2019 Game Ball Thread: Wk. 1 vs Steelers

Super Nomario

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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 largely shored it up in the playoffs, but they struggled at times in the red zone last year even with Gronk. White and Michel were two of the least-efficient red zone runners in the NFL in the regular season (Michel a lot better in the postseason), and Brady's numbers close in were atypically poor as well.
 

lexrageorge

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He had a couple but overall the running game really stunk.
Burkhead had more than a couple. And Michel did pick up 3 first downs in short yardage situations in the first and second quarters. And those gadget runs do count when they succeed. So I would give the running game a mixed bag than say it really stunk.

The Pats had 3 trips to the Steelers red zone, plus 2 drives where they went to the Steelers 23 and 21:

1: 20 yard TD pass on Gordon's catch-and-run.

2: After Michel picked up the 2nd-and-1, the Pats tried 3 quick passes inside the 10, but couldn't get anything. FG

3: Technically red zone, as they made it to the 23 yard line. 3 passes then a FG.

4: Burkhead had 2 nice runs to get them there. Then he was slowed down (3 and 2 yard carries). Brady got sacked, forcing another FG.

5: 21 yard line. Got there partly due to another nice run by Burkhead. 3 straight incompletions resulted in another FG.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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They largely shored it up in the playoffs, but they struggled at times in the red zone last year even with Gronk. White and Michel were two of the least-efficient red zone runners in the NFL in the regular season (Michel a lot better in the postseason), and Brady's numbers close in were atypically poor as well.
Per RaidersWire, one of the reasons why Oakland was eager to trade for AB was his red zone efficiency:
However, one of the biggest reasons why they struggled to score points was due to their ineffectiveness in the red zone. In 2018, the Raiders scored touchdowns on just 53.4 percent of their red zone trips, 22nd in the NFL. Compare that to teams like the Steelers and Chiefs, who were punching the ball into the end zone on more than 73 percent of their trips inside the 20.

On the latest edition of the Move the Sticks podcast, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks ranked the top-five red zone receivers in the league. Coming in at No. 2 is none other than Brown. Listen to what the two had to say about the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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In thinking about it a little more, part of the idea that the team looks a little flat in the end zone is just a reflection of how incredibly important Edelman is to the team.

When things get compressed and there are more bodies in a smaller area he becomes a bit less valuable and it's noticeable. I don't think his TDs per attempt numbers are aberrational. I think it's pretty much just a reflection of what he does well and what he doesn't get counted on to do in this offense. He's very good on plays where the team is very tight to goal line and there is a run threat, because he's so quick to cut. But other than that he's usually not going to score unless he runs it in from outside the end zone.

It's funny because I think we (or at least I) tended to think of Edelman and Amendola as similar type players, but Amendola actually was a guy who could fight for a ball and make a completion over the middle 8 yards in the end zone on 3d and goal from the 4. Having Brown is really going to make everything different.
 

Super Nomario

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It's funny because I think we (or at least I) tended to think of Edelman and Amendola as similar type players, but Amendola actually was a guy who could fight for a ball and make a completion over the middle 8 yards in the end zone on 3d and goal from the 4. Having Brown is really going to make everything different.
Amendola's career high for TDs in a season is 4. Edelman has more TDs (30 vs 21) in about the same number of career catches (505 vs 492).
 

Deathofthebambino

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I was at the game, so sometimes what I see is a bit skewed. I thought it was pretty apparent early in the game that Pitt was loading up to stop the power running game any time Sony was on the field. I think it was the 2nd drive where the Pats immediately came out in a no-back set, and 5 wide, and said "Fine, load up and we'll just start slinging it." After that, they morphed again, using a bunch of two back sets (mostly with Burkhead and White on the field together, one time they were both split out wide on opposite ends of the field), even some that included Michel and Burkhead.

If a team gears up to stop the run, most of the time, they are going to stop the run, and as mentioned, Pitt's run defense is pretty good anyway. So, the Pats and Josh did what they do, and changed it up, so the numbers aren't good, but they're good enough, and the end result is 33 points.

