The Game Goat Thread: Wk. 1 vs Miami

Eck'sSneakyCheese

Member
SoSH Member
May 11, 2011
9,513
NH
I get why the offensive play calling was conservative but it’s still frustrating. Run up the middle with White on 2nd and 23? Another run up the middle on 2nd and 2 late in the game? Horseshit. Why wouldn’t you put Jonnu in the backfield with Stevenson out? Why the fuck was Bolden even on the field in the red zone? McDaniels is a good coordinator but some of his decisions are like he’s trying too hard to be the smartest guy in the room…
 

j44thor

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
9,645
This will sound like sour grapes and there is some aspect of it but they really should change the replay standard such that if there isn't conclusive evidence the ball stays with the offense. There is no bigger non-scoring play when it comes to impacting a game than a turnover and it makes all the sense in the world to let those plays go to replay rather than forcing the coach to use a challenge otherwise but if the default is to let anything close go to replay the burden should be on the defense to have conclusive evidence of a turnover. This way coaches on defense don't end up with an unfair disadvantage because they have to challenge a play that isn't called a turnover when it is close but the offense isn't penalized if the ref takes the cautious approach of letting the fumble call play out and go to replay by default.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
12,643
Santa Monica, CA
I get why the offensive play calling was conservative but it’s still frustrating. Run up the middle with White on 2nd and 23? Another run up the middle on 2nd and 2 late in the game? Horseshit. Why wouldn’t you put Jonnu in the backfield with Stevenson out? Why the fuck was Bolden even on the field in the red zone? McDaniels is a good coordinator but some of his decisions are like he’s trying too hard to be the smartest guy in the room…
They had the game won if Harris didn't commit an unconscionable fumble. Given that they had a rookie in his first game at QB, I'd assign close to zero blame for this loss to the offensive game plan.

1)The fumbles by the two RBs.
2) Herron was a disaster subbing in at RT.
3) I'm officially placing Hightower on toast-watch, although I love him and hope he proves me wrong.
 

ragnarok725

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2003
5,309
Somerville MA
How about we stop a slant next week?

I'm upset we lost, but, fellas, we have a QB. Mac looking that good in week 1 is going to allow this offense to open the playbook up even more.
There was a lot of this about slants in the game thread as well.

Two things:
  1. Playing slants aggressively opens you up to deep balls and double moves. The Pats are almost never going to concede that. That’s just not their style.
  2. A slant is one of the easiest passes to read and complete. You‘re not going to see a ton of pass breakups on slants. When they’re covered it just usually isn’t thrown. The Dolphins completing a half dozen slants doesn’t necessarily mean the Pats didn’t cover a ton of them well.
 

ragnarok725

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2003
5,309
Somerville MA
I get why the offensive play calling was conservative but it’s still frustrating. Run up the middle with White on 2nd and 23? Another run up the middle on 2nd and 2 late in the game? Horseshit. Why wouldn’t you put Jonnu in the backfield with Stevenson out? Why the fuck was Bolden even on the field in the red zone? McDaniels is a good coordinator but some of his decisions are like he’s trying too hard to be the smartest guy in the room…
It was literally Mac’s first game ever, and it came against maybe the best secondary in the league. If they were only this conservative today, I think it‘s a safe bet they’ll open it up more fairly soon.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

Member
SoSH Member
May 11, 2011
9,513
NH
It was literally Mac’s first game ever, and it came against maybe the best secondary in the league. If they were only this conservative today, I think it‘s a safe bet they’ll open it up more fairly soon.
I know. Like I said, I understand the training wheels for the most part but Mac started doing wheelies once they were off. I feel about the same everyone else does overall. Sucky loss, but it felt very much like a “let’s feel some shit out” game. Not sure many teams win those.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
28,244
Hingham, MA
Not understanding this “had the game won” talk. Miami had all 3 timeouts. Even if the Pats score a TD that game is far from over. The fumble sucked. But it was only one piece of the puzzle.
 

brandonchristensen

bad at game threads
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
33,543
Mac’s awesome.

Pats were in position to win and fumbled it away. It’s a bummer but it is what it is.

Hightower looked slooooow.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
I thought the same. BB benched Stevenson and he really shouldn’t have.
Stevenson fumbled last game too, and he put the ball on the turf another time on a play that was ultimately ruled incomplete. He was probably starting on thin ice.

