Pats defense: Ongoing discussion

lexrageorge

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Taking a closer look at the run defense against the Jets, by drive (* means first down), ignoring sacks and the one kneel down.

#1: 8 yard run from Jets 8. It will be interesting to see what D the Pats were playing there.

#2: 13 yard run from Jets 40. Again, it will be interesting to see the formation, but fortunately no harm done.

#3: Runs of 3, 6, 1*, 3, 7 (rz), 3, (rz), 3, (rz), -1 (rz). First real drive by the Jets. 8 carries, 3.1 ypc. But the run game was effective in this drive until the red zone.

#4: 17, 5, 1. Not good, but the 3rd INT ended the drive.

#5: 3, 4. The 4 yard run set up 3rd-and-3, but an incompletion followed.

#6: 4*, 6 (negated by offensive penalty), 10 (defensive penalty tacked on to end), -3. Drive ends with INT #4.

#7: 4, -2, 10*, 17, 3, NG. 6.4 ypc. But the D did get a key sack to force a missed FG.

#8: Down 22-3, the Jets turn entirely to the air. Surprised that they didn't try to run at 4th-and-2; questionable call by the coaching staff.

#9: NG, 4, 14, 11, 2 (rz). Another unsightly set of running numbers, although again a sack forced a FG attempt, which was good.

No run attempts in the final 2 desperation drives.

Outside the red zone, the defense gave up 140 yards in 24 carries, for an unsightly 5.8 ypc and 3 first downs. Inside the red zone, the D was better: 2.8 ypc, and no TD's or first downs. But there is a sample size issue there with only 5 attempts. I'm not jet willing to say "Houston, we have a problem", but we do have something worth watching.
 

Cellar-Door

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EPA has this as the 3rd best defense in the league:
View: https://twitter.com/benbbaldwin/status/1439772334072602624/photo/1


I also was thinking about something Collinsworth said last night (the rare interesting point from him):
To a certain extent you want teams to run against you in the modern NFL, you'd much rather be good against the pass than the run.

The tackling needs to be better, but I don't think this defense needs to be that much better against the run to be a really good defense
 

Super Nomario

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A full 1/3 (71 / 210) of Zach Wilson's passing yards yesterday was on the final drive, in the garbageist of garbage time. The pass D was excellent.
 

SMU_Sox

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I am booked tonight but I think it might be cool to look at the all-22 together as a board. Might be a nice Friday evening thing? A buddy of mine has a source for it - I plan to download the Pats Jets game tonight. Maybe look at Pats Jets and a little of NO? I was thinking Friday after dinner so maybe 8pm eastern? We could zoom it… any takers for Friday? Specifically I want to look at the run defense against the Jets and also look at what the Saints do defensively. Let’s democratize the knowledge. That’s how I learned - I listened to guys who studied the tape then applied what I learned to watching it myself. It can be a big group or as small as me and one other person. You don’t have to chat during it, lurkers are welcome.
 

tmracht

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If y'all are still going after the baby sleeps absofreakinglutely.
 

Rowdy

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I am booked tonight but I think it might be cool to look at the all-22 together as a board. Might be a nice Friday evening thing? A buddy of mine has a source for it - I plan to download the Pats Jets game tonight. Maybe look at Pats Jets and a little of NO? I was thinking Friday after dinner so maybe 8pm eastern? We could zoom it… any takers for Friday? Specifically I want to look at the run defense against the Jets and also look at what the Saints do defensively. Let’s democratize the knowledge. That’s how I learned - I listened to guys who studied the tape then applied what I learned to watching it myself. It can be a big group or as small as me and one other person. You don’t have to chat during it, lurkers are welcome.
I’d be interested. Please let me know the details. Thanks!
 

SMU_Sox

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Finished the first half of the game. I think their biggest issues were on some of the runs Godchaux got his ass kicked and Bower couldn’t set the edge. They ran at Bower and pushed him around. Godchaux also got washed too easily on double teams. It’s a hard thing to do but you can’t just let guys completely take you out of a play and recover enough to then make blocks on LBs and second level defenders. Bower’s issue was that he couldn’t set the edge well. Godchaux did rebound a bit and they rotated Anderson and Wise instead of Bower. None of the other run issues had themes - you’d see guys lose a 1:1 or be out of position slightly or miss a tackle but nothing consistent.

On the positive side of the ledger, Barmore looked great. He’s playing the run with more discipline than he had at Bama. He’s also incredibly disruptive. Bentley is really good coming downhill against a single gap. If the DLs funnel runs to him he blows them up. Phillips is a machine. He’s just so good at every aspect of the job. Mills also looked good including in run support. I’m moderately worried about their DL and being able to win consistently 1:1 at certain positions but there is a lot to like with other players and positions especially in this first half.
 

tims4wins

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Finished the first half of the game. I think their biggest issues were on some of the runs Godchaux got his ass kicked and Bower couldn’t set the edge. They ran at Bower and pushed him around. Godchaux also got washed too easily on double teams. It’s a hard thing to do but you can’t just let guys completely take you out of a play and recover enough to then make blocks on LBs and second level defenders. Bower’s issue was that he couldn’t set the edge well. Godchaux did rebound a bit and they rotated Anderson and Wise instead of Bower. None of the other run issues had themes - you’d see guys lose a 1:1 or be out of position slightly or miss a tackle but nothing consistent.

