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Tailgate
01-07-2013, 02:24 PM
So both teams are getting new important chess pieces for this rematch:

Texans:
GAIN - TE Garret Graham, RT Nate Newton, CB Alan Ball, OLB Brooks Reed
LOSE - ILB Dobbins

Patriots:
GAIN - TE Gronkowski and DE Jermaine Cunningham.
LOSE - ??


We both, especially the Pats (who were really beat up before our last game and just then got quite a few players back) seem to be much healthier this time around and they got an extra week of rest to boot.


That being said, lots to dicuss!

How will these teams adjust from our previous matchup, and how will these new players change the game plans for this week? Some initial thoughts:

On Offense:

- How will having Graham open up the offense this time around? How much did we miss him and our 2 and 3 TE sets?

- What new wrinkles do we need to see Kubiak add to the offense?

- What did we do to have success with the run vs Geno Atkins and Cinci's front 7? Vince Wilfork had his BEST GAME of the season vs us, what can translate from last week and what can we do to limit his impact this time around?

On Defense:

- How will Phillips attack them this time around? Same gameplan or will we see some changes to our approach?

- How are we goin to prepare for Gronk this time around?

- What must we do to limit the big plays? Do we almost concede the run with our base D and deal with the RBs if they happen to get into the secondary... Meaning NEVER bite on the playaction no matter what?



So I ask all my fellow coaches out there.... What have we learned, what can these new players bring to the table, what formula should we see, and what new wrinkles if any do we need to add to both sides of the ball to give us a chance to pull off a monumental upset this Sunday?

GO TEXANS!!!

Texn4life
01-07-2013, 02:51 PM
I hope we gained the Nate Newton of old and not the drug slinging Nate Newton.

qqert
01-07-2013, 02:58 PM
short passes down the middle with 2-3TE sets. Get Schaub confident.
mix it up with runs between tackles, or short throws wide out to foster-
with bunched WR's run-blocking.




u


then a long bomb to andre johnson = profit!! :hurrah::hurrah::hurrah:

amazing80
01-07-2013, 03:01 PM
Patriots are one of thee worst teams in passing tds allowed, we NEED to use our tight ends, considering they allowed only 10 tds rushing, Schaub better have an A+ game to have a chance

fiasco west
01-07-2013, 03:04 PM
Some Patriots fans think the Texans should test their secondary.

I think so too but ONLY after establishing the run. I just don't see the Texans winning a shootout against Brady. Schaub has been in some wild shootouts, but the ones he wins are usually against lesser QBs than him. He can win this against other tier 2 QBs...but not against the best.

I think you put the offense on Fosters back again and hope for the best. Once the run is established hit the air. Pats fans will say they can stop the run but if Foster is a ELITE RB then he runs on them regardless...just like how the Ravens thought last year that Foster couldn't run on them...he did.

As for defense Wade has his work cut out for him. If you play as blitz heavy and leave your CBs on a island against a Brady you are probably begging for them to put 30+ points...then again if you don't put Brady on the turf then same thing.

I think it won't be much on Wade. He'll bring the heat but not too much this time and he'll ask his guys just to beat their man. We are going to need our guys to just step up on defense, I think it's just that simple. Also, I wouldn't play guys like Keo one snap, because the moment they make a mistake it's going to be 7 points.

Texn4life
01-07-2013, 03:11 PM
I have a hunch we won't blitz much at all this game. I'm in favor of even rushing just 3 on 3rd downs and playing zone on the back end. You just can't blitz Tom Brady all the time and be effective. He eats it up. The key is having well timed and well designed blitzes against him. Quality over quantity should be the focus when it comes to our blitzing on Sunday.

qqert
01-07-2013, 03:16 PM
not blitzing brady would even put more pressure on our secondary.
were toast w/ or w/o blitzes. i say we go all in- one on one on the edges while covering the TE's. single safety.

the front just got to win or we're not stopping NE.


the ninja is needed now more than ever.



http://cache.foxsaver.com/thumbnails/2009/10/12/1176391199l.jpg

Fico
01-07-2013, 03:18 PM
I have a hunch we won't blitz much at all this game. I'm in favor of even rushing just 3 on 3rd downs and playing zone on the back end. You just can't blitz Tom Brady all the time and be effective. He eats it up. The key is having well timed and well designed blitzes against him. Quality over quantity should be the focus when it comes to our blitzing on Sunday.

We played tentatively in the 1st half last time and got torched. We brought pressure in the 2nd half and it made a difference. We have to play our game. If Brady is going to torch us he better be laying on his back after ever completion.

I would love for some poor weather but that doesn't look like it is going to happen. Gronk and Hernandez are going to get theirs. We need to make sure we maximize scoring possessions and turnovers will be huge, as always.

We have to play our game. We are a hard to team to execute against and to defend against. Make them play our game and maximize scoring opportunities and we win this. They are not world beaters.

DBCooper
01-07-2013, 03:20 PM
You kick Tom Brady in the nuts!

And you kick him hard!

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 03:22 PM
Some Patriots fans think the Texans should test their secondary.

I think so too but ONLY after establishing the run.

I hope that Schaub is begging Kubiak to let him open the game with a long bomb like he did last year...... I can't remember who it was. But we opened the game with a 70+ yard TD to Andre.

That would be perfect.

Of course, if it's not there Matt can either throw it away or check down.

Texn4life
01-07-2013, 03:26 PM
We played tentatively in the 1st half last time and got torched. We brought pressure in the 2nd half and it made a difference. We have to play our game. If Brady is going to torch us he better be laying on his back after ever completion.

I would love for some poor weather but that doesn't look like it is going to happen. Gronk and Hernandez are going to get theirs. We need to make sure we maximize scoring possessions and turnovers will be huge, as always.

We have to play our game. We are a hard to team to execute against and to defend against. Make them play our game and maximize scoring opportunities and we win this. They are not world beaters.

We still played a lot of man coverage though and that's what Brady eats up. 76 is good at finding film on games so maybe he can find the 2010 season divisional matchup with the Pats and Jets. Rex went against everything he believes in in that game and did not blitz hardly any and played zone a good majority of the time which he doesn't do often. Just saying I wouldn't be surprised if we went with a similar strategy.