He didn't give up on him after the fumble. They kept Stevenson in and then he got run over in pass protection off play action, which resulted in Elandon Roberts hitting Mac low which the Pats are lucky was a penalty. That was the play that ended Stevenson's day.
Stevenson came out after the fumble, and he only went back in after Harris got hurt on one play. That was the Stevenson-getting-trucked-in-pass-pro play. So I think he got benched twice. Which is pretty impressive, considering it was his first career game.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
5,456
Seacoast NH
I get why the offensive play calling was conservative but it’s still frustrating. Run up the middle with White on 2nd and 23?
This was right after your rookie QB, on his first drop back as a pro threw it backward when pressured. They were lucky it was 2nd and 23 and I think taking a step back and letting him regroup probably wasn’t the worst idea.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
I'm concerned about the DL after that game, seemed to get pushed around at will by Miami's patchwork OL.
The defense in general was weird. Forced 3 three-and-outs and a pick, but the Dolphins scored almost every other time they had the ball. This was a short game - just 8 drives for the Pats and 9 for the Dolphins vs a normal 11-12 - so both offenses played better than the final score and the defenses played worse.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
39,578
How about we stop a slant next week?

I'm upset we lost, but, fellas, we have a QB. Mac looking that good in week 1 is going to allow this offense to open the playbook up even more.
Yup. Tough opening loss but Mac looked solid and that’s what matters most. The RBs put 2 soft fumbles on the ground, which basically cost us the game. Need to get TEs more involved but there definitely appears to be enough offensive talent here to be a decent team. Get a W next week in the Meadowlands and get back on track.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,271
@Super Nomario - Agree with respect to the points per drive. But NE held Miami to 3.2 yards per carry and just 6.4 yards per pass. Neither of those is very good if you’re the offense.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
28,244
Hingham, MA
The defense in general was weird. Forced 3 three-and-outs and a pick, but the Dolphins scored almost every other time they had the ball. This was a short game - just 8 drives for the Pats and 9 for the Dolphins vs a normal 11-12 - so both offenses played better than the final score and the defenses played worse.
@Super Nomario - Agree with respect to the points per drive. But NE held Miami to 3.2 yards per carry and just 6.4 yards per pass. Neither of those is very good if you’re the offense.
17 points on 9 drives is 1.88, which would have ranked 26th in the NFL last year from an offensive standpoint. I’m comfortable saying it was a pretty good defensive game. Not great. Pretty good.

Edit 1.88 points per drive allowed would have ranked 6th in 2020
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
45,601
The defense in general was weird. Forced 3 three-and-outs and a pick, but the Dolphins scored almost every other time they had the ball. This was a short game - just 8 drives for the Pats and 9 for the Dolphins vs a normal 11-12 - so both offenses played better than the final score and the defenses played worse.
Well, if you neglect the 4 drives they were awesome, then yes, it's gonna seem like that.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
17 points on 9 drives is 1.88, which would have ranked 26th in the NFL last year from an offensive standpoint. I’m comfortable saying it was a pretty good defensive game. Not great. Pretty good.
It was really 17 points on 8 drives though - the 9th drive, Miami's goal was to get enough first downs to run out the clock, and they did that. The Dolphins had four scoring drives and the final clock-killer, so they had five successful drives out of nine, which isn't great for the NE D. It wasn't terrible either. But the D wasn't as good as the score looks.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
28,244
Hingham, MA
It was really 17 points on 8 drives though - the 9th drive, Miami's goal was to get enough first downs to run out the clock, and they did that. The Dolphins had four scoring drives and the final clock-killer, so they had five successful drives out of nine, which isn't great for the NE D. It wasn't terrible either. But the D wasn't as good as the score looks.
Right, so 2.125 would have been 13th overall last year. They played pretty good. Not good enough given the red zone issues. Pats score another TD or two and put 27 on the board no one is talking about the D.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,271
Again, if you were told before the game that they'd hold Miami to 3.2 yards per carry and 6.4 yards per pass attempt, you'd say job well done by New England's defense.

8 penalties for 84 yards
2 costly fumbles

Those were the keys to the game.

By the way, 6.4 yards per pass attempt would have ranked 28th in the NFL last year (as an offense), and 3.2 yards per rush would have ranked 32nd last year.

From a defensive perspective, allowing 6.4 yards per pass attempt would have ranked #2 in the NFL last year, and 3.2 yards per rush would have ranked 1st.

They also held Miami to 4 of 11 first downs (36.4%). That would have ranked as a defense #5 in the NFL last year.

So to sum up: New England played excellent run defense, excellent pass defense (of course not perfect, but excellent), and excellent third down defense.