Teams with big leads tend to kick a lot of field goals in the 2nd half. Any fantasy player knows that's when your kicker is going to light it up. Teams get a bit more conservative, because the only thing they really have to do is not make a big mistake and the win is theirs, so when they get to the red zone, they either run, or Brady throws balls away if he doesn't see an open receiver quickly, so I'm not too concerned about the red zone offense, or the running game yet.

I fully expect that with AB on the field next week, they go back to the running game and Sony goes for 150, because there is literally no way you can stack a box with Tom Brady at QB, and Dorsett, Gordon, Edelman and AB running routes. Opposing teams are going to have live in the nickel and dime, and hope the Pats don't run all over them.
 

Al Zarilla

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(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.
I played center and, if anything, you have to hold back from snapping the ball too hard (adrenalin). I snapped the ball over our star running back's head once. Talk about wanting to sink into the ground right there. I don't know how Karras even does that, the little floater on which linemen could almost get to Brady before the ball. Normally, everything makes you want to snap it too hard, instead he makes poofy little snaps. Weirdest center thing I've ever seen.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Amendola's career high for TDs in a season is 4. Edelman has more TDs (30 vs 21) in about the same number of career catches (505 vs 492).
Yeah, I'm not trying to make the case that Amendola is some red zone monster. Just that their game inside the 20s is different. But, right, they are both about equally likely to have a catch be a TD and it's actually pretty low chance.

Check out their playoff TDs, which are interesting. Amendola has one more in half the attempts. Of course, that one was thrown to him by Edelman!
 

DrewDawg

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Yeah, I'm not trying to make the case that Amendola is some red zone monster. Just that their game inside the 20s is different. But, right, they are both about equally likely to have a catch be a TD and it's actually pretty low chance.

Check out their playoff TDs, which are interesting. Amendola has one more in half the attempts. Of course, that one was thrown to him by Edelman!
Here's some redzone numbers:

Edelman has TDs on 34.3% of his receptions and 20.4% of his targets
Amendola has TDs on 30.5% of his receptions and 21.1% of his targets
A. Brown has TDs on 43.3% of his receptions and 24% of his targets
 

DrewDawg

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Reading a game thread on what appears to be a pretty busy Steelers forum--and they have a lot of folks that seem pretty clueless about any team not the Steelers. Everything seems surprising to them.

"Why is Chung playing?"
"When did they get Collins back?"
 

Eddie Jurak

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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.
I think it is a legitimate point. The good news is that AB will help, obviously, and they ought to be able to do something down there with a guy like Gordon. I'd also kind of like to see Burkhead as the red zone back instead of Michel. Michel is just too much of a one trick pony at this stage.

The other thing I noticed as that Brady still does tend to lock in on Edelman. He was 6-11 targeting Jules and 18-25 targeting everyone else. Maybe AB helps here, too.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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This is a fun read--the Chiefs message board's game thread about the Pats/Steelers game.

It’s fun other than it’s sad how fucking stupid some of those posters are. They’re arguing that the chiefs have better receivers than the pats by saying that hill>brown (close), Sammy fucking Watkins, who hasn’t had over 600 yards in four years>Gordon (laughable), Kelce>Edelman (not even a receiver), Demarcus Robinson, he of the monster 22 catch, 288 yard, 4 td season a year ago (all career highs)>”pats fourth option”, who’s Dorsett or Thomas, and mecole hardman, who’s played one game and has no receptions>”pats fifth option”, the other of Dorsett and Thomas. And their entire forum constantly roots for injuries. Chiefs fans are hypocritical classless fucking assholes and I hate them
 

mwonow

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This is a fun read--the Chiefs message board's game thread about the Pats/Steelers game.

Wow - that's a pathetic group.

How's this for a take?

"One thing I think KC is going to have over NE when they meet this year is pure desire.

We’ll see but I’m betting on the Chiefs to just want it more than NE. "

Edit - as a boost for sane people everywhere and at least one KC-area bookie, I hope this guy DOES actually bet based on the "pure desire" edge...
 

E5 Yaz

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This is a fun read--the Chiefs message board's game thread about the Pats/Steelers game.

Only a couple of pages in, but "This offense should be so easy to defend. Brady can’t throw long anymore so just play everyone up around the line of scrimmage," is the leader in the clubhouse
 

Preacher

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This is a fun read--the Chiefs message board's game thread about the Pats/Steelers game.