I will say though that Shaun Ellis played the game of his life that game. He was able to get pressure on Brady even when they were only rushing 3. One of the best performances I've seen from a 3-4 DE in a playoff game in a long time.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 03:28 PM
I have a hunch we won't blitz much at all this game. I'm in favor of even rushing just 3 on 3rd downs and playing zone on the back end. You just can't blitz Tom Brady all the time and be effective. He eats it up. The key is having well timed and well designed blitzes against him. Quality over quantity should be the focus when it comes to our blitzing on Sunday.

I think the defensive game plan last time was perfect. We got into Brady's head confused & frustrated him.

What we did wrong, was the penalties early in the game that extended drives, sleeping when he was snapping the ball, not knowing what their assignments were guys were left uncovered, & not being prepared for the speed of the Patriots offense.

I think they learned those lessons early in that game. No reason to reinvent the wheel.

badboy
01-07-2013, 03:34 PM
So both teams are getting new important chess pieces for this rematch:

Texans:
GAIN - TE Garret Graham, RT Nate Newton, CB Alan Ball, OLB Brooks Reed
LOSE - ILB Dobbins

Patriots:
GAIN - TE Gronkowski and DE Jermaine Cunningham.
LOSE - ??


We both, especially the Pats (who were really beat up before our last game and just then got quite a few players back) seem to be much healthier this time around and they got an extra week of rest to boot.


That being said, lots to dicuss!

How will these teams adjust from our previous matchup, and how will these new players change the game plans for this week? Some initial thoughts:

On Offense:

- How will having Graham open up the offense this time around? How much did we miss him and our 2 and 3 TE sets?

- What new wrinkles do we need to see Kubiak add to the offense?

- What did we do to have success with the run vs Geno Atkins and Cinci's front 7? Vince Wilfork had his BEST GAME of the season vs us, what can translate from last week and what can we do to limit his impact this time around?

On Defense:

- How will Phillips attack them this time around? Same gameplan or will we see some changes to our approach?

- How are we goin to prepare for Gronk this time around?

- What must we do to limit the big plays? Do we almost concede the run with our base D and deal with the RBs if they happen to get into the secondary... Meaning NEVER bite on the playaction no matter what?



So I ask all my fellow coaches out there.... What have we learned, what can these new players bring to the table, what formula should we see, and what new wrinkles if any do we need to add to both sides of the ball to give us a chance to pull off a monumental upset this Sunday?

GO TEXANS!!!Typo on Nate Newton. It is Derek Newton. I think Quin played excellent against TE and hopefully can reduce Gronk productivity. That would frustrate Brady. I don't see blitzing, just allow front line to do it's job and shut down the pass. If our DBs do well, we should win.

Texn4life
01-07-2013, 03:36 PM
I think the defensive game plan last time was perfect. We got into Brady's head confused & frustrated him.

What we did wrong, was the penalties early in the game that extended drives, sleeping when he was snapping the ball, not knowing what their assignments were guys were left uncovered, & not being prepared for the speed of the Patriots offense.

I think they learned those lessons early in that game. No reason to reinvent the wheel.

I don't know man..... I've seen Brady confused before (example: the Cardinal game early in the year) and he didn't look confused to me. A confused Brady tends to get somewhat happy feet and start to look at the rush more than he does downfield. Not saying there weren't times when he didn't know what we were doing, but he seemed pretty comfortable to me even with the amount of times we hit him. He knew what we were doing in coverage for the most part and that's what we need to switch up some. Not saying reinvent the wheel, but just improve it and make some alterations.

amazing80
01-07-2013, 03:45 PM
Brady has 15 touchdowns and 0 picks when blitzed and has a 119.5 qb rating.....bottom line, don't biltz him

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 03:45 PM
I hope that Schaub is begging Kubiak to let him open the game with a long bomb like he did last year...... I can't remember who it was. But we opened the game with a 70+ yard TD to Andre.

That would be perfect.

Of course, if it's not there Matt can either throw it away or check down.

We really need to score 7 on our opening drive no matter how we do it. Getting behind early IS NOT an option.

Getting Gronk back is HUGE for them. Ultimately our offense is going to have to play defense with long sustaining drives that end in TDs (FG's, and we are toast). We must eat the clock. Schaub will need more quick throws to ALL our TEs (Casey as well), we must get Foster to the second level of the D when we run the ball on first down, and we will need to get Foster involved in the passing game this time... The int play, and overthrown ball to Foster in space says that play was there for us when we needed it. If we can run for 4+ yards on first down, involve our TEs now out of the 2 and 3 TE sets (supposedly a weakness for the Pats D), and use Foster out of backfield, it will allow AJ and our WRs to get more open for first down strikes and the deep ball.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 03:46 PM
I don't know man..... I've seen Brady confused before (e.i. the Cardinal game early in the year) and he didn't look confused to me. A confused Brady tends to get somewhat happy feet and start to look at the rush more than he does downfield. Not saying there weren't times when he didn't know what we were doing, but he seemed pretty comfortable to me even with the amount of times we hit him. He knew what we were doing in coverage for the most part and that's what we need to switch up some. Not saying reinvent the wheel, but just improve it and make some alterations.

I believe that was the case for the first 18 minutes of the game.... our defense was definitely starstruck & we were unprepared for the speed of their offense.

It took them another 15 minutes before they could score again & that was on a defensive lapse on our part. If we make mistakes he's going to find them, but we don't normally make those kinds of mistakes.

Take out the first Qtr, where our defense was shocked by the speed of their offense (take it away, because that won't happen again, they've seen it, they know it), & it was a better game than what the score would lead you to believe.

That was also Brandon Harris' first game. He's had 4 games since then & he's playing so much better now. We've got Jjo back. This talk about not being able to play man against Brady, that's totally off. That man coverage & our blitzes got Brady off the field on 6 of his 7 possessions after going up 21-0

Normally, you can say that a team plays different when they are up 21-0, but not the Patriots, they continue to push, they continue to attack.

