It’s Thursday and I still haven’t been able to find the time to re-watch the Pats win over the Rams in London or see any of the All-22 film on the game so rather than wait any longer I’ll post two very good reviews from that game by a couple of former NFL players that know a whole lot more about breaking down film than I do.
First up is Matt Bowen from the National Football Post. Bowen is a late round draft pick who played safety for seven years in the NFL and does a great job of dissecting what the Rams were attempting to do on defense and then what the Patriots did in response that allowed for them to score on a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski.
Bowen gets going with his descriptions and breakdowns a bit quickly sometimes but that’s okay; that’s what the pause and rewind buttons are for. For more of his analysis check out his columns on National Football Post here, or if you prefer more of his videos on YouTube here.
Former Patriot Matt Chatham offers some very good insight on the Patriots win over the Rams in this 14 minute audio interview on WEEI. Chatham points out that the Patriots did a good job of keeping the Rams off balance by not being predictable on offense, avoiding tendencies of typical play calls based on down and distance, field position and formations. He also points out that the Pats did a much better job of capitalizing on opportunities than they have done at times earlier this season. Matt also talks about the distinction between blitzing and getting pressure on the quarterback, and Devin McCourty as a cornerback or safety: two topics of a great deal of discussion amongst Pats fans this year. There’s also discussion on what goes on during the bye week, self-scouting and the secondary; check it out, I found it to be a worthwhile listen.
Chatham also writes two columns per week for the Boston Herald. Tuesday he had some additional analysis of the Pats win in the column Lethal Patriots show zig, zag instead. Again it is good insight into the small, often overlooked things that go into making a play work – which in turn lead to a victory. The column is a more detailed version on how the Pats bucked conventional wisdom with their play calling against the Rams early in Sunday’s game, leading to a touchdown and a lead they would not relinquish.
This Day In Patriots History
Yes, this is a day late. I’ll see if I can’t get back on track later today.
October 31, 1959:
Ken Simswas born in Kosse, Texas. The Pats selected the 6’5″ Texas Longhorn with the first overall pick of the 1982 draft. The defensive end was nicknamed ‘Game Day’ because he was quoted as saying ‘I’ll be there on game day’ in response to what was considered lackadaisical effort in practices. Unfortunately for the Patriots his practice habits carried over to Sundays and Sims never lived up to his draft status, though he did play with the team for eight years before he was released after being busted for possession of cocaine during the 1990 off season.
October 31, 1959:
Brian Ingram was born in Memphis. The Patriots drafted the Tennessee Volunteer in the 4th round (111th overall) of the 1982 draft, which was acquired from the 49ers in the Russ Francis trade. Ingram was mostly a special teams player as the Pats were deep at linebacker, occasionally getting playing time when Don Blackmon or Larry McGrew were injured or needed a breather. He went on injured reserve after the 4th game of the 1983 season and was never completely the same after that; Ingram played in 39 games over four seasons with the Pats, his last game with the team being in Super Bowl XX.
October 31, 1964:
Larry Garron scores on a 52-yard pass from Babe Parilli against the Jets. For Garron it was just one of an incredible thirteen touchdowns of more than fifty yards that he scored in his eight years with the Patriots. Gino Cappelletti (who would be named the AFL MVP that season) also had seven receptions for a career high 147 yards that day but the Pats couldn’t get their running game going and turned the ball over five times, losing 35-14 and dropping to 5-2-1 on the season.
October 31, 1965:
Gino Cappelletti scored all but two points for the Patriots in their 22-6 victory over the Chargers at Balboa Stadium. The Pats opened up scoring when Jay Cunningham scored the only points of his pro football career, tackling Speedy Duncan in the end zone for a safety. Cappelletti then kicked two field goals, caught two touchdown passes from Babe Parilli, and kicked both extra points for a total of twenty points on the day. The Pats defense did not allow any points until late in the 4th quarter, and intercepted four passes: one each by Tom Addison, Mike Dukes, Tom Hennessey and Don Webb.
October 31, 1971:
Steve Kiner, Randy Beverly and Larry Carwell each pick off a John Brodie pass but the Patriots lose to the 49ers 27-10 at Candlestick Park. Carl Garrett ran for 96 yards on 13 carries and Randy Vataha had a 23-yard touchdown reception from Jim Plunkett for the Pats.
October 31, 1976:
The Patriots defense does its part but the Pats offense can’t get anything going as the Dolphins win 10-3 at the Orange Bowl. Sam Cunningham had 79 yards rushing plus another 25 receiving to lead the Pats, who fell to 5-3. After this game the Pats would go on to win the next six in a row before their season ended in the infamous Ben Dreith game.
October 31, 1993:
The Patriots defense did not allow a single touchdown but the offense sputtered with Drew Bledsoe sidelined and the Pats lost to the Colts 9-6 at the Hoosier Dome. Ben Coates had six recptions for 108 yards while Scott Secules, filling in for Bledsoe, was 25 for 37 for 279 yards – but also threw two interceptions.
October 31, 1999:
The Patriots got just their second Halloween victory in forty years as Drew Bledsoe matched his career high with four touchdown passes for the Patriots, who at 6-2 were off to their best start since 1980. Bledsoe completed 14 of 22 passes for 276 yards and was not intercepted; he threw for three scores in the first half, two to Shawn Jefferson, as the Pats opened up a 20-0 lead. It was the first easy won of the season for the Pats; four of the five previous victories had been by three or fewer points. On the second play of the 4th quarter Bledsoe threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Terry Glenn to put the Pats up 27-3; heading into the game the Arizona defense had been ranked third in the NFL against the pass.
October 31, 2004:
The Patriots lose their first game of the year, 34-20 to the Steelers at Heinz Field. The loss ended two winning streaks: 21 straight counting the playoffs, and a league-record 18 in a row in the regular season. Bill Belichick‘s game plan was for the Pats to control the ball and the clock behind Corey Dillon, but in warmups he pulled up lame with a thigh injury and could not play. Ty Law was then lost just a few plays into the game with a foot injury and it was the Steelers who controlled the clock, limiting the Pats to just 17:02 time of possession. Without Dillon the Pats were unable to run, averaging less than a yard per rush; the one-dimensional offense became overly predictable and turned the ball over four times.
The Pats were able to get the last laugh though, beating Pittsburgh 41-27 twelve weeks later in the AFC Championship Game, en route to their third Super Bowl victory in four years.
October 31, 2010:
Facing Randy Moss for the first time since he was traded the Patriots beat Minnesota 28-18 at Gillette Stadium, improving their record to 6-1 while the Vikings dropped to 2-5. At the time of the trade some felt the Pats were giving up on the season while Vikings fans prematurely booked their tickets for the Super Bowl; as it turned out it was just another Brad Childress loss to Bill Belichick and the last game Moss (one reception for 8 yards) would play for the Vikings. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns and Moss’ replacement, Brandon Tate, had 101 yards receiving – including a 65-yard touchdown.
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October 31, 1961:
Larry Mullen, the drummer for U2, was born in Dublin.
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