The Game Ball Thread: Wk 2 vs Saints

SeoulSoxFan

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NE gets on the win column with a convincing win vs NO. As week later than planned but I'll take it. Game balls!
  • MCD: must have read all the crap that was said about him
  • Rocket Man: must have read all the crap that was said about him
  • Jonathan Jones: made plays all day
  • Deatrich Wise Jr: looked like a young McGinest
The injury bugs are hitting hard and fast, with Gronk, Hogan, Dorsett, and Burkhead all hurt. They got the Texans D coming up next but thank god they have no QB.

Honorable mention to Romo. Holy shit he may already be the best color guy right now.
 

heavyde050

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Brady has to get one of the game balls. That was quite impressive, especially considering many of his weapons were hurt.
Gronk was great (hope he isn't hurt too bad).
On defense, great team effort to hold Brees down in his own building.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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I thought Wise Jr flashed. Dorsett a little bit too. Anyone you don't hear about on the OL during the broadcast is generally a good bet. Interior protection seemed decent, so I guess Mason and Thuney deserve some credit. I thought Guy flashed a bit on some pressure up the middle. Van Noy made a couple nice tackles and I think in his 2nd year he is feeling more comfortable.

But really, the game ball goes to Brady, as it does most games. Came into a hostile building against a great quarterback and laid down the law. You know who the sheriff in town is. Same as it always was. TBF12.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Defense played pretty well without Hightower. Brees has really good stats at home and while they gave up some big plays they knuckled down. As is often the case, the offense really helped the defense, forcing the Saints into uncomfortable positions.

The high points have been hit in this thread already. So, I give an honorable mention to Devlin. Every time he's in the game, he's productive. He's been obliterating people for Gilleslee all season so far out of that fullback set.
 

Toe Nash

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not mentioned:
-Special teams coverage was really solid I thought.
-James White had some really nice catches early
-D-line got solid pressure without a lot of blitzing. Not amazing but made Brees look old -- he may be, but they also made him force some throws.
 

Ed Hillel

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I thought Dorsett had a great game considering he's been here 13 days or whatever. With Cooks drawing bracket coverage, he can be a real weapon. Hope he's ok...
 

richgedman'sghost

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Only 16 replies? Gee I would think there would be more...Anyway Brady, Gronk Dorsett and Cooks...
 

RG33

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Jonathan Jones and Dietrich Wise Jr. were the two most important game balls today IMO. Both played great, made plays all over the field, and will add a ton of depth and help to this defense if they are for real.

Brady and Gronk were focused and awesome.

Burkhead was great in the 1st half until he got hurt.
 

BaseballJones

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Brady
Gronk
Wise
White

Even with the injuries this offense has a ton of talent. They really have huge matchup advantages with their RBs.
 

Stitch01

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Yeah no shock and it won't last forever but Brady is a wizard. Crappy defense, but just went out there at 40 and destroyed an nfl defense, can't remember more than one or two inaccurate passes.

Not sure how they approached Thomas coverage, but the secondary did a good job in him. Quiet 5/89 non factor
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Yeah no shock and it won't last forever but Brady is a wizard. Crappy defense, but just went out there at 40 and destroyed an nfl defense, can't remember more than one or two inaccurate passes.

Not sure how they approached Thomas coverage, but the secondary did a good job in him. Quiet 5/89 non factor
And a decent chunk of that yardage was on some suspect no calls for pick plays.
 

Granite Sox

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Wise Jr. came to play. He was up against a back-up, but his closing speed on several plays was terrific. He should be a problem against the Texans as well.

Brady, Hogan (toughed out an injury), Gronk, White.

It was only one play on ST, but Harvey Langi almost decapitated a Saints kickoff returner. Loved it.
 

Super Nomario

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Yeah no shock and it won't last forever but Brady is a wizard. Crappy defense, but just went out there at 40 and destroyed an nfl defense, can't remember more than one or two inaccurate passes.
They had a lot of pressure on him, too. He made a lot of pin-point throws with a guy right in his face.
 

ehaz

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What did people think about Brandin Cooks? Receiver depth is getting to be even more concerning with Hogan and Dorsett appearing banged up. Is it a lack of chemistry or were they double covering him tonight?
 

Rook05

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They had a lot of pressure on him, too. He made a lot of pin-point throws with a guy right in his face.
I'm hard pressed to remember another game where he made so many accurate throws from his back foot. He looked like Marino at times sitting back there, albeit it with a little more wiggle.
 

Stitch01

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What did people think about Brandin Cooks? Receiver depth is getting to be even more concerning with Hogan and Dorsett appearing banged up. Is it a lack of chemistry or were they double covering him tonight?
Brady had him for a Td but got hit/underthrew him slightly. Hard to argue with the end team result, but hard to tell from the broadcast whether they just had help on Cooks all night or what.

This was who Cooks was in NO though, a boom/bust HR threat. He came pretty close to booming opening night with the PI and the missed post late. So personally not to worried yet, but I don't expect Cooks is gonna be a 10 catches on 13 targets for 85 yards kind of guy. He's much more the take the top off threat that Pats fans have wanted for years.
 

Just a bit outside

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What did people think about Brandin Cooks? Receiver depth is getting to be even more concerning with Hogan and Dorsett appearing banged up. Is it a lack of chemistry or were they double covering him tonight?
They mentioned on the broadcast that he was being bracketed. Someone smarter than me can tell you for sure.
 