Defensively, I think we'll do fine. The offense has to do what they did against the Bengals & stay on the field. If they can do that, we'll win. Bengals D is better than the Patriots D, so we should be able to shove Gary-ball down their throats.

qqert
01-07-2013, 03:55 PM
motivational poster fit to 8x11 paper:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26005082/Screenshot%20from%202013-01-07%2014%3A50%3A37.png

El Tejano
01-07-2013, 04:01 PM
3 runs all to the left side to start the game. Foster is pissed and we need to get him going.

HOU-TEX
01-07-2013, 04:04 PM
Pray that Brady and Wilfork get food poisoning?

I don't really expect us to win this game, but I can't wait to see how B. Brooks handles Wilfork. I thought he played a very good game against the Bengals and we all know what Vince did to Jones. Hopefully they line up head to head for, what I think would be, an epic battle in the trenches.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 04:31 PM
3 runs all to the left side to start the game. Foster is pissed and we need to get him going.

I think people will be surprised with how many yards Foster picked up running to the right. In fact, when we needed a first down to seal the win, they ran to the right.

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 04:40 PM
Pray that Brady and Wilfork get food poisoning?

I don't really expect us to win this game, but I can't wait to see how B. Brooks handles Wilfork. I thought he played a very good game against the Bengals and we all know what Vince did to Jones. Hopefully they line up head to head for, what I think would be, an epic battle in the trenches.

Interesting. So I ventured over to PFF, just curious and I know its all subjective.

Vs NE, Brooks played 26 snaps to Jones 50. Brooks graded out at 0.2 while Jones was the worst of any offensive player in the game at -3.6.

Vs Cincy, Brooks and Jones both played 40 snaps. Brooks was graded out as the worst offensive player at -2.9 while Jones graded out at -.03.

In other words, that was a waste of time lol.

Not that PFF really matters but for the year Brooks 172 snaps at -1.2 overall, with Jones 742 snaps at -6.1 overall.

Premier
01-07-2013, 04:41 PM
we lost sharpton too, we are on empty at ILB.. gronkowski is the glaring mismatch, he would have been trouble for cush.. im not too thrilled about trying to contain this guy..

deucetx
01-07-2013, 04:49 PM
I think people will be surprised with how many yards Foster picked up running to the right. In fact, when we needed a first down to seal the win, they ran to the right.

Heh, my man, you are being overly positive. We didn't do as good to the right as the left. Not even close.

right side for Foster = 14 carries 34 yards 2.4 avg.

left side for Foster = 18 carries 106 yards 5.9

So yeah...the left side was much stronger. The difference was even Owen Daniels was blocking pretty good along with Graham. But the usual suspects still played servicable or slightly below average.

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 04:58 PM
Heh, my man, you are being overly positive. We didn't do as good to the left as the right. Not even close.

right side for Foster = 14 carries 34 yards 2.4 avg.

left side for Foster = 18 carries 106 yards 5.9

So yeah...the left side was much stronger. The difference was even Owen Daniels was blocking pretty good along with Graham. But the usual suspects still played servicable or slightly below average.

Graham is big in the running game and will be an interesting additon this time around, especially with our disguises. Daniels two worst games this year came against GB and NE. We need both TEs to put in big games this week.

infantrycak
01-07-2013, 05:01 PM
Foster is pissed and we need to get him going.

Trivia from 610 am - Foster just became the 1st RB in NFL history to gain 100+ yds in each of his first three playoff games.

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 05:17 PM
So where are the Patriots weaknesses? It would have to be the lack of pass rush right? Not much else, other than secondary possibly?

Why after typing that do I get reminded that this will ultimately be on Schaub and Kubiaks playcalling? And despite this past games showing, we are not going to be able to run the ball on NE? Do we force force force, and rely on the run game no matter? We all heard the talk after Sat of us getting back to us playing OUR game again and doing what we do and I am sure they expect? Or is the timing perfect for Kubiak to trick them and go all out air attack... Foster out of backfield, hitting AJ and the TEs early and often? Would that soften up the D enough to slip Foster through as a result of the passing game?

TexansLucky13
01-07-2013, 05:28 PM
We really need to score 7 on our opening drive no matter how we do it. Getting behind early IS NOT an option.

Getting Gronk back is HUGE for them. Ultimately our offense is going to have to play defense with long sustaining drives that end in TDs (FG's, and we are toast). We must eat the clock. Schaub will need more quick throws to ALL our TEs (Casey as well), we must get Foster to the second level of the D when we run the ball on first down, and we will need to get Foster involved in the passing game this time... The int play, and overthrown ball to Foster in space says that play was there for us when we needed it. If we can run for 4+ yards on first down, involve our TEs now out of the 2 and 3 TE sets (supposedly a weakness for the Pats D), and use Foster out of backfield, it will allow AJ and our WRs to get more open for first down strikes and the deep ball.

You just described Kubiak's entire philosophy. Keep their defense off balance and keep their offense on the bench. If we do this, we win.

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 05:43 PM
You just described Kubiak's entire philosophy. Keep their defense off balance and keep their offense on the bench. If we do this, we win.

The Pats game plan will be to neutrilize Foster. Thats their entire focus. They know we have to control the clock to have a chance. They will in essence be inviting the pass and expecting the run. And why wouldnt they? They are not scared of Schaub in the least. So becoming a passing team first is not typically on Kubiaks list of things to do. But maybe now is the right time to gamble? The good news is with Graham now back we can still go with the type of passing game we may need disguised with the same sets as our usual running game.

patfanken
01-07-2013, 06:01 PM
Just stopping by to possibly offer some insights from a Pats fan's point of view, in exchange for some answers to some question I'm having about the Texans.

As far as the defense goes, its a very interesting comparison of styles I've gotten to see 3 Texan games in the last month (Pats, Colts, Cinci) and it seems to me that the Texans play defense with one basic style. An aggressive attacking front 7, supported by a secondary playing tough man to man coverage. It looked like you brought 5 men about 50% of the time.

In contrast the Pats front 7 plays 2 gap, even when in a 4-3. They blitz only about 20% of the time, and the secondary is generally in some kind of zone. I will mention however that recently (as its VERY YOUNG defense got more experienced, and Talib joined the team) they've played more man coverage and blitzed a bit more.

My first question is: Will Wade Phillips continue to "go with what got him here", or can he channel his inner Rex Ryan and pull a 180 and go against his basic philosophy and try to duplicate what the Jets did in the 2010 playoffs?

