2019 Game Goat Thread: Wk. 13 at Texans

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I love the trend of NFL guys just doing Twitter analysis by pointing their phones at their TVs and showing us stuff we didn't see, even though we were watching it.
 

tims4wins

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Seems like this team is not situated (on either side) to play as well from behind. Both losses came from falling behind early.
Have the Pats even been behind at all in any of their ten wins?
10-0 to Philly.

They’ve fallen behind by double digits in the first half of their past three road games.
 

dcmissle

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I love the trend of NFL guys just doing Twitter analysis by pointing their phones at their TVs and showing us stuff we didn't see, even though we were watching it.
So you divined Brady’s double-move trigger to Dorsett in real time, and observed the Brady-McDaniels conference later? I did not.

Orlovsky is good, and right now reality bites.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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So you divined Brady’s double-move trigger to Dorsett in real time, and observed the Brady-McDaniels conference later? I did not.
Orlovsky is good, and right now reality bites.
Yup. Orlovsky is doing terrific analysis online, IMO. He also played in the NFL from 2005 to 2016. I say he deserves the credit when he notices something that everyone else seems to have missed.
 

Harry Hooper

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On Orlovsky's clip, it's entirely possible that Dorsett's view of Brady's signal was blocked by White. If true, that's not necessarily Dorsett's fault or a "trust" issue.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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On Orlovsky's clip, it's entirely possible that Dorsett's view of Brady's signal was blocked by White. If true, that's not necessarily Dorsett's fault or a "trust" issue.
I thought about that too but wouldn't you think they worked out the angles during the hundreds of reps they had in practice?
 

Reggie's Racquet

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This is the second game in row where Brady has not played well. His QB ratings reveal he is less than an average QB this season. This team can't won't go far with him continuing to play to that level. Not when you have to go through QB's like Jackson and Mahomes to get to the SuperBowl. I understand the offensive line is not playing well and that we don't have a running game but he is making some uncharacteristically bad decisions and bad throws. Losing Gronk, his only other trusted receiver, losing Andrews in the middle of the Oline, losing Develin who made the run game go, and losing the reliability of Ghost in close games are obstacles that this team may never overcome. I hope I am wrong. Gronk returning would give this team the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.
 

Harry Hooper

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I thought about that too but wouldn't you think they worked out the angles during the hundreds of reps they had in practice?
Sure, but in the "heat of battle" maybe this happens 3-4 times a game. Doesn't matter if no signal is given.
 

NomarsFool

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The offense just seems so simple these days. Run the ball up the middle for 1-2 yards. Play action pass where Brady can't find anyone open. Throw the ball away to avoid a sack. Rinse and repeat.
 

j44thor

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On Orlovsky's clip, it's entirely possible that Dorsett's view of Brady's signal was blocked by White. If true, that's not necessarily Dorsett's fault or a "trust" issue.
I'd like someone to dive in deeper as to why Brady thought the double move would work there. HOU DB looks to be 10 yards off with S help. Might have been an easy pick if Dorsett runs his DB closer to the ball.

Brady decision making has to start to come into question. He could have easily been picked 2 more times yesterday and that has been a consistent theme this season. For a team that prides itself on ball possession Brady has been pretty bad at it lately.
 

NomarsFool

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What is going on with Harry? I've been looking forward to him all season. As a first round pick, you'd think he'd be a fairly talented receiver - but still, pretty much nothing. He was hardly targeted, and I'm not even sure he was on the field all that much. Is he a busted pick?
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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So you divined Brady’s double-move trigger to Dorsett in real time, and observed the Brady-McDaniels conference later? I did not.

