The Game Goat Thread: Wk.11 at Houston

SeoulSoxFan

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Another close game lost on the last drive of the game. This Texans team was better than 2-7 record but another loss pretty much puts NE out of the playoff hunt.

Here are the goats for the game:
  • OL: as good as the unit was last game, they couldn't block for Harris nor give Cam enough time to find his receivers
  • DL: absolutely no pressure on Watson and gave the corners little help against Fuller, Aiken, and company
  • Harry: dropping passes and getting penalties further diminish my hopes for the WR (I may be being unfair as he just came back but...)
I think this team will be substantially better next season. A team with a number of close losses usually rebound. This season, however, is slowly sinking into a 7-9 type of a year.

A big wishes for a full recovery for Burkhead, one of my favorite Patriots since the day he got here. That was tough to watch.
 

Ale Xander

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Cam
Can't throw, can't read, poor footwork

2nd to Josh

A lot of other holes too
 

Van Everyman

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I think this team will be substantially better next season. A team with a number of close losses usually rebound. This season, however, is slowly sinking into a 7-9 type of a year.
I wonder if players or coaches would admit that Brady’s clutch became a bit of a crutch. Because it kind of feels that way.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Cam
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McDaniels

HOU has the worst rushing defense in the league and Josh can’t figure out a way to run the ball.

Cam simply does not see the rush. Ever.

Defense was an abomination in the sight of the Lord.
Got smacked around by a fucking 2-7 team. Christ.

This team stinks.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Goats are clearly DL and Cam. McDaniels for questionable play calling, especially not using Harris.

Harry wasn’t that bad. The first penalty was a total joke as he was blocking well after the catch and the second was questionable. He made a couple of plays and his “ drops” were on bounce passes, other than the last one where Harris blew him up and it only would have been a short gain anyway.
 

Captaincoop

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Cam
Harry
Wynn

Cutting the defense some slack because they pretty much clamped down in the second half and gave them a chance to win. Not good overall, but the offense was disgraceful.
 

heavyde050

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I missed most of the game, but followed online. Most others said the stats were empty for Cam, is that true?
I know the last 60 plus yards were on the last drive and were definitely meaningless. I awesome some poor awareness on the last drive.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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How does Harris go 5 for 25 and a score on the opening drive then only touch the ball 7 times the rest of the way?
 

heavyde050

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It'd be reasonable to see this roster being 6-4 or even 7-3 with Brady at QB. However, I can't see that group going past the WC weekend either.
The team would have a much better record with Brady especially if he had a real running game.
Edit - depending on the WC opponent- they could steal one.
 

Garshaparra

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I'm afraid that may be it for Burkhead. It looked like a broken kneecap, helmet hit flush on, though hopefully no ligament injuries to go with it. Never a good sign when the network won't re-show the play coming out of the break.

GOATS:

- The vaunted secondary: just throw intermediate passes against them, and it's 12-20 a clip.
- Playcalling: even before the Burkhead injury, they seemed to just give up on running.
- Cam: so many off-target passes, 1 planned run the entire day (see above). Had Byrd on the passback trick play, and chose to go short with it.
- OLine: Terrific on screens, but otherwise very average. When that's the best unit on the team, and it shows up like that...
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I missed most of the game, but followed online. Most others said the stats were empty for Cam, is that true?
I know the last 60 plus yards were on the last drive and were definitely meaningless. I awesome some poor awareness on the last drive.
Cam bounced some throws but had some critical 3rd down conversions to Byrd and Myers. Even if you don't count the Hail Mary, the stats don't seem "empty" to me.

The OL & DL sucking most of the day were the main culprits, IMHO.
 

heavyde050

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Cam bounced some throws but had some critical 3rd down conversions to Byrd and Myers. Even if you don't count the Hail Mary, the stats don't seem "empty" to me.

The OL & DL sucking most of the day were the main culprits, IMHO.
Thanks - as I said I only caught the last two drives on TV, and he didn’t look great there.
Either way, I really like Cam, but I don’t think he is anything other than an average QB anymore.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Especially in a close game. Against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.
He got caught a couple of times behind the line as Watt & co. were collapsing the pocket all day. It seems McD saw that and went with Cam throwing the ball. Being behind the scoreboard after going up 7-0 didn't help.

Also could be that Harris had a minor injury that we don't know about (a pure guess on my part).
 