The Texans are likely to see the Pats at their season long healthiest. The Pats did lose 3 starters to the IR, which by the way, is a very good year for them (LB Dane Fletcher, CB Ras-I Dowling, and WR/PR Julian Edelman). But the OL which has been banged up all year has had a run of 4 games straight where all the starters have played. I think that's the longest stretch of the season.

Gronk has been out as you know and played about 20 snaps in the season ender, so some of the rust got knocked off. But he did favor the broken arm in the game when he blocked. I don't know if the additional 2 weeks rest has improved it. It didn't affect his receiving, but normally Gronk is the best blocking TE in the league. He wasn't against Miami. If he is again on Sunday, then the Pats running game will be improved.

My second question is this: After the Pats scored on its first 3 drives, the Texans for all purposes shut the Pats down for about 2 quarters, with exception of the Hail Mary-like TD pass to Stallworth. Was the Texan success during that stretch the result of an adjustment Wade made, better execution by the Texans, or poor execution by the Pats? I'm wondering if any of you Texan fans who get the "all 22" from NFL.com have broken that down.

Don't sleep on the Pats defense. It IS getting better, even though we are starting 3 rookies (Jones, Hightower, and Dennard) and have 2 more playing certain defensive packages (Wilson and Francis). I shouldn't have to remind you that the vaunted Texan Defense and the much maligned Pats defense allow exactly the same number of points to the opposition. :eek:

My Third question - On the opening drive of the first game, the Texans and Arian Foster ripped the Pats D for 3 runs of over 15 yds (one called back on a penalty), forcing the Pats to call a TO. It didn't look good. My question is what happened after that? Foster wound up with only 46 yds, the entire Texan running attack was limited to about 100 yds and 40 of those came on 2 runs.

The Texan running attack looked awesome against the Bengals. Foster was literally breaking the ankles of every Bengal LB out there. What happened in NE last time, and what's changed with the Texans that makes you think that it will be any different this time?

Finally, I can't tell you how impressed, I and most Pats fans were with JJ Watt. He was a big favorite with Pats draftniks when he came out....and there was a time where it looked like he might fall to us, I was both surprised and disappoint when the Texans took him at 11. And what looked like a reach at the time, turned out to be the steal of the draft.

What impressed me most was this. Statistically it would have seemed like the Pats shut him down. This was the ONLY game of the year where Watt didn't have a sack, deflection, or tackle for a loss this season. YET for anyone who watched that game, JJ Watt was the single most impactful defensive player that we have seen this year. (though ASmith was a close 2nd). That's hard to believe given he didn't record a single significant defensive stat.....and STILL stood out from the rest.

BTW- Nate Solder our LT was a nice consolation prize, who eventually will see a lot of Pro bowls, before he's done, but..... ;)

Thanks for you patience, I look forward to your feedback

michaelm
01-07-2013, 06:01 PM
IIRC, Foster has been much less involved in the pass game for some reason I cannot understand. This might be an opportunity to get him 6-8 passes, hopefully some of them out in space.
Also, Kubiak seriously needs to have a plan for Wilfork. I'll flip my lid if I see him in our backfield as much as he was in the last game.

Foxboro Steve
01-07-2013, 06:13 PM
Brady > Shaub
Belichick > Kubiak

That is about as succinct as I can make it. You guys have some real studs on your team (Watt, Foster, Johnson), but in the end , I suspect the two "math problems" above will prove to be the difference.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 06:15 PM
Brady > Shaub
Belichick > Kubiak

That is about as succinct as I can make it. You guys have some real studs on your team (Watt, Foster, Johnson), but in the end , I suspect the two "math problems" above will prove to be the difference.

eh..... How much better is Brady than our defense? How much better is Schaub than your defense? Add those two, take the square root, multiply by pi & that's how bad we're going to kick yer a55

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 06:22 PM
Brady > Shaub
Belichick > Kubiak

That is about as succinct as I can make it. You guys have some real studs on your team (Watt, Foster, Johnson), but in the end , I suspect the two "math problems" above will prove to be the difference.

Well the good news for us as I am sure you will agree, is that you have never faced a team with a superior QB or coach... Like never ever. :)

Scooter
01-07-2013, 06:37 PM
get wilfork on the ground and pressure from only 4 or 5 against brady. this is a game to keep to our strengths, but execute a whole lot better.

we're going to get in trouble if we fall behind early so we need to come out running - literally. obviously we're not going to win a shootout, so frustrate brady on the sidelines and keep it a closer low scoring game. the goal has to be removing wilfork on offense, run traps at him and increase backside blocking on stretch plays to take advantage of wilfork leading the front. if he lines up on the weakside of a stretch, he HAS to be put on the ground and we need big gains off tackle.

on defense, our linebackers have read their keys and drop into zone instead of blitzing if their man stays in to block. if our LB's rush, they will effectively be removing themselves from the play because they wont have time to get to the quarterback. our single deep safety needs to play a whole lot smarter and keep the play in front of him, but otherwise clog the middle of the field because this isnt a homerun offense, it's a 5-15 yard catch and run.

76Texan
01-07-2013, 06:53 PM
We still played a lot of man coverage though and that's what Brady eats up. 76 is good at finding film on games so maybe he can find the 2010 season divisional matchup with the Pats and Jets. Rex went against everything he believes in in that game and did not blitz hardly any and played zone a good majority of the time which he doesn't do often. Just saying I wouldn't be surprised if we went with a similar strategy.

I will say though that Shaun Ellis played the game of his life that game. He was able to get pressure on Brady even when they were only rushing 3. One of the best performances I've seen from a 3-4 DE in a playoff game in a long time.

I found that game.
I will take a look at it tonight, hopefully, and wil try to report back.

76Texan
01-07-2013, 07:21 PM
Patfanken, I read some of your posts on the pats board yesterday, just as I did for a couple of weeks around the last meeting of the two teams.

Top notch!

I think I'm about ready to look into the matchup tonight.

I do have the all-22.

But even without it, We can already see that the Texans lacked in preparation and execution so often.

For example, we also send our TEs, FB, and RB out wide or into the slots for years now; to see the team not ready for it was just mind-blowing.

I did break down all the plays, but did not take any written notes; it was pointless.

