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  1. Pats fan here. This is just an amazing game, a miracle win and a choke of a loss. Your team has nothing to be ashamed of though and you proved to me and everyone else your team is for real. Your D is legit and your offense is amazing. I have no doubt you will make a deep run next year. This game luck was on the Pats size. Atlanta played better on the whole and i am not going to try to say otherwise. Neither team played their best. I hope we see you again next year with both teams bringing their A game all 60 minutes.
  2. My favorite prediction sites are Football Outsiders, 538, PFF, CHFF, Vegas, ect. I don't put much stock into "expert" picks. They are not football experts they are media people. Interestingly enough even former players tend to not be good at making picks either due to bias or being too close and unable to so the forest for the trees. Very few "football experts" actually are able to correctly predict the close contest games on better than coin flip odds.
  3. So Falcons lose in a close game? Fair enough prediction. I just think it is unfortunate making a prediction like that gets you flamed. I know this is a Falcons board and the fans here want the Falcons to win but just cause you think the team will lose a close game is no reason to go off on you. If someone made such a comment on the Pats board about the Falcons winning I would disagree cause i also think the Patriots win but it is not a bad prediction.
  4. I don't want to get into specifics too much cause then you start to debate player X vs player Z and most fans think their player X should beat other teams player Z too often or forget about it in context of the overall scheme and the whole of the unit. It becomes a much harder conversation to have but I will mention a few generalities and players. Why do i feel confident the Pats will make the Atlanta run mostly ineffective? The key is the size and power of our DTs particularly Branch. I could point out stats but stats aside they have not let teams run up the middle and tend to particularly bunker down in the 2nd half. Some early success running might not be unexpected but as the game goes on i expect it mostly to be ineffective. Also I would point out the Pats DEs (Flowers aside) are better at holding the edge than pass rushing. It is something Belichick values great and Vets like Long/Ninkovich while unlikely to make plays don't tend to make many mistakes and stay in their gap. Hightower is one of the best run stoppers in the NFL at LB. I have respect for your run game but this D has done well on this all year. If you are to have success it will be due to our 2nd LB (assuming Chung is not filling that roles as a LB/SS). They are less dependable and the clear weak point of the D. You may have run on Ds like it but this is a better version of those run Ds and they don't mind giving up pass rush on 1st and 2nd down unless they feel the have an advantage on down and distance. The Pats do plan to pass rush but they will let you short pass before they let you run. Also while doing this they will chip players on the edge with their DEs to help the pass defense. It is something they make a point of doing other teams don't as much particularly with their bigger personnel out there. If you know your pass rush will be a bit slow why not chip right? The Pats will limit your YAC and big plays cause that is what they are taught to do. Maybe Jones comes down with something here or there cause he is a beast but not much. Bill believes strongly in taking away the big play and making you drive. McCourty plays extra deep just to be sure you can't get behind him and they rarely leave a CB 1v1 deep on any WR unless they are confident in the match up and know it will take a perfect throw and tough catch to complete it. They purposely sacrifice the underneath somewhat to protect the big play. In the art of war it says something along the lines of "if you try to be strong everywhere you will be weak everywhere". Bill takes that thought to heart and knows he need to leave some opening and picks consistently for it to be the short play. It is the scheme design with extra help deep and having players like McCourty and the less known Harmon who specialize in taking it away. As far as YAC it is scheme related and personnel related. One point the Pats emphasize it tackling. They drill it a lot and look for it in their players. They know the value of sure tackling. They play sometimes a step back just to be sure they have a good line to make the tackle. This is one stat I will bring up. #1 in fewest YAC. That doesn't happen by accident or cause you play bad competition. That is drilled discipline and fundamentals which is the strength of the Pats D. Ryan, Butler, McCourty, Chung are among the best tacklers at their position and they rarely take bad form or let a guy get away. It is the #1 sin of Bill's D even more than the big play. They don't often over pursue trying to make a big play or go for a hard hit/something strange instead of staying on the man. It has its up and down side but on the whole is a benefit. Sorry but I don't plan to respond to every part of your post. Feel free to disagree if you like but those are my reasons. And no, your players are not an exception to this particularly the tackling part. The only player on your team we have not face someone like this year is Jones and they will be sure to take special care on him.
  5. Every team does pick plays. Get over it. About the other stuff you are correct. Would you like me to go through one of your team's game and point out every push off or pick play your WRs do or accept it is part of the game and the truly egregious ones will be called often and most of the so-so ones are let go? I would take the 2nd option. It is football you need to let players play and let physicality be a factor. If not i suggest arena ball or flag football. Not trying to be a jerk but i hate when any fan complains about this stuff unless it is obvious something should have been called.
  6. Saying bad players defended you badly doesn't mean your offense isn't good. He goes out of his way to compliment your offense several times. Sorry if the truth isn't what you would like to hear but everything this guy said is the 100% truth. Notice he didn't say if the Pats can effectively execute the things he mentioned or not he only mentioned the things that need to be done for the Pats D to hold Atlanta's O relatively in check (for that kind of O anyway). Whether you believe the Pats can do it or not is up to you.
