2019 Game Ball Thread: Wk. 1 vs Steelers

SeoulSoxFan

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This defense is very much real. The offense looks good already. Even if AB doesn't work out, there are enough weapons.

It's Game Ball Time!
 

bigq

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The defense picked up where they left off last season.
 

Old Fart Tree

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“Hey Ben! How did the offense do? Put up a ton of points???”

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So yeah I’m going with the entire defense.
 

Caspir

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The entire defense, but Hightower is other worldly. Gordon, Dorsett, Burkhead, Wynn and the old dude throwing the ball as well. Total domination against a conference contender and the best receiver in football en route.
 

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Defense was rock hard and solid.

I’ll go Hightower but you really couldn’t go wrong with this unit. Nearly everyone was on point tonight in all three facets. Unfair and going to get better.
 

lexrageorge

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Great team effort by the D. Secondary, linebackers, d-line were solid across the board against the varsity.

Some periodic misses by the offensive line, although Watt showed he can dominate a game if given the opportunity. Hope Cannon's injury is minor. Still Wynn had a solid game in his debut. But the receivers all did their jobs, with Gordon throwing a nice block on Watt at one point. And TB12 was TB12.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Juwuan Bentley looked pretty good early. Don't think they needed him much after Pitt completely abandoned the run, so in came Winovich.
 

bigq

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Also Julian Edelman for the 118.8 passer rating. Even though it was 6 points behind Brady, the 91 yards from scrimmage make it a wash.
 

88 MVP

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The defense has allowed a grand total of 2 field goals in the last 8 quarters... is that good?

Honorable mention to Burkhead, White, and Wynn. And Flash for picking up right where he left off last season.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Not a game ball, but I love what I saw from Winovich. The guy was everywhere even if it doesn’t show up in the box score.
I was about to post about Winovich. I will be surprised if this kid stays healthy and doesn't wind up as an impact player. I also loved the fact that he was talking shit to David DeCastro and others on the Stillers. He seems pretty fearless.
 

thehitcat

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I was about to post about Winovich. I will be surprised if this kid stays healthy and doesn't wind up as an impact player. I also loved the fact that he was talking shit to David DeCastro and others on the Stillers. He seems pretty fearless.
Do we think that the Personal Foul by DeCastro on the last Pittsburgh drive was retaliation for Winovich talking to him the drive before? If so that speaks really well that the kid could get into his head, even if DeCastro has a history.
 

BigSoxFan

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I was about to post about Winovich. I will be surprised if this kid stays healthy and doesn't wind up as an impact player. I also loved the fact that he was talking shit to David DeCastro and others on the Stillers. He seems pretty fearless.
Definitely feels like he has a strip sack or 2 in him this year
 
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Great team effort by the D. Secondary, linebackers, d-line were solid across the board against the varsity.

Some periodic misses by the offensive line, although Watt showed he can dominate a game if given the opportunity. Hope Cannon's injury is minor. Still Wynn had a solid game in his debut. But the receivers all did their jobs, with Gordon throwing a nice block on Watt at one point. And TB12 was TB12.
I haven’t seen any news yet but that looked like a collar bone to me.
 

scottyno

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Josh for calling the trick play early on, they started a little slow, it worked perfectly, one play after that Gordon scores and it's off to the races.
 

m0ckduck

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Little shout-out to Olszewski for handling the punt return game competently and allowing me to stop worrying about Edelman getting hurt on every single return.
 

Jimbodandy

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around the way
3 game balls: defense, offense, special teams.

Gordon looks like a superhero. Secondary is ridiculous. Wynn is our new cornerstone LT.

On to Miami.
 

Eddie Jurak

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1. Defense. Hard to single anyone out.
2. Brady.
3. Receivers

On the nitpicking not so great side:
  • Karras' shotgun snaps. I've never seen anything like it. Basically on target but so slow, with the ball seeming to hang in the air just out of Brady's grasp. I see this as something that will bite them if it isn't fixed. Also, Karras' snaps seemed more normal on a couple of designed runs out of the shotgun - is it possible his snaps are a run/pass tip off to opposing defenses?
  • Michel got stuffed on almost every play
Rookies:
  • I really liked what I saw of Gunner. Very comfortable back there receving punts and seemed to have very good feel for ho to do it.
  • Only only catch for Meyers, but it was an impressive one. Made the catch, took the hit, gained plenty of yards after
 

BaseballJones

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Hard to find much wrong with a 33-3 whipping of one of the main contenders for conference supremacy. So I'll suggest a few things that need improvement first:

(1) Karras. The snaps. Yes they got lots of mention in the game thread and obviously the Pats' coaching staff has to be more aware of it than we are. But egads.
(2) Run blocking. I think Pittsburgh's front 7 is pretty stout (10th in the league last year in rushing ypc against and 6th in rushing yards allowed) but man the Pats couldn't get much going on the ground at all. A few runs here and there but Michel got stuffed every time he touched it. They still managed 89 rushing yards but it was kind of nice watching them abuse people at the end of last year.
(3) Bailey. A few short punts.

On the plus side:
(1) The defense. Holy crap. A bunch of garbage time yards for the Steelers but this defense just shut them down, and as I said in the game thread, I love that they did it without needing to get turnovers. Just shut them down, period.
(2) Brady. Shaky start but after that, magnificent.
(3) Gordon, Dorsett, and Edelman. Great work by the receivers all night long.
(4) Ghost. Perfect night after a very shaky preseason.
(5) Wynn. One penalty but otherwise pretty dominant, especially in pass protection.

