Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

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Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by JMP on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:05 pm

Beer: Trader Joe's 2015 Vintage Ale (a Belgian-style dark ale) + Lagunitas IPA

Hero of the Day: DeVante Parker

Goats of the Day: Jamil Douglas and Jason Fox

In a game that meant absolutely nothing to the Miami Dolphins, the Phins played what I would call their most complete game of the season and dominated the Patriots in every phase in a 20-10 victory.

I have to start off by saying that I have never seen a Belichick-coached Patriots team look so flat, unprepared and unmotivated. From start to finish, the Pats played like a team that would rather have been anywhere else yesterday. I can only conclude that the Pats didn’t care about being the #1 seed and just wanted to get out of this final game healthy. They ran the ball more than I’ve ever seen them, particularly in the first half, and Brady only threw 21 passes. I don’t know…very strange.

In any case, Ryan Tannehill played possibly one of the best games of his career, completing 66% of his passes for 350 yards and two TDs, with a beefy 9.2 yards per attempt average and an excellent QBR of 112.8. This game, to me, sums up Tannehill’s career: when there’s nothing to play for, he’s aces all the way. Too bad he goes down like a cheap whore when the games actually mean something. That aside, Tannehill made great decisions yesterday and threw the ball with authority, completing several deep balls in the process. It would have been nice to see him lead his team to more than just 10 points per half, but beggars can’t be choosers. If this was the Ryan Tannehill we saw on a consistent basis, the Dolphins would be in the playoffs right now. Sadly, that’s not the case and this type of performance is more of the exception than the rule for Tannehill.

The running game didn’t do much, although Lamar Miller gave a decent workman-like effort with 19 carries for 60 yards. Jay Ajayi was terrible, gaining just 2 yards and 7 carries and showing no ability to break tackles or make defenders miss behind the line. I have serious concerns about Ajayi being handed the #1 back role if Miller leaves in free agency. Damien Williams did a nice job in the passing game.

The Dolphins had three WRs with over 70 yards receiving each, led by rookie DeVante Parker. I don’t know that Parker possesses the speed and route-running ability to be a true #1, but if he can build on yesterday’s game he can be a major weapon. Yesterday he showed a toughness that has been absent for most of the season, winning contested passes and breaking tackles. With Kenny Stills going down with an injury, the Dolphins finally featured Greg Jennings, and he had a nice game highlighted by a great 30-yard catch on a perfectly-run route. Jarvis Landry was his usual self, making some clutch catches and moving the chains. TE Jordan Cameron had just 2 catches for 6 yards in what was likely his last game as a Dolphin, but he did score a TD.

The OL gave up just 1 sack, but Tannehill did get knocked around a bit and the run blocking was awful. Jamil Douglas again played center and was again a trainwreck, constantly getting pushed back due to garbage technique (someone needs to teach him the word “leverage”) and consistently snapping the ball too weak and too low. This guy is just awful. Jason Fox was a turnstile at RT, getting beat over and over regardless of who lined up against him. Dallas Thomas was manhandled again, and the Pats’ DL feasted on him and Douglas. Ugly.

The defense played an excellent game overall, led by the DL. Derrick Shelby notched a sack and a forced fumble in what was arguably his best game ever. He was a force against the run and got to Brady a few times. Olivier Vernon harassed Brady a few times, and even with his weekly roughing the QB penalty, he had a strong game. Suh, despite his two weekly offsides penalties, was mostly unblockable and hit Brady a couple of times too.

The LBs had an excellent game, with Neville Hewitt and Kelvin Sheppard showing sure tackling and always getting to the ball. Safety play was also solid, with Michael Thomas playing the best game of his career and Reshad Jones blanketing Rob Gronkowski. CB Brent Grimes played his best game in a long time, and rookie corner Tony Lippett finally made a nice play with a batted ball on a deep pass.

The Patriots finished with just 12 first downs and netted less than 200 yards of offense; easily the worst offensive performance of the Brady era that I can recall. Stellar effort by the Phins.

So, yeah, great game for the Phins, with several players having (in my opinion) career games. But, it was too little too late, and I got much more satisfaction watching a replay of the Bills knocking the Jets out of the playoffs than I did seeing the Phins win a game that meant nothing.

Thank God this awful season is over. Now Stephen Ross and the Dolphins can spend the offseason working on creative new ways to disappoint the fanbase.

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by white1 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:24 pm

I have to start off by saying that I have never seen a Belichick-coached Patriots team look so flat, unprepared and unmotivated. From start to finish, the Pats played like a team that would rather have been anywhere else yesterday. I can only conclude that the Pats didn’t care about being the #1 seed and just wanted to get out of this final game healthy. They ran the ball more than I’ve ever seen them, particularly in the first half, and Brady only threw 21 passes. I don’t know…very strange.