I just skimmed a few pages and that those people are a bunch of assholes. A saw a couple posters refer to plays or the game plan as "retarded." Someone called the Pepsi commercial "gay." Another made a comment that he didn't care what night laundry night but also asked that the "bitch make [him] a sandwich too." That board is embarrassing.
 

Kliq

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This is a fun read--the Chiefs message board's game thread about the Pats/Steelers game.

It's a game thread, but I am always surprised how low the standard is in other forums. There are reasonable, intelligent posters mixed in there, but they are drowned out by the serial idiots. The language, use of slurs and blatant politics are also alarming but less surprising. Also, one of my favorite things about SoSH is that there are not any giant, attention diverting pictures that people can put in their signatures. I could never consistently go on a forum that had that.

Out of all the things that have come with the Patriots success, the most puzzling thing maybe fans of other teams insisting that the NFL is in the bag for Brady/Belichick/Kraft and will bend the rules to put things in their favor. I understand that the Patriots success is annoying for them, and when someone else succeeds at an unprecedented level it is natural to assume the game is rigged in their favor, but how can anyone possibly believe this? After Deflategate, which was the biggest example of an NFL-led witch hunt to besmirch a notable player and franchise, could people believe the NFL is in the bag for the Patriots?
 

54thMA

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This is a fun read--the Chiefs message board's game thread about the Pats/Steelers game.

So it's the Patriots who constantly run PICK plays then according to Chefs fans?

They sound pretty angry, I guess not appearing in a Super Bowl for close to 50 years sucks all the midwestern charm out of you.
 

Deathofthebambino

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At this point, I'm partially convinced that Karras' snaps were on purpose. BB saw something on tape and said "Pittsburgh likes to jam the receivers and by snapping it slower, they get a quarter second more time to come off the line before Tom is ready to throw..." or "Our offensive line is faster off the ball than the Steelers, and a slower snap helps them set up quicker..." I have no idea, but to hear Tom Brady say the snaps were fine, when everyone in the stadium (and I'm sure everyone at home) was looking at the snaps and going "WTF?" leads me to believe that perhaps, the Pats found yet another tiny edge they figured out a way to exploit.

Either that, or he's covering for Karras, which is entirely possible, but I have a hard time believing they cut what's his name after 2 days when he had started like 74 consecutive games and nobody thought it would be important to work on Karras' snaps before last night. I wouldn't be surprised next week to see the snaps come back at normal speed and everyone just goes, "Yeah, we worked on changing it up.."

Or maybe they are REALLY trying to protect Tom, and don't even want him to potentially jam a finger.
 

joe dokes

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So it's the Patriots who constantly run PICK plays then according to Chefs fans?

They sound pretty angry, I guess not appearing in a Super Bowl for close to 50 years sucks all the midwestern charm out of you.
They're right, but my guess is that they are just unaware of the rule that says that pick plays are legal within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage.
 

54thMA

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They're right, but my guess is that they are just unaware of the rule that says that pick plays are legal within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage.
Agreed; you can do it within a yard from the LOS, unlike their team, which does it 4/5 yards downfield.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Either that, or he's covering for Karras, which is entirely possible, but I have a hard time believing they cut what's his name after 2 days when he had started like 74 consecutive games and nobody thought it would be important to work on Karras' snaps before last night. I wouldn't be surprised next week to see the snaps come back at normal speed and everyone just goes, "Yeah, we worked on changing it up.."
I think it is this. Brady sticking up for a teammate. When Belichick was asked, he admitted it was an issue that they would be working on.
 

johnmd20

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Also, one of my favorite things about SoSH is that there are not any giant, attention diverting pictures that people can put in their signatures. I could never consistently go on a forum that had that.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why any forum would allow that. It's so ugly and distracting, for NO reason. It's just garbage that's in the way.
 

johnmd20

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At this point, I'm partially convinced that Karras' snaps were on purpose. BB saw something on tape and said "Pittsburgh likes to jam the receivers and by snapping it slower, they get a quarter second more time to come off the line before Tom is ready to throw..." or "Our offensive line is faster off the ball than the Steelers, and a slower snap helps them set up quicker..." I have no idea, but to hear Tom Brady say the snaps were fine, when everyone in the stadium (and I'm sure everyone at home) was looking at the snaps and going "WTF?" leads me to believe that perhaps, the Pats found yet another tiny edge they figured out a way to exploit.

