SB53: Pats vs. Rams Buildup

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Is it weird how much the Rams don't scare me?

I see the line is Pats -2.5 and I want to go find it at -7.5.
It doesn't scare you because we are, in fact, going to kick their asses. Hot takez:

- Pats matchup MUCH better vs. LA than NO... i.e. playing a dome team in a dome Super Bowl, just up the highway a few hours, would not have been good.
- As mentioned upthread, Pats are deep in receiving corps (with Dorsett's and Hogan's stock rising)... there's also 5 guys who can run run the ball.
- Our 60% Gronk might really be an 80% Gronk, with the final game potential only adding gas to his fire.
- Pats secondary has quietly been very solid for stretches recently. Tyreek who? And they do not seem tired or hurt.

I mean, we're due for a laugher.

(And out of the media, I expect multiple well-produced features on how the Pats 3-28 thing General Sherman'd a certain NFL franchise in the Greater Atlanta area.)
 

nattysez

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Every time we hear about how the Pats "taped the Rams' walkthrough the last time they met in the Super Bowl," I hope it reminds everyone that no one should ever forgive John Tomase.

Edit: Which reminds me: I can only assume some kind of spurious nonsense will be reported this year close to gameday. I can't wait to see what it is.
 

Ale Xander

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Given that NY is relatively close to Boston, Dallas stands out as the odd duck. I guess football - and the Super Bowl - is that popular with Texans. The more delightful scenario is that fans of the former America's Team now need to follow the current America's Team if they want to experience a Super Bowl. Welcome aboard!
It's also the easiest place to fly into Atlanta from.
 

Seels

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Is it weird how much the Rams don't scare me?

I see the line is Pats -2.5 and I want to go find it at -7.5.
I'd have been a lot more scared of this team a month ago.

I think their defense is among the worst in the league, especially outside of Donald. The offense has slipped significantly with Kupp's injury and Gurley's injury / overuse. Along the teams the Pats have played in the Super Bowl, the only one I've felt this confident about was 2016 v ATL. Their passing game is scary, but the Pats know Woods well enough, and Cooks.

I'd take the Pats up to -6.5
 

DJnVa

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I wonder whether the DB who committed the non-penalty and then bragged about it later is going to have a flag-magnet on his back
Was he bragging? I heard a quote where he said that "Yeah, I hit him early, I was beat." but he may have other quotes.
 

j44thor

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I'm a bit concerned about a Gurley bounce back. He is going to have a chip on his shoulder after playing poorly in the NFC champ game and any lingering injury issues should be close to healed in 2 weeks.
He is certainly one of the top 3 backs in the NFL and when he is on is as dangerous in the passing game as he is rushing. NE doesn't have a LB that can come close to keeping up with a healthy Gurley. Will be interesting to see how NE matches up defensively against a team that plays 91% of the game in 11 personnel. Do they go light and risk Gurley running up and down the field or go heavy and risk getting exposed in the passing game?
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm a bit concerned about a Gurley bounce back. He is going to have a chip on his shoulder after playing poorly in the NFC champ game and any lingering injury issues should be close to healed in 2 weeks.
He is certainly one of the top 3 backs in the NFL and when he is on is as dangerous in the passing game as he is rushing. NE doesn't have a LB that can come close to keeping up with a healthy Gurley. Will be interesting to see how NE matches up defensively against a team that plays 91% of the game in 11 personnel. Do they go light and risk Gurley running up and down the field or go heavy and risk getting exposed in the passing game?
I’ll be a bit concerned about basically everything come game time but I agree on Gurley. He’s clearly banged up but who knows what 2 weeks will do for him. He is talented enough to be an absolute game wrecker if he is in better health. I think you have to go heavy early. Trust that Gilmore can contain Woods and give whoever is on Cooks safety help. And bring some pressure on Goff, which I’m sure Flores will do.
 

singaporesoxfan

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Given that NY is relatively close to Boston, Dallas stands out as the odd duck. I guess football - and the Super Bowl - is that popular with Texans. The more delightful scenario is that fans of the former America's Team now need to follow the current America's Team if they want to experience a Super Bowl. Welcome aboard!
Maybe it’s Cowboys fans finally getting a chance to see Tony Romo at the Super Bowl
 

SoxinSeattle

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John Clayton on Seattle radio just said he has heard Gurley is healthy and was essentially benched. Dropped passes, missed blocks etc. He thinks it's all mental.
 

koufax32

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I’ve not watched LA this year. I remember though that in his rookie year, all Goff could look at was the pass rush. Does he still have those tendencies?
 

Spelunker

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John Clayton on Seattle radio just said he has heard Gurley is healthy and was essentially benched. Dropped passes, missed blocks etc. He thinks it's all mental.
I'm not sure if I'd prefer injury or mental issues. Prime Gurley scares me more than anyone in the NFL against our D.
 

