Brady/Manning XVII

Hagios

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My understanding, perhaps erroneous, is that it can take up to a month at altitude for your body to start producing more red blood cells, which is why Everest climbers stop at base camp for a while before going up. However, I did think that there was also an intermediate adaptation that can occur within a few days. When going to Cusco, Peru, they suggest waiting 2 days in Cusco (elevation: 10k) before going on any of the big regional hikes. They also strongly suggest that you take acetazolamide, which as I understand it is basically the one medication that does anything: it reduces the pH of your blood back down to normal levels, but it takes ~2 days to take effect. Maybe that's why a few days at altitude can be an initial help; it doesn't boost your red blood cell count, but it can be enough time to negate respiratory alkalosis (Thanks, wikipedia!)
Interesting. I was just going by my experience from making ski trips out west. The first day every flight up the stairs leaves you sucking wind. By day 3 you don't really notice the altitude anymore.
 

Harry Hooper

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I love how this has become the "Brady blueprint", as if getting pressure with 4 and playing coverage isn't an effective strategy against every single quarterback who's ever put on a helmet.
Yeah, if you can get pressure up the middle and smash his face in, he's a much less effective QB. That's up there as useful advice as make every pitch on the black of the inside and outside corners if you want to get that guy out.
 

Hagios

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Yeah, if you can get pressure up the middle and smash his face in, he's a much less effective QB. That's up there as useful advice as make every pitch on the black of the inside and outside corners if you want to get that guy out.
Yes, but it is still progress. Since the days of Buddy Ryan and the 46 defense the NFL commentariat has equated "blitz a lot" to "defensive genius". At some point the typical NFL fan must have thought the choice pretty much boils down to "should we blitz and get a sack or an interception, or not blitz and give up a 20 yard gain?" So the idea that getting pressure with your front 4 is generally superior is actually a pretty huge step forward for the general fan.
 

ALiveH

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now that they make those altitude training masks do you really need to fly out there early? why not just make everyone wear those for a while every day this week?
 

Leather

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Because altering your routine is almost certainly a bigger X factor than the altitude in Denver.

The Patriots have done poorly there, but the altitude is not the primary reason why. The altitude does not cause them to drop puntsor have players get injured.
 

phenweigh

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My understanding, perhaps erroneous, is that it can take up to a month at altitude for your body to start producing more red blood cells, which is why Everest climbers stop at base camp for a while before going up. However, I did think that there was also an intermediate adaptation that can occur within a few days. When going to Cusco, Peru, they suggest waiting 2 days in Cusco (elevation: 10k) before going on any of the big regional hikes. They also strongly suggest that you take acetazolamide, which as I understand it is basically the one medication that does anything: it reduces the pH of your blood back down to normal levels, but it takes ~2 days to take effect. Maybe that's why a few days at altitude can be an initial help; it doesn't boost your red blood cell count, but it can be enough time to negate respiratory alkalosis (Thanks, wikipedia!)
That Wikipedia article defines High altitude = 1,500–3,500 metres (4,900–11,500 ft), so Denver is at the very low end of high altitude, which does fit my limited experience of it not affecting me much when I was hiking around that elevation. As for my wife, maybe she's a bit of a hypochondriac or the affect is more noticeable the less in shape you are, even if red blood cell production or pH levels don't vary by person.
 

Curt S Loew

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Because altering your routine is almost certainly a bigger X factor than the altitude in Denver.

The Patriots have done poorly there, but the altitude is not the primary reason why. The altitude does not cause them to drop puntsor have players get injured.
Prove it!
 

williams_482

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Yeah, if you can get pressure up the middle and smash his face in, he's a much less effective QB. That's up there as useful advice as make every pitch on the black of the inside and outside corners if you want to get that guy out.
It's not even that simple, because the Patriots quick passing offense is also unusually good at neutralizing pass rush pressure. If the Broncos secondary can't keep everyone locked down for at least two seconds, the pass rush is going to be irrelevant.

I'm sure this isn't a new idea, but Barnwell's article makes me think that this quick passing offense may have been deliberately developed as a counter to the kinds of defenses that have given the Patriots fits in the past. This team isn't as dominant or talented as the 2007 squad, but they would have been far harder for the 2007 Giants to shut down.
 

Captaincoop

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I hope the Patriots are spending zero time thinking about this, because the psychological impact of the altitude is probably worse than the physical effect.

