The Game Goat Thread: Wk.11 at Houston

54thMA

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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.
Their front seven is a mess, void of any real talent. Guy and Wise are decent, their linebackers are terrible.

This roster has a ton of holes; linebacker, safety, defensive line, wide receiver, tight end and last but most importantly, quarterback.

Was the roster this bad when he took over in 2000; they were four years removed from a Super Bowl, but had missed the playoffs the prior year. I really can't recall, but regardless, they have their work cut out for them in the draft and also free agency.

There are now two teams ahead of them in the division in talent, never mind the conference.
 

DaveRoberts'Shoes

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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.
His Shoulder isn’t right. At this point it never will be. He’s gonna bounce throws and get passes knocked down because of his post-surgery mechanics. So I put his failings more on the coaching staff for not recognizing what he can and can’t do.
 

8slim

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Their front seven is a mess, void of any real talent. Guy and Wise are decent, their linebackers are terrible.

This roster has a ton of holes; linebacker, safety, defensive line, wide receiver, tight end and last but most importantly, quarterback.

Was the roster this bad when he took over in 2000; they were four years removed from a Super Bowl, but had missed the playoffs the prior year. I really can't recall, but regardless, they have their work cut out for them in the draft and also free agency.

There are now two teams ahead of them in the division in talent, never mind the conference.
The 2000 roster had a lot of pieces, certainly defensively: Law, Milloy, Bruschi, McGinnest, Ted Johnson, Otis Smith, Tebucky Jones. Hard to see that many pieces on this current defense. Offensively in 2000 there wasn’t much, Faulk and Brown was mostly it. Of course we had a 4th string QB who’d turn out to be OK.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The 2000 roster had a lot of pieces, certainly defensively: Law, Milloy, Bruschi, McGinnest, Ted Johnson, Otis Smith, Tebucky Jones. Hard to see that many pieces on this current defense. Offensively in 2000 there wasn’t much, Faulk and Brown was mostly it. Of course we had a 4th string QB who’d turn out to be OK.
Yeah, their cap situation was a nightmare, they had an overpriced QB, and apart from Woody, Brown and Faulk they had a bad offense.

Their 2001 offseason was unbelievable, adding almost ten legitimate starting players in free agency, and none on big contracts: David Patten, Mike Compton, Marc Edwards, Roman Phifer, Bryan Cox, Mike Vrabel, Larry Izzo, Anthony Pleasant, Terrell Buckley, Antowain Smith.

Then they drafted a HOF caliber DL (Seymour) and a franchise LT (Light).
 

jsinger121

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The 2000 roster had a lot of pieces, certainly defensively: Law, Milloy, Bruschi, McGinnest, Ted Johnson, Otis Smith, Tebucky Jones. Hard to see that many pieces on this current defense. Offensively in 2000 there wasn’t much, Faulk and Brown was mostly it. Of course we had a 4th string QB who’d turn out to be OK.
Yup. This roster is nowhere near where the 2000 roster had defensively while the offense has a good OL, good running back in Harris, good third back in white who is comparable to Faulk. The WR stink but they may have some depth pieces in Myers and maybe Byrd if they bring him back.
 

8slim

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Yup. This roster is nowhere near where the 2000 roster had defensively while the offense has a good OL, good running back in Harris, good third back in white who is comparable to Faulk. The WR stink but they may have some depth pieces in Myers and maybe Byrd if they bring him back.
I feel like that as long as a team has a solid OL in place, then it’s possible to turn an offense around relatively quickly. If we can start a functional QB, somehow find a top-end WR, and hopefully the young TE don’t turn out to be busts, then O could be OK next season. I’m much more pessimistic about the D. The front 7 is just awful, not sure how we rebuild that quickly.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Harris for kicking McDaniels’ dog, because I can come up with no other reason the Pats refused to give him the ball after the first quarter.
 

reggiecleveland

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Cam is doing okay, but hs is still my goat. He killed two drives by misfiring on easy passes and throwing that guys feet. Also maybe shift in the pocket and not throw over top of Watt.
 

FL4WL3SS

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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.
Then why the fuck is he on the roster? If you can't even play your backup when your first string guy is terrible then you've made a terrible mistake in roster construction.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I don't see the non-usage of Stidham up to this point as anything other than punting on the year and preserving Stidham in the process. Making him watch and study and if things broke well for the team, great. If it came to this point, then Stidham will start getting into games more.
This team is still strangely dangerous and if they're able to sneak into a WC slot they could take down a few teams with better records and make a run at it. With one more loss, they're totally out and I think we'll see Stidham then. He's still the future QB of this team and just because he isn't playing right now doesn't mean anything.
 