The Mort Report

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So what's people's guess on the breaking story tomorrow on ESPN about the Pats? Jonathan Kraft was personally injecting Jules with steroids? The real cause for the Brady BB feud was Gisele cheated on Tom with Bill? Mike Reiss is a Russian spy who has the tapes on Trump and made him force his owner buddies to let the Pats get to the Superbowl again?
 

jodyreeddudley78

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Gurley is their player that definitely should worry everyone the most. Goff has been two different quarterbacks this year. His home/away splits are striking. So are his last 6 games, which happen to coincide with Gurley either not playing, or playing injured and giving a sub par performance. I don't think that was a coincidence.
 

j44thor

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Gurley is their player that definitely should worry everyone the most. Goff has been two different quarterbacks this year. His home/away splits are striking. So are his last 6 games, which happen to coincide with Gurley either not playing, or playing injured and giving a sub par performance. I don't think that was a coincidence.
The Cooper Kupp injury really hurt Goff, probably more so than Gurley injury.
That and the OL struggled mightily down the stretch giving up more pressures in the final 6 games than they did the first 10.

Defenses also started playing softer coverage against Goff and that combined with increased pressure really lead to his struggles.
 

jodyreeddudley78

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The Cooper Kupp injury really hurt Goff, probably more so than Gurley injury.
That and the OL struggled mightily down the stretch giving up more pressures in the final 6 games than they did the first 10.

Defenses also started playing softer coverage against Goff and that combined with increased pressure really lead to his struggles.
I agree about Kupp and mentioned him earlier in the thread. And CJ Anderson may be fresher than Gurley, but he can not duplicate what Gurley does. Gurley can split out, go between the tackles, etc. You subtract Gurley from what was already a not 100% offense, and you are left with more predictable play calling based on the players on the field. I think the Pats defense lines up really well against the current Rams offense. If Gurley is suddenly 100%, they become way more difficult to game plan for.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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So what's people's guess on the breaking story tomorrow on ESPN about the Pats? Jonathan Kraft was personally injecting Jules with steroids? The real cause for the Brady BB feud was Gisele cheated on Tom with Bill? Mike Reiss is a Russian spy who has the tapes on Trump and made him force his owner buddies to let the Pats get to the Superbowl again?
Where did this come from? I can’t handle another hit piece or cheating allegations.
 

Spelunker

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I agree about Kupp and mentioned him earlier in the thread. And CJ Anderson may be fresher than Gurley, but he can not duplicate what Gurley does. Gurley can split out, go between the tackles, etc. You subtract Gurley from what was already a not 100% offense, and you are left with more predictable play calling based on the players on the field. I think the Pats defense lines up really well against the current Rams offense. If Gurley is suddenly 100%, they become way more difficult to game plan for.
Yeah, Gurley is basically the run/pass back of BB's dreams, where you can keep one formation on the field and do lots of things out of it. We've shown that we can defend against the run or the pass, but I don't know we have the personal to do both at the same time.
 

DJnVa

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Some info on the Rams late season offensive struggles.

For the second straight week, Goff struggled to deal with pressure, again derailing what had been a seemingly unstoppable passing game for most of the year. The Eagles took a page out of the Bears’ playbook, sending rushers from all angles to force Goff into off-target throws and discombobulate the Rams’ typically disciplined pass-protection unit.
Article notes that Rams OL struggled late:
Weeks 1-10: 6th fewest pressures allowed, 4th in pass blocking efficiency
Weeks 11-15: 4th WORST in pressures allowed, 3rd WORST in pass blocking efficiency

Goff's passer rating while under pressure in weeks 11-14 was 14.3, last in league, and he had an accuracy rate of 25%.


Pressure, pressure, pressure.
 
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nattysez

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Pats wearing road whites per Mike Reiss
Yeah, the Rams announced they were wearing their blue throwbacks as soon as the game ended.

I agree with the sentiments about Gurley in this thread. He worries me. But if he's having trouble grasping a revised game plan/doing his job, that seems like something the Pats can make more difficult.

I also wonder how easy it is to confuse Goff.
 