RG33

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Cam’s slow release.
Cam’s mechanics overall.
Cam’s ability to read a blitzing defense.
McDaniels refusal to run read/options with a QB who can’t throw
Secondary that seemed distinterested today
D-Line that got no pressure on a QB used to getting hit
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Cam bounced some throws but had some critical 3rd down conversions to Byrd and Myers. Even if you don't count the Hail Mary, the stats don't seem "empty" to me.

The OL & DL sucking most of the day were the main culprits, IMHO.
He never sees pressure coming. Not once. It kills drives and games.

He is terrible and his stats today were completely empty. Getting 60 yards on the final two plays makes the stat line look good, but doesn’t make up for FIVE batted passes and bouncing throws on screens. He goes through his reads very very slowly.

It’s Stidham time.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Another close game lost on the last drive of the game. This Texans team was better than 2-7 record but another loss pretty much puts NE out of the playoff hunt.

Here are the goats for the game:
  • OL: as good as the unit was last game, they couldn't block for Harris nor give Cam enough time to find his receivers
  • DL: absolutely no pressure on Watson and gave the corners no chance against Fuller & Aiken
  • Harry: dropping passes and getting penalties further diminish my hopes for the WR
I think this team will be substantially better next season. A team with a number of close losses usually rebound. This season, however, is slowly sinking into a 7-9 type of a year.

A big wishes for a full recovery for Burkhead, one of my favorite Patriots since the day he got here. That was tough to watch.
Harry as a top three GOAT? I gotta disagree, I presume the fact he happened to be a first round pick and has been disappointing to-date is informing that take. I mean, in terms of skill players Ryan Izzo should be up there before Harry even enters the discussion, how many blocks did he blow?

I don’t see how you can watch that game and forgive Cam of his performance, SSF. He had more duck throws to open receivers on check downs than I can recall seeing from an NFL QB, he had almost uniformly terrible throws under pressure (because his footwork goes to absolute shit), and on several occasions he missed pre snap pressures that led to clean runs on him or another ball carrier. I’ve seen better multi-INT performances from quarterbacks. He had by my recollection one great throw to Byrd along the sideline late. The notable bomb to Byrd was over the wrong shoulder but Byrd made a fantastic catch. The rest of his completions were either pedestrian or actually bailed out by the receiver (guys were catching poorly placed balls all over, including on checkdowns!), he was frequently late to deliver the ball. He had two late reads to Byrd that stand out - one on a corner route he didn’t throw to with anticipation and ultimately took a sack and another he hit a wide open Byrd to the right sideline, his lateness costing YAC and risking pressure arriving.

He is not a good quarterback anymore, and it is having a cumulative effect on their offensive performance week over week.
 

BaseballJones

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He got caught a couple of times behind the line as Watt & co. were collapsing the pocket all day. It seems McD saw that and went with Cam throwing the ball. Being behind the scoreboard after going up 7-0 didn't help.

Also could be that Harris had a minor injury that we don't know about (a pure guess on my part).
They abandoned Harris in the second quarter. It was ridiculous. The guy has been a freight train the past few weeks. You don't stop running him because he gets dropped a couple of times.

Just awful.

Now if he's nursing an injury, that's a different story.

With Burkhead out, who do they go with next week: Michel or Taylor? I imagine Michel.
 

BaseballJones

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He never sees pressure coming. Not once. It kills drives and games.

He is terrible and his stats today were completely empty. Getting 60 yards on the final two plays makes the stat line look good, but doesn’t make up for FIVE batted passes and bouncing throws on screens. He goes through his reads very very slowly.

It’s Stidham time.
Stidham is not happening. I'll be shocked if Bill moves away from Cam.
 

patinorange

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He never sees pressure coming. Not once. It kills drives and games.

He is terrible and his stats today were completely empty. Getting 60 yards on the final two plays makes the stat line look good, but doesn’t make up for FIVE batted passes and bouncing throws on screens. He goes through his reads very very slowly.

It’s Stidham time.
Might as well go with Stidham. But I'm pretty sure he stinks. Time to verify.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They abandoned Harris in the second quarter. It was ridiculous. The guy has been a freight train the past few weeks. You don't stop running him because he gets dropped a couple of times.

Just awful.

Now if he's nursing an injury, that's a different story.

With Burkhead out, who do they go with next week: Michel or Taylor? I imagine Michel.
I would bet he’s banged up and that’s why they went away from him.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Cam bounced some throws but had some critical 3rd down conversions to Byrd and Myers. Even if you don't count the Hail Mary, the stats don't seem "empty" to me.

