SHOWDOWN ON MNF: Pats vs. Bills pregame thread

pokey_reese

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
16,339
Boston, MA
Yeah, I would have to think it places some extra importance on the first drive by each team. I was reading some stuff about the Bills being a momentum/front-running team today (can't remember if it was FO or ESPN), but the Pats getting any points on the first drive, and/or forcing a punt or turnover on defense in the Bills first series, would really go a long way towards quieting the crowd a bit hopefully, which will be important for Mac trying to set protections at the LOS.
 

loshjott

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2004
15,027
Silver Spring, MD
I think this being the last game before the bye will be a bit of a net negative also. I can see some "look ahead" letdown from Mac and some of the other young players after 12 high pressure games in a row. I know the coaching staff will try not to let that happen during this week's practice but I think it's human nature to be looking ahead to a mini vacation.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
47,450
I think the Pats lose on MNF, perhaps convincingly, so I would take the split to help lock in a playoff bid. This team ain’t winning a SB this year so I just want guaranteed mid-January football. But I respect the counter argument presented above as well.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,418
Hingham, MA
I think this being the last game before the bye will be a bit of a net negative also. I can see some "look ahead" letdown from Mac and some of the other young players after 12 high pressure games in a row. I know the coaching staff will try not to let that happen during this week's practice but I think it's human nature to be looking ahead to a mini vacation.
Counter-point: in addition to this being a huge game, they did just come off a mini-bye where they had an entire weekend off. So it's not like they've been slogging for 5 straight months without a break
 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
8,476
Philly
The path to the SB is as wide open as it’s going to get. Push this year. No deals, try to get some home playoff games.
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
19,523
I think this being the last game before the bye will be a bit of a net negative also. I can see some "look ahead" letdown from Mac and some of the other young players after 12 high pressure games in a row. I know the coaching staff will try not to let that happen during this week's practice but I think it's human nature to be looking ahead to a mini vacation.
If Mac is looking forward to a Bye and a nice week off and looks past this that’s a nightmare red flag for his future. Mac doesn’t seem to be looking past it.

View: https://twitter.com/MikeGiardi/status/1466123446463520769
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,702
deep inside Guido territory
Nobody is looking forward to the bye week in that locker room and in that organization. The coaching staff will not let them and I would hope that they are relishing this opportunity on a big stage. If any players are looking forward to a bye week this week, well Foxboro isn't the place for you.
 

E5 Yaz

polka king
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
91,058
Oregon
Yeah, I would have to think it places some extra importance on the first drive by each team. I was reading some stuff about the Bills being a momentum/front-running team today (can't remember if it was FO or ESPN), but the Pats getting any points on the first drive, and/or forcing a punt or turnover on defense in the Bills first series, would really go a long way towards quieting the crowd a bit hopefully, which will be important for Mac trying to set protections at the LOS.
If the Patriots win the toss, do you take the ball .... just for this reason?

Inclement weather and the chance to keep the Bills offense sitting for a bit, if it results in points, would clearly be optimal.

The downside, obviously, is a three-and-out and having to kick off in the second half
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Does the Colts game, where Jonathan Taylor ran roughshod over the Bills a sign of an Achilles heel in the Bills' D? Do the Pats come out with 6 O-Linemen and try to play bully ball all day? Or do they go 5-wide and try to take advantage of the Bills' secondary minus Tre-Davious White?
 

88 MVP

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 25, 2007
544
WNY
The phrasing is weird if Dugger tested positive himself. Is "awaiting more information on a possible COVID-19-related situation" code for "Dugger is unvaccinated and we're trying to determine if he qualifies as a close contact of someone who tested positive"?
 
Last edited:

Soxy

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2008
6,095
Does the Colts game, where Jonathan Taylor ran roughshod over the Bills a sign of an Achilles heel in the Bills' D? Do the Pats come out with 6 O-Linemen and try to play bully ball all day? Or do they go 5-wide and try to take advantage of the Bills' secondary minus Tre-Davious White?
Much more likely to be the former than the latter, I would think. I said it in a different thread, but Indy really just bludgeoned the Bills to death, and I would expect the Pats to try and do the same.

