Patriots-Bills Discussion

RedOctober3829

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This boils down to a de facto AFC East championship game. Whoever wins controls their own destiny against a relatively easy last couple games on their respective schedules. The Patriots have a lot of mental errors to fix in order to beat a good team. The Bills still aren't playing great football, but they are capable of beating anyone on any given day given their vast talent in the passing game and a really good defense.

1:00 pm
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Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn

View: https://twitter.com/footballzebras/status/1472971972321681411
 
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54thMA

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Everything is in front of them, right there for the taking; win Sunday and you clinch the AFC East, win the next two and you're locked in at the #2 seed, if you get some help from Pittsburg, the Bengals or the Broncos, you could grab the #1 seed.

Lose and they are in deep trouble, they'd need to win out as head to head is even, division record is next and the Patriots have two losses in the division, I think the Bills only have one, so that's that, they'd have to go on the road three times as a WC team.

We'll see which team shows up, the one that started 2-4 and returned to that team Saturday vs the Colts, or the one that ripped off seven wins in a row.

That loss Saturday night has been bothering me for two days, a winnable game that they blew, now their work is cut out for them.

I went from not really being worried about this game to extremely concerned.
 

Cotillion

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Pats might need to start using more ways to punish teams that are starting to run blitz through the holes left by the pulling guards in a lot of the misdirection plays the Pats like to run.

In addition to just getting their focus back to where it needs to be. The Indy game was inexcusable bad focus for long stretches.
 

joe dokes

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Everything is in front of them, right there for the taking; win Sunday and you clinch the AFC East, win the next two and you're locked in at the #2 seed, if you get some help from Pittsburg, the Bengals or the Broncos, you could grab the #1 seed.

Lose and they are in deep trouble, they'd need to win out as head to head is even, division record is next and the Patriots have two losses in the division, I think the Bills only have one, so that's that, they'd have to go on the road three times as a WC team.

We'll see which team shows up, the one that started 2-4 and returned to that team Saturday vs the Colts, or the one that ripped off seven wins in a row.

That loss Saturday night has been bothering me for two days, a winnable game that they blew, now their work is cut out for them.

I went from not really being worried about this game to extremely concerned.
Saturday left me with the opposite feeling.
I think what ultimately sunk the Patriots Saturday were the kinds of things that are much, much closer to one-offs than systemic issues. Onwenu was a star of the game just 2 weeks ago; Brandon King is a core special teamer who doesn't usually fuck up like that; Meyers had what might be his first bad game. Jones had a tough night, but at the same time, he was making plays til the end. It sucked, and there were "inexcusable" (what ever that means coming from the internet) errors, but I just dont see those errors as an indication of anything terribly worrisome. And I think it's unlikely that they make *that* many of them in the same game again.
Buffalo is a good team, and might win. And this Patriot team might not have a big margin for error against good teams. But Saturday wasnt some harbinger or blueprint or whatever the Colts want people to think it is.
 

E5 Yaz

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Pats are probably destined for the 5 seed if they lose.
What's interesting about that is, as it stands, the 5-seed could very well its first round game at the AFC North winner, and none of those teams are all that overwhelming
 

tims4wins

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Saturday left me with the opposite feeling.
I think what ultimately sunk the Patriots Saturday were the kinds of things that are much, much closer to one-offs than systemic issues. Onwenu was a star of the game just 2 weeks ago; Brandon King is a core special teamer who doesn't usually fuck up like that; Meyers had what might be his first bad game. Jones had a tough night, but at the same time, he was making plays til the end. It sucked, and there were "inexcusable" (what ever that means coming from the internet) errors, but I just dont see those errors as an indication of anything terribly worrisome. And I think it's unlikely that they make *that* many of them in the same game again.
Buffalo is a good team, and might win. And this Patriot team might not have a big margin for error against good teams. But Saturday wasnt some harbinger or blueprint or whatever the Colts want people to think it is.
Agree with 95-99% of this, with the exception being special teams. The ST sucked in the first 4-6 weeks; stabilized very nicely for a while; and sucked Saturday night, plus the Harry muff from the Buffalo game. In addition to having their 3rd (!!) blocked punt of the season (note: 3 total blocked punts from 2010-2020), they had the dumb offsides on the FG miss, and Gunner also fumbled the first punt. They won't win a single playoff game if the special teams play like that, and it is hard to call it just a one-off when there has been a lot of it this year. Maybe they just need to refocus, but if there is one glaring concern after Saturday, it's that area.
 

mikeford

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What's interesting about that is, as it stands, the 5-seed could very well its first round game at the AFC North winner, and none of those teams are all that overwhelming
That's true but I think that team ends up being Baltimore and I would rather just never play that team in the playoffs again if it can be helped.
 

