Reading and Thinking Football

Football, including books thereon and idiosyncratic thinking thereabout

Upon Further Review: NE@TEN

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UPDATE (04/18, 2355 CT): Whole game’s finally up here.

T41 1 10 Weak I Run 4 Henry Right Tackle
Jones in the familiar H-back formation, and the Titans run that way. The Pats are able to overload that side with the pursuit after a big hole at first, and Henry’s not the sort of runner with the ability to cut this run back left. Still a decent gain on first down.
T45 2 6 3-WR, Slot Strong Pass 27 Bennett Stop
Pats bring pressure, so VY throws a quick 3 yard pass to Bennett. Samuel misses the tackle and Drew is able to race down the sidelines for a big chunk of yardage. (CA)
N28 1 10 2-TE Run 1 Henry Iso
I know, let’s just plow Travis Henry into the line for a yard. He almost danced a little, waiting for a hole to open up, but it didn’t happen. Pats did a good job to bring an 8th guy down into the box late.
N27 2 9 3-WR, Slot Strong Run 2 Henry Left Tackle
Run strong left. Seymour is the DE at the point of attack, and Roos gets a good initial block but Bell doesn’t get a good seal and Seymour is able to slow up Henry enough for the pursuit to catch up at the hole.
N25 3 7 Shotgun Base Pass 16 Wade Drag(?)
Pats bring pressure with a delayed blitz, and the Titans didn’t do a great job of protection. Enter VY Superstar. He scrambles to his left and, while being pressured, sets his feet and throws a dart to a wide open Bobby Wade 15 yards downfield. (DO) for degree of difficulty of play in general.
N9 1 G Pacman Strong Pass Inc Henry Checkdown
The Titans appeared to set out to confuse the Patriots this play, lining up Pacman first on the weak side, then motioning him to the strongside. Play starts as a fake read option, and VY kind of rolls to his right. Maybe Henry was supposed to split out and didn’t get there, but this was a very dangerous pass. VY was fixated on his left side, else a throw to Brandon Jones standing along the sidelines at the 7 would have been advisable. (BR) by a confused QB.
N9 2 G Weak I Penalty -5 Hall False Start
N14 2 G 3-WR, Slot Strong Run 7 Henry Iso
This play shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does. It’s a straight handoff to Henry, run right at left guard. Yet Bruschi fills the outside gap and Alexander fills the cutback lane and Henry can just keep running forward. If a pulling Olson gets to the hole a little bit faster, this is probably a TD.
N7 3 G 2-TE Pass Inc Hartsock In
Titans seemingly unaccustomed to seeing more than 4 rushers playing against own team, don’t do great job blocking 5 with 6. Vrabel has his hands on VY’s ankle, but VY gets a lob-type pass of the sort that makes you wonder “What the hell was he thinking” when it comes out of his hand and gets it to Hartsock in the end zone. And Hartsock can’t hang it. !#$!@#%!#%. (PR) is the grade because a good throw hits Hartsock in the chest, but again, for a degree of difficulty DO wouldn’t be out of whack here. Fisher opts to challenge, and a reversal would have undoubtedly been huge. But I thought at the time from the initial showing it was a bad call, and it looks worse on replay.
Drive Notes: TEN leads 3-0 after Bironas hits a 25 yard FG. Not getting the TD was annoying, but something you can live with. The most notable thing about this drive was how often the Titans came out in singleback sets. Out of 9 times lined up, 7 of them had a sole setback. That’s much more what a normal Titans 2-minute drive looked like, particularly with 5 of those being 3-WR sets.
T19 1 10 I-Formation Run 1 Henry Off Tackle
Mediocre run right strong. Meh.
T20 2 9 2-TE Strong Run 4 Henry Iso
T20 2 9 Penalty -12 Bell Unnec. Rough.