The Dugger news is concerning as that would be a sizable loss. Him and Phillips are basically the queens on the defensive chess board.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts way less than 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
14,535
You guys talking about sweeping the Bills are nuts. I'm just ecstatic that we have meaningful December football this year. The rest is gravy.
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
15,883
The phrasing is weird if Dugger tested positive himself. Is "awaiting more information on a possible COVID-19-related situation" code for "Dugger is unvaccinated and we're trying to determine if he qualifies as a close contact of someone who tested positive"?
Could be rapid test was + and they are waiting on the definitive PCR test
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,418
Hingham, MA
You guys talking about sweeping the Bills are nuts. I'm just ecstatic that we have meaningful December football this year. The rest is gravy.
At 2-4 the discussion was nuts. Given how the last six weeks have played out, it's not really crazy any more. But first, win Monday.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,702
deep inside Guido territory
View: https://twitter.com/fieldyates/status/1466158943605084173?s=21


Best to assume the Pats won’t have Dugger for Monday’s game. It’s possible, if he is vaccinated, that he could get the requisite two negative tests within 48 hours of each other and be asymptomatic by Monday, but those are a lot of ifs.
So that may shift a lot of his responsibilities to Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade may see time at slot corner. It's possible that Adrian Phillips plays a bit of corner as he's done in the past. It would be a huge loss.
 

Chance17

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2003
883
If the God of football descended upon you and offered a guaranteed split of the two Bills-Pats games would you take it?
If the God of football offered a sweep of Buffalo in exchange for a guaranteed loss vs Indy I'd take that (does the God of football consider counteroffers?).
I think most of us wouldn't take the first offer (likely playoffs, unlikely home game(s)), but but would jump at the second one (division basically locked up, even a chance at the #1 seed).

What if the offer was the second one (sweep Bills, lose to Indy), and a guarantee that we would not get the #1 seed (e.g. goes to BAL or KC)? Do you still take it to get at least the one home game in the playoffs, or swing for the fences so you get the chance for a bye? I think I'm with @Red Averages -- still decline the offer and take ours chances. A chance at a bye just seems so huge.

*By hostile road crowd, I mean 80,000 absolutely frenzied, started drinking at 2pm, wild-ass fans whose team finally clawed itself back to the top of the division after 20 seasons of futility while concurrently being the Patriots chew toy desperately hoping that doesn't revert back after one fleeting season hostile road crowd.
I pictured this scene while reading that:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx5x_pgUKPk
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,046
Philly
Re White vs Dugger: Given that Knox is one of Allen’s weapons and is hard to cover it IS closer than you’d think. Oh it’s still White and that was never in doubt but not sure the need to dunk on Dugger who is having a fine year 2 and the only year 2 guy to make the leap.
Offensively my main worry I have is the Buffalo pass rush. On paper and with previous games the Pats should be able to push their DL around. And that also goes for the Patriots DL vs the Bills OL. Offensively they’ve used a lot of 11 and 21 lately and have gone away from 12. I don’t like the Henry Milano potential matchup. Defensively Buffalo likes to rush 4 and sit back in zone. Without White they don’t have a lot of man corners. Buffalo should be fairly predictable on defense. I want to see how often they use DB blitzes and if this is the week that the Patriots finally execute and block them. This seems like a Bourne and Meyers week picking apart their zone. I could also see them having success running it through them like the Colts did. It’s going to come down to execution though which is boring but true - and they’ve been inconsistent.
Defensively I think the Pats play a lot of split safety and zone like they did against the Chargers, get pressure on Allen with 4, and force him to make good and accurate decisions. He hasn’t been great with that this year. When you don’t have to be afraid of a credible running threat and run blocking you can sit back more and be patient.
As weird as it sounds I’m more worried about the Colts from a schematic perspective on offense and defense than Buffalo.
I think if it’s a relatively normal game with turnovers and execution the Pats edge the Bills out.
 