CaptainLaddie

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Watching Gronk in the locker room and postgame with Brady in their "bad boy for life" video.... before this game I thought this was Gronk's last season and now I'm not so sure. So long as Brady is our QB, I think Gronk's our TE.
 

dynomite

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Pretty sure 46 was the last time we wore blue.
Correct. In this era:

- They’re 2-2 in the home blues (wins vs. ‘01 Rams & ‘03 Panthers, Scottish games vs ‘07 and ‘11 Giants)
- They’re 3-1 in the away whites (wins vs ‘04 Eagles, ‘14 Seahawks, ‘16 Falcons, loss last year to ‘17 Eagles)

If you add prior eras they lost in ‘96 to the Packers in their home blues and were wiped off the face of the earth in ‘85 in their home reds.
 

joe dokes

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Some info on the Rams late season offensive struggles.
Article notes that Rams OL struggled late:
Weeks 1-10: 6th fewest pressures allowed, 4th in pass blocking efficiency
Weeks 11-15: 4th WORST in pressures allowed, 3rd WORST in pass blocking efficiency

Goff's passer rating while under pressure in weeks 11-14 was 14.3, last in league, and he had an accuracy rate of 25%.
Pressure, pressure, pressure.
Much like the Saints' offense had struggled over the last 1/4 of the season. Maybe defenses figured something out to at least stop the onslaughts.
And perhaps due to injury/personnel/ineffectiveness or noticing the defenses catching on, the Patriots have turned back the clock offensively the last month or so.
 
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bakahump

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I was just going to say...this defense is not that D, not even in the same stratosphere. Not to be overlooked or underestimated by any means, but there's no comparison.
This OL is not that OL, They were not even in the same stratosphere.
 

bakahump

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A Cowboys fan I know had this to say.
"Plus I’m worried that if Brady gets the sixth stone, he’ll snap and wipe out half the Universe."
Well he has been wiping out the regular season and AFC, which is half the NFL Universe, for years.
 

DegenerateSoxFan

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I’m not much of a gambler, but wow, does covering by a field goal sound tasty or what?

After beating an explosive Mahomes-led Chiefs team in KC, I think this Pats team gives us the happy laugher we’ve been waiting for. The Rams have some legitimate studs up front on defense, but I think our O-Line, with some help from Devlin and Gronk, is up to the task. I don’t have the link, but Andrews - who has been extremely effective if not dominant down the stretch - was effusive in his praise for Scarnecchia to the Globe. This group - and for that matter the team as a whole - is peaking at just the right time.

If the Rams get down early in points and time of possession, I don’t think they come back the way the Chiefs did. Maybe I’m just wish casting a really relaxing second half. Here’s hoping...
 

SumnerH

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Oh man, this is crazy:
Sean McVay and Julian Edelman played against each other in college.
Brady had 8 years in the league and 4 Super Bowl appearances when McVay was still in college.

McVay went from OC for the hapless Redskins in 2017 to head coach in the Super Bowl in 2019.

He's 32, and already one of his former coordinators has made head coach in the league (Matt LaFleur, Packers).
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I'm not surprised Goff struggles with a strong pass rush (I mean, most do) because he's got a really loopy arm motion and is almost an anti-Brady in how slowly he gets rid of the ball. Also, the kid was clearly on tilt at the end of the Saints game. Dude is squirrely af.
 

BaseballJones

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Much like the Saints' offense had struggled over the last 1/4 of the season. Maybe defenses figured something out to at least stop the onslaughts.
And perhaps due to injury/personnel/ineffectiveness or noticing the defenses catching on, the Patriots have turned back the clock offensively the last month or so.
I wonder if the Patriots, as is so often the case, are just on the leading edge of the next curve. Generally speaking, there's a Darwinian kind of effect on the NFL. Teams go big, so the way to beat them is to go small. Teams gear up to go small, so you go big. Rules changes can affect that of course. But think about it. Most colleges are going to this RPO spread attack out of the shotgun. So they are looking for personnel to play like that. That's filtering up to the NFL, and so most players that are entering the league are this way.

At first, it stood in stark contrast to how the game was played. But now it's very common. So one way to beat it is to find the market inefficiency. Players like...James Develin. Nobody wants a fullback anymore because nobody employs them in their RPO spread offense. But the Patriots are now playing a TON of old-school I-formation and are just pounding the crap out of teams who have assembled defensive personnel, and devise defensive strategies, around stopping RPO spread offenses. Lots of pass rushers, fast defensive players. But then the Pats come out with Trent Brown, Marcus Cannon, James Develin, and Rob Gronkowski, all among the very best run blockers in the league, and they add in three quality running backs, and they just beat the hell out of these defenses.

Throw in some play action, and the Patriots are running an offense straight out of, dare we say, something like 2001. Something that modern defenses aren't that well-equipped to stop.

Their last three games: 38, 41, 37 points (38.7 avg), 375, 498, 524 total yards (465.7 avg). It's working.
 

jodyreeddudley78

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Along those same lines: time of possession. It is nearly impossible to stop modern NFL offenses from scoring; 14-10 games are basically a thing of the past. But running the ball minimizes the opportunities. A team like KC/LAR/Pitt/NO, etc. will score the majority of the time. Minimize their opportunities and trust that your offense will not turn over the ball. I realize that nothing I just said is revolutionary, but the 18 Patriots are definitely a different offense than those modern offenses.
 

