Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Brady Bunch Revival -or- How The Dolphins Defeated The Patriots (The Prequel) UPDATED 11/6/09

Well it's hard to figure out the 2009 New England Patriots.  Sure they have Brady back, and he keeps saying every week about how he's in the best shape of his life and how he doesn't feel sore after games, etc.  They put up a 59-0 blowout in the snow versus the lowly Tennessee Titans.  They should've lost to a lousy Buffalo team in week 1.  They ran away from the Bucs in London 35 -7, but I watched that game and they didn't seem to be playing any better than Tampa Bay was.  Truth is a series of turnovers and lack of experience really hurt the Bucs in that game.  They were able to run all over the Pats defense, who got almost no pass rush at all.  But Tampa Bay made mistakes, and lots of them, and the Pats took advantage.

Here's the strengths I've identified with the Patriots:
  • Brady is a great QB, but they don't rely on his arm.  The truth is no team runs the screen as much as New England, and any QB can handle that.  But it's the threat of Brady's rifle that backs defenses up and makes them overcompensate with the blitz.  The absolute key player on the field offensively is Wes Welker because he is the prime screen target, and he'll turn a 3 yard dump-off into 12 yards a first down almost every time.
  • The secondary.  I know it seems every week we're going up against a badass secondary but this is the NFL, get used to it.  Now, word is that Johnathan Wilhite, one of their four 'starting' cornerbacks, may have swine flu.  They rotate Wilhite, Leigh Bodden, Shawn Springs, and Darius Butler (all 4 have started this year) heavily, so they are usually well rested.  Of course the main attraction in their defensive backfield is safety Brandon Meriweather, the 3rd year Miami product.
  • Finally, the Pats have the entire NFL Network, ESPN, and CBS networks backing them up at all times.
The weaknesses?  Well I wouldn't say there's any weaknesses.  I would say there's a few 'average' things about this team.  Granted, in order for us to beat them in their house on Sunday, we'll have to suppress their strengths to make them look average, and stomp their average aspects to the point of weakness.  We did it last year in Gillette Stadium.  

Here's how we'll repeat:
  • Everytime we play the Patriots, we spend way too much time trying to figure out how we're going to stop Randy Moss.  And most of the time, we get killed by guys who aren't named Randy Moss.  Moss is dangerous and of course we want to keep him under wraps as much as possible.  But I wouldn't gameplan specifically for him, instead focusing on how we're going to close off the middle of the field and protect against the screen. We'll have to hold back on the 5 and 6 man pass rush to do so, but we'll want pressure on Brady as well.  So we'll have to do a good job of disguising the rush.  With our outside linebacker corp, this shouldn't be that hard a task, but we seem to have not figured it all out yet.  How about the occasional inside blitz with Reggie Torbor (let's face it, Crowder and Ayodele are not pass rushers, but Torbor has shown ability to slip past the blocks up front and get into the backfield.
  • Offensively we need to put up a lot of points.  Typically these games take somewhere between 35 and 50 points to win.  I don't think we can hit 50, but we should be able to hit 35, assuming we don't turn the ball over, and we score TOUCHDOWNS, not field goals, on 5 possessions, approximately 50% of a game's drives.  Driving the length of the field should also eat up most of the clock, preventing Brady from getting too many opportunities.
  • Special teams.  A perfect way to tip the game in our favor would be to own the field position battle.  A few more long returns from Ted Ginn could start things moving for us.  Hopefully he will return a punt or two as well.  After Bess fumbled a punt last week, I would expect him to be in the doghouse, opening the way for Ginn.
  • And finally, as much as I hate to admit it, there must be something in Dan Dierdorf's words that help the Patriots out.  If we can get him to say two or three positive things about the Dolphins, who knows?  It couldn't hurt.


UPDATES
  • Channing Crowder and Jason Ferguson are both listed as DOUBTFUL on today's injury report.  Perhaps Soliai gets his first start of the season, or perhaps they move Starks into the middle and let Merling start at RDE.  Torbor will start in Crowder's absence.

43 comments:

  1. Home SuperBowl 2010November 5, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    Hows it going Tinshaker?

    Think we can pass against the CBs
    While Springs was a good pick up for the Pats, the rest of the CBs are suspect
    Patrick Turner beat Butler in the Senoir Bowl
    Hope the Dolphins activate Turner and keep Ginn fresh
    For a fresh confident Ted Ginn could really start to get his motor going

    Looking for:

    Henne  250+ YDS  2 TDs
    Ronnie Brown 100+ YDs 1 TD

    Miami  27  New England  24

    ***** The DYNASTY BE FINS! *****

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  2. The Knight who says Ni!November 5, 2009 at 4:09 PM

    I know we're all excited about what Ted Ginn did last week, but let's look at it. Get this guy the ball in space whenever we can. No one catches him when he gets a step on you. I hope the coaches rethink how to use him. Get him back on PRs keep him on KRs and put a package together for him on offense. Get him on the the field 12-15 times and try to get him the ball when you can the right way. Not working the middle of the field but on deep routes and long crossing routes like Randy Moss runs. Go routes, deep posts, skinny posts and some screens set up with blockers. Give him a chance to run.