Red Averages

owes you $50
SoSH Member
Apr 20, 2003
9,250
@SMU_Sox do you see any potential for the Patriots to run out the 6 OL heavy offense, run the ball until they stop it approach, with play action to the TE when not blocking? Or is that doing the Bills a favor?
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,046
Philly
@SMU_Sox do you see any potential for the Patriots to run out the 6 OL heavy offense, run the ball until they stop it approach, with play action to the TE when not blocking? Or is that doing the Bills a favor?
@Big McCorkle had that idea in a different thread/medium. It really depends on the rest of the personnel. You are telegraphing run so you’re likely to get a lot of base looks. If you go 10 but with an extra OL you will likely see them counter with base. Now if you want to run it’s still a 7or 8 on 6 and if you pass you get one mismatch with a safety on a WR and an LB on the RB. But one of those LBs is Milano and their safeties are good so it’s not a huge advantage. You don’t get different kinds of blocks and blocking angles vs having a fullback. Now if they counter with nickel you might be able to ram it down their throat.
I like the idea of 6OL + 20 though. Fullback with 6 OL you’d get base but they likely counter single high and then you can max protect and hope to high/low the deep safety. Play action works. The thing I like with the fullback is it gives you more ways to create even or better blocking on one side of the field.
Ultimately though I don’t know if 6OL is that important when you can run in 11 fine with Jonnu and you at least have a passing option with Jonnu. They used a lot of heavier personnel against the Cowboys early on and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that instead of 6 OL. The marginal benefit of that 6th OL as a run blocker vs having a credible passing threat usually tilts the scale towards having a tight end. I could see them using hurry up with a sixth OL if they caught the Bills in a 3 corner nickel though - just don’t think it can be a focal point of attack. We will see.
I think it’s more likely they run more out of 21 and 11 vs with a sixth OL and I wonder if they shift back to more 12, 21, 22 on chunks of drives. We will see. Onwenu is such a force whenever he is used as a 6th OL so I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
 

Soxy

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2008
6,095
As weird as it sounds I’m more worried about the Colts from a schematic perspective on offense and defense than Buffalo.
I think if it’s a relatively normal game with turnovers and execution the Pats edge the Bills out.
Agree 100%. I think the Colts can match the physicality of the Pats in a way that I’m not sure Buffalo is capable of. Looking ahead a couple weeks, that’s the game to maybe see Mac spread them out and throw it all over the place, but that’s also not really what the Pats want to do, generally speaking.

Cross that bridge when we get there, I suppose.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,702
deep inside Guido territory
How close do you think it is
Given how Dugger is all over the place in the defense from covering TE's, playing linebacker in dime, and helping out in other aspects of coverage I'd say he's going to be greatly missed. He plays over 80% of the defensive snaps and 35% of the ST snaps and leads the team in tackles. Much like White for Buffalo, there's not a player on the roster that can duplicate what Dugger does. In fact, I'd say it's a bigger loss to not have Dugger than it is for Buffalo not to have White.
 

BusRaker

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 11, 2006
2,382
I imagine Bills have more depth mentally at the responsibilities of a cornerback than the Pats have with Dugger as a defensive Swiss Army knife. Who is Dugger's direct replacement or will it vary upon the down type (for example different replacement for obvious passing downs versus others)?
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,046
Philly
Dugger’s direct replacement is Phillips but that’s a bit misleading because their base is usually big nickel with DMC, Phillips, and Dugger. Bryant might replace him but he’s been doing more slot duty. Maybe Davis but he’s best as just a STer.
Still don’t think Dugger is a bigger loss though because White is an elite corner and while losing a very good versatile safety is painful Buffalo isn’t swimming in corner depth and I’d place a higher value on the corner. In this game because we don’t have to worry as much about Buffalo’s rushing attack and because Milano is going to take the tight end in coverage the Patriots WRs are more important. Now Buffalo lost their best corner whose duty it would be to cover one of those WRs. I love Dugger. I think he’s on track to be a future pro bowler but right now the bigger loss is White.
 