The OL & DL sucking most of the day were the main culprits, IMHO.
He bounces throws that no competent QB should be bouncing. He gets 5-6 passes batted down routinely each game. It’s just a matter of time that those are picked. He is slow in the pocket and takes sacks. And finally he literally cannot read a blitz. In a word he’s terrible and exactly what you don’t want in a QB.

I get it. Cam’s a fantastic guy and great teammate. But he’s not an effective or even adequate QB. He is a losing QB.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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He is not a good quarterback anymore, and it is having a cumulative effect on their offensive performance week over week.
I'm being unfair to Harry but he's a 1st rounder. I thought he should have had that crosser later in the game too.

Regarding Cam, he doesn't set the protection right, reads defenses like an 8-track fast-forwarding, and has lost his footwork.

However, he was just good enough (or not bad enough) to get a win today. The OL & DL gets much more of the blame for me today, that's all.
 

BaseballJones

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I would bet he’s banged up and that’s why they went away from him.
He did get drilled a few weeks ago, remember? Maybe that's lingering.

Why? They’re 4-6. They aren’t going anywhere and Cam isn’t improving at all. They have nothing to lose.
Because when they were 2-5 and dead in the water, they didn't go with Stidham. It's pretty obvious that they don't think much of him. I'm with you, and I want to see him the rest of the way. If nothing else, you need to know what you've got in him. But I don't see BB doing that.
 

bigq

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DL with special emphasis on Winovich who I thought could be a difference maker today.

Gunner gets an honorable mention.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Why? They’re 4-6. They aren’t going anywhere and Cam isn’t improving at all. They have nothing to lose.
We can readily infer that Bill and Josh do not think highly of Stidham, and the idea that if they gave him a handful of starts he would suddenly show ability he evidently lacks in practice or in any other context to-date strikes me as very wishful thinking. It doesn’t happen by any account at this level. Bill will not - and should not - play a QB who hasn’t shown he can do a better job until they’re mathematically eliminated. If /when they’re at 8 losses, say, and Cam is beat up (if not too hurt to play), I think it makes a lot more sense to pull the plug.
 

ShaneTrot

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I think they won't go with Stidham because this coaching staff knows he stinks and BB will not go with an inferior QB if he thinks he has a better one. He benched Kosar and Bledsoe for better options.He is not shy about benching players.
 

BaseballJones

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LOL final stats:

First downs: NE 22, Hou 21
Total yards: NE 435, Hou 399
Yds rushing: NE 86, Hou 55
Pass yards: NE 349, Hou 344
TOP: NE 32:18, Hou 27:42
3rd down: NE 7-13 (53.8%), Hou 5-11 (45.5%)

Stats make it look like NE was the better team today. LOL
 

8slim

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Cam reminds me of late stage Bledsoe, in the sense that he’ll still make some outstanding throws, but too often will tank plays in a way that is unacceptable for an NFL QB1. Some of those bounced passes today were bewildering.

Still, there was lots of blame to go around today. There was no unit on D that played well. Maybe someday we’ll get pressure from the DL, or competent LB play, but it wasn’t today. The OL didn’t get it done. Gunner was atrocious and should be cut. McDaniels called a lousy game.
 

BaseballJones

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Loss to then 1-3 Denver.
Near loss to then 0-8 NYJ.
Blowout loss to then 3-3 and beat up San Francisco.
Loss to then 2-7 Houston.

That's.....not good.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Loss to then 1-3 Denver.
Near loss to then 0-8 NYJ.
Blowout loss to then 3-3 and beat up San Francisco.
Loss to then 2-7 Houston.

That's.....not good.
That's the frustrating part. They DID beat a trio of good teams in Miami, LV, Baltimore, and came within a yard of beating Seattle. This & the Denver losses really sting.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Gunner likely won’t be on the team tomorrow. He’s stupid and useless.
Why did Gunner even attempt to return the final punt? That should have been an automatic fair catch. I don''t know how much time that took off the clock ; probably just a few but every second counts in the end
I tbought Josh deserves some goat horns because the Pats were awfully slow and casual on the next to last drive that resulted in the turnover on downs. I only saw the 4th quarter so I'll take your word that Cam sucked donkey balls today.
One question: all those people who say that Jarrett sucks, what do you base your impression on? If I remember correctly, JS played that one series last year against the Jets and briefly in the 49ers and Chiefs games. I actually thought he played decently against KC but my hatred of Hoyer might be invalidating my opinion
Honestly I want to see JS but it won't happen until the Pats are officially eliminated from the playoffs.
 

