The Game Goat Thread: Week 15 at Pittsburgh

DrewDawg

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There is going to be significant change in the roster this offseason. There's decisions to make on a number of guys that carry big cap numbers such as Gronkowski, McCourty, Hightower, and Dwayne Allen. All 4 players can be cut or traded and net a cap savings of around $40 million.
This will be one of the more interesting postseasons in recent memory.

I'm in no hurry to get there though. Beat the Bills this week. Mercilessly.
 

Prodigal Sox

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There is going to be significant change in the roster this offseason. There's decisions to make on a number of guys that carry big cap numbers such as Gronkowski, McCourty, Hightower, and Dwayne Allen. All 4 players can be cut or traded and net a cap savings of around $40 million.
They also have all those 2019 draft picks. The team is getting old but there could potentially be a lot of roster turnover next year (and help). But they are going to have to hit on a lot of those 2019 picks. At a higher rate then they have the last couple years.
 

54thMA

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The run is almost over. But I just want Brady and the boys to go out like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...…………...
IMO, it's going to be more like how The Wild Bunch went out.

I've said this before, but for me the ideal scenario is they win but struggle in both games to end the season and then go on one of those 2007 Giants/2010 Packers/2011 Giants/2012 Ravens runs and win another Super Bowl so that heads explode across the NFL.
 

BigSoxFan

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IMO, it's going to be more like how The Wild Bunch went out.

I've said this before, but for me the ideal scenario is they win but struggle in both games to end the season and then go on one of those 2007 Giants/2010 Packers/2011 Giants/2012 Ravens runs and win another Super Bowl so that heads explode across the NFL.
Pretty funny (or not...) that almost every single one of those runs came at our expense...
 

AB in DC

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Ok so water under the bridge and this doesn't change anything of course. But it took me four plays. On Pittsburgh's fourth play they ran the ball and there were no less than FOUR guys holding Patriots' players with either full grabs of the jerseys outside the pads or arms totally hooked around defenders. Fourth play, FOUR guys holding. No flag. Here are some stills from that play.
I appreciate all the work you did to put this together, but I have to be honest -- none of those stills look like a holding penalty to me. Grabbing a handful of jersey from a guy directly in front of you isn't a penalty -- it's when the defender slips past you and you 're still hanging on that's the problem.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I were looking at the video, rather than a freeze frame, but I just don't see it.
 

54thMA

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Pretty funny (or not...) that almost every single one of those runs came at our expense...
I left out Foles last year, but that Eagles team was very good, but he played out of his mind in the NFCCG and the Super Bowl, he was hot garbage in the Falcons game, they are lucky they pulled that game out.

But regardless; it's time to turn the tables and flip the script.

It would be the ultimate Super Bowl win, think of the reactions across the league.
 

BaseballJones

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I appreciate all the work you did to put this together, but I have to be honest -- none of those stills look like a holding penalty to me. Grabbing a handful of jersey from a guy directly in front of you isn't a penalty -- it's when the defender slips past you and you 're still hanging on that's the problem.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I were looking at the video, rather than a freeze frame, but I just don't see it.
1. The left tackle had hold of Flowers’ jersey outside the pads. That’s ok at first but when Flowers tries to go inside and the tackle doesn’t let go, that’s a hold. Just like what Trent Brown got called for.

2. The right tackle literally is hooking Hightower the entire play. Not grabbing the jersey but had his arm wrapped around Hightower’s chest, even as Hightower turns to run inside. Just like Cannon did when he got called for a hold late in the game.

3. The right guard had Guy around his NECK.

4. The tight end had McCourty hooked so badly that in that last frame you see McCourty’s right arm being pinned.

I mean if these aren’t holding that’s fine. But then IN NO WAY should either Brown or Cannon have been called for holding. If what Brown and Cannon did was holding, then all four of these ABSOLUTELY are holding as well. And all four on the same play and the refs didn’t throw a single flag.
 