Orlovsky is good, and right now reality bites.
I was being serious! It's cool that an NFL QB can use twitter to show me what I "saw" but didn't see.
 

lexrageorge

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Both BRADY and McD wanted the double move there, so there is likely something they saw either on the field or on film. It’s 100% on Dorset to see the signal. He doesn’t get any benefit of the doubt
 

j44thor

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What is going on with Harry? I've been looking forward to him all season. As a first round pick, you'd think he'd be a fairly talented receiver - but still, pretty much nothing. He was hardly targeted, and I'm not even sure he was on the field all that much. Is he a busted pick?
The knock on him was he can't separate but wins with physicality. We saw him lose on physicality on the Brady pick and don't think he was targeted again.
Perhaps he can carve out a role as a possession receiver and red zone target but he isn't a big play threat which is what this team sorely needs.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Brady was pretty bad last night, but I'm not writing it all off to age-related decline. Its hard to play quarterback, which is all about instinctual processing and quick decision making based on that processing, when you can't trust the other pieces in the offense to be in the right place at the right time. A millisecond of hesitation and all of sudden you're off too.

The inability of guys other than Edelman to beat man coverage has been a problem for this team for a long time, but it doesn't have to be a killer. After all, it was a problem their last two Super Bowl winning seasons. Nobody on the 2016 team other than Edelman could beat man coverage once Gronk went down. Gronk couldn't really beat man coverage, at least in terms of gaining significant separation, very often last year. But in both postseasons the offense was largely in sync and Brady played on God mode at key junctures - he threw some absolute inch perfect darts to win the 2016 Super Bowl as well as the AFC championship game in KC.

Right now the offense just isn't clicking and Brady is pretty far from God mode. The question is whether if the former can be straightened the latter can come back for one last hurrrah. I wouldn't bet against him. But I just don't know whether the offense will get it together enough to give him a chance.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The Pats had lots of self-inflicted wounds, the worst of which was the Sanu drop on 4th down. Many untimely penalties too.

The lack of a holding call on Van Noy on the long TD pass was an absolute killer and yet another in a long line of terrible refereeing decisions.
 

BigSoxFan

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Seems like this team is not situated (on either side) to play as well from behind. Both losses came from falling behind early.
Have the Pats even been behind at all in any of their ten wins?
Yup. Down 10-0 to Philly.
 

RetractableRoof

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The knock on him was he can't separate but wins with physicality. We saw him lose on physicality on the Brady pick and don't think he was targeted again.
Perhaps he can carve out a role as a possession receiver and red zone target but he isn't a big play threat which is what this team sorely needs.
I'm being facetious, but I'm also not. Randy Moss could improve this team today if he put a jersey back on. Just the outside threat you are talking about would free up so much for the rest of the offense.
 

dcmissle

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I was being serious! It's cool that an NFL QB can use twitter to show me what I "saw" but didn't see.
Sorry; sarcasm meter busted these days. I mean, if someone posted that the Bills might win the division, is that trolling or genuine concern?
 

8slim

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That Orlovsky analysis is fantastic. As a fan, football its so damn hard to process in real time. That insight is so helpful. And if Brady is literally saying "I'm done with him" (and it sure looked that way) then there certainly are trust issues. Orlovsky wasn't ginning up some hot take there.
 

BaseballJones

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I don’t believe Brady would say that about Dorsett. He’s been one guy Brady has consistently said he LOVES playing with.
 

BigSoxFan

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re: Gronk - he's done.
re: Harry - he might have been benched for the INT yesterday.
I think Harry was absolutely benched. They were playing catch up the entire 2nd half and he never saw the field. Kind of reminded me of the Michael Floyd play in the playoffs a few years ago that led to a tipped INT. Not sure why Meyers is allowed to flub routes but Harry isn’t. This is a guy who desperately needs reps. Benching him doesn’t do this team any good.
 

dcmissle

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I'm being facetious, but I'm also not. Randy Moss could improve this team today if he put a jersey back on. Just the outside threat you are talking about would free up so much for the rest of the offense.
The position is such a crap shoot; McLaurin went in the 3rd round with the 76th pick. Plus, it’s not as if the Pats bring a Steelers-like touch to drafting them.

Desperately need Meyers and Harry to make meaningful contributions, not “he looks good” (in training camp) bullshit.
 

heavyde050

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I'd like someone to dive in deeper as to why Brady thought the double move would work there. HOU DB looks to be 10 yards off with S help. Might have been an easy pick if Dorsett runs his DB closer to the ball.