Run up the middle for a couple. This may be the play where Hulkuli and the refs started to lose control of this game. The penalty should have been called on Mawae, for a late shove, and it would have been deserved. After Mawae gets a hit in, three Pats start to go after him, which is when Bell comes in with a shove from behind. Which is when Hochuli finally pulls a flag. Uhuh, Ed, gotta get this stuff nipped in the bud. This wasn’t a smart play by Bell, by any means, but Mawae and the refs are higher on the culpability scale in my book.
T12 3 17 Shotgun Base Run 17 Henry Draw
T12 3 17 Penalty -6 Bell Holding
I hate the draw play on 3&long, but from your own 12, it’s probably not too bad of an idea. The hold is a little iffy and looks worse from behind. As the cliche goes, if you want to call holding on every play, you could. Maybe after not having control the previous play, Hochuli wanted to re-assert his superiority. Well, this is one way to do it. Yes, this game still rankles me 8 weeks later; however could you tell?
T6 4 23 4-WR Pass Inc White Checkdown
Harrison comes on a delayed blitz, and isn’t picked up at all. VY does very well to avoid going down and throw the ball to White underneath to avoid a safety. Naturally, Harrison hangs onto VY for a while after he throws the ball away. If VY goes down like most people would, that’s roughing the passer. If Hope did the same thing to Brady, it’s roughing the passer. I doubt the double standard is explicit, but roughing the passer was a real problem for the NFL this year, and this is just another example.
Drive Notes: Game tied 3-3. Must … remain … calm …
T33 1 10 Weak I Pass Inc Bennett In(?)
MGoBlog, from whence UFR, had this receiver called “Tacopants,” who was officially defined as Jason Avant’s 10 foot tall duplicate. Now, I’d like to expand that concept to “the WR who’s the intended target when the ball isn’t anywhere near the intended target.” This pass appears to have been intended for Tacopants. Nowhere near Bennett, no clue what VY was seeing on this play. BR and IN both equally plausible here, but I’m going for (IN) because there’s already been a BR.
T33 2 10 Strong I Penalty -5 Bennett False Start
T28 2 15 3-WR, Slot Strong Pass -7 Young Sack
The pocket absolutely collapses around VY. Green gets there first, and appears to simply overpower Bell with a bull rush, and Mawae can’t shake off Wright in time to help. Naturally, Randy Cross on the replay talks about how the Pats are trying to pressure VY from the outside, when if the inside had held, the ends would have been out of the play. Oh, yeah, and VY needs to do a better job of holding onto the fotball. Rusher coming up the middle, get a hold onto the pigskin.
Drive Notes: Titans trailing 9-3. Must … remain … calm … well, I don’t have to, but I will for now.
T27 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 24 Bennett Stop(?)
Bennett is standing all by his lonesome 20 yards down the field by the left sideline and VY hits him. If receivers were this open all day, you’d have to be Kerry Collins not to complete all your passes (see TEN@MIA, Week 3). (CA)
N49 1 10 2-TE Run 2 Henry Iso
Blah, generic run left side.
N47 2 8 Shotgun Strong Pass 7 Wade Out
A little bit of a roll for VY, and the short pass to Wade. Pass is pretty lousy, though, and Wade has to go up and make a good catch. For such an easy throw, a (IN) is appropriate. An easy catch for MGoBlog’s Tacopants, though.
N40 3 1 3-WR, Slot Weak Run 9 Henry Right Tackle
Titans a little bit of a hurry-up here, and catch the Pats a little off guard. Henry does well to avoid the tackle of Warren at the point of attack and rumbles for a good gain and a 3rd down conversion. This is also the “infamous” “Rodney Harrison gets hurt” play, where Wade takes him out on a perfectly legal block. Naturally, the Pats players are whining about it. Mind you, I’m not happy to see any player get hurt, but it does happen.
N31 1 10 2-TE Strong Penalty -5 Henry False Start
N36 1 15 3-WR, Slot Strong Pass Inc Jones Go
White starts out in the backfield, then flexes out way wide. Jones is the slot WR to White’s side and just runs straight up the field. VY’s pass is too far, though, and he can’t bring it in. Just a bad throw. (IN)
N36 2 15 2-TE Run 2 Henry Iso
Blah, short run left side.