Fico
01-07-2013, 07:25 PM
Brady > Shaub
Belichick > Kubiak

brady and Bilichick have been > than everybody you have played and the Pats still haven't won a ring since 2004.

If we play our game, aggressive defense, run and play action offense, this will be a different game than before. In game 1 we gave to much respect to the Pats in the sense that we got away from what we do best by letting them dictate our play calling on both sides.

76Texan
01-07-2013, 07:34 PM
Pats fans, if you like to review the game, I'd like to hear your opinions on our third string right guard, Brandon Brooks. He alternated in every third and fourth series or so.

He's a big guy.
Wilkork didn't line up over up him a whole lot, and he did get some help.
But overall, he did pretty well, I think.

I'm hoping to see more of him in the next matchup, but I think we will alternate him with Ben Jones again (two rookies).

Our veteran RG was already down a long time ago.

Texans_Chick
01-07-2013, 07:37 PM
Just stopping by to possibly offer some insights from a Pats fan's point of view, in exchange for some answers to some question I'm having about the Texans.

As far as the defense goes, its a very interesting comparison of styles I've gotten to see 3 Texan games in the last month (Pats, Colts, Cinci) and it seems to me that the Texans play defense with one basic style. An aggressive attacking front 7, supported by a secondary playing tough man to man coverage. It looked like you brought 5 men about 50% of the time.

In contrast the Pats front 7 plays 2 gap, even when in a 4-3. They blitz only about 20% of the time, and the secondary is generally in some kind of zone. I will mention however that recently (as its VERY YOUNG defense got more experienced, and Talib joined the team) they've played more man coverage and blitzed a bit more.

My first question is: Will Wade Phillips continue to "go with what got him here", or can he channel his inner Rex Ryan and pull a 180 and go against his basic philosophy and try to duplicate what the Jets did in the 2010 playoffs?

The Texans are likely to see the Pats at their season long healthiest. The Pats did lose 3 starters to the IR, which by the way, is a very good year for them (LB Dane Fletcher, CB Ras-I Dowling, and WR/PR Julian Edelman). But the OL which has been banged up all year has had a run of 4 games straight where all the starters have played. I think that's the longest stretch of the season.

Gronk has been out as you know and played about 20 snaps in the season ender, so some of the rust got knocked off. But he did favor the broken arm in the game when he blocked. I don't know if the additional 2 weeks rest has improved it. It didn't affect his receiving, but normally Gronk is the best blocking TE in the league. He wasn't against Miami. If he is again on Sunday, then the Pats running game will be improved.

My second question is this: After the Pats scored on its first 3 drives, the Texans for all purposes shut the Pats down for about 2 quarters, with exception of the Hail Mary-like TD pass to Stallworth. Was the Texan success during that stretch the result of an adjustment Wade made, better execution by the Texans, or poor execution by the Pats? I'm wondering if any of you Texan fans who get the "all 22" from NFL.com have broken that down.

Don't sleep on the Pats defense. It IS getting better, even though we are starting 3 rookies (Jones, Hightower, and Dennard) and have 2 more playing certain defensive packages (Wilson and Francis). I shouldn't have to remind you that the vaunted Texan Defense and the much maligned Pats defense allow exactly the same number of points to the opposition. :eek:

My Third question - On the opening drive of the first game, the Texans and Arian Foster ripped the Pats D for 3 runs of over 15 yds (one called back on a penalty), forcing the Pats to call a TO. It didn't look good. My question is what happened after that? Foster wound up with only 46 yds, the entire Texan running attack was limited to about 100 yds and 40 of those came on 2 runs.

The Texan running attack looked awesome against the Bengals. Foster was literally breaking the ankles of every Bengal LB out there. What happened in NE last time, and what's changed with the Texans that makes you think that it will be any different this time?

Finally, I can't tell you how impressed, I and most Pats fans were with JJ Watt. He was a big favorite with Pats draftniks when he came out....and there was a time where it looked like he might fall to us, I was both surprised and disappoint when the Texans took him at 11. And what looked like a reach at the time, turned out to be the steal of the draft.

What impressed me most was this. Statistically it would have seemed like the Pats shut him down. This was the ONLY game of the year where Watt didn't have a sack, deflection, or tackle for a loss this season. YET for anyone who watched that game, JJ Watt was the single most impactful defensive player that we have seen this year. (though ASmith was a close 2nd). That's hard to believe given he didn't record a single significant defensive stat.....and STILL stood out from the rest.

BTW- Nate Solder our LT was a nice consolation prize, who eventually will see a lot of Pro bowls, before he's done, but..... ;)

Thanks for you patience, I look forward to your feedback

These are good questions. Thanks for your respectful contribution to this forum. Here's a quick attempt at an answer:

1. Though the Texans blitz a ton, they tend to blitz less against more experienced QBs. So because they faced a lot of less experienced QBs, those numbers tend to be high, but IIRC, the numbers were less against Manning/Brady than their normal.

2. Haven't broken down the all-22 from that game because it was hard enough to watch the first time. I don't think there was a big adjustment from the first half to the second other than (just a feel here) settling down a little bit from the first half and getting adjusted to the pace of play. Patriots are a challenge in a lot of respects, but their pace of play is hard to replicate and get used to.

I think on both sides of the ball, the Texans did not look like themselves, looked like they were pressing some. I thought going into that game it was going to be difficult for them to hit the sweet spot between aggression and flat--where you are just doing what you can do without pressing or playing too cautious. Many more mental errors than had been typical before that. Some of that could be transitional with some issues on defense, some of it is just that the Patriots are a hard matchup for most.

(As an aside, on offense the Texans did not have Garrett Graham for that game due to a concussion. He's a key part of the offense in a year of inexperience at the 3-5 WR position. Unfortunately, he got hit in the head hard against the Bengals. He finished the game (optimism) but when his name came up in today's presser, Kubiak said that all injury issues would be discussed on Wednesday when it is required (pessimism). He is very handy to have in goalline formations, and the Texans use a ton of 2+ TE formations. But they only have 3 TEs on the active roster, and not likely to activate another one if Graham is out).