Brady decision making has to start to come into question. He could have easily been picked 2 more times yesterday and that has been a consistent theme this season. For a team that prides itself on ball possession Brady has been pretty bad at it lately.
Brady has been bad this year, but his current ratio is 18 TDs to 6 interceptions. I do agree that he has had some awful passes this year, but for every dropped pick I have seen a dropped pass, a run for zero yards, and/or a penalty. It is a team game and the entire offense has been down. Even Jules drops about a pass game (not typical for him) and has had a few more fumbles than usual.
I mean most QBs have several throws that should be picked off each game that are dropped. Just yesterday Patrick Mahomes threw an absolutely awful pass that hit a defender right in the gut and was dropped. Worse yet, said defender was the closest player to the pass by like 4 yards. It happens.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The Pats had lots of self-inflicted wounds, the worst of which was the Sanu drop on 4th down. Many untimely penalties too.

The lack of a holding call on Van Noy on the long TD pass was an absolute killer and yet another in a long line of terrible refereeing decisions.
The Sanu thing isn't fairly called a drop--it was an uncalled penalty that resulted in the ball being very difficult to catch and ahead of him. He could have caught it, but it's the penalty and the throw more than the lack of a catch that caused the problem.

The KVN non-call is a great example of why BB wants any single call to be challengeable.
 

heavyde050

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The Sanu thing isn't fairly called a drop--it was an uncalled penalty that resulted in the ball being very difficult to catch and ahead of him. He could have caught it, but it's the penalty and the throw more than the lack of a catch that caused the problem.

The KVN non-call is a great example of why BB wants any single call to be challengeable.
I think the throw was perfect if Sanu doesn’t get shoved. I mean that shoved cost him at least half a step. Without the shove, he probably catches the pass in stride.
 

Super Nomario

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That Orlovsky analysis is fantastic. As a fan, football its so damn hard to process in real time. That insight is so helpful. And if Brady is literally saying "I'm done with him" (and it sure looked that way) then there certainly are trust issues. Orlovsky wasn't ginning up some hot take there.
He went to Dorsett on the 4th-and-6 later on.

I think Harry was absolutely benched. They were playing catch up the entire 2nd half and he never saw the field. Kind of reminded me of the Michael Floyd play in the playoffs a few years ago that led to a tipped INT. Not sure why Meyers is allowed to flub routes but Harry isn’t. This is a guy who desperately needs reps. Benching him doesn’t do this team any good.
I took a look through the game to get a sense of the substitution patterns. They came out on the first drive of both halves using mostly a 2 TE set with Harry and Sanu - their biggest WRs - and Michel. I think it was a pound-the-rock grouping (and they ran a ton on the first drive). They switched things up after that. But on the last drive of the first half they were in two-minute, so it was the Dorsett / Edelman / Meyers / White grouping, and they had to play that group the whole rest of the game after it was 21-3. So you saw three guys get limited PT yesterday: Michel, Harry, and Sanu, all of whom were in that heavy group. Game situation just took them away from that; I think it would have been a lot closer to 50-50 if the game stayed close.
 

BaseballJones

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Over the last 5 games, Brady's completion percentage is a woeful 54.9%. The real problem with that is that the running game isn't doing him any favors either. So he's constantly facing 3rd and 6+ situations. When you're completing barely over 50% of your pass attempts, that means that a lot more drives are stalling out, often times very quickly. It's hard to sustain drives when the running game isn't producing, and your QB is completing just over half his passes. If he was completing them at near 70%, we'd see a lot more offense (obviously).

To give you a sense of this, here's Brady's completion percentage and the number of points scored by the Pats (yes I know some of the points were thanks to the defense, and kicking matters):

vs Pit: 66.7%, 33 points
at Mia: 71.4%, 43 points
vs NYJ: 66.7%, 30 points
at Buf: 46.2%, 16 points
at Was: 66.7%, 33 points
vs NYG: 75.6%, 35 points
at NYJ: 68.9%, 33 points
vs Cle: 55.6%, 27 points
at Bal: 65.2%, 20 points
at Phi: 55.3%, 17 points
vs Dal: 46.0%, 13 points
at Hou: 51.1%, 22 points

Here's that plotted. Obviously this is simplistic and not linear but it's interesting nonetheless (to me anyway).