54thMA

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I suddenly can envision this image of Jules running toward Brady’s corpse weeping in agony as he screams “BRO! BRO!” and they are both shot to death.
Brady's going to do his best Pike Bishop impression during his pregame speech...………..;)…………...
 

DeadlySplitter

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it would be cool if a high draft pick didn't tear his ACL next summer. have to think the OL would be better if that didn't happen yet again.
 

dcmissle

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1. The left tackle had hold of Flowers’ jersey outside the pads. That’s ok at first but when Flowers tries to go inside and the tackle doesn’t let go, that’s a hold. Just like what Trent Brown got called for.

2. The right tackle literally is hooking Hightower the entire play. Not grabbing the jersey but had his arm wrapped around Hightower’s chest, even as Hightower turns to run inside. Just like Cannon did when he got called for a hold late in the game.

3. The right guard had Guy around his NECK.

4. The tight end had McCourty hooked so badly that in that last frame you see McCourty’s right arm being pinned.

I mean if these aren’t holding that’s fine. But then IN NO WAY should either Brown or Cannon have been called for holding. If what Brown and Cannon did was holding, then all four of these ABSOLUTELY are holding as well. And all four on the same play and the refs didn’t throw a single flag.
Let’s stipulate to all this — and assume that it cost them the game.

1. It doesn’t put lipstick on the Patriots scoring 10 points. Everyone here would have taken the Steelers at 17 Saturday night. Everyone.

2. More fundamentally, officiating does not begin to explain or justify ass kickings at Jax, at Det, at Tenn — or the Miami shitshow.

So,

1. They still have a very good chance at the 2 seed. Major parts of attaining it are within their control.

2. Spot them the Pittsburgh game, and they likely don’t get the 1 seed.

3. Officiating has very little to do with what ails them and bothers us. There is no officiating conspiracy against the Pats.

4. Harping on the officiating only serves to obscure bigger problems. Fortunately, they are not doing that in Fox
 

Deathofthebambino

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1. The left tackle had hold of Flowers’ jersey outside the pads. That’s ok at first but when Flowers tries to go inside and the tackle doesn’t let go, that’s a hold. Just like what Trent Brown got called for.

2. The right tackle literally is hooking Hightower the entire play. Not grabbing the jersey but had his arm wrapped around Hightower’s chest, even as Hightower turns to run inside. Just like Cannon did when he got called for a hold late in the game.

3. The right guard had Guy around his NECK.

4. The tight end had McCourty hooked so badly that in that last frame you see McCourty’s right arm being pinned.

I mean if these aren’t holding that’s fine. But then IN NO WAY should either Brown or Cannon have been called for holding. If what Brown and Cannon did was holding, then all four of these ABSOLUTELY are holding as well. And all four on the same play and the refs didn’t throw a single flag.
I finally caught up on this thread, and I want to thank you for doing that work. I think a big part of the problem is 90% of the NFL viewing public has no idea what holding is or isn't. I can maybe see how someone wouldn't understand the holding on Flowers, but the guys that are holding HIghtower, Guy and McCourty are doing so in a way that makes every holding call on the Pats yesterday look laughable.

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again today. The Refs are paid to level the playing field between the teams. Yesterday, they did the opposite. The Patriots were held to a completely different standard than the Steelers were, from the first drive to the last (defensive holding on a run play anyone?). It didn't matter if it was the DPI called on Jones, or the DPI that wasn't called on Edelman, the holding called on Brown or all of the holding that wasn't called on Pittsburgh. It went on and on and on, and came up in the biggest spots throughout the game.

If they are going to make the calls based on the letter of the law, fine, I have no problem with that. Throw the flags, but you can't do it for one team and not the other. If you eliminate just those three holding calls on the Pats (the one on the Michel run, and the two in the red zone), that's at least 9 points, maybe 21 that were taken off the board. Just those 3 calls. Yeah, they make a difference.
 

BaseballJones

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Let’s stipulate to all this — and assume that it cost them the game.