    The way he runs end-arounds and reverses I'd have him do that 2-3 times per game. If we can get the ball in Ginn's hands 12 times per game we should see some big plays.

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  3. The Knight who says Ni!November 5, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Tin is the game a nationally televised game?

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  4. yes it is the lead CBS game on Sunday and 90 percent of the country will get
    it.

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  5. Just checked my comcast schedule and of course when I make plans to hit the bar, we finally have it at home!  Good thing I have a bar at home! And the misses said if JT scores so will I.....

    Man I feel real good about this game.  We're relatively healthy, and I think the fact that we've been playing such intense games puts us at an advantage.  The Pats have had a few walks in the park followed up with a bye week.  I think we see them sluggish, possibly startled by our battle tested team.  I almost get the feeling all the love Belicheat has been showing Parcells in the press is basically him knowing he's about to lose horrendously.  Even if by one point I'd consider it horrendous. 

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  6. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 6:28 AM

    I hope we get it in the NY/NJ area. I have stuff to do around the house and I don't want to have to go to the local sports bar.

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  7. "I almost get the feeling all the love Belicheat has been showing Parcells
    in the press is basically him knowing he's about to lose horrendously."
    Someone has been hitting the home-bar a few days early...

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  8. If you live in Ravens, Bengals, and anywhere in between country, you're
    screwed. (OH, WV, PA, KY, DE, MD and NJ).

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  9. Actually it depends where in Jersey you are. Trenton and anywhere southwest
    of there is getting the Ravens game. Anywhere north of Trenton is getting
    Dolphins game.

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  10. I should say North of and to the East of Trenton

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  11. Yep, that is true. 

    I have the Brady bunch theme song in my head now and I blame you.

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  12. You should blame yourself for watching the show and being familiar with the
    song!

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  13. Are you kidding me?  Not watch the Brady bunch?  Back in the day, I had a big crush on the middle son.  I see the stuff about that reality show he was on last year and I think, Ick! 

    I'm still thinking there is going to be some kind of 'BIG THING' this week we haven't seen before.  A new wildcat wrinkle, putting Smith in as a receiver, dare I say the G word?  Hey, lets put it all together and put Smith in as a receiver in the wildcat for a big passing play!   I want to see that 'WTF?' look on Belichick's face!  LOL ;)

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  14. Put in Jason Allen at WR and make Randy Moss play cornerback against him!

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  15. Have you caught up with the Moscow game yet? What are your comments on the Fletcher incident?

    Back to the Fins - check out this link and video - you may have to watch it at home, but three minutes in they are drawing up blocking and blitzes for the Wildcat. Check out Ginn, lined up wide right, and his 2 downfield "blocks" on the first play. Sheesh. I don't want to join the Ginn is God/Ginn is trash debate - he is what he is and we are stuck with him until we find something better, but I can't imagine BP sitting up there in his box thinking wow - there goes my boy Ginn springing downfield blocks for RnR.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d813f826a&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

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  16. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 8:05 AM

    PHUCK!!!

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  17. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 8:07 AM

    Yes! I'm North of Trenton by about an hour.

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  18. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    I'm to the East as well. Yes!

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  19. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 8:09 AM

    What's up groovy chick?  ;)

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  20. I couldn't get the game so I watched 'Match of The day' which was good
    because I got to see some of the other teams. That Marseilles game was
    ridiculous! Has that goalkeeper gone into hiding yet? And Drogba is scary
    looking. Should be a fun Sunday for you, eh? I'll probably have to wait
    til Monday to watch Man U.
    Re: Fletcher, personally, I don't think it was a clear penalty against
    Moscow. The more I looked at it, the less serious it looked. I don't think
    it should have gone against Fletcher at all though. Personally if I were
    the ref I would've just let them play on.
    Re: Ginn, he's not a very big/wide frame, so he's not going to the pro-bowl
    for his blocking, but he is respectable as a small, thin WR in his downfield
    blocking. Everyone was praising Bess for his blocking, but lately he's
    looked terrible in that aspect. Same for Fasano. I said it last year, that
    Martin was a better blocker than Fasano, and got laughed at, but Martin
    wasn't nearly as bad as Fasano has been this year. Between not catching the
    ball, fumbling when he does, and not blocking anyone, Fasano is having a
    shockingly bad year.

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  21. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 8:16 AM

    The movie spoofs were hilarious though. Yes I did grow up watching the Brady Bunch. Every kid my age did.