The defense more than did its job over the course of the game.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
19,628
Philadelphia
It was really 17 points on 8 drives though - the 9th drive, Miami's goal was to get enough first downs to run out the clock, and they did that. The Dolphins had four scoring drives and the final clock-killer, so they had five successful drives out of nine, which isn't great for the NE D. It wasn't terrible either. But the D wasn't as good as the score looks.
Not to nitpick too much, but they only had three scoring drives.

I give some credit to the Miami coaching staff. They scored TDs on the first drive of each half and I think they had a good script/game plan going for each one, which the defense just didn't adjust well enough to or handle well enough. The NE defense was very good outside those two drives but in this kind of game two big TD drives is obviously huge.

The third scoring drive was basically one big play to Waddle.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
By the way, 6.4 yards per pass attempt would have ranked 28th in the NFL last year (as an offense), and 3.2 yards per rush would have ranked 32nd last year.
It was 7.5 yards per pass attempt, not 6.4. 7.5 was exactly what the D averaged last year; it ranked 23rd in the NFL.

6.4 was the team's *net* yards per pass attempt (includes sacks). That would have ranked about average (teams 16th through 19th all had 6.4 NY/A).

They had 3 scoring drives--their first drive of game, first drive of 2nd half, and a FG.
Not to nitpick too much, but they only had three scoring drives.
Yep, I'm dumb.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,271
It was 7.5 yards per pass attempt, not 6.4. 7.5 was exactly what the D averaged last year; it ranked 23rd in the NFL.

6.4 was the team's *net* yards per pass attempt (includes sacks). That would have ranked about average (teams 16th through 19th all had 6.4 NY/A).
Gotcha. I saw it as 6.4 yards per attempt. Thanks for the correction.
 

nazz45

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
2,762
Eternia
I’m more with SN here. The defense was uneven. It didn’t lose them the game (penalties/negative plays and turnovers were the main culprit) but came up short in the red zone and at the end of halves. It was very good in between. But in a low scoring / low possession game, the difference is forcing field goals attempts and creating turnovers.

Credit to Miami’s defense, too. Only 8 drives for NE but ran 70 plays. Felt like a game in which Harris would have sprung some larger gains in the 4th with a tiring defense. I would like to fire some of those toss plays into the sun.
 

Big McCorkle

Member
SoSH Member
May 9, 2021
211
This might be a little amusing, but both teams had a total EPA/play of 0.01 today. For the Pats, this is largely driven by the two horrific lost fumbles, with a combined -9.9 expected points lost. For the Dolphins, there was really no such albatross negative plays; the Tua pick came on third down against heavy pressure generated by the defense, and even then was 'only' a -3.6. It was definitely a bit of a weird performance, but in general if the Patriots defense can continue to produce like that, particularly in the passing game, things are going to be fine... so long as the running backs don't continue to fumble away the game. Which they won't. Hopefully.
 

Silverdude2167

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
3,355
Amstredam
Watching the highlights it is hard to be that upset.

They played well enough to win and Mac looks like he can handle himself. Clean up the fumbles, win next week and start a streak.
 

JohnnyK

Member
SoSH Member
May 8, 2007
1,817
Wolfern, Austria
Even ignoring the fumble, after the 35 yard run to open the game Harris averaged slightly less than 3 yards per carry.

Part of that is certainly on the offensive line and the type of runs they called, but you he was not great before the fumble.
 

Silverdude2167

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
3,355
Amstredam
Even ignoring the fumble, after the 35 yard run to open the game Harris averaged slightly less than 3 yards per carry.

Part of that is certainly on the offensive line and the type of runs they called, but you he was not great before the fumble.
Here are all of his runs...it does not seem like he was a problem even though his YPC was low.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXzTakxGORI
 

Seels

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
3,873
NH
This is where I am. If QB isn't the problem (and it likely won't be), this coaching staff will sort everything else out. They can win a lot of games if this is what we can expect from Mac Jones. Much rather lose a heartbreaker with him balling out then winning with him looking overwhelmed. Future is bright.
Third (or whatever)

Infinitely more excited for this team than a year ago
 

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
7,588
Needham, MA
I mean obviously the two fumbles sucked, and this thread probably doesn't exist if not for the last one. It was a good first game for Mac who looks like the real deal. Tua looked shitty. We are in good shape.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2008
5,407
I was pretty disappointed in Stevenson's blocking ability as a 250 lb back. I realize he's a rookie, but they should bring in Kevin Faulk as a special consultant and spend an extra 2 hours together after every practice.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,271
I was pretty disappointed in Stevenson's blocking ability as a 250 lb back. I realize he's a rookie, but they should bring in Kevin Faulk as a special consultant and spend an extra 2 hours together after every practice.
Yeah I mean he's an absolute tank and he got steamrolled by the blitzing defender. He's got to get better at that or he isn't going to play much.
 

