The Game Goat Thread: Wk.6 vs Broncos

djbayko

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SMU_Sox

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COVID. Lack of practice. Injuries.

They didn’t take a WR with the JJW pick because they took Harry. Harry fits into what they are trying to do: he was the best blocking WR and he had good RAC. He showed some prowess in contested catch situations. They knew he had some issues with route running and getting separation but gambled they could work on that. I wasn’t a Harry guy but it was a defensible pick.

They just invested in TEs as well as got another one in FA. Two of the vets opted out and TE is the hardest position minus QB on offense to learn. Gronk didn’t start consistently making an impact until week 10-12 his rookie year and most rookies don’t break 200 yards let alone more. This year is shortened camp + missed practices because of COVID + Keene got banged up.

Who should they have taken in round 2 instead of Dugger who has looked like a good pick? Aside from Chase Claypool and Laviska who is redundant with Harry none of them are producing. Lots of misses so far.
 

E5 Yaz

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Why not make Bill the GM the goat every time they lose? Almost by definition they’re going to lose games because they are inferior to their opponent at certain matchups, which can always be tied back to personnel management if you look at the available players across the prior 5-6 drafts and free agency periods.

In other words, it doesn’t tell us anything about THAT specific game, so it’s overly reductive. Conversely, if they WIN a game, does BB the GM get a game ball? I would say no, unless we take the view that BB is always a hero or goat if they win or lose, respectively, since he is ultimately accountable for the team’s performance in all respects. And once we do that, again, what are we actually saying about that particular game?
Get that logic outta here
 

mauf

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The Titans looked sharp against the Bills. Why was it inevitable that the Pats would lay an egg today?

I’m honestly asking — not sure whether the Pats’ situation was objectively worse (Newton and Gilmore being among the positives, for example), or if the Pats suffered more from a lack of practice because they are working more key players into their system this year than the Titans are, or if the Pats are a less talented team with less margin for error, or maybe even BB couldn’t adapt to game prep on Zoom as well as Vrabel did. Probably some combination of factors, I’m sure, but it’s not a given that a team that’s denied the ability to practice will fall flat.
 

Harry Hooper

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Something approaching bare competence among the receiving corps today would have transformed the game, despite all the other off-field and on-field problems. BB hasn't gotten any traction in improving the TE and WR capabilities over multiple seasons now.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The Titans looked sharp against the Bills. Why was it inevitable that the Pats would lay an egg today?

I’m honestly asking — not sure whether the Pats’ situation was objectively worse (Newton and Gilmore being among the positives, for example), or if the Pats suffered more from a lack of practice because they are working more key players into their system this year than the Titans are, or if the Pats are a less talented team with less margin for error, or maybe even BB couldn’t adapt to game prep on Zoom as well as Vrabel did. Probably some combination of factors, I’m sure, but it’s not a given that a team that’s denied the ability to practice will fall flat.
The Titans held illegal practices. And are likely just a better team as well.

I do agree that practice time doesn’t account for everything that happened today.
 

scottyno

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The Titans also had Henry, a functional offensive line, and a qb/wr combo in an offensive that isn't still trying to figure out what it does and doesn't do well because they just switched to a totally new offense for the first time in over a decade, they probably don't need those practices as much as the Pats do.
 

rodderick

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Cam sucked throwing the ball, but they couldn't run it either, the entire offense was the goat today. It's mind boggling to me that they can play two seasons with those receiving options and there's not even any hope of improvement. Byrd looks like their best receiver right now, there isn't a single team in the league with worse pass catchers.
 

Garshaparra

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COVID. Lack of practice. Injuries.

They didn’t take a WR with the JJW pick because they took Harry. Harry fits into what they are trying to do: he was the best blocking WR and he had good RAC. He showed some prowess in contested catch situations. They knew he had some issues with route running and getting separation but gambled they could work on that. I wasn’t a Harry guy but it was a defensible pick.
He's basically a tight end that gets split out. His blocking downfield on the late run by Cam was extremely important, but Harry's continued weakness as a receiver is just awful.

My goats:

- Covid: what running team can succeed when 3 of their top 6 linemen (including primary and backup centers) are out?
- Belichick. for not challenging the James White lunge on 3rd that clearly gave him a first. Luckily it did not come back to bite them, but just a chickenshit call.
- Izzo. He's nobody's idea of a top TE, and showed it today (other than his toughness in getting back on the field after that backwards-bend hit)

Other notes:

- Jonathan Jones is going to be a very wealthy man very soon.
- Drew Lock looks legit. His stats were pretty bad, but he has absolutely nobody to throw to, and still had a better passing day than Cam.
 

cshea

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The Titans looked sharp against the Bills. Why was it inevitable that the Pats would lay an egg today?

