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Just a Bit Better

That is what the Patriots were.  Call it home field advantage, or coming off a bye week, or BB or Brady or the revenge factor, the Patriots were just a little bit better than us.  I still think we are the better team overall.  Play that game at a neutral site, we win.  Play that at M&T ten times and we probably win seven or eight of them.  Hats off to the Vegas folks for correctly predicting Patsies by three…

 

The Good

Ball security- again, not even a hint at losing the football.  Turnovers in general- that was a sweet grab by Carr for the pick.  Like the padding of the stats with the Hail Mary pick at the end –kind of helps to even out our lopsided TO ratio. Flacco played well.  Yes he mis-fired on one or two throws, but overall a pretty good game from him.  Offense seems to getting just a little bit better each week –definitely more fluid and more rhythm than week 1.  Koch’s punting.  Ngata played lights out –too bad the rest of the defense was kind of in a funk.

Overall record: 4 – 2 and we get Reed back.  At the beginning of the season if we had been told that is where we would be, we would have taken it.  And Reed is coming back.  Hopefully, an easy win at home against the hapless Bills and then two weeks off to heal.

Not to be too much of a namby-pamby positive-homer, but let us say we had lost that first game to NY 9 – 7 or 12 – 10, but had beaten NE in OT 23 -20 yesterday –we would have the same overall record and the same AFC record but everybody would be high-fiving, saying wow, we are 4 - 2, look out NFL as we get Reed back, play Buffalo at home, get our bye and then Stallworth and BA back shortly thereafter.  How is the current team any different from the team I just described?  None.  The Ravens are fine, in fine shape.  Yes, there are areas that need to be corrected, but here is the key: these areas are all correctable.  There are no glaring deficiencies with how this team has been architected for this year.  The difference between this year and past years is that we have the personnel in place to make the corrections.  Last year, we were stuck with the receivers we had and could do nothing about it and we suffered because of it.


The Bad

Gadget plays.  Two weeks in row, we have fallen prey to them.  Cleveland’s were called back because of penalties, but it definitely exposed a weakness that BB took advantage off.  Opposing tight ends.  If there is a flaw in Mattison’s scheme, that seems to be it.  And where was Cody?  Is he hurt?  Was he active?  Did he have any snaps?

Our net punt returns were just awful.  Not sure if it was just a string of bad luck or a perfect storm of events or what, but how many times did we let the ball bounce for NE’s favor?  And in that same vein our kickoff returns are a bad combination of poor decision making and retched blocking/ST penalties.

Okay, lots of folks calling for Cam’s head.  Honestly, I did not see it.  I watched the same game y’all did and while Cam did not earn OC of the Year on Sunday, it was not that bad of a game plan.  The third and inches QB sneak, yeah, that was bad, but Flacco is just as much to blame on that as Cam.  Plus that is not the sole reason we lost and was by far not the only me mistake we made or the most critical.  We had plenty of other chances to close out the victory.  Joe needs to recognize and adjust.

In the end, it came down to a chess match between Cam and Mattison versus BB and BB won.  Can’t beat BB every time.  I think Mattison had a worse game than Cam.  Mattison did a poor job of anticipating what BB was going to do on any given play call –the gadget plays were *killing* us and so was NE’s tight end.  Mattison never did adjust to take the TE out of the game.

It will be interesting to see how much the defense changes with Reed back.  Will there be a period of adjustment?  Probably.


The Ugly

Our tackling and the penalties.  It seemed like we were playing very disciplined football this year and then we lapsed.  Oher had like what, three penalties?  Cundiff’s KO penalty???  Then McClain; stupid, stupid, stupid.  Although Webb’s PI was a BS call, but hey, the NFL has to give BB & Brady some love or else the universe will fall out of kilter…

What was up with our tackling?  Our safeties whiffed, Webb whiffed, even our LB’s whiffed on numerous occasions.  We made Woodhead look like CJ2K out there…

Merriweather.  It is rare that I mention an opposing player, but he should have been ejected on that play, especially in light of the NFL’s crackdown on helmet to helmet hits.  That was just an ugly play on Heap all the way around.


Time (for the team) to get P.O.’d, welcome Buffalo to town and take them to the woodshed like they are a red-headed stepchild that stole somethin’.

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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