j44thor

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
9,645
Yeah I mean he's an absolute tank and he got steamrolled by the blitzing defender. He's got to get better at that or he isn't going to play much.
Certainly disappointing that he got pancaked by the blitzing defender but it was old friend Elandon Roberts who can do exactly one thing in in the NFL and that is run straight and knock things down.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
21,761
Not quite goat-ly, and while Folk was nails as usual, does BB let Nordin try a long one rather than punt from the Miami 37 early? Of course this is purely in the realm of the hypothetical "lets say both guys were on the active roster" thought experiment, as the reason Folk was playing was because BB doesn't trust Nordin on the exact types of kicks Folks drilled.
 

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
7,588
Needham, MA
Stevenson didn't cover himself in glory on those two plays but maybe we give him a break since it was his first ever NFL game. On the fumble I thought he was clearly down, although not trying to cover up the ball after it was ripped out, down or not, was an error. On the block he stuck his head in there and got steamrolled. It isn't like he missed an assignment, he got physically beaten on the play. Not sure what he's supposed to do there, summon his superpowers? Obviously if he can't pick up blitzing linebackers that's going to be an issue but let's see if he fails at it more than one time before we kill the guy.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
Again, if you were told before the game that they'd hold Miami to 3.2 yards per carry

...

3.2 yards per rush would have ranked 1st.
This is also misleading.

Gaskin had 9 carries for 49 yards (5.4 YPC). Obviously, that's not great.
Malcolm Brown had 5 carries for 16 yards (3.2 YPC). That looks great, but ...
- 1 yard run on 1st and 10 (great!)
- 4 yard run on 2nd and 2 for first down to set up the go-ahead TD (bad)
- 2 yard run on 2nd and 1 for first down on the final clock-killing drive (bad)
- 5 yard and 4 yard runs on the ensuring plays, setting up the final game-sealing Brissett sneak (bad)

Ahmed had 3 carries for 4 yards. They did a nice job on him.

Brissett had 2 carries for 4 yards. That looks good, but both converted short-yardage first downs, including the game-sealer.

Tua had 4 carries for 1 yard. That looks great, but that's a 3-yard TD and three kneeldowns. So it was terrible.

The D went 0-fer in short yardage and also came up short situationally at the end. It was not a good performance by the run D.

It was a weirdly un-Belichick performance on both sides. Bad mistakes (FOUR fumbles?!?!?!), bad penalties, a defense that broke every time it bent (but didn't bend that much), terrible situational play, and ineffective special teams. I guess that means we should be optimistic that's not going to happen again.
 

Dr. Gonzo

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 8, 2010
2,884
Who does Uche take snaps from if his snaps increase? He only played 15 defensive snaps and it would be great to see him out there more.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
Stevenson didn't cover himself in glory on those two plays but maybe we give him a break since it was his first ever NFL game. On the fumble I thought he was clearly down, although not trying to cover up the ball after it was ripped out, down or not, was an error. On the block he stuck his head in there and got steamrolled. It isn't like he missed an assignment, he got physically beaten on the play. Not sure what he's supposed to do there, summon his superpowers? Obviously if he can't pick up blitzing linebackers that's going to be an issue but let's see if he fails at it more than one time before we kill the guy.
He only played 5 snaps, so being terrible on 2 of them isn't great.
 

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
7,588
Needham, MA
He only played 5 snaps, so being terrible on 2 of them isn't great.
RIght, which I why I said he didn't cover himself in glory. If this is who he is, he's a bust obviously. They saw enough of him in practice and pre-season to trade Sony away. I'm willing to give him a mulligan for now.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,271
This is also misleading.

Gaskin had 9 carries for 49 yards (5.4 YPC). Obviously, that's not great.
Malcolm Brown had 5 carries for 16 yards (3.2 YPC). That looks great, but ...
- 1 yard run on 1st and 10 (great!)
- 4 yard run on 2nd and 2 for first down to set up the go-ahead TD (bad)
- 2 yard run on 2nd and 1 for first down on the final clock-killing drive (bad)
- 5 yard and 4 yard runs on the ensuring plays, setting up the final game-sealing Brissett sneak (bad)

Ahmed had 3 carries for 4 yards. They did a nice job on him.