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  22. There's an adult/P**n version called something like 'Not the Brady Bunch' or
    something like that if you want to expand upon that middle son fantasy of
    yours, lol. Whatever happened to the younger son? Never seen that guy
    after the show ended.

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  23. Uh, something suddenly came up!

    In all seriousness, I am on day 3 of being home sick, me and my youngest.  I found the end of the internet yesterday....... 8-)

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  24. Ohhhh Nooo, I did that once and it scarred me for months!

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  25. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    The end of the internet? Wow that's freaky.

    That reminds me of the time when I put coffee in the microwave and went back in time.  :-E

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  26. I haven't seen any of the other games except the goals from the Arsenal game and the Liverpool game, where they scored a brilliant goal but Lyon equalised, essentially putting Liverpool out (barring miracles).
    I can't wait for Sunday and at some stage, I have to get a tape of the England Australia rugby game in. I could end up watching 10 hours of sport .... tough life huh?
    There was no way Fletch should have been booked and from the tv repeats from every angle it was widely perceived to be a cast iron penalty - here is some of the post-match reaction. If it had been Owen, Berbatov or Ronaldo, a dive might have been possible, but not Fletch. He is a dour Scot and not a cheat. I'd stake my house on it

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2009/11/sir_alex_ferguson_relaxed.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8341479.stm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnC-u9qQppU

    Agree on Bess and Fasano catching and blocking, but check out the Ginn blocks. They are as funny as the pic of Joey giving him a "hug" that I posted the other day.
    Btw, is is just me or does it look like Nani and Rooney are dancing?

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  27. I don't think he took a dive and I don't think he was tripped intentionally
    either. I think both players had momentum carry them into the collision -
    Fletcher was going forward at full speed, and the defender was trying to
    stay on his feet and moving backwards while trying to block with his foot -
    he pulled back before Fletcher went down. Really don't see it as being
    intentional at all. In the end, it doesn't matter, we lead the group and
    got another point.

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  28. Did you make lots of cocktails with vodka by any chance, Tinshakerski? j/k.
    I do like the outcome though as you said - top of the group and we should go through as the #1 seed.
    Btw, "Riogate" (following on from groingate) hast started now. He has a "calf injury" and won't play Sunday and "may be out for some time" and his lower back is being checked out? Make of all that what you will, but it smells awful "Rothy" to me? Anyway, I expect Vidic and Evans will be our centreback pairing vs Chelsea.

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  29. Being delusional is way underrated guys!!  Join me, it's fun in here!

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  30. I think Ferdinand has been out due to injury to at least 60% of the games
    I've watch this year

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  31. whoa when is this brazil friendly?

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  32. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    What's that about naked women?

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  33. How many of the original kids signed on for that version? ;)

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  34. considering their subsequent career paths, i'd guess all of them.

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  35. Hey, I just remembered that Randy Moss got kind of roughed up and looked like he hurt his arm or shoulder when they played in London.  Is he 100%?  Or is it wishful thinking on my part that he isn't?  LOL

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  36. TIN,What the heck is that belly fat thing??
    I kept waiting for a punch-line or funny video,and it just went on-and-on till I couldn't stand anymore!!
    Whats the deal,is it a joke,or is it real,should I have waited for the kicker,or is it a community service to the basketball bellied readers?? (No disrespect intended)!!

    Like I said,I coon't stanz namore!! Could you summerize??

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  37. Looks to me like (for the most part) a perfect game will be the diagnosis for a potential victory,(ONCE AGAIN)!!

    IMHO,their goin to succesfully focus on shuttin-down RB/RW/WF,(they have a vandetta,and took notes last wk)!!
    Henne/cast vs Brady/cast plus 2 wks prep,YEP it'll take a perfect game w'some D/ST's points on the road!!
    Different sameness @home next month,(that @home thing to go along w'2wks prep) scares me,but we ALWAYS give them their $$'s worth,(even in 07)..

    I remember after the saints game some were saying,"we had 2 wks to prepare,how could we possibly lose"..
    I just hope that IFF we don't play a near perfect game,the above quote gets consideration from the other-side of the street haters!!

    NO MATTER what the result Sunday, (@THE LEAST) ,I STILL have us @ 9-7 when all's said and done!!

    PreSeason,I said CClemons would be the starter by wk 10!!  
    Fergie/CC down, OUUCCCHHH !!

    GO      M       I       A        M       I              D       O       L       P       H       I        N        S !!!!  :)  

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  38. The Knight who says Ni!November 6, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    I checked my guide and the game is on in my area. Awesome!

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  39. Belichick gave Moss the BYE week off completely and he has practiced this
    week.

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  40. where is tin with out new post for the week? Is he like I was, in the fetal position ;)  

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