But I live at ~4,500 feet, and my experience is that the effect on endurance is real, and takes a minimum of several weeks to go away. I was running 4-5 miles a day at sea level before I moved here, and it took me a month to be able to get back to my normal routine at altitude.
 

Hagios

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Because altering your routine is almost certainly a bigger X factor than the altitude in Denver.

The Patriots have done poorly there, but the altitude is not the primary reason why. The altitude does not cause them to drop puntsor have players get injured.
I agree that injuries were the primary reason why they lost the first game against Denver. But the Patriots defense looked gassed in the fourth quarter. That's been the conventional wisdom about playing on the road in Denver. I'm mostly in the "In Bill we trust" camp so I hear you about the routine factor, but that routine must be pretty important.
 

johnmd20

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Because altering your routine is almost certainly a bigger X factor than the altitude in Denver.

The Patriots have done poorly there, but the altitude is not the primary reason why. The altitude does not cause them to drop puntsor have players get injured.
Dropping Alby Puntsor was one of Belichick's worse moves. :)
 

tims4wins

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It's not even that simple, because the Patriots quick passing offense is also unusually good at neutralizing pass rush pressure. If the Broncos secondary can't keep everyone locked down for at least two seconds, the pass rush is going to be irrelevant.

I'm sure this isn't a new idea, but Barnwell's article makes me think that this quick passing offense may have been deliberately developed as a counter to the kinds of defenses that have given the Patriots fits in the past. This team isn't as dominant or talented as the 2007 squad, but they would have been far harder for the 2007 Giants to shut down.
This is a great point, and the proof is in the pudding - last year's Super Bowl against Seattle, as well as the divisional game against the Ravens. Pass rush simply can't get to Brady.
 

mandro ramtinez

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I agree that injuries were the primary reason why they lost the first game against Denver. But the Patriots defense looked gassed in the fourth quarter. That's been the conventional wisdom about playing on the road in Denver. I'm mostly in the "In Bill we trust" camp so I hear you about the routine factor, but that routine must be pretty important.
The defense looked gassed late in the first Denver game at least partly because of Hightower's knee injury in the first half.
 
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Because altering your routine is almost certainly a bigger X factor than the altitude in Denver.

The Patriots have done poorly there, but the altitude is not the primary reason why. The altitude does not cause them to drop punts or have players get injured.
I'm no doctor, but with lack of oxygen to the brain after 3 quarters of exertion at altitude, it doesn't seem impossible that there'd be an effect on concentration. Marginal, yes, but building over the course of the game.

I doubt the players are giving it any thought, but I'd definitely approve if Belichick considered it enough to fly out a day early and pass around the acetazolamide this week. It's not like that would be the smallest detail that he'd ever minded.
 

dbn

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Elevation discussion that I'll spoiler as I hate contributing to a derail and, frankly, it doesn't add much to the discussion unless you are for some reason interested.

My experiences with altitude are apples to coconuts when comparing to playing professional sports in Denver, but I'll share anyways. I used to use an observatory on Mauna Kea (elevation ~13800 ft, or 2.6 miles) now and then. One sleeps at the Hale Pohaku center (elevation ~9300 ft, or 1.8 miles) and is limited to 12hrs shifts at the summit. It is also required to spend one night at HP before the observing run to acclimate. Tour guides would bring tourists to the summit to watch the sun set. Without the ~24 hrs of acclimation that we had, they would last about an hr before some would start to pass out.

Again, this is different than the Patriots' situation for a lot of reasons. Probably most importantly, the much higher elevation of the summit of Mauna Kea compared to Denver, and the lack of physical effort being enacted by astronomers compared to professional football players.

I do recall there being previous discussion and that the upshot was that it takes ~ 1 week to adjust to playing in Denver. I guess the point is that perhaps not all acclimation is created equal.
 

Leather

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I'm no doctor, but with lack of oxygen to the brain after 3 quarters of exertion at altitude, it doesn't seem impossible that there'd be an effect on concentration. Marginal, yes, but building over the course of the game.

I doubt the players are giving it any thought, but I'd definitely approve if Belichick considered it enough to fly out a day early and pass around the acetazolamide this week. It's not like that would be the smallest detail that he'd ever minded.
Harper, he of 0 offensive snaps until the end of the game, 0 targets, and 3 punt returns. You think his brain was oxygen-depleted from being 5,000 up, which led to the fumble?

If that were plausible, nobody would be permitted to drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, never mind go hiking in the Rockies. 75% of them would fall off the edge.
 