I’m honestly asking — not sure whether the Pats’ situation was objectively worse (Newton and Gilmore being among the positives, for example), or if the Pats suffered more from a lack of practice because they are working more key players into their system this year than the Titans are, or if the Pats are a less talented team with less margin for error, or maybe even BB couldn’t adapt to game prep on Zoom as well as Vrabel did. Probably some combination of factors, I’m sure, but it’s not a given that a team that’s denied the ability to practice will fall flat.
The Titans were having illegal practices.
 

BaseballJones

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The Titans were having illegal practices.
Not to really expose (for the umpteenth time) my persecution complex, but if the Patriots held illegal practices and violated Covid rules, does anyone here seriously think that they wouldn't get absolutely HAMMERED by the NFL? Yet so far...nothing on Tennessee.....
 

mwonow

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Who knew Hjalte was Danish for "turnstile"?

Edit - but sorry, goats...
One play: Izzo. Plus Cam on that last pass.
Repeated anger directed at my screen: Cam for taking for-fucking-ever to move the ball from his hand so that rushers wouldn't just smother him in the backfield
 

DaubachmanTurnerOD

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On the Edelman discussion, it looked to me like he was off the field on most third-downs. Was that true? (Or did I just happen to notice the few he was out?)

My goat is Covid. And Cam, for too many back-foot throws. (Though the makeshift line didn’t give him much time...)
 

EL Jeffe

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  • Isaiah Wynn: He really struggled at times at times at both G and T, with some whiffs and bull rushes.
  • Cam: Looked slow to make some passing reads and decisions. Needs to play faster.
  • Coaching: I don't understand why Jason McCourty would ever get reps over JC Jackson. Don't understand why Wino was a 33% player yesterday. Don't understand why BB wouldn't challenge the White spot.
 

Super Nomario

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Why not make Bill the GM the goat every time they lose? Almost by definition they’re going to lose games because they are inferior to their opponent at certain matchups, which can always be tied back to personnel management if you look at the available players across the prior 5-6 drafts and free agency periods.

In other words, it doesn’t tell us anything about THAT specific game, so it’s overly reductive. Conversely, if they WIN a game, does BB the GM get a game ball? I would say no, unless we take the view that BB is always a hero or goat if they win or lose, respectively, since he is ultimately accountable for the team’s performance in all respects. And once we do that, again, what are we actually saying about that particular game?
I think this is fair to a degree but the criticism can be more intelligent than that. For instance, Isaiah Wynn is a good player who had a bad game yesterday (maybe because he's banged up?). As you note, you can reduce that to a "Bill the GM" issue because Belichick picked Wynn, but since Wynn has largely been really good, that's an unreasonable criticism.

The two sacks that Wynn didn't let up yesterday were cases where the TE initially blocked a guy, then released, only to see the player the TE initially blocked get Cam. That strikes me as more of a coaching issue than a personnel issue; whether that's on Cam or on the TEs, they're not on the same page with what's going on there.

OTOH, this team has zero ability to generate explosive plays. You could single out, say, N'Keal Harry and his paltry 9.0 yards per catch on his career, or the RBs for a long run of 7 yards on 15 or so carries. Or you could look at how this team is generally built and conclude, reasonably, that this is a "Bill the GM" problem.

The offense cannot pick up chunk plays, so they really need to avoid negative plays. But they had three turnovers yesterday, and four sacks and a bad snap that all led to punts. That's eight drive-killing negative plays on 10 drives.
 

joe dokes

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The Titans held illegal practices. And are likely just a better team as well.

I do agree that practice time doesn’t account for everything that happened today.
I think they win if they had practice OR if they had no practice and a real OL.
 

BaseballJones

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I think this is fair to a degree but the criticism can be more intelligent than that. For instance, Isaiah Wynn is a good player who had a bad game yesterday (maybe because he's banged up?). As you note, you can reduce that to a "Bill the GM" issue because Belichick picked Wynn, but since Wynn has largely been really good, that's an unreasonable criticism.

The two sacks that Wynn didn't let up yesterday were cases where the TE initially blocked a guy, then released, only to see the player the TE initially blocked get Cam. That strikes me as more of a coaching issue than a personnel issue; whether that's on Cam or on the TEs, they're not on the same page with what's going on there.