BusRaker

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 11, 2006
2,382
Dugger’s direct replacement is Phillips but that’s a bit misleading because their base is usually big nickel with DMC, Phillips, and Dugger. Bryant might replace him but he’s been doing more slot duty. Maybe Davis but he’s best as just a STer.
Still don’t think Dugger is a bigger loss though because White is an elite corner and while losing a very good versatile safety is painful Buffalo isn’t swimming in corner depth and I’d place a higher value on the corner. In this game because we don’t have to worry as much about Buffalo’s rushing attack and because Milano is going to take the tight end in coverage the Patriots WRs are more important. Now Buffalo lost their best corner whose duty it would be to cover one of those WRs. I love Dugger. I think he’s on track to be a future pro bowler but right now the bigger loss is White.
Thanks for this. I'll be curious at how Mini-Bill handles Dugger's absence (he still has a chance to play I believe) by either continuing with the three safety look or adding a coverage linebacker. I would hate to see Knox tear our defense apart.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
11,783
around the way
Feels like the rest of the season is going to be heavily influenced by COVID unfortunately. Maybe more than last season.
It's frustrating AF to still be dealing with this, but we were having this run through teams last year, games rescheduled, etc. Now most are vaccinated, so you see a guy here and there. And often, they miss a couple of days of practice and are back after clean tests. It'll get worse than it is now maybe, but nobody at all was vaccinated last year unless you were in a phase 3 trial. The vaccine has an effect on preventing wider outbreaks at least, although obviously not foolproof.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
13,653
Santa Monica, CA
It's frustrating AF to still be dealing with this, but we were having this run through teams last year, games rescheduled, etc. Now most are vaccinated, so you see a guy here and there. And often, they miss a couple of days of practice and are back after clean tests. It'll get worse than it is now maybe, but nobody at all was vaccinated last year unless you were in a phase 3 trial. The vaccine has an effect on preventing wider outbreaks at least, although obviously not foolproof.
The vaccinations have also led to lower testing frequency, which in and of itself probably means less asymptomatic positive tests stopping players from playing.

I can't imagine this season being more affected than last season, even with the recent uptick in cases.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,702
deep inside Guido territory
The vaccinations have also led to lower testing frequency, which in and of itself probably means less asymptomatic positive tests stopping players from playing.

I can't imagine this season being more affected than last season, even with the recent uptick in cases.
Yes, this season overall there's been less testing but this week they ramped up testing because of the Thanksgiving holiday. So there has been more positives this week most likely to more testing.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
42,267
The Bills can be run on, if McDermott doesn't change his ways.

When Derrick Henry ran all over them earlier this season, they had 8 men in the box something like 3% of the time. If you eliminate that game, Henry faced 8 men in the box something like 35% of the time he was in the game this season.

IIRC, The numbers were almost the same when Jonathan Taylor ran all over them. McDermott just didn't change it up, as he watched his team get gashed over and over again.

So one of the things I'm going to watch tonight is what Mac does if/when the Bills put 8 in the box. Does he audible out to a pass? Or when they have less than 8 in the box, does he audible into runs? Should be something enjoyable to keep an eye on.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
24,979
As important as arm strength is in the wind, as important is the ability to throw a tight spiral. Anything besides a tight spiral will get eaten up by the wind. Fortunately, Mac throws a good ball.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,046
Philly
Very curious to see how Mac's footballs look throwing into wind. I am not nearly as optimistic as @BaseballJones but I think they do a lot of shorter passing and a heavier run-pass mix. They have been throwing it deeper the last 5-6 weeks but tonight would think a lot more quick game stuff and 10-15 yards intermediate vs the 15-20 yards shots they have been mixing in. Also expect a lot of 21 especially if the Bills can't stop the run.
 

pokey_reese

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
16,339
Boston, MA
This feels like one of those games where weird stuff is going to happen, and the wind will make luck a much bigger factor than normal. Someone is going to try and float a little screen pass that only has to go 3 yards, but it will end up in the arms of a linebacker, or something. extreme weather just feels like a variance multiplier that makes prediction hard, but probably also benefits the team that is stouter in the trenches. Definitely makes Allen's ability to run more valuable, though.