N34 3 15 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Bennett In
VY rolls out, pretty good protection, and Bennett’s open a dozen yards downfield. Short of the first down, but definitely in field goal range and maybe there’s enough space to pick up YAC for the first down. Gotta catch the ball first, though, and Drew doesn’t. (CA)
Drive Notes: Trailing 12-3, Fisher elects to punt from the 34 on 4&15. I’d bet the rain that fell during the game played a big role in his decision, but I’m not sure it was the right one. 15 yards is far, and a miss on a FG from 52 yards leaves you in a bad spot. But, the Pats do take the ball 91 yards, it’s the second quarter, and you have to win the game to make the playoffs. I don’t think going for it is that crazy. I’d be interested to hear William Krasker‘s take on the situation, or what Zeus would say, but neither has anything up on this decision in particular.
T32 1 10 Strong I Run 25 Henry Iso
Even numbers at the point of attack! Good blocks! Runs you and I could get a first down on! Alexander and Bruschi are the guys who have a chance to make the play, but Scaife is able to slide off the double team and get to Bruschi, and Alexander has to maintain backside contain. The safeties are playing off, and Henry’s open in space.
N43 1 10 Strong I Run 7 Henry Iso
Almost the same formation, though Hall here is lined up almost as an H-back, in the position Brandon Jones is familiar with. This is also a bit quicker of a handoff, more of a draw play, and more up the middle. Still, it works for the same reasons, though the safety Sanders isn’t playing as far off.
N36 2 3 2-TE Strong Run 34 Henry Iso
This time, a safety’s playing up, but Hawkins makes a bad read and Hall gets 2 blocks for the price of one. Maybe if Bennett gets a better block downfield, Samuel can’t make the tackle before Henry’s in the end zone. Still, it’s tough to be displeased about a big gainer like this one.
N2 1 G Weak I, 3-TE Pass -5 Young Sack
It’s a waggle play, of a sort, but the Pats have it well strung out. VY HAS to be smarter with the ball here and just throw it into the stands. He’s outside the pocket, no grounding, but he’s trying to make a play. The Pats had this one too well defensed. (BR) may be an odd grade, given that he didn’t throw the ball, but it really gets to the stupidity of the decision. Plus, if VY had just taken a step backwards and thrown the ball away, they would have called Sanders for roughing the passer just like they called Vanden Bosch for roughing Brady on the Pats’ drive. Yeah, right.
N7 2 G I-Formation Run 2 White Iso
Cutback lane, cutback lane. VY gets trip on the handoff, but it still goes successfully. There’s a great cutback lane to the left here, but White plows straight ahead into the Pats defenders. Please, Titans, bring in a back who can cutback with some speed.
N5 3 G Weak I, 2-WR Weak Pass Inc Hall Flat
VY misses Hall in the flat. Bruschi is coming up to hit Hall, and does in fact, making helmet to helmet contact after Hall can’t make the catch. Naturally, this is a personal foul. Haha, just kidding. I’m not really sure whether VY or Hall is at fault here. Call it (.5 CA, .5 IN). A better option would have been Bennett on the slant to the left side.
Drive Notes: Trailing 19-3, Fisher kicks the FG. And Bironas misses from 23.
T46 1 10 Weak I, 2-WR Weak Pass -2 Young Sack
Waggle action. Colvin is the weakside LB, and rushes. Hall gets a chip, but isn’t able to force Colvin away from where VY is moving. Sorry, Ahmard, this one’s on you.
T44 2 12 I-Formation Run -3 Henry Iso
Run up the middle. The Titans’ blocking screws up this play. Olson blocks down, Stewart looks to be waiting for an outside rush. Warren, lined up in the 3-4 end position, has a gap and is able to penetrate inside. Seymour is also able to push Bell back. Somebody actually throws a flag for extracurriculars, but Hochuli picks it up. I can’t believe I missed how much he screwed up this game the first time through.