3. As for the running game, I think two things were of issue. There's been a lack of consistency with it the entire year, and many more run stuffs than is typical of the group. In addition, when the Texans got too far down, at some point you have to say screw it with the run and just pass.

It will be key for the Texans defense not to give up the big play. It can be hard to get your offense on track on the road, and if the Texans get too far behind, there goes the running game.

The good news is that the Texans were able to run against a very physical Bengals defense that is probably even a little underrated because they've had very little help from their offense. Don't know if that means Foster is back, but at least his playoff performances so far have been outstanding. First back in NFL history to get 100+ in first three playoff starts. His game against the Ravens in a loss was impressive given that Andre wasn't quite Andre, and the Texans were starting TJ Yates at QB. Everybody knew the Texans were running. The Ravens defense was good last year. And he was able to be very effective with both the run and receptions.

Texans would like to run on the Patriots. When they can put together good time of possession games, it keeps good QBs on the bench. Going back to their normal average in the red zone would help, but Patriots have a sick red zone percentage this year so there's that.

Difficulty is that few teams have good matchups against the Patriots, and losing Cushing made Wade Phillips task even harder because it reduced his flexibility. The Patriots run defense may be statistically artificially better than it really is because teams have to give up on the run. The flip side is that good offenses sometimes have better pass defenses than the stats say because they get tested so much with teams garbage timing from behind.

Anyway, I wanted to respond to your comment because I thought it was of the sort that is actual football talk and not neener neener talk, and I want to encourage that sort of thing.

Uncle Rico
01-07-2013, 07:42 PM
how about not running directly at wilfork this time.spread the ball around. secure loose balls. some cover 2 would be nice. refs swallow some whistles and then maybe we'll have a shot.

Texan_Touchdown
01-07-2013, 08:11 PM
We need to come out conservative. Run the ball. Play action on 2 and short if we get it and short passes for 1str downs Don't give Brady a lot of possessions because he will turn most of the into points. I hope Kubiak comes out running the ball two TE set and PA two tight end set. See if Wilfork can have an A+ game again because chances are he was guessing right that game. Amazing if you ask me. Brady will have a good game always does. Schuab needs to have a great game especially on 3rd down. Andre needed to catch that pass last week but its over with. Andre needs to make some plays and Devier needs to get open to help Schuab out. the dude folds under pressure from the D line. Best game from the O Lines IMO last game. well, one of the best.


Defensively, i dk what were going to do about Gronk and Aaron Hernandez.

I hope wedon't concentrate on them so much they beat up deep with the WR's. Brady can make any throw and that scares me. Welker is going to piss me off on 3rd down i already know it.

Texans need to capitalize on turnover chances and get a good lead. Watch the 49er's game.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 08:12 PM
But even without it, We can already see that the Texans lacked in preparation and execution so often.

For example, we also send our TEs, FB, and RB out wide or into the slots for years now; to see the team not ready for it was just mind-blowing.


I hear you, but the Patriots are a different beast. As creative as Kubiak & Shanahan were with their formations, Bellichick & McDanieals takes it to another level. A lot of their offense is about moving Woodhead & Welker around making it difficult to find them. That's why those two always seem so wide open.

I thought one of the keys to the game was identifying them & knowing where they were. I think Wade made a big deal about it & that's where they were focusing their attention. You've got to find them first, then find everyone else.

I think that's how Hernandez got lost in the mix. If Gronk was playing, that wouldn't have happened, because he would have been another one of those guys they have to locate before snap.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 08:37 PM
Welker is going to piss me off on 3rd down i already know it.


FYI, Welker had 3 catches for 52 yards on 11 targets. I hope they put Kj on him all game.

patfanken
01-07-2013, 08:46 PM
We need to come out conservative. Run the ball. Play action on 2 and short if we get it and short passes for 1str downs Don't give Brady a lot of possessions because he will turn most of the into points. I hope Kubiak comes out running the ball two TE set and PA two tight end set. See if Wilfork can have an A+ game again because chances are he was guessing right that game. Amazing if you ask me. Brady will have a good game always does. Schuab needs to have a great game especially on 3rd down. Andre needed to catch that pass last week but its over with. Andre needs to make some plays and Devier needs to get open to help Schuab out. the dude folds under pressure from the D line. Best game from the O Lines IMO last game. well, one of the best.


Defensively, i dk what were going to do about Gronk and Aaron Hernandez.

I hope wedon't concentrate on them so much they beat up deep with the WR's. Brady can make any throw and that scares me. Welker is going to piss me off on 3rd down i already know it.

Texans need to capitalize on turnover chances and get a good lead. Watch the 49er's game.If the Texans do that they will be playing to the Pats strength which is run defense (7th). I think Houston would be better off starting the game with a lot of play action passes and trying to get something deep going. The Pats have been a lot better lately, but for the season I think they have given up more 20+ yd pass plays than anyone else in the league.

To go into Gillette and hope to beat the Pats, Kubiak can't play not to lose. There are too many advantages that favor the Pats. In that case he has play to win.

That means to be willing to be very physical with the Pats receiver, daring the officials to throw flags. Be willing to take a few early and eventually they'll stop. They won't throw a flag every play. You have to be willing to go for it on 4th down. You have to be willing to try some daring plays like fake punts.

Kubiak has to roll the dice. If he goes the conservative route and put all his hopes on Foster and Wade, its going to be an unhappy plane ride back to Houston.

Tailgate
01-07-2013, 08:50 PM
If the Texans do that they will be playing to the Pats strength which is run defense (7th). I think Houston would be better off starting the game with a lot of play action passes and trying to get something deep going. The Pats have been a lot better lately, but for the season I think they have given up more 20+ yd pass plays than anyone else in the league.

To go into Gillette and hope to beat the Pats, Kubiak can't play not to lose. There are too many advantages that favor the Pats. In that case he has play to win.

That means to be willing to be very physical with the Pats receiver, daring the officials to throw flags. Be willing to take a few early and eventually they'll stop. They won't throw a flag every play. You have to be willing to go for it on 4th down. You have to be willing to try some daring plays like fake punts.

Kubiak has to roll the dice. If he goes the conservative route and put all his hopes on Foster and Wade, its going to be an unhappy plane ride back to Houston.

