there on the final KO when Patterson ran it back to the 35. KC took him out of the game and made Brady throw downfield.
Thanks for the detailed answers, guys. I was too busy having multiple heart attacks to notice the details that I normally would see.
Pretty fantastic start to his career and would love to see another great game from him in two weeks. Hope he has many more productive years and does not flash in the pan like some other RBs who had strong playoff performances in their rookie seasons (Timmy Smith, Ickey Woods).
If healthy I don't think there's any need to worry on that score.
He’s not quite as big as Clock Killin Corey Dillon, but he reminds me of him.
I agree. Was looking for RBs who had strong playoff performances in their rookie year (100+ yards rushing in a game) and went on to have successful careers (three or more 1000+ yard seasons). The list was a bit short - hope I didn't miss anyone.
Fred Taylor had 162 yards against the Pats in 1999 and had a bunch of good seasons after that.
Jamal Lewis had two separate 100 yard playoff games in 2000 and went on to have a strong career.
Earl Campbell had a couple of good games in 1978 (including putting up 118 yards against the Pats) and went on to a HOF career.
Michel has a chance to be special (and already has been during this postseason). That being said, perhaps he won't go on to rack up a bunch of 1000+ yard seasons and he doesn't have to in order to have a successful career. After all, 1000 yard seasons are measured during the first 16 games but the real test of success comes in the post season.
Let’s keep him away from beach flag football.
The team having to skip the Pro Bowl activities is an underrated benefit of making the Super Bowl every year.
Is there any research on whether rookie RBs wear down over a longer NFL season, and into the postseason?
I thought it was pretty common that there’s a “rookie wall.” Most rookies spend their entire offseason training for the combine and jump right into the NFL season, which is longer than the college season to begin with. It’s basically like they play football for a year straight with no break.
Hats off to Michel for seemingly picking up steam as the season has gone on.
Missing 3 reg season games with injuries has been a long term benefit this season.
Plus the postseason schedule of bye, SD, @KC, bye, SB helps the wear and tear
How long will he be running behind Thuney, Andrews and Mason? That probably answers the question for how long will he be effective.
The most underrated aspect of NE this season is easily the interior OL play. PFF has Thuney #8G, Andrews #7C and Mason #1G. Brown/Cannon lag behind in the 20s/30s but aren't as important to the run game as interior line play.
David Andrews is probably the most unheralded UDFA in the NFL. He has been an absolute rock and no one outside of NE knows who he is. Actually a lot of casual NE fans probably don't know who he is either.
This post nails it.
Rewatch either or both of the last two games and just watch the three interior linemen. Hell, just watch #60. It’s a clinic out there. Watch how often they win one-on-one battles. Watch how tight they are in pass protection (which should ease the fears of Donald and Suh turning this year’s Super Bowl into The Scottish Game Redux). Watch how often and how far downfield these guys end up on runs and screens.
Football Outsiders rates him as the worst RB of the week, with negative impact.
I think this is good evidence that football outsiders is full of shit.
I was thinking that Michel at #31 may be Bill’s new market inefficiency. If you go by the premise that a 2nd contract for most RBs is a dicey proposition, then maybe taking one at the bottom of Round 1 is better since it gets you the option of a 5th year of control. Think about Georgia backfield partner Chubb taken 4 spots after Sony, he will be a free agent after 4 years barring a 2nd contract.
I was looking at this yesterday. I don't know how they publish those individual player evaluations from the Conference Championship games and not cringe, it is embarrassing.
I'm far from a FO fanboy but when you read the full analysis I think there is some merit. Basically Michel was punished because he was running against a bottom 5 run D and didn't average 4 YPC.
I've been a critic of Thuney over the past couple years, as he's clearly been the weakest link on the OL.
I was so excited for Wynn to hopefully slide right into a starting role at LG, but the Thuney/Brown pairing has been phenomenal both for the run and pass games. So glad he's performing well, and my take has been proven wrong.
It's an interesting question how you evaluate someone with that large an opponent adjustment in place---essentially, it requires a monster game to actually 'be good' given the assumptions they have in place.
I think what BB would say is that Michel's job is to get 4 yards on average and have a few biggers runs and few stuffs and he doesn't care how that compares to what some other back did in some other game situation 10 weeks ago.