  7. Even us Patriots fans don't consider our D truly great but it is legit. I have seen a lot of good and bad Ds. I have seen the great Patriots Ds in 01' 03' 04' and some very forgettable Ds in the 09'-13' range. This D most years would not be the #1 PPG D in the NFL. However to look past it the way some Falcons fans are is a huge mistake. Don't talk to me about DVOA and advanced stats. I don't worry about that. I worry about eye ball test and let me tell you as a Patriots fan. This D is good enough to make things hard on your offense. It won't shut you down but it will slow you down. If your DL does not get much pressure that is very bad for you. Yes your DL has gotten a lot of pressure in the playoffs but lets be real. The Seahawks OL was suspect all year and GB had a ton of injuries on offense and got more as the game went on and the ones on the OL certainly didn't help matters. This is a very healthy and stable Patriots OL and while not perfect it has been one of the better units all year particularly at OT. This Pats D will slow down your run game and make it ineffective on the whole. They will limit your YAC and big plays and make you convert multiple 3rd downs to score. I am not saying you don't have an offense capable of doing it cause i think you do but when you ask any offense to do it that way they will have a hard time lighting you up and drives will naturally stall just by mistakes, penalties, drops, pressure, tipped balls and sometimes just a generally good defensive play. This Patriots D does lack on talent compared to other past top D units but good execution and smart play will take you a very long way.
  8. I try to have the same name on every sports forum :P Just makes it easier. Surprised to see a bobby digital here though :P
  9. Ryan was always borderline or in the top 10 for a long time. This year surely puts him in there. I hate to go off of 1 great year. Cam Newton had a great year but he clearly could not maintain it and people were talking about him being elite. Right now putting him in the top 10 is highly questionable. The difference with Ryan and unlike Cam he was arguably already top 10 and has been for years before this one. Edit: of course I mean top 10 for current QBs not all time. He has to do a lot more to make that list.
  10. The Pats pass rush is not all that good but underrated. They can get to your QB but they don't often pin their ears back and come at you like a lot of teams. They tend to worry about playing stop the run first and making you one dimensional. Only on 3rd and long do they really try to pass rush. Flowers is their best pass rusher who has come on the 2nd half of the year and they would rather not blitz to get pressure unless it is a delayed blitz after they know the zone vacancy won't hurt them at a LB spot. They will get some pressure but they don't have any instant win guys. They love to pick on weakness when they pass rush so they will go after that guard of yours a lot. The Pats running game is good enough. Not great but good. enough to run on your run D. and if they smell blood expect them to do it a lot but to take the ball out of Brady's hands too much is something they won't do. They know no matter how good they can run they need the passing game to make plays and get some chunk plays. I don't care what look any team shows if you have an elite QB you need to rely on him.
  11. I don't believe any team should be scared to play any player but there should be more healthy respect for him. Honestly if I was a falcons fan I would be half expecting him to rip my heart out come the 4th quarter.
  12. Where did this topic come from? Brady is one of the toughest QBs in the NFL and he has no quit in him. He has played through more injuries than we know and has come back many many times in the 4th after taking a beating. Believe what you want but the truth is Brady has broken a lot of hearts of fans hoping the same was true. You may beat the Pats and you may not but it will not because you made Brady curl up into a ball and cry.
  13. No it won't. They will need to do more than that. In fact Stopping Julio Jones this year has not helped. Some of your loses came on some of his best games. That doesn't mean they should let Julio run free but the Pats can't sell out to stop Julio at the expense of everything else cause that won't work on your team. The Pats will need to limit Julio and do other things as well as get some pass rush with 4 people. They don't need to get there every time but they need to be able to do it some of the time. Up the middle if possible. I think the keys to slow down your offense are #1 Don't allow big chunk plays. (including Julio especially), #2 Stop the run mostly. #3 Don't let the RBs catch for free out of the back field. #4 Tackle and don't allow big YAC. #5 Get some pressure on Ryan particularly at key spots in the game. I believe the Pats can do all of those things and keep your team from walking up and down the field like it has to this point. Doesn't mean they will stop your offense cause it will score on anyone but I don't see you putting the numbers you have come to expect recently.
  14. This is the simplest topic in the world. Pressure up the middle. Full stop. If you get it you have a chance to make the other things work. If you don't nothing else you do matters. I hear a lot of teams talking about how they need to hit Brady to stop him. Not true. He can and will take hits. As long as he completes passes and can step up he will take hits all day and keep coming at you. If you want to frustrate him pressure needs to get there early from the middle then hit him. When that happens the plays don't work and he gets pissed and frustrated. As long as he is able to step up and deliver the ball he is fine even if he gets hit a lot. So that is the key. Everything else comes after that. If you don't get pressure up the middle on Brady he will pick you apart. Of course the Pats plan to run on you too but it just seems wrong to take the ball of of the hands of an all time great QB to hand it off to Blount in the super bowl too much.
  15. Also worth noting if you don't get a lead in the first half i think your odds of winning really drop. The Pats are the best 2nd half team in the NFL particularly defensively. You will need that fast start you are known for. If the Pats are close or up by the half you are very likely going to lose. You want to have a 10 or 14 point lead at that point you can ride to the end and stay ahead with. 4 or less is almost certainly a loss IMO.