I agree. Its as if Bill B makes it a point to almost "sell out" to completely take take away the opposing teams main strength on each side of the ball. Watt and Foster are the focus no doubt. Last year, no matter who we played, everyone knew the run was coming and still could not stop it. This year, that has not been the case for the most part. But we did see signs of that this weekend. Still, the Pats are better against the run. We have to throw the ball. I dont necessarily think the wrs have to go deep, because we still have to control the clock... But we need to get Foster and our TEs in open space and get them the ball and try and methodically march down the field that way.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 08:59 PM
If the Texans do that they will be playing to the Pats strength which is run defense (7th).

I think the Patriots run defense is like ours. The offenses gets a big lead & the other team has to give up the run.

We can run on the Patriots. If we can run on Peko, Atkins, & Mauluga, we can run on Wilfork.

patfanken
01-07-2013, 09:43 PM
I think the Patriots run defense is like ours. The offenses gets a big lead & the other team has to give up the run.

We can run on the Patriots. If we can run on Peko, Atkins, & Mauluga, we can run on Wilfork.Its not just Wilfolk you have to block its a lot of other guys, you just don't know their names. Besides the Pats LB's are a lot better than what Cinci trotted out. Mayo, Hightower and Spikes are the key to the Pats run defense.

Rather than challenge what they are good at, make those LB's have to cover RB's and TE's in space in the passing game, with the exception of Mayo, its not what they do best. And do it on first down because if you wait until its a passing situation, they won't be in the game.

The Third Man
01-07-2013, 10:06 PM
Defensive keys:

* Punch them in the mouth up front.
* Get pressure without blitzing. This has been covered ad nauseum.
* No missed tackles. Swarm tackling.
* Knock the crap out of their slot receivers.
* Mix up coverages.
* Brooks Reed, Cody containing their running game.
* Great safety play.
* JJ Watt doing another Forrest Whittaker from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" impersonation.

Offensive keys:

* Punch them in the mouth up front. Brandon Brooks, your time is now!
* Establish the pass to get Schaub's confidence up.
* Work over the Patriots LBs with the tight ends and James Casey.
* Spread the ball around. Don't over focus on Andre.
* Arian Foster continuing to play like he owns the playoffs. Might be nice to share some carries with Tate, though.

thunderkyss
01-07-2013, 11:40 PM
Defensive keys:

* Punch them in the mouth up front.

Offensive keys:

* Punch them in the mouth up front. Brandon Brooks, your time is now!


I think I like where you're going with this. We'll start Demps & Braman on defense. At the first snap, Braman goes & gets Brady. Even if it's after the whistle, just lay Brady out. We'll throw him from the game, give up 15 yards. Then at the second snap Demps goes & get him. Another brutal hit. We'll throw him from the game give up another 15 yards.

Just to make sure they understand how determined we are to get to Brady.

Offensively, we can start Ryan Harris, just before the first snap, he should fire off the line & knock Wilfork on his butt. Second snap, we do the same thing with Andrew Gardner.

HJam72
01-08-2013, 12:14 AM
You kick Tom Brady in the nuts!

And you kick him hard!

I like this plan. :corrosion:

76Texan
01-08-2013, 12:20 AM
I hear you, but the Patriots are a different beast. As creative as Kubiak & Shanahan were with their formations, Bellichick & McDanieals takes it to another level. A lot of their offense is about moving Woodhead & Welker around making it difficult to find them. That's why those two always seem so wide open.

I thought one of the keys to the game was identifying them & knowing where they were. I think Wade made a big deal about it & that's where they were focusing their attention. You've got to find them first, then find everyone else.

I think that's how Hernandez got lost in the mix. If Gronk was playing, that wouldn't have happened, because he would have been another one of those guys they have to locate before snap.

Just rewatch the Pats' first TD to Hernandez.
The Texans can't even find Woodhead, and it wasn't even a no huddle or anything like that. (9:30 something in the first quarter).

I used to say I want to *****-slap Frank Bush; I wanted to do the same to Wade in this game.

And this was only one of many plays in which the Texans D were simply unorganized.

gtexan02
01-08-2013, 12:22 AM
I think if you come out slinging it and trying to establish a deep game against the Pats you are completely gambling.

If it works, you're golden. It sets up the run and you get big chunks of yardage to put up points.

The problem is, Schaub has been inconsistent deep over the past 4 weeks. You run a 3 and out and you give the Pats good field position, and they put up 7 on you. You do it again and you're down 14.

I think our best bet is to treat the Pats like the Colts with Peyton. Ball control. Keep Brady off the field. Keep our defense rested so they can pin their ears back. And keep 2 safeties deep

TexansLucky13
01-08-2013, 12:34 AM
The Pats game plan will be to neutrilize Foster. Thats their entire focus. They know we have to control the clock to have a chance. They will in essence be inviting the pass and expecting the run. And why wouldnt they? They are not scared of Schaub in the least. So becoming a passing team first is not typically on Kubiaks list of things to do. But maybe now is the right time to gamble? The good news is with Graham now back we can still go with the type of passing game we may need disguised with the same sets as our usual running game.

I agree with you about their focus. If Foster has a big game, we will win this. Honestly I feel like that may be the key to everything. All the other pieces will fall into place after that happens.

GRONKED
01-08-2013, 01:14 AM
I say sling it.

Sf got it right. Come out aggressive, gamble a bit, go deep..challenge the secondary. Arian in space. Ive seen your Texans win some wild shootouts...go for it imo.

Remember, pats have momentum, are at home, healthier than theyve been, had an extra week to add new wrinkles (ie we started using Hernandez out of backfield after the bye last year). Conservative wont get it done . Try to strike early.

Can things snowball if you miss or get picked off early? Sure. But id rather play like nothin to lose than try to establish the run when that exact same plan failed last time and is very predictable. Youd really need to play the perfect game to win. One holding call or mistake early w that gameplan is a recipe for disaster. Dont wait tilk you have no choice but to sling it

Texecutioner
01-08-2013, 01:25 AM
I say sling it.

Sf got it right. Come out aggressive, gamble a bit, go deep..challenge the secondary. Arian in space. Ive seen your Texans win some wild shootouts...go for it imo.