T41 3 15 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc Jones Out(?)
Jones lines up outside, looks like he just runs about 14 yards down the field (yes, just short of the marker) and stops. Samuel, in pass coverage, makes a nice play to cut under and knock the ball away. VY really seemed to rifle the ball; he appeared to have been looking at the other side of the field and was throwing from the opposite hash. A little bit of a dangerous throw, unless he was paying more attention than I thought; he could have been baited into an INT here like Anthony Henry did back in Week 4 in VY’s first start. Still, not a bad throw, but a better play by Samuel. (CA) A look at the coveted all-22 camera angle shows Jones to be the Titan most open, but an alternative would have been Bennett down the line on the opposite side from Jones.
Drive Notes: Trailing 19-10 after Pacman returns a punt in the last minute of the first half, the Titans get the ball in pretty good field position to start the second half, and do absolutely nothing with it.
T23 1 10 I-Form, 2-WR Weak Run 2 Henry Iso
Well, Hall showed a nice burst through the hole on the left side. Too bad Henry had the ball.
T25 2 8 Strong I, 2-WR Weak Pass Inc Bennett Out(?)
T25 2 8 Penalty 15 NE-Wright Roughing the Passer
I’m not really sure what the hell the Titans were trying to accomplish with this play. Throw is to Bennett about 6 yards downfield, and it’s not a good one. (IN) Wright gives VY a bit of a headslap; amazingly enough, this is called.
T40 1 10 Standard 2-TE Pass Inc Bennett Bootleg Deep
Bennett and Jones run a sort of deep cross 40 yards downfield, with Bennett running a flag from the opposite side of the field and Jones on the post. Jones deflects the ball, breaking Bennett’s concentration as the ball deflects and hits him right in the !#@$!# chest. (DO) may be inflated, but considering the degree of difficulty here, I think it’s deserved. Dick Enberg gives Artrell Hawkins for “good defense” for falling down. That would’ve been a bad PI call, but I’ve seen worse this year.
T40 2 10 3-WR, Slot Weak Pass Inc Williams In
T40 2 10 Penalty 15 NE-Hobbs Unnec. Rough.
Short pass underneath. VY hits Roydell in the chest, and he flat out drops it. (CA) because it’s a short throw and not a great one. The PF call isn’t the worst call/non-call this game. Still it looks like “give the Titans a break” more than actually deserved.
N45 1 10 2-TE Strong Run 2 Henry Iso
Blah, run up the middle.
N43 2 8 Strong I Run 3 Henry Iso
N43 2 8 Penalty +15 NE-Seymour Personal Foul
Blah, run up the middle. No clue what the personal foul was for, except it appeared to be a post-play infraction.
N25 1 10 I-Formation Run 2 White Iso
Blah, run up the middle. White sees a guy (Wright?) right in front of him, tries to move to the side. Probably would have done better to just blow ahead at him. I think he was actually trying to bounce it outside outside, something he might have been able to get away with in college. Welcome to the NFL, kid.
N23 2 8 Weak I Pass 10 Bennett Hook
Nice playcall here. Bennett runs a short sitdown route and gets a little lost in the shuffle. He’s able to get 7 YAC for the first down. (CA)
N13 1 10 Shotgun 4-WR Pass Inc Willias Out
Short out route, not a great throw by VY. Roydell reaches back for it, and should have had it, though. (.5 CA, .5 IN) Seems like an odd formation for 1&10 from the opposing 13 for the Titans
N13 2 10 2-TE Strong Run 1 Henry Left Tackle
Generic strong-side run.
N12 3 9 Trips Right Weak Pass 3 Wade Drag(?)
Unusual formation for the Titans, not one I remember seeing much, if at all. I kinda suspect this isn’t quite the way they had it drawn up–on 3&this close you want more YAC space for Wade or a pass beyond the first down marker. All-22 would probably be helpful. So would X-ray vision and unlimited money.
Drive Notes: Bironas hits from 27 to make cut the NE lead to 19-13.