OTOH, this team has zero ability to generate explosive plays. You could single out, say, N'Keal Harry and his paltry 9.0 yards per catch on his career, or the RBs for a long run of 7 yards on 15 or so carries. Or you could look at how this team is generally built and conclude, reasonably, that this is a "Bill the GM" problem.

The offense cannot pick up chunk plays, so they really need to avoid negative plays. But they had three turnovers yesterday, and four sacks and a bad snap that all led to punts. That's eight drive-killing negative plays on 10 drives.
This is a great post and spot on.

On a couple of occasions when chunk plays were there to be had, they screwed them up - the Izzo catch and run then fumble, and the miss of an open Byrd down the sideline on the last drive.
 

WheresDewey

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I don't see how the goat can be anything but covid 19. The announcers called it: the Pats had 2 practices in 2 weeks, and the Broncos had 2 weeks to practice for the game.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I think this is fair to a degree but the criticism can be more intelligent than that. For instance, Isaiah Wynn is a good player who had a bad game yesterday (maybe because he's banged up?). As you note, you can reduce that to a "Bill the GM" issue because Belichick picked Wynn, but since Wynn has largely been really good, that's an unreasonable criticism.

The two sacks that Wynn didn't let up yesterday were cases where the TE initially blocked a guy, then released, only to see the player the TE initially blocked get Cam. That strikes me as more of a coaching issue than a personnel issue; whether that's on Cam or on the TEs, they're not on the same page with what's going on there.

OTOH, this team has zero ability to generate explosive plays. You could single out, say, N'Keal Harry and his paltry 9.0 yards per catch on his career, or the RBs for a long run of 7 yards on 15 or so carries. Or you could look at how this team is generally built and conclude, reasonably, that this is a "Bill the GM" problem.

The offense cannot pick up chunk plays, so they really need to avoid negative plays. But they had three turnovers yesterday, and four sacks and a bad snap that all led to punts. That's eight drive-killing negative plays on 10 drives.
This is completely fair, and it is definitely apparent both yesterday and over five games that the Pats offense has almost no margin for error in terms of penalties, negative plays, and turnovers, and needs to string together 10 plus play drives to score touchdowns when they get long fields. When they are in second and 10 plus or third and 8 plus, for example, they are flat out not going to get it done. I think Byrd is actually fine as a receiving option, but he should be your third or fourth guy, not your top option.

The lack of production from Edelman and Harry is a huge issue. I actually take bigger issue with their lack of a replacement for Edelman given the criticality of the slot receiver to what they do. He looks terrible and yet no other receiver has made a push to take his snaps. As well as they transitioned from Brown to Welker and then to Welker to Edelman, they appear to be botching the next transition to a successor slot receiver. They reportedly tried to get Humphries a few years ago, but Tennessee beat them out, and unless you squint hard at Gunner there doesn’t seem to be an in house solution at that spot.

With Harry, it is increasingly unlikely he becomes a really good player as we progress through this season, even if he becomes a serviceable one. He just doesn’t catch the ball much past 5-10 yards, with a ton of touches occurring near the LOS itself. That isn’t necessarily terrible if he was doing damage with YAC (after all Deebo isn’t running Davante Adams’ route tree), but that skill hasn’t been as-advertised either. I don’t feel the apparent rage that some do about this pick, but I do think we are likely to see them on the hunt yet again for top receiving ability this offseason. All it takes is an acquisition or two at that position to make a real difference, but it isn’t like good receiving talent is hanging off trees, either.

I do think the OL being in relative shambles was a far bigger issue in yesterday’s loss (after all, how much did Davante Adams matter for GB yesterday when they got whipped upfront?), and ironically two of the biggest missed opportunities were misfires by Cam to open receivers (Byrd and Harry), but on a series to series basis their lack of a reliable shot play threat(s) certainly exacerbated their issues. I just don’t think yesterday was a good case study for it.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Putting aside the illegal practices since I don’t think anyone here is in a position to say how much those did or didn’t help the Titans, the Titans are a much better team overall that was able to return basically everyone once their Covid issues subsided and brought back the vast majority of their AFC almost-champion from last season.

The Pats are at best a slightly above-average team, with a lot more injuries or Covid-related absences, and have had a ton of turnover or young guys, particularly on offense (and the defense really wasn’t the issue yesterday, although of course they weren’t phenomenal by any means). So it’s not surprising they would see more of an impact from not being able to practice than the Titans would.
 