Helluva start to the year. Hope Cannon is ok.
 

lexrageorge

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Regarding the running game, Michel did pick up 3 first downs in short yardage situations late first quarter and early 2nd quarter, each with a 1 or 2 yard carry. And Burkhead and White both had success running the ball. I would have liked to have seen Michel make some first downs in the 4th quarter, but I'm quibbling. Pats didn't run the ball all that well against the Steelers last year either.

Bailey had one very good punt and two short ones, but none of them were returned. I'd give him a B-, adjusting for some first game jitters.
 

Saints Rest

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Regarding the running game, Michel did pick up 3 first downs in short yardage situations late first quarter and early 2nd quarter, each with a 1 or 2 yard carry. And Burkhead and White both had success running the ball. I would have liked to have seen Michel make some first downs in the 4th quarter, but I'm quibbling. Pats didn't run the ball all that well against the Steelers last year either.

Bailey had one very good punt and two short ones, but none of them were returned. I'd give him a B-, adjusting for some first game jitters.
This suggests that the Pats still have an issue with Michels presence being a tell that a run is coming. They need to get some plays on film with Michel catching a ball out of the backfield.
OTOH, it appeared in the 2nd half that the Michel/Develin backfield set up play-action perfectly.
 

loshjott

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Last regular season Michel was targeted in the passing game a whopping 11 times for 7 receptions and 50 yds. Yet he had 4.5 YPC. And in 3 playoff games he was outstanding with 4.7 YPC despite one reception on only 3 targets.

Somehow those tells didn't affect him last yr. It's only one game, give it time.
 

Rook05

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Last regular season Michel was targeted in the passing game a whopping 11 times for 7 receptions and 50 yds. Yet he had 4.5 YPC. And in 3 playoff games he was outstanding with 4.7 YPC despite one reception on only 3 targets.

Somehow those tells didn't affect him last yr. It's only one game, give it time.
Agree. I think it was a little game script dependent. The Steelers were clearly keyed in on Sony after the way the Pats morphed into a power set team, and don’t forget teams no longer have to account for Gronk. They also seem to like bringing in Rex as a fresh set of legs in the third and fourth. I think Sony will be fine, and wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats were trying to set up some tendencies (Sony = run) to mess with opposing scouting.
 

DrewDawg

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The defense.
Brady.
Ghost.

Other stuff:
Didn't hear Bennett's name at all, but we didn't really need him.
Cannon--please be okay.
 

joe dokes

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It took all of about 5 game minutes to see that Wynn belongs, despite inexperience and layoff.
Same with Olszewski. He looked incredibly comfortable returning punts. And each PR hit he takes is one that Edelman doesn't.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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This is a nit in a 30 point win, but I thought the Patriots looked very dynamic when they had field to work with but much less so when the field got compressed. They actually didn’t run too many plays in the red area and what they did run looked a bit more flat.

This may be simply a case of adjusting to life with out Gronk or it may not even be a thing. Heck, the last game they played had all of one play inside the red area and they won that one. But red area bears watching.

Edelman gets less valuable inside the 20. White score on pass plays but usually he is catching then going across the goal line. We don’t really have that guy who can go up and win the fight 8 yards deep and win the ball in the back of the end zone. Maybe Gordon. Haven’t seen that yet. But second and goal from the 8 is against teams with good run defenses is going to be worth watching this year.
 

loshjott

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This is a nit in a 30 point win, but I thought the Patriots looked very dynamic when they had field to work with but much less so when the field got compressed. They actually didn’t run too many plays in the red area and what they did run looked a bit more flat.

This may be simply a case of adjusting to life with out Gronk or it may not even be a thing. Heck, the last game they played had all of one play inside the red area and they won that one. But red area bears watching.

Edelman gets less valuable inside the 20. White score on pass plays but usually he is catching then going across the goal line. We don’t really have that guy who can go up and win the fight 8 yards deep and win the ball in the back of the end zone. Maybe Gordon. Haven’t seen that yet. But second and goal from the 8 is against teams with good run defenses is going to be worth watching this year.
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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This is a nit in a 30 point win, but I thought the Patriots looked very dynamic when they had field to work with but much less so when the field got compressed. They actually didn’t run too many plays in the red area and what they did run looked a bit more flat.

This may be simply a case of adjusting to life with out Gronk or it may not even be a thing. Heck, the last game they played had all of one play inside the red area and they won that one. But red area bears watching.

Edelman gets less valuable inside the 20. White score on pass plays but usually he is catching then going across the goal line. We don’t really have that guy who can go up and win the fight 8 yards deep and win the ball in the back of the end zone. Maybe Gordon. Haven’t seen that yet. But second and goal from the 8 is against teams with good run defenses is going to be worth watching this year.
They stunk running the ball all night and that makes it really hard in the red zone.

The only successful running plays I can remember were funky design type things (end arounds to Bolden and Edelman, White picked up that first on the audibled sweep play on third down and had another good draw play later, etc). Nearly everything else went nowhere.
 

OurF'ingCity

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OTOH, it appeared in the 2nd half that the Michel/Develin backfield set up play-action perfectly.
Very much this. I thought Josh's playcalling here was pretty great - as others have noted Steelers were keyed up to stop the run-heavy approach, so they called what seemed like a ton of play-action later in the game out of that "heavy," I-formation set and, as Collinsworth noted, the linebackers bit on it pretty much every time.

I'm not going to get too down on the run game after a single game where the Steelers' approach was pretty obviously to clog up the middle and stuff the run.
 

Saints Rest

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They stunk running the ball all night and that makes it really hard in the red zone.

The only successful running plays I can remember were funky design type things (end arounds to Bolden and Edelman, White picked up that first on the audibled sweep play on third down and had another good draw play later, etc). Nearly everything else went nowhere.
Burkhead has a bunch of plus runs, 5-10 yards.