On the positive side of the ledger, Barmore looked great. He’s playing the run with more discipline than he had at Bama. He’s also incredibly disruptive. Bentley is really good coming downhill against a single gap. If the DLs funnel runs to him he blows them up. Phillips is a machine. He’s just so good at every aspect of the job. Mills also looked good including in run support. I’m moderately worried about their DL and being able to win consistently 1:1 at certain positions but there is a lot to like with other players and positions especially in this first half.
Barmore:

View: https://twitter.com/philaperry/status/1440501391961649158?s=21
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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EPA has this as the 3rd best defense in the league:
View: https://twitter.com/benbbaldwin/status/1439772334072602624/photo/1


I also was thinking about something Collinsworth said last night (the rare interesting point from him):
To a certain extent you want teams to run against you in the modern NFL, you'd much rather be good against the pass than the run.

The tackling needs to be better, but I don't think this defense needs to be that much better against the run to be a really good defense
I've been touting this defense since before the season kicked off, but Im gonna wait until they play offenses that arent bottom 10 before picking up what EPA is putting down.

That's just such a fundamentally beautiful one on one. Leverage, footwork, keeping separation, explosion off of the block.

Hes going to start consistently demanding double teams very soon.
 

Bowhemian

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SMU_Sox

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That’s hilarious. I knew it was only a matter of time before you found my protege. He lives in the basement and we feed him tape which both fuels him and makes him stronger. He was genetically created in a lab to do two things: be hip with lingo and process football. Side note though my buddy showed me VLC which will let me make my own cutups so that’s good.
 

Mystic Merlin

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They could barely fit his prorated salary under the cap if they trade for him without offloading salary in turn. Is he really worth blowing their in-season cap cushion? I say no.

I’d call their bluff and see if DET ultimately cuts him so the Pats can pursue a cheaper deal.
 

DourDoerr

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On the plays where I focussed on him, I didn't see him shed a block. Almost felt like he was going through the motions, or, at the least, was uninspired. Without a better idea of where his head is at and how that might've affected his play, I wouldn't think the player I saw would be an upgrade - especially given cap, trade considerations.
 

lexrageorge

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Collins faded badly in the 2nd half of the 2019 season here, and is 2 years older. Caveat emptor.
 

Saints Rest

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Good, solid take here from Evan Lazar about Uche’s dynamic play and limited usage thus far:

https://www.clnsmedia.com/lazar-heres-why-patriots-lb-josh-uche-is-only-playing-40-of-the-defensive-snaps/
Agreed. Good analysis by Lazar.

On the first clip (the two sacks in the Jets game),focusing just on Uche, the secondly looks like an instant replay of the first.

OTOH, those two running plays were embarrassing. Really points up the similarities btw Uche and Wino, made more interesting as they are both UMich products.
 

Captaincoop

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One play that jumped out at me from a defensive coaching/execution standpoint was when NO had a very short third down in the first half, and the Pats loaded up the box to stuff a potential run. Meanwhile, Mills gave the outside receiver a 7ish-yard cushion and allowed a nice, easy slant pass for a first down.

How does that happen - are they playing it that way intentionally? Is it a mental error by Mills?

It felt like the same stuff was happening in the Dolphins game on projected running downs.
 

SMU_Sox

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The thought there I think is if they ran a vertical route and booted Bridgewater outside to that side you want someone with depth on the receiver if they try and take a chunk play and fool you. However by not pressing him with Mills you then risk exactly what happened, an easy quick slant for the first.
 

Cotillion

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Apparently the Pats had 10 men on the field for the Hill TD run in the 4th quarter. Good grief. We've become what we once mocked.
This is the stuff that I find unfathomable... there is a ton of mental mistakes and penalties we just aren't used to seeing this team commit except rarely... yet this year you can point to at least 3-4 minimum every game where they just have bizarre mental lapses.
 

BaseballJones

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Through four games, the Pats have allowed:

- 17.5 points a game (against teams that average 21.0 points outside of their NE games)
- 306.8 yards a game

And they've done this without generating crazy amounts of turnovers. Four in one game (vs NYJ) but only 1 in the other 3 games combined.
 

BigSoxFan

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Through four games, the Pats have allowed:

- 17.5 points a game (against teams that average 21.0 points outside of their NE games)
- 306.8 yards a game

And they've done this without generating crazy amounts of turnovers. Four in one game (vs NYJ) but only 1 in the other 3 games combined.
And without Gilmore too. This unit has done its job.
 