E5 Yaz

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Agree with 95-99% of this, with the exception being special teams. The ST sucked in the first 4-6 weeks; stabilized very nicely for a while; and sucked Saturday night, plus the Harry muff from the Buffalo game. In addition to having their 3rd (!!) blocked punt of the season (note: 3 total blocked punts from 2010-2020), they had the dumb offsides on the FG miss, and Gunner also fumbled the first punt. They won't win a single playoff game if the special teams play like that, and it is hard to call it just a one-off when there has been a lot of it this year. Maybe they just need to refocus, but if there is one glaring concern after Saturday, it's that area.
I've been thinking about the blocked punts. Are the blocks all coming from the same sort of rush, or is it some kind of scheme breakdown? The Colts player appeared untouched on his way through
 

joe dokes

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Agree with 95-99% of this, with the exception being special teams. The ST sucked in the first 4-6 weeks; stabilized very nicely for a while; and sucked Saturday night, plus the Harry muff from the Buffalo game. In addition to having their 3rd (!!) blocked punt of the season (note: 3 total blocked punts from 2010-2020), they had the dumb offsides on the FG miss, and Gunner also fumbled the first punt. They won't win a single playoff game if the special teams play like that, and it is hard to call it just a one-off when there has been a lot of it this year. Maybe they just need to refocus, but if there is one glaring concern after Saturday, it's that area.
Fair enough on the overall ST play. I didn't intentionally leave out the blocked punt, I think I just sort of....blocked it out. I still dont see King making that offside mistake again. Others better at this might know, but was there a commonality between the 3 blocked punts?
 

Mystic Merlin

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I've been thinking about the blocked punts. Are the blocks all coming from the same sort of rush, or is it some kind of scheme breakdown? The Colts player appeared untouched on his way through
I think the Dallas punt block was similar, in that the free rusher came from an inside gap, though on the opposite side.

View: https://youtu.be/EwmZVPRsG-k


The Saints rusher beat the far blocker on the left side, so not as similar.

https://www.neworleanssaints.com/video/andrew-dowell-punt-block-saints-patriots-week-3-highlights-2021-nfl

Given that different players made mistakes in all three scenarios, it’s hard to say what the root cause was, but the fact that the same kind of breakdown occurred in both the Dallas and IND examples potentially suggests a common cause in those two cases. Since nobody tried to block the free rusher (it did not seem to me that a blocker flat out missed the block after correctly diagnosing the assignment presnap), I think these are both attributable to mental errors, ie, the interior protection not being on the same page about their blocking assignments.

EDIT - I can’t find a clean replay from behind the punter, so happy to be corrected on my recollection of the Colts punt block.
 

Pandemonium67

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Reiss mentions the Rham fumble recovered by Jonnu, but Rham also fumbled earlier on the play where he ran into Wynn. The announcers didn't see it. Rham fell on it himself.

It's an issue he needs to work on.
 

jezza1918

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That is indeed the play and I don't see the fumble that I thought I saw Saturday. My bad!

But what a nice tackle by Wynn.
All good. I feel like I've seen elsewhere 2 fumbles by Stevenson? But not how the box score is reading. That said, it's still an issue and I really don't like the chances Sunday without Harris back out there. I think Bill and JMcD are would love to actually double down against the Bills and run the ball a ton...but this time with the threat of a passing attack given the weather looks fine.
 

54thMA

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The "missing Bentley" comments are interesting; he was getting killed here last year for being a dinosaur in todays NFL, ie, a big, slow linebacker, now all of a sudden he's a vital part of the defense.

It's funny how players improve/get better from year to year.

Coaching is so vital in the NFL, probably more so than any other professional sport.
 

tims4wins

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The Bills are coming into this game with EVERYTHING. Just get that sense. I didn't feel this way heading into the 2010 playoff game against the Jets, but in retrospect, this feels like a very similar vibe. Pats absolutely have to match that intensity and want-to. If possible even turn Buffalo's pent-up anger against them. The Pats were not very well prepared for the fight they were getting into on Saturday night. They damn well better be ready on Sunday, because you know the Bills will.
 

8slim

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The Bills are coming into this game with EVERYTHING. Just get that sense. I didn't feel this way heading into the 2010 playoff game against the Jets, but in retrospect, this feels like a very similar vibe. Pats absolutely have to match that intensity and want-to. If possible even turn Buffalo's pent-up anger against them. The Pats were not very well prepared for the fight they were getting into on Saturday night. They damn well better be ready on Sunday, because you know the Bills will.
Being at home should help a ton. The crowd is going to amped, and I expect the Pats to feed off of that considerably.
 

RG33

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The "missing Bentley" comments are interesting; he was getting killed here last year for being a dinosaur in todays NFL, ie, a big, slow linebacker, now all of a sudden he's a vital part of the defense.

It's funny how players improve/get better from year to year.

Coaching is so vital in the NFL, probably more so than any other professional sport.
Yep.

I’m looking forward to Hightower making a game-saving play in the AFCCG and everyone remembering how many big plays he has made for this team the last 7 years.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Mac and Slater admitting they practiced like crap stood out to me. It's December, or when the real NFL season begins. Dumb speculation, but wonder if having a bye in December screwed them up.
 