Exactly how I felt watching this game. What were the Pats up to? Is it possible that even the great Bill Belichick was so rattled by the constant injuries his squad suffered, that his fear permeated his whole team? Clearly they were interested in running the ball all day and hoping to protect Brady, wear out our defense, and run the clock out quickly while cruising to an easy win. Given the sorry state of our run defense and totally underwhelming offense, I can't say this was a terrible strategy but obviously it did not work out as planned. I'm just surprised that once they fell behind they weren't able to "turn it on" and secure the victory and home field advantage. Interesting.

I'm sure Denver will go ahead and lose their first playoff game rendering the loss of home field for the Pats totally moot, but for now I will take the win and look forward to seeing who we hire as head coach. More out of morbid curiosity than real hope.

I need to see regular season wins - a lot of them - before I even think about considering this team a contender ever again. I've been fooled too many times to count. That's over with.

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:29 pm

YESSSS!!! WOOHOO!!! I HAVE LITERALLY BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ALL DAY!!!  Very Happy  cheers

JMP wrote:I have to start off by saying that I have never seen a Belichick-coached Patriots team look so flat, unprepared and unmotivated.  From start to finish, the Pats played like a team that would rather have been anywhere else yesterday.  I can only conclude that the Pats didn’t care about being the #1 seed and just wanted to get out of this final game healthy.  They ran the ball more than I’ve ever seen them, particularly in the first half, and Brady only threw 21 passes.  I don’t know…very strange.

I still say it was a dastardly scheme by Belichick to ruin the Fins' draft position, and the ridiculous part is, the Pats STILL would've gotten the top seed had Denver lost, which damn near happened  Shocked But yeah, nobody on the internet can figure out why he'd play Brady if he didn't want him hurt. You either try to win or tank to avoid injuries, period. Regardless, I'm sure it'll somehow work out in the Pats' favor like things tend to do  Rolling Eyes

In any case, Ryan Tannehill played possibly one of the best games of his career, completing 66% of his passes for 350 yards and two TDs, with a beefy 9.2 yards per attempt average and an excellent QBR of 112.8.  This game, to me, sums up Tannehill’s career: when there’s nothing to play for, he’s aces all the way.  Too bad he goes down like a cheap whore when the games actually mean something.

I was thinking about this, and the more i ponder on it the more the following theory makes sense. We know Matt Moore is the king of meaningless wins and losing when the games matter. Who's been mentoring Tannehill on how to play QB since he came into the league? Moore. (Well, others have too but Moore's the only one who's been doing it this entire time.) See where I'm going with this?

The defense played an excellent game overall, led by the DL.  Derrick Shelby notched a sack and a forced fumble in what was arguably his best game ever.  He was a force against the run and got to Brady a few times.  Olivier Vernon harassed Brady a few times, and even with his weekly roughing the QB penalty, he had a strong game.  Suh, despite his two weekly offsides penalties, was mostly unblockable and hit Brady a couple of times too.

The LBs had an excellent game, with Neville Hewitt and Kelvin Sheppard showing sure tackling and always getting to the ball.  Safety play was also solid, with Michael Thomas playing the best game of his career and Reshad Jones blanketing Rob Gronkowski.  CB Brent Grimes played his best game in a long time, and rookie corner Tony Lippett finally made a nice play with a batted ball on a deep pass.

So apparently the only way this D can play well is if they face a team even more riddled with injuries than they are, in the final game of a season in which half the starters are playing for their next contract. Nice. I admit I severely underestimated the effect that would have but again, in hindsight it's another thing that now makes perfect sense.

The Patriots finished with just 12 first downs and netted less than 200 yards of offense; easily the worst offensive performance of the Brady era that I can recall.  Stellar effort by the Phins.

I wouldn't say "easily". The Brady-Belichick Era has been going on for a *really* long time. Longer than any coach-QB combo in NFL history. But there are now only five games in which this has occurred, and oddly enough three of them now have come against the Fins. It is remarkable in that it hadn't happened for nine seasons  Surprised

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=game&year_min=2001&year_max=2015&game_type=R&playoff_round=&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&week_num_min=0&week_num_max=99&game_day_of_week=&game_time=&time_zone=&game_location=&surface=&roof=&stadium_id=&temperature_gtlt=lt&temperature=&game_result=&overtime=&league_id=&team_id=nwe&team_conf_id=&team_div_id=&opp_id=&opp_conf_id=&opp_div_id=&team_off_scheme=&team_def_align=&opp_off_scheme=&opp_def_align=&conference_game=&division_game=&tm_is_playoff=&opp_is_playoff=&tm_is_winning=&opp_is_winning=&tm_scored_first=&tm_led=&tm_trailed=&tm_won_toss=&c1stat=first_down&c1comp=lt&c1val=12&c2stat=tot_yds&c2comp=lt&c2val=200&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&c5comp=&c5gtlt=lt&c6mult=1.0&c6comp=&order_by=game_date&order_by_asc=Y

So, yeah, great game for the Phins, with several players having (in my opinion) career games.  But, it was too little too late, and I got much more satisfaction watching a replay of the Bills knocking the Jets out of the playoffs than I did seeing the Phins win a game that meant nothing.