BigSoxFan

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The PFF grades this week should be interesting. I don't remember Hightower being in on a single play last night.
Yeah, I remember him getting steamrolled by Fournette and then getting up gingerly. And I remember Van Noy for basically all negative plays but curious about how the experts saw it. Our LBs are so damn slow.
 

Cellar-Door

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I feel like this pass D is really good. The run D is not. But if I were picking one, I'd much rather have a good pass D than a good run D in today's NFL, I mean they gave our not good offense a real shot to beat one of the best offenses in the league.
 

Jimbodandy

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JC didn't have the best game last weekend either. Secondary is suddenly a fucking question mark. Thank Buddha that Judon is single-handedly giving opposing QBs nightmares.
 

NickEsasky

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JC didn't have the best game last weekend either. Secondary is suddenly a fucking question mark. Thank Buddha that Judon is single-handedly giving opposing QBs nightmares.
He certainly didn't, but the "help" he got from McCourty twice selling out for INTs he couldn't make makes his numbers look worse.
 

Captaincoop

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It's hard to remember McCourty playing a game like that in recent years. Hopefully a blip and he bounces back against Dallas. We definitely need more of the Tampa effort from the whole secondary than what we saw in Houston, or this will be ugly.
 

SMU_Sox

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No all-22 but JJW was easily their worst player on defense. First the positives: he is a willing helper in run support and does well there. That's it for the positives. They used him in off-man a lot and he just got roasted. On one of the pick receptions early on JJW is in the slot in off-man. Receiver uses a jab step to the left, JJW bites, the receiver quickly cuts to the right and works upfield and JJW is yards behind him. I think DMC came from center field and went for the INT instead of the tackle but either way he had a ton of grass to cover and I put that on JJW getting scorched. The JJW experiment is going to come to an end because he can't do anything but press-man and no defense is going to be press-man anywhere near 100% of the time. Their defensive line was really good.

Defensive line was often 4-3 kind of look where they used Judon - Godchaux - Guy - Wise. Or Judon Barmore Guy Wise. Wise is having a great year so far. He stood out in this game. All of their DL stood out though and hat tip to Judon who has been a beast this entire season. I think the DL is a strength of the team and they are one dynamic big DT who can handle NT duties away from being top notch.
 

RedOctober3829

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No all-22 but JJW was easily their worst player on defense. First the positives: he is a willing helper in run support and does well there. That's it for the positives. They used him in off-man a lot and he just got roasted. On one of the pick receptions early on JJW is in the slot in off-man. Receiver uses a jab step to the left, JJW bites, the receiver quickly cuts to the right and works upfield and JJW is yards behind him. I think DMC came from center field and went for the INT instead of the tackle but either way he had a ton of grass to cover and I put that on JJW getting scorched. The JJW experiment is going to come to an end because he can't do anything but press-man and no defense is going to be press-man anywhere near 100% of the time. Their defensive line was really good.

Defensive line was often 4-3 kind of look where they used Judon - Godchaux - Guy - Wise. Or Judon Barmore Guy Wise. Wise is having a great year so far. He stood out in this game. All of their DL stood out though and hat tip to Judon who has been a beast this entire season. I think the DL is a strength of the team and they are one dynamic big DT who can handle NT duties away from being top notch.
Do you think they are one athletic linebacker away from being a top-10 defense? When the secondary is right, they are good. DL has been really good lately. Their LB's have been pretty good against the run. They just don't have a quality coverage LB.
 

SMU_Sox

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Do you think they are one athletic linebacker away from being a top-10 defense? When the secondary is right, they are good. DL has been really good lately. Their LB's have been pretty good against the run. They just don't have a quality coverage LB.
They could use a unicorn there... a 240 pound guy who moves like he is 220 and takes on OL like he is 250. I thought Uche was that guy or would be that guy. Bentley is fantastic against the run but he can't cover. I think when everyone is healthy even without that ILB this is a borderline top 10 kind of unit. Cam McGrone IMO can also be that guy but his coverage skills coming out were... well let's just leave it as a work in progress. He has the speed to cover sideline to sideline. With High a FA and someone who gets a lot of OLB looks I think they need another ILB.
 

Willie Clay's Big Play

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View: https://twitter.com/SethWalder/status/1448391245563301892?s=20

This is really interesting and maybe promising regarding Barmore? His double team rate is incredibly high. Is this due to a lack of a running mate at DT or is he flashing enough on film that he’s already being looked for as teams are setting their protections? On the flip side, you’d like to see his win rate increase as the season progresses.
 

Captaincoop

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They could use a unicorn there... a 240 pound guy who moves like he is 220 and takes on OL like he is 250. I thought Uche was that guy or would be that guy. Bentley is fantastic against the run but he can't cover. I think when everyone is healthy even without that ILB this is a borderline top 10 kind of unit. Cam McGrone IMO can also be that guy but his coverage skills coming out were... well let's just leave it as a work in progress. He has the speed to cover sideline to sideline. With High a FA and someone who gets a lot of OLB looks I think they need another ILB.
So we're just one Lawrence Taylor away from being good...