Brissett had 2 carries for 4 yards. That looks good, but both converted short-yardage first downs, including the game-sealer.

Tua had 4 carries for 1 yard. That looks great, but that's a 3-yard TD and three kneeldowns. So it was terrible.

The D went 0-fer in short yardage and also came up short situationally at the end. It was not a good performance by the run D.

It was a weirdly un-Belichick performance on both sides. Bad mistakes (FOUR fumbles?!?!?!), bad penalties, a defense that broke every time it bent (but didn't bend that much), terrible situational play, and ineffective special teams. I guess that means we should be optimistic that's not going to happen again.
Do you break down every team's games like this to see if their stats are also "misleading"?

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate your thoroughness and you do a good job breaking things down. But you seem to be mostly interested in doing it to show that the Pats are worse than people think.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
30,158
He only played 5 snaps, so being terrible on 2 of them isn't great.
With Mac Jones almost being knocked out for the season. Still, they are going to have to give him more chances, or replace him on the active roster.

Paging CFB_Rules, replay seemed conclusive that a Rham butt cheek was on the turf before the ball came out.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,271
For example, you break down other guys but you don't break down Gaskin. Here's his day:

1-10, Mia 37 - Gaskin 2 yd run
3-3, Mia 44 - Gaskin 15 yd run
1-10, NE 41 - Gaskin 4 yd run
1-10, NE 28 - Gaskin -1 yd run
1-10, NE 11 - Gaskin 8 yd run
Drive ended in TD
- - -
2-10, NE 48 - Gaskin -1 yd run
Drive ended in punt
- - -
1-10, Mia 25 - Gaskin 2 yd run
1-10, NE 30 - Gaskin 15 yd run
Drive ended in TD
- - -
1-10, Mia 40 - Gaskin 5 yd run
Drive ended in INT

So Gaskin had two huge runs - 2 rushes for 30 yards. But otherwise had 7 rushes for 19 yards (2.7 ypc).

The average rush in week 1 across the NFL was 4.2 yards. So breaking down Gaskin's running....

2 terrific runs of 15 yards each
1 good run of 8 yards
1 better than average run of 5 yards
1 below average run of 4 yards
2 bad runs of 2 yards each
2 very bad runs of negative yardage

So out of the 9 rushes by Gaskin, 5 of them were below-average gains.

At the end of the day, he had a solid game, but breaking things down like this can tell different stories as you wish.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,416
Mansfield MA
With Mac Jones almost being knocked out for the season. Still, they are going to have to give him more chances, or replace him on the active roster.
I'd like to see Taylor get a shot instead, give Stevenson (who put the ball on turf twice in the last preseason game, too) a couple weeks off. JJT gives them something different in terms of skill set and they can use him on kick returns. Downside is he's not a replacement if Harris is injured, which means we'd probably Bolden get a bunch of carries.

Paging CFB_Rules, replay seemed conclusive that a Rham butt cheek was on the turf before the ball came out.
I thought he was down, too, but Bill can't be happy to see the ball come out whichever side of the bang-bang play it gets ruled as.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
12,643
Santa Monica, CA
I'd like to see Taylor get a shot instead, give Stevenson (who put the ball on turf twice in the last preseason game, too) a couple weeks off. JJT gives them something different in terms of skill set and they can use him on kick returns. Downside is he's not a replacement if Harris is injured, which means we'd probably Bolden get a bunch of carries.


I thought he was down, too, but Bill can't be happy to see the ball come out whichever side of the bang-bang play it gets ruled as.
I would have to watch the replay to be sure, but on first watch, it also looked like he made no attempt to get the ball back after he let it go, just counting on the call to go the right way. That wouldn't sit well with the coaching staff either.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
13,229
Do you break down every team's games like this to see if their stats are also "misleading"?

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate your thoroughness and you do a good job breaking things down. But you seem to be mostly interested in doing it to show that the Pats are worse than people think.
While I'm not as bearish as SN on yesterday's performance, I agree with him that the situational run defense wasn't good. Short yardage run attempts on 3rd or 4th down where the goal for the offense is strictly a first down do deflate the overall yards per carry stat. Tua's 3 yard run hurts the overall average as well, but it's not like he could have gotten more yardage on that play either.

Overall, I thought the D was a mixed bag; if grading I would probably give it a C+. If it was terrible, they would have given up more than 17 points. But if it was better on some situational plays the Pats may have gotten another series of downs at some point during the game. Execution on situational plays is a skill and does matter. And the D did give up some big plays in the passing game at inopportune times as well.