1. It doesn’t put lipstick on the Patriots scoring 10 points. Everyone here would have taken the Steelers at 17 Saturday night. Everyone.

2. More fundamentally, officiating does not begin to explain or justify ass kickings at Jax, at Det, at Tenn — or the Miami shitshow.

So,

1. They still have a very good chance at the 2 seed. Major parts of attaining it are within their control.

2. Spot them the Pittsburgh game, and they likely don’t get the 1 seed.

3. Officiating has very little to do with what ails them and bothers us. There is no officiating conspiracy against the Pats.

4. Harping on the officiating only serves to obscure bigger problems. Fortunately, they are not doing that in Fox
Yeah no disagreement. Remember the context for me putting this up wasn’t that they didn’t play like crap. It was simply that another poster thought that the officiating was essentially equivalent and I was pointing out that it wouldn’t take me long to find a play where the Steelers committed holding as bad as what the Pats got called for, but the Steelers didn’t. He didn’t think that was the case, so I said I’d look.

It took me four plays. Four plays. Four blatant holds. Zero flags.

Doesn’t mean that the Pats played well or anything like that.

Edit: to your point about what they’re doing in Foxboro. Of corse they’re trying to correct their own mistakes. That’s there job. But you saw BB many times during the game getting on the refs for bad calls. Make no mistake: he doesn’t make excuses for their bad play but he also knows damned well when the refs suck and he lets them hear about it. He’s trying to get THEM to do THEIR jobs better too.
 
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BaseballJones

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How many point do the Pats score though without the holding calls? A lot more.
We won’t know for sure but one hold took away a 25 yard Michel run that took them well into FG range. Instead, a 10 yard penalty = a 35 yard swing in field position. Punt.

The holding on Cannon at the end...who knows if the Pats score but it’s a hell of a lot better shot from the 11 than from the 21.

Meanwhile, the play that I show in my post was a five yard gain on a run play on a drive where the Steelers scored a TD. Call a hold there and it’s 1st and 20 instead of 2nd and 5. Maybe Pit gets it, maybe they don’t, but that’s a huge difference.
 

Deathofthebambino

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If the refs eat the flags and don't call the holding penalties, just like they didn't call them on Pittsburgh, the Patriots score at least 9 more points, and probably more like 17-21.

If the Pats won that game yesterday by 10 points, would anyone be in here talking about how they are doomed, and their talent sucks? I don't think so.

That's how much of an effect 3 calls can have on an NFL football game. It doesn't obfuscate anything. The pre-snap penalties were a joke, and need to be corrected, but if you're going to be asked to play with one hand tied behind your back, you can't be expected to be perfect either. That's what happened yesterday. They were playing under a different set of rules.

I talked about it earlier. This is like when you have an umpire with a massive strike zone for one team, and a miniscule strike zone for the other. It simply affects everything and changes the outcomes of every at bat, and the game.
 

BaseballJones

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I finally caught up on this thread, and I want to thank you for doing that work. I think a big part of the problem is 90% of the NFL viewing public has no idea what holding is or isn't. I can maybe see how someone wouldn't understand the holding on Flowers, but the guys that are holding HIghtower, Guy and McCourty are doing so in a way that makes every holding call on the Pats yesterday look laughable.

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again today. The Refs are paid to level the playing field between the teams. Yesterday, they did the opposite. The Patriots were held to a completely different standard than the Steelers were, from the first drive to the last (defensive holding on a run play anyone?). It didn't matter if it was the DPI called on Jones, or the DPI that wasn't called on Edelman, the holding called on Brown or all of the holding that wasn't called on Pittsburgh. It went on and on and on, and came up in the biggest spots throughout the game.