T35 1 10 I-Formation Pass 53 Jones Fly
Not a bad pocket, VY just chucks it downfield for Jones. Pass is underthrown, but that may have been deliberate. Probably not, but still not a bad throw. (CA), and a nicer grab by Jones. If only he could have run into the end zone…
N12 1 10 Trips Left Weak Pass 1 Young Scramble
Good pressure by NE, but this is VY showing his inexperience. If he keeps his head up, he has Wade running across the formation and it’s at least a 5 yard gain. (BR)
N11 2 9 I-Formation Run 2 Henry Iso
Familiar formation and play. Jones over the TE in his H-back role, and a run up the middle.
N9 3 7 Strong I Pass Inc Scaife Out
Some contact from Sanders on Scaife, but not enough to draw a personal foul. Of course. Nobody was really open. Maybe if Sanders doesn’t touch Scaife, Bo can make the play. (CA), I guess.
Drive Notes: Bironas hits from 27 to cut the NE lead to 26-16. Trading FGs for TDs isn’t a winning strategy, though.
T30 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Wade Go(?)
A little bit of a chuck and hope play. (IN) for overthrown and a helping of overall balance. Wade may have been bumped, I’m not sure.
T30 2 10 Strong I Run 1 Henry Iso
Blah, short run.
T31 3 9 Shotgun Strong Pass Inc Jones Go
T31 3 9 Penalty 34 NE-Hobbs Pass Interference
Hobbs cuts off Brandon’s route. You’d think this is an easy call, so naturally Cross questions it.
N35 1 10 Weak I Pass -8 Young Sack
Play looks a little like a Chinese fire drill, in terms of how organized the Titans are. Hartsock his block on Vrabel, who’s able to strafe the ball and knock it out of VY’s hands. VY has to take better care of the football next year.
N43 2 18 Shotgun 4-WR Pass 15 Williams Hitch
Short pass to Roydell, who’s all alone and able to get about 10 YAC. (CA), but a high throw and not a very good one.
N28 1 10 3-WR, Slot Weak Pass 28-TD Young Scramble
Starts off as a familiar Weak I, 2-WR Weak, then Henry motions out wide strong side. VY rolls right, doesn’t have a good pocket, moves back the other side, dodges a tackler and pulls off some serious VY mojo. I (heart) VY. (SCR)
Drive Notes: NE lead down to 26-23. For the first time this game, it felt like the Titans were playing well and were going to win. I started to think about logging onto EBay and looking for Colts playoff tickets.
T24 1 10 Weak I Pass 3 Hall Throwback
Throwback to Hall after VY rolls left. Hall initially shows block on Banta-Cain and is able to get a little bit of separation, and gets about 5 YAC. This is a play that gets more yardage with a speedier player, which is why the Titans seem to run it more often with their (not fast enough) RBs. (CA)
T27 2 7 2-TE Strong Run -2 Henry Right Tackle
Generic strong side run. Mike Wright is able to crash down the line and beat Mawae at the snap to create the loss.
T25 3 9 Shotgun Base Pass 14 Bennett In
A little criss-cross action here between Bennett and Wade the slot WR, going in and out/flag. Bennett ends up with Bruschi the closest guy and VY is able to exploit a mismatch. Ball is actually thrown about 8 yards, but Bennett is able to turn and dive for the extra yardage. (CA)
T39 1 10 2-TE Strong, 2-WR Weak Run -2 Henry Iso
Going to be a run right up the middle, and should have gone for decent first down yardage. Except Bell doesn’t get a very good block on Bruschi, so Henry tries to cut right and doesn’t have anywhere to go.
T37 2 12 Strong I Pass Inc Jones Drag
Titans go max-protect, send out only two WRs. VY steps up into the pocket where he’s most dangerous, and finds Jones crossing over the middle. He appears to be open, but Samuel is able to recover enough to bat the ball away from underneath. Good defensive play here. (CA)
T37 3 12 Shotgun Base Pass INT Roby Go(?)