27215

The Pats' offense has long been predicated on precision and accuracy from Brady. This isn't to say it's all on him - sometimes the WR drops a ball or runs a wrong route, etc. But whatever the reason, as Brady's completion percentage has gone down, the point totals have gone down too.
 

joe dokes

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I think Harry was absolutely benched. They were playing catch up the entire 2nd half and he never saw the field. Kind of reminded me of the Michael Floyd play in the playoffs a few years ago that led to a tipped INT. Not sure why Meyers is allowed to flub routes but Harry isn’t. This is a guy who desperately needs reps. Benching him doesn’t do this team any good.
Could be also related to performance in practice, physically, attitudinally, etc.-ally.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think the throw was perfect if Sanu doesn’t get shoved. I mean that shoved cost him at least half a step. Without the shove, he probably catches the pass in stride.
I don't disagree, but he was shoved. So just noting it isn't all that realistic to blame Sanu out of all the options here. I don't really blame Brady either.
 

GoDa

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It's a mix of Brady declining, Brady frustration, and receivers screwing up.

For lack of better analysis... a few times last night I was saying to myself... these guys have to run the routes like they want to get open. Cut to open space. Give Brady a good angle to throw to. C'mon!
 

Red Averages

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The surprise to me was that they abandoned the run very quickly. Here's how the Patriots started the game:

1st and 10: Michel run for 4 yards.
2nd and 6: Michel no gain
3rd and 6: Pass to Edleman for 11.
1st and 10: Burkhead for 1 yard
2nd and 9: Burkhead for 4 yards
3rd and 5: Brady to Edleman for 12 yards.
1st and 10: Edleman end around -7 yards.... unnecessary roughness 15 yards and a first down
1st and 10: Michel for 5 yards
2nd and 5: Michel for 5 yards
1st and 10: Michel for 17 yards
1st and goal: Michel for 2 yards
2nd and goal: Brady incomplete to Meyers
3rd and goal: Brady incomplete to Dorsett
FG
Michel had 6 carries for 33 yards. Yes, the Patriots needed to convert on 3rd and 5, but it seems they were controlling the clock and getting into easier conversion situations.

2nd drive:
1st and 10: Brady incomplete to Sanu
2nd and 10: Brady to Sanu for 6 yards
3rd and 4: Brady INT (Harry).

3rd Drive:
1st and 10: Michel for 3 yards
2nd and 7: Brady incomplete to Edleman
3rd and 7: Brady runs for 13 yards
1st and 10: Brady incomplete to Edleman
2nd and 10: Brady to White for 4 yards
3rd and 6: Brady incomplete to Meyers

Just seems like they are really struggling with their lack of an offensive identity. The only time it seemed to get some decent pass protection/open routes were off of the play action. I'd guess we'll see more of Burkhead so that the run/pass distribution isn't so obvious, but who knows. It makes it very tough for the defense, batting illnesses for most key players, when they can't get off the field. The defense started the game forcing Houston to punt twice in a row. Then Brady has an INT and Houston gets the ball on the 20 - not much you can do with that. After a Houston TD, the Patriots control the clock on their next offensive possession for 2 minutes.
 
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cornwalls@6

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As bad as the offense has been for the last month, it's gnawing to think how close they were to having an elite, best in the league type unit had things not gone off the rails with AB and Gordon. If their receiving corps was comprised of those 2, plus Jules and Dorsett, we'd be having entirely different conversations lately. Throw in the injuries to Andrews, Devlin, being without Wynn for several weeks, and the almost complete lack of production, or dominant blocking, from the tight end position, despite throwing many options against the wall, and it's kind of a perfect storm of bad circumstances. Brady is almost certainly in (slow) decline, and the days of asking him to drop back 40-50 times and consistently produce, are probably over. But had a few things broken the other way this year, he'd still be producing at very high level, IMO. As far as getting things fixed down the stretch, should never say never with this coaching staff, but with the lack of elite weapons, it feels like it will be a very daunting task at this point. I think this team will go only as far as their defense carries them, but I still don't rule out that being a deep playoff run.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I don’t believe Brady would say that about Dorsett. He’s been one guy Brady has consistently said he LOVES playing with.
One of the big stories of this season, and the underlying drivers of the decline in completion percentage that your other post charted, has been Dorsett completely unable to take on greater responsibilities in the offense. I can see Brady being frustrated at that.