If they are going to make the calls based on the letter of the law, fine, I have no problem with that. Throw the flags, but you can't do it for one team and not the other. If you eliminate just those three holding calls on the Pats (the one on the Michel run, and the two in the red zone), that's at least 9 points, maybe 21 that were taken off the board. Just those 3 calls. Yeah, they make a difference.
The one that really gets me is the grounding penalty. Roethlisberger is in the grasp, between the tackles, and he just hurls it away to the corner of the end zone. Nobody within 30 yards of the pass. Right in front of an official.

No flag.

This game thread went NUTS. For ten seconds, no flag. Finally they called it because my god they just HAD to. It was so blatantly obvious. But it was clear they didn’t WANT to. The flag should have come out immediately. It wasn’t even close to NOT being a penalty.
 

Deathofthebambino

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The one that really gets me is the grounding penalty. Roethlisberger is in the grasp, between the tackles, and he just hurls it away to the corner of the end zone. Nobody within 30 yards of the pass. Right in front of an official.

No flag.

This game thread went NUTS. For ten seconds, no flag. Finally they called it because my god they just HAD to. It was so blatantly obvious. But it was clear they didn’t WANT to. The flag should have come out immediately. It wasn’t even close to NOT being a penalty.
For me, it all started with the Jones DPI. The flag comes from the ref standing under the goal posts 50 yards from the play, with no angle to see anything, while the ref right in position doesn't throw a flag. Leads to a touchdown for Pitt a couple plays later. You knew how it was going to go when that call happened. If I'm not mistaken, he's the same ref that called the defensive holding, on a RUN play, on the Pats at the end of the game.
 

BigSoxFan

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For me, it all started with the Jones DPI. The flag comes from the ref standing under the goal posts 50 yards from the play, with no angle to see anything, while the ref right in position doesn't throw a flag. Leads to a touchdown for Pitt a couple plays later. You knew how it was going to go when that call happened. If I'm not mistaken, he's the same ref that called the defensive holding, on a RUN play, on the Pats at the end of the game.
Who was it that got flagged late in the 2006 AFCCG against Indy? The Jones DPI call reminded me of that. You just knew a flag was coming as soon as the crowd whined for it.
 

heavyde050

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Ellis Hobbs. 1:15 mark. Literally made no contact with Wayne. Still pisses me off to hi end.

There may be no conspiracy against the Pats, but those Colts teams did get the rules changed bc they couldn’t beat the Pats.
I know the above is an oversimplification, but the Colts were a driving force in the change.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I can't even rewatch that game. Didn't Hobbs almost take the next kickoff after that touchdown to the house and then the Pats scored quickly to retake the lead?
 

kenneycb

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Yep. And it led to the absurd Gaffney catch where his heels hovered over the OOB line but never actually touched. About 1:24 for those interested at that athletic feat.

Not sure what time the Caldwell "deer in headlight" zoom in was.
 

eustis22

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But they are going to have to hit on a lot of those 2019 picks.
After the last few drafts, who still has confidence in BB the GM. Aren't we all expecting either a bunch of trades to stockpile draft choices or selections that MAY fill a future need at the expense of a current need? (OL/RB vs LB a la 2018)?
 

DrewDawg

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After the last few drafts, who still has confidence in BB the GM. Aren't we all expecting either a bunch of trades to stockpile draft choices or selections that MAY fill a future need at the expense of a current need? (OL/RB vs LB a la 2018)?
Not if we think that BB understands that it might be time to start the "rebuild"--which is why some think he wanted to keep Jimmy G.

Anyway, that's a different thread.
 

lexrageorge

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After the last few drafts, who still has confidence in BB the GM. Aren't we all expecting either a bunch of trades to stockpile draft choices or selections that MAY fill a future need at the expense of a current need? (OL/RB vs LB a la 2018)?
Given that the team is almost certainly headed to the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year, and may likely finish 11-5, the answer to your hot take question is nearly all of us.

