Dolphins vs Patriots: The Aftermath

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

It was no Christmas Carol, but if Charles Dickens wrote this game, it would be called “A Tale of Two Halves.”

At this point, we’re used to the Patriots starting off slow, but we’re not exactly used to the Patriots starting out slow for an entire half. That first half was by far the worst we’ve seen the Patriots offense play. I put very little blame on the Patriots defense. They didn’t have time to get off the field with all the three and outs Brady and co. were supplying.

Here’s some observations I made during the game:

-Dane Fletcher had a fantastic game. I was looking for someone to step up for the Patriots and he came up big with a few pressures on blitzes up the middle.

-The Patriots pass rush in general was impressive with five sacks and eight QB this. Jerod Mayo had the best game with two sacks and two QB hits. Shaun Ellis had a very surprising performance with a sack and two QB hits.

-As everyone expected (not) Mark Anderson barely played in Carter’s absence. He did have two QB hits though.

-It’s really disappointing that Patrick Chung and Brandon Spikes didn’t play again, but if it means they’ll stay healthy through the playoffs, it might be wise.

-The Patriots safeties are horrendous. Sergio Brown cannot get snaps on defense come playoff time. Chung will really help in both pass coverage and against the run. Reggie Bush probably wouldn’t have had as nice of a game if Chung was in.

-Turnovers and penalties. I say it every week, but it’s hugely important. We saw some bad penalties from the Patriots in the first half, but they played a really nice second half to make up for it.

-Lets hope Logan Mankins’ injury isn’t serious, he came out in the first quarter and didn’t come back. Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon looked good though. Those could be the Patriots tackles of the future if Sebastian Vollmer’s back injury is chronic.

-The Brady QB sneak might be the Patriots best offensive play.

-If the Patriots played their prevent defense for an entire game, the opposing team might put up 150 points. It’s really bad.

-Interesting decision to have the line: Mankins-Thomas-Connolly-Waters-Solder to open the game. I was surprised Thomas was in over Wendell.

-Wes Welker stepped up as the big playmaker today. Twelve receptions and 138 yards, that’s pretty good.

-Deion Branch continues to be a red zone beast.

-Ridley’s stat line didn’t look incredible, but he looks like he’s taken over for the Lawfirm as the bellcow.

As always, I’ll have more tomorrow in my six keys to victory.

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8 Responses to “Dolphins vs Patriots: The Aftermath”

  1. JMayo says:

    Doug, something to review perhaps before tomorrow’s detailed review – I read on the Boston Herald blog that Brady’s quick releases really hid Cannon’s struggles vs. Wake. He actually did not play that great a game.
    I look into it tomorrow as well.

    • qwerty says:

      there were no quick releases in second half

      i wouldn’t expect cannon to handle quickness as well so understand he could struggle

      there was no apparent problem struggling OL in second half so the first half should really be discarded. also matt light went out unexpectedly. it takes OL time to adjust when making such adjustments in order to get into sync

      • Big Dan From Maine says:

        Cannon is guard material, and got pressed into tackle play. Also remember that he didnt get cleared for practice until 6 weeks into the season. Give this kid a full off season conditioning program and all of the OTA’s and training camp and see what he does. Wake is a beast, and none of the line performed that well today. How could they, line changes just before kick off, and then line changes again in the 1st quarter.

  2. John M. says:

    One more win over Buffalo and the path of the Super Bowl will go through Gillette Stadium. The first round bye is definitely going to help give some extra time to get players back healthy while the teams playing can easily lose a key player on their team. Could someone please tell me why the Pats start out so slow all the time? They definitely can’t get away with that in the playoffs because there won’t be any “creampuff”‘ teams that they will be playing. I wish that they could play against a Tim Tebow-like quarterback for all 3 of their playoff games.

    • D.T. says:

      Actually, there will be plenty of creampuff teams. The Jets/Bengals/Titans, the Broncos/Raiders, the Texans all have major weaknesses. Granted, Baltimore and Pitt are formidable but if Roethlisberger doesn’t recover enough, he’s not winning a shootout with Brady. Baltimore can’t win on the road and we’re getting the 1 seed.

    • CC says:

      Lot’s of cream for us this season in many opinion’s, thank’s for mentioning it. BUT come the play-off’s…… and to win the AFC CHAMPION CROWN or even the SB……We need to work our way through the only team’s since the begining of the year that have held a key in the first place: GREEN BAY, The SAINT’S, 49’rs, & US.

      Creampuff’s along the way or not(which we’ve had our fair share), make no differance. The regular season as it stand’s with the Patriot’s, make no differance either.
      The play-off’s are what’ll decide that, the same way it has for the last 4 years.

  3. D.T. says:

    You know what I like about this team? They’re scrappy. They fight and they fight and they fight. And I think that at this point, the D believes in itself. Listen to the press conferences. They always say, “Yeah, we gave up to many yards” but then they proudly straighten up and maintain, “but we stiffen in the red zone and make plays when we have to”. Mayo, Wilfork, Ninkovich, Ihedigbo, Chung, and Brady all said this.

    Let’s review:

    2009: Remember that Saints game? It was a blowout. Remember that playoff game against the Ravens? Remember that Broncos game?

    2010: The D improved a bit. The O clicked. We still lost to the Jets in the playoffs.

    What were the characteristics of these losses? The running game killed us. The D couldn’t stop long drives. We gave up and got blown out. Our O couldn’t put it together under man coverage, pressure. Our O-Line fell apart. Let’s look at this year and the close games….

    Bills: A bad game for us but you can’t help feeling that they would have won this if it hadn’t been for some questionable calls, and FOUR unlucky picks. The Bills were also red-hot at the time.

    Cowboys: Close game similar to that Broncos game in 2009. Except that this time, the D held up when it needed to, the O found secondary targets (Hernandez when Gronk wasn’t making it) and pulled it out.

    Steelers: This could have been that Saints game in 2009. Instead, we hung in there and came decently close to tieing it. In fact, BB said recently that this was the game where he knew that this team was special.

    Giants: A bad game on both sides of the ball. But again, we kept it very close and almost won it. Manning made some incredible throws (Ballard over the middle, etc.) and pulled it out. But I’d take us over the Giants any day in a rematch.

    Broncos: We got ripped. Like the Ravens playoff game. Just got crushed. But the D came back, got a couple turnovers by ripping the ball out, Brady made the adjustments and we turned it around in the second half. Do you guys remember the main complaint in the 2009-2010 years? It was that we faltered in second halves. That our coaching staff couldn’t make in-game adjustments. Yeah right.

    Dolphins: Again, our D looked sleepy but we got the turnovers when we needed them. Our O made the adjustments. This reminded me of the Jets playoff game last year. Brady was getting pressured, our O-line was on the 3rd stringers, our recievers were getting blanketed, the running game was stuck. But in the second half, Welker and the TEs started getting open, Branch and Ocho hung in there, Ridley bailed out BJGE.

    This team has what it takes to make it to the SB.

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