SMU_Sox

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The way I see it is the passing game is going to be a work-in-progress the entire year. You don't replace a QB with a month to the season starts and have things go smoothly. COVID exacerbates that especially with the lack of practice time. Their WRs and TEs leave a lot to be desired but Byrd is getting open. Jules is getting open.

I disagree that they can't get chunk plays. Play action passing should open things up. Against Seattle and their poor pass D the Patriots got chunk plays. Against the Raiders in the second half they got chunk plays. They won't be top 10 in chunk plays or maybe even top half but they shouldn't be at the bottom either. They even got chunk plays against KC.

I think we would all say this was the game in which they looked the worst so far this year. A roster full of turnover and limited practices will do that to you. Just tape this entire tape and shoot it into the sun.

All-22 is not up yet but I rewatched the Broadcast CBS view. My main takeaway is how bad Cam looks. He and the receivers are not on the same page. He's taking bad sacks. His feet tell me he looks uncomfortable. He practiced once in two weeks. Go figure.

The OL was out of position and didn't get a chance to practice much as a unit. They looked like they were out of position and didn't practice much. Huh, wonder why. When you have to slow down the game because you are not comfortable in your situation that leads to what you saw on the field yesterday.

Look at this run for no gain:

35056

This is the 2nd and 4 run for no gain with 6:29 to go in the first. Onwenu doesn't need help nor do I think he was expecting a combo block. Wynn on the other hand seems like he is expecting Thuney help. Thuney wants to get to the next level. Either Wynn didn't realize he had to reach block 96 solo or Thuney blew the call. They had this set up perfectly too. Had Wynn and Thuney combo'd 96 and Thuney then gets up to seal off 47 (Denver LB cut off in picture) at the next level and Johnson gets 45 (also cut off in picture) Harris is going to have a huge gain. Instead 22 makes a play. In theory 22 isn't supposed to be able to sniff Harris because Harris is through his hole and 22 should be chasing him from behind.
 

Phil Plantier

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If anyone's a goat, how about the medical staff that cleared Izzo after he was knocked out, only for him to fumble on his next hit?
 

Over Guapo Grande

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If anyone's a goat, how about the medical staff that cleared Izzo after he was knocked out, only for him to fumble on his next hit?
Other than it appeared to be his ankle, and it was at least one catch after (he caught a ball over the middle pretty much in the same spot 2 plays after he got bent back), that seems a spot on take (and any concussion type thing is NFL clearance, not team docs).
 
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He took a shot to the head area for sure. He didn't appear to turn off all the lights though. I'm leaning more towards Izzo just sucks. I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt and attribute that fumble to an injury, but he's just not a good NFL player.
 

reggiecleveland

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We are in asteriskville this year. Sure somebody will be named superbowl champ, but these are all less valuable titles this year. An argument could be made for the PAts to forfeit after the Covid cases, changing schedule, and a forfeit is basically what happened.
 

54thMA

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Is there any reason not to think that going forward, teams are going to play either 8 men in the box on defense or run safety and/or corner blitzes in passing situations; who on this team would concern any team to leave on an island with a cornerback with no safety help? Cam is going to get killed at this rate; he looks, looks, looks, no one is getting open, plain and simple.

He needs help on offense and I really have no idea where that help is coming from.

I am giving them a mulligan yesterday; Cam has been inactive for two weeks, they have had two practices in that time and their offensive line is in shambles; when the line was intact the first two games, they looked pretty good to me. Once Andrews went out, it was a domino effect, he's the heart and soul of that unit, that is for sure, hoping he comes back this week.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Maybe his ankle too, but watch this again and tell me he wasn't knocked out.

View: https://youtu.be/7EdMGlfKjjg


And, yes, I meant the NFL "medical" staff.
He wasn't knocked out.

He was moving right away, and immediately pulled his leg up, which seems to indicate a foot injury. Now, I thought there should have been a flag there for helmet to helmet, but I don't see the NFL as... dropping the ball there.
 

Captaincoop

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Bedard did a great breakdown on Cam's passing from Sunday that confirms how bad he looked. Byrd, Edelman, and Harry were all wide open at various times - the piece has photo breakdowns of nine plays where Newton either failed to see a wide open receiver, or threw and missed. Not good, and not a whole lot different from his performance against Vegas. He has to play much better for the Pats to have a prayer of making the playoffs.