54thMA

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Yep.

I’m looking forward to Hightower making a game-saving play in the AFCCG and everyone remembering how many big plays he has made for this team the last 7 years.
But he whiffed on a tackle, he needs to be put out to pasture.
 
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Mac and Slater admitting they practiced like crap stood out to me. It's December, or when the real NFL season begins. Dumb speculation, but wonder if having a bye in December screwed them up.
I think it threw them off, for sure. They only regained themselves late in the third quarter. But 14 straight wins for a SB was always a stretch. No team in the league has been anywhere close to that good for that long this year. Six or seven weeks seems the most anyone can string together.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Under the current protocol this means those guys either have symptoms or are not vaccinated right? No longer testing vacced with no symptoms? Gotta get everyone to get that shot.
 

Zedia

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Yeah, bad week for Bourne to be on that list. Kristian Wilkerson will probably get called up with Agholor and Harry banged up.

Isaiah Zuber appears to be a street FA at the moment…
 

Zedia

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Under the current protocol this means those guys either have symptoms or are not vaccinated right? No longer testing vacced with no symptoms? Gotta get everyone to get that shot.
Not sure what‘s up with that, Kelce just tested positive and according the Schefter, he’s vaxxed. edit - yes, or they have symptoms.
 

BaseballJones

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So with the WR situation in major flux, what's next?

Harry - questionable (concussion)
Agholor - questionable (concussion)
Bourne - Covid protocol
- - -
Meyers
Gunner
Slater - haha
Tre Nixon - PS
Kristian Wilkerson - PS

I mean, that's THIN at WR. I actually think Wilkerson is decent. But this would be twice they'd play the Bills with Buffalo missing their all-world CB (White), and the Pats not really being able to take advantage of it.

I am worried about Harry - his absence would be big in the run game. I am optimistic on Agholor. He didn't seem tooooo bad on Saturday. Bourne seems like he's asymptomatic and hopefully will be cleared for the game. But if those three guys are out, man, that hampers the offense considerably.

That said, they beat the Bills throwing just three passes last time so who knows. I don't know if Buffalo has suddenly gotten better at stopping the run in the past week and a half. After giving up tons of yards while stacking 10 guys in the box on nearly every play against the Pats, they proceeded to give up 151 rushing yards to Carolina on just 29 attempts (5.2 y/a). So this is still a struggle for them, obviously.

The Pats hopefully can still run the ball well and then throw off play action to the TEs and Meyers.
 

Saints Rest

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So with the WR situation in major flux, what's next?

Harry - questionable (concussion)
Agholor - questionable (concussion)
Bourne - Covid protocol
- - -
Meyers
Gunner
Slater - haha
Tre Nixon - PS
Kristian Wilkerson - PS

I mean, that's THIN at WR. I actually think Wilkerson is decent. But this would be twice they'd play the Bills with Buffalo missing their all-world CB (White), and the Pats not really being able to take advantage of it.

I am worried about Harry - his absence would be big in the run game. I am optimistic on Agholor. He didn't seem tooooo bad on Saturday. Bourne seems like he's asymptomatic and hopefully will be cleared for the game. But if those three guys are out, man, that hampers the offense considerably.

That said, they beat the Bills throwing just three passes last time so who knows. I don't know if Buffalo has suddenly gotten better at stopping the run in the past week and a half. After giving up tons of yards while stacking 10 guys in the box on nearly every play against the Pats, they proceeded to give up 151 rushing yards to Carolina on just 29 attempts (5.2 y/a). So this is still a struggle for them, obviously.

The Pats hopefully can still run the ball well and then throw off play action to the TEs and Meyers.
Why do I think that Troy Brown would be more useful than anyone listed after Meyers?
 

tims4wins

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Why do we KNOW the Bills will be ready but are unsure of the Patriots?
They are seething from the last loss and super hungry. I expect the Patriots to also come out pissed off after the Indy loss. But I wasn't really talking about being "ready" in terms of being prepared - I absolutely know the Patriots will be prepared from a game plan perspective, and focus perspective. I meant ready more from the angle that the game is likely to be very emotional and physical and they need to be able to match Buffalo on both levels. Does that make more sense?
 

m0ckduck

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How do we know Beasley wasn’t vaccinated?
Because Cole Beasley doesn’t understand probability, and had been pretty outspoken as of Oct 4: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/amp/nfl/news/cole-beasley-vaccine-tweets-nfl-covid-rules-bills/104v6uqz6z2zm1awjbmbvojjq3

It would be a striking u-turn if he’d quietly gotten vaccinated after making all those comments.

edit: representative Beasley tweet on the subject:

Everyone gives me the 98 percent of people who are vaccinated don’t get covid again. The odds of me getting in the NFL and playing for 10 years are lower than that and I’m here.
 
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McBride11

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