BigSoxFan

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And in goal line situations they're adding Allen and Waddle as extra beef so you're now forced to stop an elite OL with 2 elite blocking TEs, an extra OT, and probably the best FB lead blocker in the league. The Rams are going to have to prove that they can withstand this kind of punishment for 4 quarters.
 

bakahump

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Are you blind or did you somehow miss this O-line the past two weeks?
I assume he means the NE OL is much, much better because they are.
Correct.
This Patriot OL is not THAT Patriot OL. That Patriot OL are not even in the same Stratosphere as THIS Patriot OL.

It was a play on the idea that THIS Rams Defense (Run by Phillips) is not THAT Denver Defense (ran by Phillips).
 

bakahump

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I wonder if the Patriots, as is so often the case, are just on the leading edge of the next curve...
Their last three games: 38, 41, 37 points (38.7 avg), 375, 498, 524 total yards (465.7 avg). It's working.
I have been beating this drum for about 4 years. But full disclosure they probably didnt have the personnel until this year. And even now we could probably improve on a few areas (Thuney and Cannon and a younger Dual Threat TE).

IMHO you are absolutely right. When teams are lining up 270LB DEs who are pinning their ears back every play, it seemed simple to run the ball.

I was shouted down quit a bit that, rightfully, rules have changed and made throwing the ball so much more efficient, and that it was silly to run.

I think this is still the "best of both worlds" (which of course what you strive for), in that we can run for over 100 yards in a half essentially gutting a Pass Rush Defense, only to turn on the quick strick mid range passing attack in the 4th quarter when they are smoked.
 

joe dokes

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I have been beating this drum for about 4 years. But full disclosure they probably didnt have the personnel until this year. And even now we could probably improve on a few areas (Thuney and Cannon and a younger Dual Threat TE).

IMHO you are absolutely right. When teams are lining up 270LB DEs who are pinning their ears back every play, it seemed simple to run the ball.

I was shouted down quit a bit that, rightfully, rules have changed and made throwing the ball so much more efficient, and that it was silly to run.

I think this is still the "best of both worlds" (which of course what you strive for), in that we can run for over 100 yards in a half essentially gutting a Pass Rush Defense, only to turn on the quick strick mid range passing attack in the 4th quarter when they are smoked.
Aside from their "running" personnel, their "passing" personnel was still killing everyone. Whether its because of Patriots decline/lack of personnel, or defenses going full "light/speed," this seems to be the right year to have made a shift in offensive approach.
 

djbayko

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Along those same lines: time of possession. It is nearly impossible to stop modern NFL offenses from scoring; 14-10 games are basically a thing of the past. But running the ball minimizes the opportunities. A team like KC/LAR/Pitt/NO, etc. will score the majority of the time. Minimize their opportunities and trust that your offense will not turn over the ball. I realize that nothing I just said is revolutionary, but the 18 Patriots are definitely a different offense than those modern offenses.
I hear this discussed a lot by some as an obvious truth of football, but I don’t quite understand it. If you slow down the game, you’re limiting your possessions just as much as you’re limiting theirs. So what’s the difference? To me, what matters is how efficient you are at scoring / not turning the ball over vs. the other team, regardless of what the pace of play is. Someone please enlighten me :)
 

joe dokes

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I hear this discussed a lot by some as an obvious truth of football, but I don’t quite understand it. If you slow down the game, you’re limiting your possessions just as much as you’re limiting theirs. So what’s the difference? To me, what matters is how efficient you are at scoring / not turning the ball over vs. the other team, regardless of what the pace of play is. Someone please enlighten me :)
I think the "keep the ball away from [star QB]" is an old saw that applies best to less-talented teams. For an equally talented offense like the Patriots', it seems the most beneficial effect is wrecking the opposing defense because time-of-possession = plays from scrimmage. 97 plays against KC. 99(?) against Atlanta in the SB. Also, those 20 play drives gives McD and Brady a pretty good insight into the entirety of the defensive game plan in one fell swoop, instead of having to piece it together over 20 plays in 2 or three drives.
 

djbayko

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I think the "keep the ball away from [star QB]" is an old saw that applies best to less-talented teams. For an equally talented offense like the Patriots', it seems the most beneficial effect is wrecking the opposing defense because time-of-possession = plays from scrimmage. 97 plays against KC. 99(?) against Atlanta in the SB. Also, those 20 play drives gives McD and Brady a pretty good insight into the entirety of the defensive game plan in one fell swoop, instead of having to piece it together over 20 plays in 2 or three drives.
Yes, that all makes much more sense. Thank you.