Ralphwiggum

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There's a lot of GOAT-age to go around today, but I'll double down on the OL. Couldn't pass protect and after the first drive they couldn't sustain any kind of running attack against the worst running D in the league.
 

Harry Hooper

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There's a lot of GOAT-age to go around today, but I'll double down on the OL. Couldn't pass protect and after the first drive they couldn't sustain any kind of running attack against the worst running D in the league.
Yes, no real LBs and no pass rush are expected from the D, but the OL is supposed to deliver.
 

splendid splinter

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McDaniels and Cam.

The endless parade of toss sweep running plays is on Josh. The constant screen/dump-off passes in the first half is on one or the other or both, I can’t tell. When they threw downfield they were able to move the ball. I don’t know why they got away from that so much until they were behind.
 

54thMA

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Coaching.

This is the second year in a row the corpse of Romeo Crennel blitzed the Patriots to death and they did virtually nothing to counteract it.

I'm no longer getting that 2001 vibe with this team, more like the 2000 team; 5-11 sounds about right.
 

rodderick

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Cam reminds me of late stage Bledsoe, in the sense that he’ll still make some outstanding throws, but too often will tank plays in a way that is unacceptable for an NFL QB1. Some of those bounced passes today were bewildering.

Still, there was lots of blame to go around today. There was no unit on D that played well. Maybe someday we’ll get pressure from the DL, or competent LB play, but it wasn’t today. The OL didn’t get it done. Gunner was atrocious and should be cut. McDaniels called a lousy game.
Honestly, I feel the opposite with Cam. I can't even recall the last pass he made that truly impressed me. Everything is labored with him and a lot of his deeper completions come on play action to a wide open first read on the middle of the field. Even the long TD to Byrd today didn't exactly look right.
 

Super Nomario

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The endless parade of toss sweep running plays is on Josh. The constant screen/dump-off passes in the first half is on one or the other or both, I can’t tell. When they threw downfield they were able to move the ball. I don’t know why they got away from that so much until they were behind.
I think it's just hard to do consistently because they don't have great deep receivers and Houston was blitzing the hell out of them (see below). They were trying to run screens to counteract the blitzing; they had success at times, but not consistently enough. The toss sweep was because Houston was crowding the box so running up the middle wasn't an option.

The reality is that this team does not have the personnel to stretch defenses vertically or horizontally. They don't have speedster backs who can take it to the edge, and they don't have speedster receivers who can threaten the safeties. It's the same formula as in years past; crowd the middle. I think McDaniels tried everything he could to get something working - screens, outside runs, trick plays, play action - but this offense is not talented enough to play lefthanded when defenses stop the run.

Coaching.

This is the second year in a row the corpse of Romeo Crennel blitzed the Patriots to death and they did virtually nothing to counteract it.

I'm no longer getting that 2001 vibe with this team, more like the 2000 team; 5-11 sounds about right.
Houston murdered them with the blitz, but to me, it's more about talent than coaching. Coaching was throwing the kitchen sink at the problem and nothing worked consistently enough.

Where I blame coaching more is on defense; Belichick has no idea how to defend a mobile QB who can also throw from the pocket. Watson carving them up today was completely predictable; he's done it every time they've played. You'd never know he has one of the worst sack rates in the league or was missing two OL by how the Patriots pass rush looked. They didn't even keep contain. The front seven is just gross right now.
 

steveluck7

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It’s stating to look like Madden against this offense. Just blitz. Usually, if you blitz, you need to worry about a hot read, an option route, a screen, or a draw.
Somehow, against this team, the blitz works every damn time.
I don’t know why any opposing D coordinator won’t just sell out.Worst case scenario is an incomplete pass and your highly likely to make some sort of tackle behind the LOS.
 

Zincman

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Beyond the obvious differences between Brady and Cam, (defense reading, situational awareness, accuracy) the most stark is the difference in mechanics, particularly footwork. Cam is constantly in poor position to throw, even when he has plenty of time. His skill development as a QB never caught up to his physical dominance. My appreciation for Brady's dedication to the nuances of the position continues to increase.
 

Super Nomario

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Worth noting: like many of the Patriots' games this year, this was a short game, with relatively few drives by each team. NE had 10 drives (two brief end-of-half ones), Texans only 9; typical is 11-12 drives per game. So the O played a little better than 20 points indicates, and the D was worse than 27 points suggests.