I couldn't even take pleasure in that. And the reason is, because the Jets IMO had a far better chance of beating the Pats in the playoffs than the now DeAngelo-less Steelers. If anything that game only helped the Pats' chances of winning yet another title  Evil or Very Mad I GUARANTEE you the Pats didn't want the Jets in.

Thank God this awful season is over.  Now Stephen Ross and the Dolphins can spend the offseason working on creative new ways to disappoint the fanbase.

They literally couldn't even wait until the season was actually over this time to begin doing it Laughing

BTW somehow the Pats have now lost their last three in Miami Shocked Naturally, none of those games have meant a damn thing.


Last edited by DolFan 316 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by DolFan 316 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:36 pm

white1 wrote:Exactly how I felt watching this game. What were the Pats up to? Is it possible that even the great Bill Belichick was so rattled by the constant injuries his squad suffered, that his fear permeated his whole team? Clearly they were interested in running the ball all day and hoping to protect Brady, wear out our defense, and run the clock out quickly while cruising to an easy win. Given the sorry state of our run defense and totally underwhelming offense, I can't say this was a terrible strategy but obviously it did not work out as planned. I'm just surprised that once they fell behind they weren't able to "turn it on" and secure the victory and home field advantage.  Interesting.

The sad part is, the Fins' pass D was WORSE than the run D so therefore coming out throwing early to get a lead before running would've actually been far smarter. Which is the #1 thing that makes me believe Belichick tanked on purpose while trying to make it look like he wasn't tanking by starting Brady.

BTW if the Fins were going to get a completely meaningless win that actually hurts this team on so many levels the absolute least they could've done was knock Brady out of the playoffs. And this is coming from someone who never wishes injury on anybody. But of course they couldn't even do THAT right and apparently Brady will be just fine. Bleh.

I'm sure Denver will go ahead and lose their first playoff game rendering the loss of home field for the Pats totally moot...

I'll guarantee it. Especially since Denver almost loses to pretty much any garbage team they face these days. Also, because lately whatever the Pats really want, they get. It really is sickening, and you'd think even in today's society of sheeple that people would be sick and tired of them by now but if anything they seem to actually have MORE support than ever thanks to Badell. Feh.

I need to see regular season wins - a lot of them - before I even think about considering this team a contender ever again.  I've been fooled too many times to count.  That's over with.

After that seemingly glorious win over the Pats three seasons ago when afterwards all they had to do was win one of two games to get into the playoffs, I admit I was fooled. And then scoring 7 points combined in 2 losses happened and made me vow never again. Jmp too.

Meh.

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by HalCHorn on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:12 pm

Cincinnati is 20-1 to win the Super Bowl, ranking behind the rest of the AFC. Strange. I think if Dalton is ready to play they have a real shot. They pass well (3rd in YPP) and defend the pass well (6th).

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by JMP on Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:18 am

I like 316's theory about the "Matt Moore Meaningless Win Syndrome". Makes sense to me...Tannehill sure knows how to turn it on when the game doesn't matter, and he had to learn that from somewhere.

Hal, I agree - if Dalton is healthy I think the Bengals can go on a run. I think it's between them and the Pats. I'd love to see the Chiefs somehow get to the Super Bowl, but I don't trust them. The Steelers D is too weak, the Broncos O is too weak and the Texans are the Texans.

In the NFC, I'm rooting for the Packers - but they're a mess. I have a feeling that the Seahawks are going to destroy everything in their path, and will win the Super Bowl.

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by HalCHorn on Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:14 am

Seattle is very capable of doing it the way Russell Wilson has been playing.

Arizona's lousy effort Sunday is a bit disconcerting, but that is still a team capable of winning it all too. Arians has to be the best regular season coach going right now.

Carolina just suffered a huge blow with Charles Tillman's injury, meaning 2 of their top 3 CB's will be out for the postseason. I think that would be a big problem against either Wilson or Palmer.

I think New England at this point is the AFC version of Carolina, incredibly banged up and heavily dependent on one player. The Patriots' O-line is as banged up as Carolina's secondary. Home field with Denver's defense might be enough to get them back to the SB if they can keep Manning from turning it over, but I actually think I'd pick Cincy to face either Seattle or Arizona right now.

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by white1 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:23 am

Yeah, New England will make it to the Superbowl. Just because. That team never dies.

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Re: Thoughts on game 16: Patriots at Phins

Post by DolFan 316 on Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:33 pm

white1 wrote:Yeah, New England will make it to the Superbowl.  Just because.  That team never dies.

Seriously!!! I've just assumed they'll win it since before the season. In fact I'm now assuming Belichick and Brady will still be going strong ten years from now. The Pats are a beast that even after you shoot it a thousand times and blow it up ten more times and think it's dead you better chop off the head just to make sure, and then you need to burn it and the entire body, and even THEN it'll probably just regenerate entirely from a single tiny piece. Hearing about their injuries only makes the inevitable lucky as hell SB win even worse Evil or Very Mad

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