tims4wins

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I don't see the non-usage of Stidham up to this point as anything other than punting on the year and preserving Stidham in the process. Making him watch and study and if things broke well for the team, great. If it came to this point, then Stidham will start getting into games more.
This team is still strangely dangerous and if they're able to sneak into a WC slot they could take down a few teams with better records and make a run at it. With one more loss, they're totally out and I think we'll see Stidham then. He's still the future QB of this team and just because he isn't playing right now doesn't mean anything.
I don’t buy it. He was given the opportunity to win the starting job and he fell behind this summer. This isn’t about “preserving” him it is about giving the team the best chance to win each week and that means Cam at QB. They put up 435 yards and 7-13 3rd down yesterday. The D has to help. I don’t quite get all the Cam hate.
 

lexrageorge

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Newton came off a pretty good week against the Ravens, and started the game strong (3-4 for 58 yards in the first drive). He didn't do much after that until the 3rd quarter, but it was really the D that was the culprit, and Newton was probably their best chance of coming back from the 21-10 deficit. He was OK in the 2nd half; it didn't help that the defense inexcusably gave up 2 long drives that ended in FG's, which basically gave the offense no margin of error. So while Newton deserves mention as one of the game goats, he wasn't terrible either.

So we cannot expect him to have been replaced by Stidham during the game. And Newton probably does give this flawed team the best chance to win. The defense is a real problem and one that will probably take at least a couple more seasons to solve.
 

TheMoralBully

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The context of the units they were going up against has to matter a little bit, though. Houston is a tire fire on defense all year, awful against the pass and even worse against the run. They're actually giving up near 50% 3rd down conversion on the season. Offensively they're still pretty bad, but Watson is having a good year and they've thrown the ball fine. No excuses for the defense here, Houston gives up a ton of sacks and they were getting no pressure all night. With Cam though, not sure he's the game goat, but I think we've seen enough of him to know his clear deficiencies (lack of arm strength, poor mechanics and awareness) aren't going away and he's just not a great option going forward. Just not sure what he really brings to the table, especially if his body is in a place where he can't run RPO throughout a full season.
 

mauf

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I don't see the non-usage of Stidham up to this point as anything other than punting on the year and preserving Stidham in the process. Making him watch and study and if things broke well for the team, great. If it came to this point, then Stidham will start getting into games more.
This team is still strangely dangerous and if they're able to sneak into a WC slot they could take down a few teams with better records and make a run at it. With one more loss, they're totally out and I think we'll see Stidham then. He's still the future QB of this team and just because he isn't playing right now doesn't mean anything.
There’s a school of thought that says a rookie QB’s development is best served by riding the bench, but I’m not aware of anyone who thinks a second-year QB shouldn’t get game reps. Stidham isn’t playing because BB feels Cam gives the team the best chance to win. Considering how Cam has played, that tells you a bit about how BB views Stidham.

I don’t know if Stidham has fallen in BB’s estimation over the past few months, or if BB’s praise of Stidham was just a negotiating ploy, but Stidham role with the club isn’t nearly as concrete as “future QB of [the] team.” If it were, we wouldn’t have seen Brian Hoyer against KC.

Like you, I think Stidham will (and should) get a long look before the season is over, but unless he sets the world on fire, next season’s Week 1 starter will be someone not on the current roster.
 

8slim

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The fact that they signed Newton so late in the free agent game is much of what we need to know about Stidham. More of what we need to know is that a guy who was signed that late in the free agent game easily beat him out for the starting job. And the last of what we need to know is that Brian freakin' Hoyer was Cam's replacement for KC.

I don't buy for a second that Bill is "preserving" Stidham, or preferring to let him sit and learn. As if he didn't learn all anyone could sitting behind the GOAT last year. Bill knows QBs. This is the HC who kept Brady on the roster as a 4th QB in 2000, and who made him the only rostered backup to Bledsoe in 2001. The locker room seems to love Cam, and he's setting a great example for younger players in terms of his work ethic and preparation. I suspect the best plan for the rest of the season is to ride it out with Cam, then try to work some free agent QB magic in the offseason.
 

Shelterdog

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Then why the fuck is he on the roster? If you can't even play your backup when your first string guy is terrible then you've made a terrible mistake in roster construction.
That's not true. Almost every team has shitty backup quarterbacks. A lot of teams have kind of shitty starters. It's a tough spot to fill.
 

Bleedred

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Why didn't the Patriots blitz yesterday, like a lot? Houston cannot run the football, as they are one of the worst rushing teams in the league. Their only way to move the ball is through the air. I can even forgive them for rushing only 3 or 4 for the whole first half, but dropping 7 or 8 deep still didn't succeed in slowing down the offense. It was obvious that we couldn't pressure the QB, so why give Watson 4, 5, 6 seconds in the pocket to carve us up? I guess they only scored 6 points in the 2nd half, so I could be wrong, but it just seemed to me that we needed to roll the dice more and send 1 or 2 guys a whole hell of a lot more.
 

