Three GIFs that Defined Patriots Loss to Chiefs

Well, there were some hard choices this week as to which stinker plays I chose to represent the atrocity that went down in Kansas City. Here they are in all their non-glory.

 photo KC1_zps298c77de.gif

This first one set the tone for the night to an extent. Close ball game early in the second quarter with a manageable third-and-two on the edge of field goal range. They try to run a sweep that gets BLOWN UP, especially my boy Stork in a “welcome to the NFL” moment. No sustained blocks, no push, and the Pats are punting.

 photo KC2_zps9ef05ec2.gif

This second one comes on third down of the Pats first possession of the second half. A critical situation where they could’ve gotten off on the right foot to actually make it a game. What do they do? Take a sack and a fumble. Luckily Solder somehow recovers it, not that it really mattered.

 photo KC3_zpsdc96786e.gif

Finally comes a running play that was pretty much how it went this night. Dont’a Hightower looks like he should’ve blown his knee out and Chandler Jones gets completely sealed off, which happened a lot this game. Not to mention a missed tackle by Wilfork. This play sums it up — defense is right there to make the plays, they just don’t make them and the result is a big gain.

Previous Three GIFS

Oakland Raiders

@ Minnesota Vikings

@ Miami Dolphins

Patriots-Bengals Ticket Giveaway!

I’m giving away another pair of tickets to this weekend’s game! Today’s contest will be all about you and your Patriots swag. I want to send the biggest Pats freak out there to cheer on our team when they need it most!

The rules are tweet or make Tumblr post with a picture of yourself in full Patriots gear - the more the better - with this caption:

"Trying to win #PatriotsNRG tickets courtesy of @PatsPropaganda & @nrgenergy”

If you don’t use this caption I won’t see it and you won’t be eligible. So get your copy and paste on!

At 6pm EST I will pick three (or so) finalists and then post them on so everyone can vote on the best one.

At 8pm EST the winner will be announced.

Winner gets two tickets to the game to cheer on the Pats! 

And you might have to confirm it is in fact you in the picture so don’t go googling some outrageous Pats zealot that’s not you. Real super fans only!

The problem with bad pass protection is the quarterback knows it’s bad and, human nature being what it is, starts to speed up his play. Tom Brady has done that. He even did it against Miami which, considering it was Week 1, tells you there had been protection problems in practice. The Patriots mostly use a short-drop passing attack, so it seems intuitive that it’s not exactly bad for a quarterback to speed up. But it doesn’t work that way. Speeding up means distorting the synchronization of route concepts. The Patriots’ passing game hinges on that synchronization.

New England Patriots’ issues on offense can be fixed by Bill Belichick | The MMQB with Peter King

Must read for actual football analysis and really, everything I’ve been talking about the last couple days.

Patriots-Bengals Ticket Giveaway!!
Here are my three favorite captions to the above photo. Vote for your favorite below. Winner gets two tickets to this Sunday’s Patriots-Bengals game and thanks to nrgenergy for sponsoring the giveaway!
Another ticket giveaway coming tomorrow! Thanks to everyone who had a funny caption, wish I could pick more!

@PatsPropaganda “I wish I could grow a beard like Logan… I really miss Logan…”
— Jon Bruce (@thejonbruce)
September 30, 2014

@PatsPropaganda #PatriotsNRG ” - This sucks…Jules won’t even avoid my high fives anymore.
— Michael MacKinnon (@mikeisthebest)
September 30, 2014

@PatsPropaganda we’ll see how much they’re laughing when I win the Super Bowl this year..
— Louuuuuuuuuuuuu (@louman1784)
September 30, 2014

Patriots-Bengals Ticket Giveaway!!

Here are my three favorite captions to the above photo. Vote for your favorite below. Winner gets two tickets to this Sunday’s Patriots-Bengals game and thanks to nrgenergy for sponsoring the giveaway!

Another ticket giveaway coming tomorrow! Thanks to everyone who had a funny caption, wish I could pick more!

I’ve got a pair of tickets to the Pats-Bengals game to give away thanks to nrgenergy. Retweet the linked tweet (also here) with a funny (or sad) caption. The three that make me laugh the most get posted here on the blog at 6pm EST and then everyone can vote for the winner!!

Poll closes at 8pm EST. And I’ve got another pair to giveaway tomorrow!

Pats Posits: Big picture problems

It’s going to be a rough week Patriots fans. Everyone will have their theory about what the root of the Pats problems are. 

Tom Brady doesn’t have enough weapons. There’s no deep threat. Belichick the GM isn’t helping Belichick the coach. They shouldn’t have traded Logan Mankins. The play calling. You’ve heard them all by now and it didn’t take a blow out to make any of them definitively true.

On defense it was pretty simple, they weren’t ready to play. They were out-coached. Blown tackles started them off on the wrong foot, over compensating with over-aggressiveness just made it worse, and things snowballed from there.

Offensively the protection was a bit better but the blocking still looks messy and out-of-sync. The running game is all but ignored. And in a recurring theme, teams are just stacking the line of scrimmage because they don’t think the Pats offense can beat them beyond seven yards. 

Thus the box is stacked for the running game, and any receiver who catches a short pass is immediately killed if he doesn’t get immediately to the ground.

The defense still has potential. They were way to sloppy last night and that is a concern — not that they don’t have the talent, but it seems almost as if they think they don’t have to earn it every game. Once they start playing like they have to earn it every down, they’ll be pretty good. There’s too much talent for them to be as bad as they were last night.