So, FO might be correct that "Michel's performance yesterday does not show he is an above-average back" and BB may also be correct that "he did his job yesterday." Both can be true at the same time---and I'm not sure FO would really even argue that a single game sample tells us whether the player is (true talent level) actually good anyway.
Wait for the season Brown was rated in the 20s/30s?
Is that just for run Blocking?
Even then if there are 20 better Tackles at Run Blocking them him then the league needs to run more.
Dude is a road grader on passes. Especially in the last 2 playoff games.
Is he the best? Probably not. But my lying eyes tell me he has to be top 10-12 ish.
And pass blocking forget it. Top 5?
What did he rank for Pass Blocking?
Agree to all of this and will add Sony was the 2nd ranked RB the previous week behind only CJ. In that game he benefited from going against the 9th rated run D. Not that it mattered all that much given the great game he had.
Totally agree with the edit. He's the new Frank Gore. No negative yardage plays, constantly moving forward, and excellent leverage. Donald/Suh are getting all of the attention, but 21 personnel with Michel, Develin, Gronk, and the offensive line have had a great postseason blocking. Two 100+ yard games for Michel and no sacks of Brady. Donald and Suh might win the early rounds, but the 4th quarter should belong to this group.
Skipping my annual Pats Rookie of the Year poll because it's Michel and no doubt about it. Love what he gave us this year, look forward to many more.
Final numbers are in:
16 games including playoffs - well, really 15 since he went down pretty early against Bears)
280 carries / 1,267 yards (4.53 YPC) / 12 TDs
8 rec / 59 yards / 0 TDs
1 fumble which occurred on the play he got twisted like a pretzel.
Just a fantastic rookie season.
Edit: wrong thread
Yep Sony was great. His playoff run was tremendous:
vs LAC: 24-129 (5.38), 3 td
vs KC: 29-113 (3.90), 2 td
vs LAR: 18-94 (5.22), 1 td
TOT: 71-336 (4.73), 6 td
The kid absolutely came through huge for the Patriots, and like everyone else, when he got twisted like that pretzel, I thought his season (maybe his career) was over.
Your final sentence deserves praise for its accuracy.
I think JC Jackson would at least warrant some discussion. The secondary really came together when he started getting more snaps and I know some sites had him as the 1B to Gillmore's 1A.
Michel was billed post draft as a Kamara clone and that couldn't have been further from the truth. While I don't want to take away from his rookie season he was a zero in the passing game and had a poor elusive ranking. Had he not played behind what should now be considered the best OL in the NFL (laughably went to LAR) his season probably ends up quite different. He does run hard and gets what is blocked but right now he looks a lot more like Stevan Ridley than a true 3 down back.
Worth noting that rookie RBs are usually zeros in the passing game under BB. Vereen was a redshirt his first year, and White caught all of five passes as a rookie.
Michel was a good receiver in college, and he showed serious skill in the areas that really matter for a running back (summarized: hit your gap, don't fumble, don't do stupid shit). There's good reason to believe he'll improve from here.
I totally agree with this. The Patriots' passing system is position-agnostic, so a RB who's running routes has to know everything a WR does (including conversions / choices / sight adjustments), plus all the normal running back stuff (which hole to hit, how to read the DL, and the Patriots run a very multiple run game), plus all the blitz pickup stuff, which if you mess up might get #12 hurt. It is right up there with TE as the most complex position on the offense behind QB. Think about how hard it is for rookie WR to get integrated and then think about having two more responsibilities on top of what a WR needs to know.
And let's not forget that a) Michel also missed the preseason, so he was even further behind than a normal rookie and b) the Patriots have James White (and Rex Burkhead). It's great to want to get Michel involved in the passing game more, but are you really going to take White off the field to do it? I'd expect Michel to continue to develop in this area and get more work next year, but I think we still see White in the two-minute drill and on third down, because he's a really good player too.
IIRC, the rookie RB in the passing game struggle has been a matter of blitz pickup. To my untrained eye, he seemed to struggle with his hands as well as his routes. I remember several instances of passes being off because he was drifting upfield when Brady expected a tight cut off to the route. He really needs to tighten that up. The good news is that if he does he could be a stat beast.