Before getting into the Pats goats, need to shout out the gawdawful officiating. The crew seemed to not have the game under control leading to more BB screaming at the officials than usual. Once the messed up officiating seemed to work in the Pats favor with a missed delay of game call on the Zappe to Parker touchdown. But they also called an absurd "horse caller" personal foul on Schooler, ruining what was a great, great special teams play by him. Schooler grabbed the jersey below the nameplate, not the fucking shoulder pads between the shoulder blades. Anyway, these officials were not ready for prime time.
On to the Pats.
1. Coaching/offensive playcalling. They were not prepared for Bailey Zappe to have to play in this game. All things considered, Zappe did a heck of a job in difficult circumstances. But, with the game on the line, they had nothing but vanilla stuff that Zappe sucks at, at least for now. His pocket presence in this game was awful, but when given time back there, or on play action, he made some plays. But he's also the most mobile QB on the team and they had no rollout or designed run plays for him. In OT, given a golden opportunity to win the game by their defense, they had nothing but 2 predictable runs up the middle and then a typical dropback pass. They should have a few plays designed to take advantage of what Zappe can do, they clearly don't, and it probably cost them a win. On top of that, does anyone track the stat "passes completed for negative yards" - if I had to guess I would say that the Pats lead the league in those. They had one misdirection reverse play that Kendrick Bourne ran for 15 yards. But, otherwise, these type of plays have virtually vanished from the offense. Bourne's run was only the second time in four games a WR run play was called - Meyers ran a jet sweep for 7 yards in one of the other games. It's vanilla, boring, and predictable all the way down.
2. Myles Bryant. Simply overmatched as a slot corner. Rodgers and Cobb owned him on several key plays in the second half. For some reason BB loves this guy, and he is a liability.
3T. Isaiah Wynn. I always thought he was supposed to be a smaller, more mobile tackle, but he seems to get beaten easily to the outside these days.
3T. Jake Bailey. Didn't this guy used to be an excellent punter? He shanked a punt at the end of the 4th and nearly gave GB a chance to win in regulation. He put a couple of short field punts into the end zone for touchbacks.
There were good things in this game:
1. Jack Jones had a great pick-6. Read the QB and jumped the route. He did it on another play, too, an overthrown deep ball the fell incomplete - Jones, running downfield away from the QB, looked like he was running the route with a step on the WR. Jones had some problems tackling in this game. He's small and he seems to tackle high, which led to a couple of bad missed tackles. But as far as playing CB, this kid looks like he has some great natural ability.
2. Marcus Jones returned all kicks and punts in this game, and he did it well. Averaged 27.8 yards on 4 kickoff returns (long 37) and had 2 punt returns for 29 and 20 yards. He looks like he can be a real threat to break returns. The second, 20 yard, return was in OT and should have put them in position to drive 15 yards and win it with a FG, but all the Pats offense had was standard vanilla stuff that GB was ready for and Zappe cannot do, so they went three and out. Jones had one mistake - instead of fair catching a punt, he let one fall and get downed at the 2 yard line. But you can see why they drafted him, he could be a ST difference maker.
3. Despite the obnixious officiating call (horse tackle), Schooler actually made an incredible (and legal) tackle on that play - he deserves a shoult out.
4. Harris and Stevenson had a strong running game, carring 32 times between them for 152 yards. They did not get it done on the Pats final two drives, when every person on the field, in the stadium, or watching from home knew exactly what was coming, but Pats staff obviously did not have a play they trusted Zappe to run.
5. Zappe was a mixed back but made some plays that kept the Pats in the game and gave them a chance to win. Pluses: he got a few balls downfield, and he has some mobility. On a couple of occasions when he saw the rush, he was able to move and complete passes. Minuses: no pocket presence. He had no clue an outside rusher was coming free on the strip sack. On a play action pass where he had all day but finally got sacked, he didn't see (or look for?) his wide open outlet. On some of the plays where he scrambled, his throws on the run were off target, which is hopefully a machanical issue he can fix. Picked up a delay of game in a critical spot, and might have picked up 2 in a row but for a fuckup by the officials. Hard to say because it seemed like the officials game management was a mess. It kills me that the Pats didn;t have a designed run for him in the playbook (or had it and preferred to go three and out with the game on the line).
6. The Patriots defense seemed to have Rodgers stymied in the first half. Of course, he more or less figured out whatever it was they were doing in the second half, but to almost completly shut Rodgers down for a ahlf is something I did not expect.
7. Judon got some important pressures.
8. Cole Strange seemed to make some key plays in run blocking.
This was a good game in many ways, but it feels like the Pats let this slip away, which they can't afford this season.