In the first three games of the year, Dorsett caught 13 balls on 14 targets. This was when he was mainly playing in 3 WR sets with Edelman and a reasonably dangerous Josh Gordon. This left Dorsett often singled up against a team's third best CB, with single high safety help shaded more towards Gordon's side than his.

Since then, he has caught 15 balls on 34 targets.
 

Super Nomario

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The surprise to me was that they abandoned the run very quickly. Here's how the Patriots started the game:
I actually think they continued to mix in the run way past the point where it made sense to, arguably costing them precious time down the stretch when they really needed another drive. They wound up with 29 rush attempts (one a Brady scramble, so 28 designed runs), which is a ton for a game they were losing pretty much the whole time.

I do agree it was weird that they went (probably too-) run-heavy on the first drive and then exclusively passed on drives two and three. They were mixing in different personnel groups though.

1st and 10: Michel run for 4 yards.
2nd and 6: Michel no gain
3rd and 6: Pass to Edleman for 11.
1st and 10: Burkhead for 1 yard
2nd and 9: Burkhead for 4 yards
3rd and 5: Brady to Edleman for 12 yards.

Michel had 6 carries for 33 yards. Yes, the Patriots needed to convert on 3rd and 5, but it seems they were controlling the clock and getting into easier conversion situations.
Running twice and then asking Brady to convert third-and-medium is not really effective running, to me. The 17-yarder was nice.

Just seems like they are really struggling with their lack of an offensive identity. The only time it seemed to get some decent pass protection/open routes were off of the play action. I'd guess we'll see more of Burkhead so that the run/pass distribution isn't so obvious, but who knows. It makes it very tough for the defense, batting illnesses for most key players, when they can't get off the field. The defense started the game forcing Houston to punt twice in a row. Then Brady has an INT and Houston gets the ball on the 20 - not much you can do with that. After a Houston TD, the Patriots control the clock on their next offensive possession for 2 minutes.
I think they have an offensive identity - throw to Edelman and White. The problem is that they have nothing else - no run game, no third receiving option, no TE, no outside WR, no deep threat, etc.
 

dcmissle

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“We can’t run the ball, we can’t throw the ball to anybody else, we’re done. We’re done.”
 

NomarsFool

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We have two problems. If everyone knows you are going to throw to Edelman and White, it doesn't take a BB-like defensive savant to come up with a gameplan to shut that down most of the time.

#2, if you run a play action pass to White, all of a sudden you are left with pretty much one option to throw to. There doesn't seem to be enough time for White to do his pass protect for 3-4 seconds, then run out to catch a short pass for a decent gain thing.
 

BigSoxFan

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We have two problems. If everyone knows you are going to throw to Edelman and White, it doesn't take a BB-like defensive savant to come up with a gameplan to shut that down most of the time.

#2, if you run a play action pass to White, all of a sudden you are left with pretty much one option to throw to. There doesn't seem to be enough time for White to do his pass protect for 3-4 seconds, then run out to catch a short pass for a decent gain thing.
How about more 2 RB sets?
 

Super Nomario

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How about more 2 RB sets?
I don't really see what this accomplishes. You just invite the other team to treat White as a WR and put a CB on him. You don't really add anything in the run game with a second back in there, because White / Burkhead / Michel aren't going to lead block.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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They put up a graphic last night then when Sony is in it's a run 65% of the time. Having the "run guy", the "pass guy", and the guy who can do both but is pretty much mediocre makes them way too predictable. Sony's inability so far to become a complete back is unfortunate at best. Sony over Chubb is looking like a massive whiff today.