Spelunker

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Brady had him for a Td but got hit/underthrew him slightly. Hard to argue with the end team result, but hard to tell from the broadcast whether they just had help on Cooks all night or what.

This was who Cooks was in NO though, a boom/bust HR threat. He came pretty close to booming opening night with the PI and the missed post late. So personally not to worried yet, but I don't expect Cooks is gonna be a 10 catches on 13 targets for 85 yards kind of guy. He's much more the take the top off threat that Pats fans have wanted for years.
In other words, the perfect outside compliment to Jules and Dolla underneath and Gronk in the seam.

Grrrr.
 

kelpapa

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I'm hard pressed to remember another game where he made so many accurate throws from his back foot. He looked like Marino at times sitting back there, albeit it with a little more wiggle.
That throw to gronk off his back foot was awesome. Pressure all over him and he put it right where it needed to be.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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This is partly due to the Erhardt-Perkins system NE runs but it's still fascinating to see the number of combinations:

@ZackCoxNESN
The Patriots threw a crazy number of looks at the Saints. All these players were used in the slot and out wide on the first drive alone.


 

soxfan121

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Brady had him for a Td but got hit/underthrew him slightly. Hard to argue with the end team result, but hard to tell from the broadcast whether they just had help on Cooks all night or what.
Gillslee has vultured three touchdowns after Cooks drew a PI or was stopped inside the five yard line. If Cooks had those three TDs, absolutely no one would have an issue with Cooks's play.

The Saints had him double and sometimes triple covered with a safety deep and the corner under.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Difficult to pick just a few after this game where so many guys stepped up. I'll go with the obvious ones on offense and the rookie on defense:

1. Brady
2. Gronk
3. White
4. Wise
 

Number45forever

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Tom Brady is so, so fun to watch. That game was a clinic. Another chapter in this epic we're all enjoying, it was fun to see yet another brilliant game by TB12. Many more to come too.
 

ragnarok725

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What did people think about Brandin Cooks? Receiver depth is getting to be even more concerning with Hogan and Dorsett appearing banged up. Is it a lack of chemistry or were they double covering him tonight?
Bracket coverage was certainly a thing. I think the Saints were acutely aware of and focusing on Cooks, given how well they know him.

But I'm not sure we'd feel worried about this at all if Brady puts this pass on the money instead of under-throwing it. Just adding a TD to the stat sheet and a clean bomb down the middle there would change perception a good deal.
 

nothumb

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Gillslee has vultured three touchdowns after Cooks drew a PI or was stopped inside the five yard line. If Cooks had those three TDs, absolutely no one would have an issue with Cooks's play.

The Saints had him double and sometimes triple covered with a safety deep and the corner under.
Yeah, I don’t see Cooks ever being a move the chains guy, but he draws a lot of attention away from others, and is still good for a couple chunk plays per game. Happy with him so far.

Overall they did a good job of integrating the RBs in the passing game, which was something folks wanted to see more of vs. KC... even though a certain amount of it was probably necessity here, good to see them do it and hopefully be that much more comfortable with it when they need it down the road.

Next week I expect HOU to pin their ears back and dare us to throw deep, as usual... will need Cooks to show up big and the RBs to help the OL and act as a safety valve.
 

Stitch01

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FWIW, Lombardi said on the Ringer pod that he was told Gronk's injury isn't bad and "he should be fine by the end of the week". Figured worth mentioning given Lombardi's background/connections
 

BigSoxFan

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Bracket coverage was certainly a thing. I think the Saints were acutely aware of and focusing on Cooks, given how well they know him.

But I'm not sure we'd feel worried about this at all if Brady puts this pass on the money instead of under-throwing it. Just adding a TD to the stat sheet and a clean bomb down the middle there would change perception a good deal.
And he could have had a TD in week 1 as well. Cooks has played in 44 career games and has had 5+ catches in 28 of them. His career receptions / game average is exactly 5 so I think better days are coming. He's never had <5 catches in 3 straight games. It will be interesting to see how he is used against Houston. I'm sure part of it will depend on Gronk's health but Brady may not have a whole lot of time to throw with Watt/Clowney/Mercilus coming after him.
 

DJnVa

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I think the Saints thought that the Pats might go to Cooks a lot, with him back in NO, and used him a bit as a decoy.

So, where was this playcalling last week?
 

Super Nomario

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Snap counts up: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201709170nor.htm#all_vis_snap_counts

  • Dwayne Allen played 46 snaps (61%) yesterday?
  • Dorsett played 32 snaps (42%), basically regular third WR snaps, more than any of the RB
  • Burkhead only played 8 snaps (11%) but got 2 carries and 4 targets. He might have had a huge game if he hadn't gotten hurt
  • A ton of three safety, with Harmon playing 52 snaps (80%). Even Richards played 16 snaps (25%)
  • Malcom Butler down to 49 snaps (75%). Significant usage of Rowe 34 (52%) and Jonathan Jones 27 (42%). The run D played well considering how light the personnel was all game
  • Only 6 snaps for Alan Branch (9%). Adam Butler 45 (69%) actually led the bigs in snaps.
  • Only 1 snap for David Harris. He was the fourth LB even with Hightower out
 

Stitch01

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Branch was what stood out most to me. BB not fucking around after the performance of the front seven in the opener.

Butler, cant tell if it was just the Saints were playing 6'3 and 6'6 WRs and BB wanted more height on the outside so went with Rowe or if something else going on there.

Hard to see Harris lasting the year barring additional injuries to the LBs.