Humphrey

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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.
The first penalty was justified in the sense that Byrd held, Harry did next to nothing. The second penalty at least seemed to finally wake the guy up. I figure he was one more bad play away from sitting out the rest of the game.
 

tims4wins

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Why didn't the Patriots blitz yesterday, like a lot? Houston cannot run the football, as they are one of the worst rushing teams in the league. Their only way to move the ball is through the air. I can even forgive them for rushing only 3 or 4 for the whole first half, but dropping 7 or 8 deep still didn't succeed in slowing down the offense. It was obvious that we couldn't pressure the QB, so why give Watson 4, 5, 6 seconds in the pocket to carve us up? I guess they only scored 6 points in the 2nd half, so I could be wrong, but it just seemed to me that we needed to roll the dice more and send 1 or 2 guys a whole hell of a lot more.
Well per BB they got killed blitzing in the game last year so it wasn't part of the game plan as much

View: https://twitter.com/MikeReiss/status/1330633265645051907
 

54thMA

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I’m much more pessimistic about the D. The front 7 is just awful, not sure how we rebuild that quickly.
Me too; they have a lot of holes to fill needless to say on that side of the ball.

ZERO pressure yesterday.

And their tackling is awful too by the way.

While I fully understand the salary cap and how you can only keep so many players and not pay everyone huge money, Jones, Hicks, Brown, Flowers with Shelton as a rotational player and then Hightower, Van Noy and Collins is much better than what they have now. Factor in Hightower is still here, he opted out for 2020.

Again, salary cap; yeah, I get it.

I'll defer to others here who are more well versed than I am on the salary cap.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Well per BB they got killed blitzing in the game last year so it wasn't part of the game plan as much

View: https://twitter.com/MikeReiss/status/1330633265645051907
This is pretty interesting and it was obvious about the third quarter that they had gone all in with a pick your poison choice.

It seems to me that when it comes to pregame planning Bill makes choices and has faith in his choices.

I'm not saying that the team isn't also good at making adjustments on the fly but I think by and large he picks a strategy and commits to it and then in-game is not the time to go away from the major one or two philosophy points that he focused on and drilled on pre-game.

It's a system and strategy that works most of the time and has led to some spectacular results over a hall of fame career. When he picks wrong or the opposing coach guesses right it is very hard to watch.

The penalties were rough yesterday. Between penalties and plays for loss it seemed like the team was constantly needing to get more than 10 yards per series and they aren't built for that.
 

tims4wins

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This is pretty interesting and it was obvious about the third quarter that they had gone all in with a pick your poison choice.

It seems to me that when it comes to pregame planning Bill makes choices and has faith in his choices.

I'm not saying that the team isn't also good at making adjustments on the fly but I think by and large he picks a strategy and commits to it and then in-game is not the time to go away from the major one or two philosophy points that he focused on and drilled on pre-game.

It's a system and strategy that works most of the time and has led to some spectacular results over a hall of fame career. When he picks wrong or the opposing coach guesses right it is very hard to watch.
Completely agree with this. We hear about famous "half time adjustments" all the time but I don't think it's particularly true in NE
 

Cotillion

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Completely agree with this. We hear about famous "half time adjustments" all the time but I don't think it's particularly true in NE
Oh I think they do adjust, but I doubt it's rarely ever "fuck let's just jettison everything and come up with something new on the fly".

It's probably some tweaks or alterations to attacking what they wanted to attack. Maybe adapting their plan to what they are seeing.

But the ability to just completely alter everything as needed? Probably not possible except in rare cases where it may rely on something you've done enough before that you think your team can do it.

This is probably the most constrained Bill has been in awhile for being able to alter stuff significantly on the fly due to who has opted out and who is left on the team.
 

tims4wins

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Oh I think they do adjust, but I doubt it's rarely ever "fuck let's just jettison everything and come up with something new on the fly".

It's probably some tweaks or alterations to attacking what they wanted to attack. Maybe adapting their plan to what they are seeing.

But the ability to just completely alter everything as needed? Probably not possible except in rare cases where it may rely on something you've done enough before that you think your team can do it.

This is probably the most constrained Bill has been in awhile for being able to alter stuff significantly on the fly due to who has opted out and who is left on the team.
I agree. It's like when they went to the HOSS play back in Super Bowl 53 after not running it for 3 1/2 quarters.
 

BusRaker

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I've never seen Deshaun Watson look that good, throwing 20 yards dimes into tight coverage the first few drives. Sure he had all day, but still impressive throws against Gilmore/Jackson/Jones. I think that those early throws kind of broke the spirit of the D
 

gtmtnbiker

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I've never seen Deshaun Watson look that good, throwing 20 yards dimes into tight coverage the first few drives.
How about that one bomb he threw that wasn't caught? It's like he didn't put much effort on the ball to make it go 50+ yards. I found it hard to believe that the Texans were 2-7 with the way they played.