Offensively, the concerns are real and have been for a while. It’s as if they just can’t get our of their own way to get this offense to where it needs to be. Everything seems overthought on offense. They can’t put two good plays together at this point.

The hard part is that after a quarter of the season you should know to an extent what you have and I can’t say for sure what the Patriots have on either side of the ball. 

I tend to think the defense can and will be okay, but I have real concerns about the offense that run deep and have for a while now. Pointing out individual players seems like a waste because everyone is at fault.

My only prescription? Find the best OL combo and stick with it. Establish a level of trust from Brady because he doesn’t have that now. Lean on the running game more. Get Dobson in there and do whatever they can to pull some coverage away from the line of scrimmage.

Ignore the noise this week. There’s plenty to be excited about this weekend with an undefeated team coming to town on national TV. Things look bad right now, but one thing I’ve learned is to never count the Patriots out until their season is over.

The season isn’t even close to over.

Why do the Patriots Stink poll

Choose your three!

New England Patriots Gameplan: Week 4 at Kansas City Chiefs

The Patriots conclude the first quarter of their season on Monday Night Football against the Chiefs in Arrowhead, in what should be a good test for a Patriots team that seems to be going in two different directions on either side of the ball.

Last season the Chiefs were one of the teams that scared me. Their controlled short passing game is just the kind that has given the Patriots defense fits in recent years, but the Pats defense is starting to look reborn after a strong start against three admittedly less-than-formidable offenses.

Offensively the talk all week has been focused on the offensive line, leading many to wonder if there will be some changes upfront for the Pats. Once New England gets their blocking solidified, we should expect to see a much-improved squad. But there’s no guarantee that the blocking is easily fixed, they’ll have to prove it on the field and all eyes will be on them in the hostile environment known as Arrowhead.

Offensive Strategy

The one constant through the first three games on offense has been Julian Edelman and he should once again be the go-to target to keep the chains moving. With star Chiefs safety Eric Berry nursing a high ankle sprain, the Pats should be tempted to attack the deep part of the field, something they’ve been less-than-effective with early in the season.

Their best deep threat Aaron Dobson was back on the bench last week after seeing his first action in Week 2. If ever there was a time to push the Dobson deep plan, this could be the week.

But the bigger question is whether or not Tom Brady will have the time. Even the most perfect gameplans are easily destroyed when the pass rush gets to Tom Brady and the Chiefs have two of the best edge rushers in the game in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. They will test Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder, the Patriots bookend tackles. Solder especially had one of the worst outings of his career against the Raiders and he will need to bounce back in a big way or Brady could be on his ass a lot.

Dontari Poe is a big space-eating defensive tackle who should test the Patriots interior line as well, whoever they roll out there.

Defensive Strategy

With Sealver Siliga unlikely to play, Vince Wilfork and the edges of the defense will have their work cut out for them. Electric running back Jamaal Charles is expected to play, while fellow Chiefs running back Kniles Davis brings a physical element. 

The Chiefs like to hit the edges of the defense hard, so there will be pressure on Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower to keep containment. 

The Pats run defense has been much better since the travesty that was Week 1 against the Dolphins, but this should be their toughest test since then. Joe Vellano held up far better against double teams vs. the Raiders than Chris Jones did, so Vellano could start next to Wilfork.

Donnie Avery and Dwayne Bowe should provide a good test for the Patriots pass defense but tight end Travis Kelce might be the most dangerous of them all. Patrick Chung has been effective in coverage thus far against tight ends and seems like the favorite to draw coverage on Kelce. If he’s ineffective, Jamie Collins could be called to action.

Five Points of Emphasis

1. Block! - If you’ve read just about any intelligent analysis about the Patriots this week, you know that the offensive line is their biggest team issue right now. What’s frustrating is that the guys who have done it in the past - especially Solder and Vollmer - are not doing it now. They need to be the leaders. Regardless of what kind of personnel changes are made, the offensive line must communicate better and simply play at a higher level —  a level they are capable of. They have a great opportunity to right the ship in a tough place to play. That can make a statement.

2. Bombs Away - The Patriots have needed a vertical element to their passing game for going on five seasons. There’s no question the offense is built around Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski and they will move the ball with those two as the primary receivers. But for the offense to truly hit the next level, they need attack the perimeter of the defense. The chance is there this week, but only if the offensive line gives Brady the time to get off accurate throws. It’s all connected, but a couple shots down the field is just what this team needs.

3. First Down Execution - Part of the problems this year have been slow starts especially at the start of the game and the start of the second half. The play calling was over-thought and put the Patriots in yardage holes early. They need to start better in every sense of the word. On first down and early in each half, they need to set themselves up for success later in the game and on the set of downs.

4. Physicality on Defense - The Dolphins often overwhelmed the Chiefs in Week 3 with pure physicality and the Patriots have the personnel to do the same. Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones have had superb starts to their third seasons in the NFL and they’ll have to show that to a national audience on Monday night. The defense has shown that they are not the same old Patriots defense we became accustomed to from 2010-2013, and they must continue to build on the success that they have had against a legitimate NFL offense and probably the best quarterback they’ve seen yet this season.

5. Win: As always, what matters most is getting the win. We’re closing out the first quarter of the season, so the time for experimentation and wondering what the Patriots are good and bad at is coming to a close. This game will tell us a lot about the kind of team the 2014 Pats are, especially after a week where a win felt more like a loss. The entire NFL world will be watching to see if there really are any cracks in the Patriots empire. A convincing win on the road in Kansas City would answer that with a resounding “No”.