Also, while the past couple of drafts haven't been great, there have been some good picks: James White in 2014, Trey Flowers and Shaq Mason in 2015 (and even Malcom Brown was serviceable for most of the past couple of seasons), Joe Thuney in 2016, and Sony Michel in 2018. There have been some notable injuries among some of the more promising picks (Winn, Bentley, Cyrus Jones and Malcom Mitchell), as well as nearly all of the 2018 draft class. 2017 draft was bad; Wise appears to be the only contributor, but there were only 4 picks. There have also been some nice UDFA pickups in Jonathon Jones and JC Jackson and David Andrews.

Also, the last time the Pats had a lean streak in the draft, Belichick followed that up by drafting McCourty, Gronk, and Hernandez in 2010, Solder, Vereen, and Ridley in 2011, Jones and Hightower in 2012, and Jamie Collins in 2013.
 

Deathofthebambino

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It's not even the only holding going happening on that one play. If you look to the left of Hightower, I think that's Van Noy (#53) rushing from the left side. He gets initially chipped by the running back who ends up making the catch and blocked by #71, and then Ben makes a move like he's going to step up into the pocket. Van Noy goes to his right to cut him off and is immediately held by the offensive lineman whose left hand clearly has a grasp on Van Noy (unless people think Van Noy was magically stuck to him), then Ben bounces it back outside again and heads towards the sidelines where he puts Simon in no man's land.

This is my point and will always be my point. If the refs are going to decide to throw holding calls on the Pats, that's fine. It's even fine if they are going to choose to do it after a 25 yard run and the offense is clicking, or twice right after the Pats get into the red zone. All of that is fine. But if they are going to do that, they can't let the same actions go when the other team does it, and if they are looking even more closely on the important plays of the game (seems like they were looking really close when the Pats were about to have an important play), then they have to throw those flags too. And they didn't. That means the teams are not playing by the same standards and under the same rules. It was not an evenly officiated game. The Pats had 7-8 presnap penalties, all of which were absolutely deserved, so the calls definitely shouldn't have evened out, but the Pats overcame almost all of those penalties within a play or two. It was the holding calls, all of which were borderline at best, that came at the most crucial moments that couldn't be overcome (and wouldn't usually be overcome by anyone).

Here's another funny one. On the front of the Patriots page on ESPN right now, there is a photo of a Steeler running back running through a giant hole. Here is the link. http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/ne/new-england-patriots

Check out Lawrence Guy on the left. He's reaching out with his right arm trying to make a play, but look at his jersey, which is being pulled tight in the other direction. I'm pretty sure you can make out the elbow of the blocker in front of him, clearly wrapping him up, even if it's just for a second.

This shit happens on every play, and the NFL has made it clear that they aren't calling it. If they were, games wouldn't be 45-40 anymore. Except on Sunday, against the Patriots. That's when it was time to enforce the letter of the law.
 

DeadlySplitter

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the refs seemed like more of a factor than usual, which sucked. but we also played like crap on O. both are true here.

I hate conspiracy theories, because I think refs are just inept and sometimes caught up in the home crowd, but did feel like the NFL maybe wanted all the star power on PIT to remain relevant this season.
 

BigSoxFan

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the refs seemed like more of a factor than usual, which sucked. but we also played like crap on O. both are true here.

I hate conspiracy theories, because I think refs are just inept and sometimes caught up in the home crowd, but did feel like the NFL maybe wanted all the star power on PIT to remain relevant this season.
There’s nothing more annoying as a fan than when your team is the victim of one-sided officiating in a game where you also played a poor game. Because the shitty calls / no-calls always get lost in the, “well, they played like crap” aftermath. We all know the amount of whining that would have taken place had the Patriots received the benefit of a dubious DPI call that led to a TD and a bunch of critical holding calls. Hell, Nantz was still referencing a play from last year’s game!

Like Dotb said, go ahead and call it tight if you want. But call it both ways. On Sunday they simply didn’t. One of the best aspects of this Patriots team is that the coaches and players very rarely whine about calls after games.
 

joe dokes

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I didn't get to see any other games this weekend. Did the refs miss calls in those games or only NE-PIT?