Either that, or he's covering for Karras, which is entirely possible, but I have a hard time believing they cut what's his name after 2 days when he had started like 74 consecutive games and nobody thought it would be important to work on Karras' snaps before last night. I wouldn't be surprised next week to see the snaps come back at normal speed and everyone just goes, "Yeah, we worked on changing it up.."

Or maybe they are REALLY trying to protect Tom, and don't even want him to potentially jam a finger.
Snapping slower doesn't help anything in the offense.
 

speedracer

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Yeah, I'm not trying to make the case that Amendola is some red zone monster. Just that their game inside the 20s is different. But, right, they are both about equally likely to have a catch be a TD and it's actually pretty low chance.

Check out their playoff TDs, which are interesting. Amendola has one more in half the attempts. Of course, that one was thrown to him by Edelman!
There are definitely things Amendola can do that Edelman can't:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPo1gHDAEBQ
 

Deathofthebambino

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Snapping slower doesn't help anything in the offense.
That's what they want you to think....

I tend to agree, but they just had like 6 weeks of training camp, and over a week since Andrews went down, and nobody said to Alex Karras (I can't not call him that, I was a huge Webster/George Papodolis fan, who happens to be his great uncle) that he had to get it back there quicker. Just so strange that they'd miss something like that.

Because here's the thing. Karras is capable of it. He played center in 2017 against Miami. The highlights from that game are below, and he's snapping the shotgun with no issues at all (except of course the one play where he snaps it before Brady is looking):

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGWHCR-_U54&feature=onebox
 

Eddie Jurak

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Question. On the Edelman pass to White, it looked like he looked downfield first before checking down to White. Anyone have any idea whether Jules had an option to throw downfield or did he just look downfield to disguise what the actual play was?
 

lexrageorge

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Question. On the Edelman pass to White, it looked like he looked downfield first before checking down to White. Anyone have any idea whether Jules had an option to throw downfield or did he just look downfield to disguise what the actual play was?
I thought on the telecast they mentioned that either Gordon or Dorsett (I cannot recall whom) was open downfield. I'm guessing White was the primary option all along, so it was probably a disguise, but don't really know.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Gordon was open downfield but the White throw was a much easier throw and they had a convoy set up for him. Good decision by a guy who doesn’t regularly make throws in game situations.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Gordon was open downfield but the White throw was a much easier throw and they had a convoy set up for him. Good decision by a guy who doesn’t regularly make throws in game situations.
My thought at the time was that Edelman didn't quite catch the ball cleanly. So by the time he had to re-grip the ball, the safe play was back to White.

EDIT- rewatching it , it looks like he glances downfield, but settles on the sure thing. Maybe not able to step into the deep throw. At the :22 mark, Gordon is, to my (Madden Rookie level) eyes double-teamed, so White is 100% the right throw. Plus... it sets up something for later in the season....
 
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Saints Rest

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I rewatched the first quarter plus of the game last night. Simon did a terrific job of setting the edge on multiple runs, on both ends (on different plays obviously). That has been an issue at times with some DE/Edge players in the recent past. Not a single miscue this game, at least thru the first few drives.
 

tims4wins

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I rewatched the first quarter plus of the game last night. Simon did a terrific job of setting the edge on multiple runs, on both ends (on different plays obviously). That has been an issue at times with some DE/Edge players in the recent past. Not a single miscue this game, at least thru the first few drives.
Simon was an unsung very good player on Sunday. Chung was also awesome. As was J Mac aside from his one lapse where he stopped running on the bomb to Washington.
 

Saints Rest

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Simon was an unsung very good player on Sunday. Chung was also awesome. As was J Mac aside from his one lapse where he stopped running on the bomb to Washington.
Totally agree on Chung. He got my Game Ball in an early post in this thread. And, I didn't give JMcC a game ball for the reason you note, but otherwise, his game was excellent.
Interesting that we didn't see much of JC Crossen, but Gilmore, JMcC, and JJones were all standouts. Incredible depth in this secondary, at both CB and S. A far cry from some seasons.