Marciano490

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Harper, he of 0 offensive snaps until the end of the game, 0 targets, and 3 punt returns. You think his brain was oxygen-depleted from being 5,000 up, which led to the fumble?

If that were plausible, nobody would be permitted to drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, never mind go hiking in the Rockies. 75% of them would fall off the edge.
The first year curve at UC Denver must be super generous.
 

joe dokes

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If that were plausible, nobody would be permitted to drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, never mind go hiking in the Rockies. 75% of them would fall off the edge.

Or to drive up Mt. Evans, CO like we did a few years less than 24 hrs after flying into Denver. I nearly passed out after walking 75 feet from the car to the crapper. The hike from the parking lot to the summit is about a 1/4 mile and another 150 feet up. It took us well over an hour. My wife's 80-year old uncle, a local, was laughing his ass off as he ran ahead with his dog.

 

Leather

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Ya, i was there last summer (well, Trail Ridge Road), as were my twin 3-year old sons. We did a lot of hiking up to 13,000 feet.

Nobody had any major mental lapses.
 
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PedroKsBambino

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Harper, he of 0 offensive snaps until the end of the game, 0 targets, and 3 punt returns. You think his brain was oxygen-depleted from being 5,000 up, which led to the fumble?

If that were plausible, nobody would be permitted to drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, never mind go hiking in the Rockies. 75% of them would fall off the edge.
Your belief is that altitude was irrelevant, and I tend to agree----but neither of us knows what was going on, either. You also are not separating your own assumptions from what we actually know to be true---for example, you have determined somehow that it was a mental lapse and not a physical one and I think you're simply making that up. This is not how good thinking gets done.
 

Hagios

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Your belief is that altitude was irrelevant, and I tend to agree----but neither of us knows what was going on, either. You also are not separating your own assumptions from what we actually know to be true---for example, you have determined somehow that it was a mental lapse and not a physical one and I think you're simply making that up. This is not how good thinking gets done.
My worry about the altitude is that the defense will be tired in the fourth quarter, not dropped balls. I hope the extra day does the trick.
 

Leather

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Your belief is that altitude was irrelevant, and I tend to agree----but neither of us knows what was going on, either. You also are not separating your own assumptions from what we actually know to be true---for example, you have determined somehow that it was a mental lapse and not a physical one and I think you're simply making that up. This is not how good thinking gets done.
N/M. Derailing the thread. My only point was that blaming Harper's muff on the altitude is a huge leap.
 
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nattysez

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The level of agreement nationally about the Patriots winning this game surprises me. I've seen very few commentators predicting a Pats loss, and I've seen a lot of predictions that the Pats will dominate.
 

ss s h h hh

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5200 feet doesn't even give a noticeable increase in RBC, even after a month. You increase in hematocrit, but that's mostly due to plasma levels and dehydration. Total hemoglobin mass doesn't start producing until about 7000 feet give or take.

The current research suggests going in 10 days before a competition or less than 24 hours. Not as big a deal for football vs. Endurance competition.

The worst time theoretically to travel up is between 2-7 days, which is what they're doing. Your EPO production goes crazy and you can feel sluggish, tired etc. But again, it's football not endurance, so it doesn't really matter. They'll be fine.
 
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dbn: yeah, I drove up Mauna Kea too a few years ago, sea level to visitors center for an hour to the summit, hiked the short ridge to the actual summit, watched sunset, drove back down. On the drive back down, I started getting tunnel vision, but was fine again after some stargazing at the visitors' center. Probably had a ~5% chance of driving off the road or passing out, though. Hypoxia is freaky yo. Point is, it doesn't take much athletic activity to be affected, just time spent in that air, breathing less oxygen.
 

Marciano490

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5200 feet doesn't even give a noticeable increase in RBC, even after a month. You increase in hematocrit, but that's mostly due to plasma levels and dehydration. Total hemoglobin mass doesn't start producing until about 7000 feet give or take.

The current research suggests going in 10 days before a competition or less than 24 hours. Not as big a deal for football vs. Endurance competition.

The worst time theoretically to travel up is between 2-7 days, which is what they're doing. Your EPO production goes crazy and you can feel sluggish, tired etc. But again, it's football not endurance, so it doesn't really matter. They'll be fine.
How is football not an endurance sport? Maybe not in the same was a soccer or long distance, but it's like running intervals over long periods of time, no? 5-10 seconds of max exertion with rest periods of varied length for between 3 and 10+ repetitions.
 