Pats come with a blitz, and it’s picked up, or at least well enough. Roby seems to have two guys on him, with Samuel playing over the top. Not a great place to throw the ball for VY, and he compounds that error by putting it too far for Roby, but where Samuel can take the ball. (IN)
Drive Notes: Down 26-23, points would have been nice. On 3&12, a 49 yard punt with a 17 yard return isn’t too bad, though. VY with a nice clothesline tackle on Samuel, though.
T30 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Scaife Seam
Scaife runs a decent route 20 yards downfield. VY hits him with a good pass, and Scaife can’t bring it in. Not a great throw, so (CA), but still plenty good and should have been caught.
T30 2 10 Strong I, 2-WR Weak Pass Inc Scaife Out
Scaife runs a little 5 yard route, turns out, and can’t bring in the ball. Bruschi may have hit him a hair too early, but that’s a tough call to make. (CA)
T30 3 10 Shotgun Base Pass -2 Young Sack
VY looks downfield, but the Titans only sent out 3 pass catchers and the Pats dropped 8 into coverage, 6 of them deep. Nowhere to throw the ball, so VY steps up, looking to take off and is brought down. This is really a run, thus (SCR).
Drive Notes: Down 26-23 with 9 to play, you need points.
T38 1 10 3-WR, Slot Weak Pass 7 Wade Smoke
Quick pass to Wade 3 yards behind the line. The kind of play where what Bobby Wade does well can show off. (CA)
T45 2 3 Shotgun Base Pass 5 Hartsock Out
Short pass to Hartsock, who avoids the tackle by Sanders and picks up the first down. Another nice little playcall. (CA)
50 1 10 3-WR, Slot Weak Pass Inc Hartsock Throwback
VY fakes left, throws back to Hartsock right. Colvin was rushing from that side and makes a nice play to jump up and bat the ball down, else this is probably a decent little gain for Hartsock. (CA)
50 2 10 Shotgun Base Pass 3 Henry Dumpoff
Colvin rushes from the LOLB spot, and Roos doesn’t kick out to meet him. Rushing 3, the Pats get a free shot on VY, who does a very good job to dump the ball off to Henry and avoid a sack. (DO) is the grade for good presence of mind and to preserve an overall sense of justice to the rankings.
N47 3 7 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Nobody Thrown Away
See what happens when you don’t rush 4 all the time? You rush a lot of 5 or 6, then when you rush 3 the QB doesn’t see the space he’s come to expect and will throw the ball away. If I don’t have a (TA) category for balls smartly thrown away, I do now. Unless I should just grade it (CA).
N37 4 7 Shotgun Base Pass Inc Jones Go(?)
Roos false starts, not called. VY chucks the ball downfield, where Hawkins is playing deep safety and is able to bat the ball away. (.5 CA, .5 BR)… Jones gets to the ball, but Hawkins was already there.
Drive Notes: Titans start drive trailing 33-23, end drive trailing 33-23.
T24 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass 17 Williams In
Pats playing soft, easy throw underneath, no YAC. (CA)
T41 1 10 Shotgun Strong Pass 23 Hartsock In
Little throw underneath, and the Pats player who should have coverage falls down, allowing Hartsock to pick up about 20 YAC. (CA)
N36 1 10 Shotgun Base Pass INT Roby In
Looking for Hartsock on a short route, VY makes an absolutely dreadful throw right to Samuel. This pass appears to have been intended for Tacopants. (IN)x3.
Drive Notes: It’s been three and a half months since this drive happened, and I’m still pissed off. This is a drive that shouldn’t have happened. The Pats had a first and goal inside of the 2 minute warning and could have taken three kneeldowns and ended the game. But Bill Belichick demonstrate his true “classy” nature and lets his buddy VinnyT get a touchdown pass to run up the score. Fuck that shit, asshole. This makes it personal. This is Sam Wyche onside-kicking up 45-0.

Written by Tom Gower

February 20, 2007 at 04:32

Posted in Uncategorized

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