PedroKsBambino

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What? I'm responding to this:



Unless you are arguing that "concentration" does not equate to "mental lapse", I don't know what your argument is.

Edit: also, as I stated up-thread, Harper saw very limited activity that game, so I'm not sure how it would even be a physical issue, either, for that matter. He fucked up. It happens. It wasn't because the game was played at 5,200 feet.
Seems to me that actually neither you nor I knows for sure what was going on with Harper on that play, and I read you expressing certainty that is neither helpful or well-founded. Talking about probabilities and scenarios and evidence is a lot more helpful than making assumptions or pretending we know things that we simply cannot know, imo.

Just to illustrate the point, the studies cited in this thread suggest that on average, people tend not to have a physical reaction to that altitude for that length of time. I believe that to be true. And every one of those studies (and I suspect everyone here with medical, scientific, or statistical experience) will also acknowledge that the 'average' person described in those studies represents a wide range of individual reactions to different environmental factors, and that those individual responses can vary quite widely. So, that means that some (likely small) percentage of people will feel impacts at that altitude that most people do not. You saying "I didn't feel a reaction at 13,000 feet" is great for you---and doesn't actually tell us what Harper felt on that play, which is the topic here. He is different than you.

I have no reason to think Harper is one of those people with physical or other impacts from altitude; my personal belief is altitude didn't matter to that play. However, I am realistic that I don't know for sure, either.
 

ss s h h hh

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How is football not an endurance sport? Maybe not in the same was a soccer or long distance, but it's like running intervals over long periods of time, no? 5-10 seconds of max exertion with rest periods of varied length for between 3 and 10+ repetitions.
Aerobic endurance is defined in the situation we're talking about as being under the lactate threshold. They don't run long enough to have their legs fill with lactic acid faster than they get rid of it.

They're getting tired of course. And will even be breathing harder. But with the rest in between plays and especially when sitting on sideline they'll never approach a situation where they hit the wall. If they think they are it's mental.

So yes it is endurance, in a different way. But nothing that *should* affect performance in those short bursts.

Even in running. If you're doing short intervals. With the rest they're getting, you can do those intervals for awhile.
 

Marciano490

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So does altitude only have an effect on aerobic endurance and not anaerobic endurance?
 

j44thor

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Kind of hilarious that one team with injuries lists everyone as full participation while another team with injuries lists everyone as limited. It is a traveshamockery.
 

ss s h h hh

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So does altitude only have an effect on aerobic endurance and not anaerobic endurance?
No it affects both. The anaerobic is that oxygen depleted state which pools lactic acid. It's just, with the distance they're sprinting vs the rest they're getting, it doesn't really make a tangible difference. Does that make sense?

Doing 200s all out with 30 seconds rest? Now, that'll put you in a dangerous place. 10-40 yards. Not so much.
 

Marciano490

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No it affects both. The anaerobic is that oxygen depleted state which pools lactic acid. It's just, with the distance they're sprinting vs the rest they're getting, it doesn't really make a tangible difference. Does that make sense?

Doing 200s all out with 30 seconds rest? Now, that'll put you in a dangerous place. 10-40 yards. Not so much.
Even for the 300 pounders? Sorry for the sidetrack, this is all interesting to me.
 

lithos2003

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Even for the 300 pounders? Sorry for the sidetrack, this is all interesting to me.
No one seems to be mentioning that we see shots of players getting oxygen all the time on the sidelines in Denver. Wouldn't that also combat some/most of these effects?
 

ss s h h hh

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No one seems to be mentioning that we see shots of players getting oxygen all the time on the sidelines in Denver. Wouldn't that also combat some/most of these effects?
Not really because the moment you stop using it you're quickly back to square one. The oxygen just isn't accessible to the lungs because of the pressure.
 

Toe Nash

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It's not even that simple, because the Patriots quick passing offense is also unusually good at neutralizing pass rush pressure. If the Broncos secondary can't keep everyone locked down for at least two seconds, the pass rush is going to be irrelevant.

I'm sure this isn't a new idea, but Barnwell's article makes me think that this quick passing offense may have been deliberately developed as a counter to the kinds of defenses that have given the Patriots fits in the past. This team isn't as dominant or talented as the 2007 squad, but they would have been far harder for the 2007 Giants to shut down.
Even in that game, they finally started to move the ball once they stopped running the long-developing routes and started going with quick screens and slants. Why it took McDaniels three and a half quarters to adjust I'll never know. They had Wes fucking Welker in his prime and Kevin Faulk (and Moss was decent across the middle too).