Remember, pats have momentum, are at home, healthier than theyve been, had an extra week to add new wrinkles (ie we started using Hernandez out of backfield after the bye last year). Conservative wont get it done . Try to strike early.

Can things snowball if you miss or get picked off early? Sure. But id rather play like nothin to lose than try to establish the run when that exact same plan failed last time and is very predictable. Youd really need to play the perfect game to win. One holding call or mistake early w that gameplan is a recipe for disaster. Dont wait tilk you have no choice but to sling it

Probably some of the better ways I've heard someone ascribe on how to attack and beat the Patriots from the Texans perspective. I don't see the Texans winning with their dominate with the run game plan myself. I think the Texans should open up early as well attacking the Patriots secondary. Pass to set up the run. That is somewhat how it felt against the Bengals in the 1st quarter and it seemed to work really well. I've seen Kubiak do that before, and it's worked nicely. Definitely would like to try and challenge the Patriots secondary right away and be consistent with it.

beerlover
01-08-2013, 01:28 AM
Probably some of the better ways I've heard someone ascribe on how to attack and beat the Patriots from the Texans perspective. I don't see the Texans winning with their dominate with the run game plan myself. I think the Texans should open up early as well attacking the Patriots secondary. Pass to set up the run. That is somewhat how it felt against the Bengals in the 1st quarter and it seemed to work really well. I've seen Kubiak do that before, and it's worked nicely. Definitely would like to try and challenge the Patriots secondary right away and be consistent with it.

Your spot on, my thoughts exactly. I'll just add that I would like to see Kubiak make Schaub spread the ball around to get all his receivers involved.

Malloy
01-08-2013, 01:31 AM
how about not running directly at wilfork this time.spread the ball around. secure loose balls. some cover 2 would be nice. refs swallow some whistles and then maybe we'll have a shot.

That's just what they'll expect!!


I say run it at Wilfork, because it HAS to work!! ..... :I

gtexan02
01-08-2013, 01:32 AM
So everyone agrees that Foster is running better than ever. That Schaub has been playing poorly. And the consensus way to beat the Patriots is to let Schaub sling it to a spread offense?

I just don't see it happening.

We're a ball control offense thats built to score early and protect a lead. When you try to play too much off your opponent, you end up with a week 14 disaster. If we're going to win the superbowl we're going to have to be able to impose our will on lesser defensive teams. I see the Pats as one of those teams.

The Pats aren't changing their ideology to play us. They are playing Patriots football and hoping their best is better than anything we can throw at them.

infantrycak
01-08-2013, 01:33 AM
Probably some of the better ways I've heard someone ascribe on how to attack and beat the Patriots from the Texans perspective. I don't see the Texans winning with their dominate with the run game plan myself. I think the Texans should open up early as well attacking the Patriots secondary. Pass to set up the run. That is somewhat how it felt against the Bengals in the 1st quarter and it seemed to work really well. I've seen Kubiak do that before, and it's worked nicely. Definitely would like to try and challenge the Patriots secondary right away and be consistent with it.

Damn, I am in agreement. I think this ground and pound game plan is recipe for disaster. Look at the Denver game for how they should attack. Foster still got his 100+. Also in the Detroit game when Schaub was carving up with TE's. Planning on building everything off of running Foster up the middle seems like a game plan for failure to me.

ObsiWan
01-08-2013, 07:47 AM
Defensive keys:

* Punch them in the mouth up front. Bury Brady every chance you get. If he hands off and fakes a rollout; hit him then too.
* Get pressure. I really don't care how.
* No missed tackles. Swarm tackling.
* Knock the crap out of their slot receivers. No free releases. Disrupt the timing on those 3-step drop patterns.
* Mix up coverages.
* Brooks Reed, Cody containing their running game.
* Great safety play.
* JJ Watt doing another Forrest Whittaker from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" impersonation. Yes, release the Kraken!

Offensive keys:

* Punch them in the mouth up front. Brandon Brooks, your time is now!
* Establish the pass to get Schaub's confidence up. We can do quick-hitters too. Hit Posey and K-Mart on those. Put those young legs to use!
* Work over the Patriots LBs with the tight ends and James Casey. Nothing that takes forever to develop though. TE screens would be good.
* Spread the ball around. Don't over focus on Andre. I just said that.
* Arian Foster continuing to play like he owns the playoffs. Might be nice to share some carries with Tate, though.

Pretty much agree with the bolded comments.
On that last one, I'm for using Forsett over Tate unless we get the lead. Forsett's quicker and more elusive.

We can't start burning clock until mid 4th qtr. The Niner game showed me you can take your foot off Brady's neck too early. Score like our BCS standing depended on winning big.

While I'm on the subject of scoring, when we have the ball inside their ten, certainly inside their five, that's four-down territory.
...UNLESS that FG gives us a two-possession lead.

dmello
01-08-2013, 08:27 AM
We still played a lot of man coverage though and that's what Brady eats up. 76 is good at finding film on games so maybe he can find the 2010 season divisional matchup with the Pats and Jets. Rex went against everything he believes in in that game and did not blitz hardly any and played zone a good majority of the time which he doesn't do often. Just saying I wouldn't be surprised if we went with a similar strategy.

I will say though that Shaun Ellis played the game of his life that game. He was able to get pressure on Brady even when they were only rushing 3. One of the best performances I've seen from a 3-4 DE in a playoff game in a long time.

Correct but at that time the Pat's had no running game to fall back on. They have a pretty good one now.

amazing80
01-08-2013, 09:26 AM
As much as you THINK we need to run it down their throats, we need to actually pass, and pass a lot to our tes and casey. They are 6th overall in rush yards per game, and like 9th in rush tds given up. They are VERY stout vs the run.

Against the pass, they are 4th WORSE in yards per game. They are right around 10th WORSE in tds given up through the air. Their secondary is not good and we need to exploit that. But in order to do this, we need creativity. Get OD, Graham and Casey in space, use Arian like we have in past years, throw screens, both rb and wr screens. Run draws, NOT ON 3RD AND LONG, but on 1st and 2nd downs. Don't abandon the run, but don't be scared to throw it.

Schaub has to bring his best game in order to win the next few games. He needs to play like against Denver, great PA fakes and nice accurate throws. This will allow us to win.

Defensively, stop the run early and don't let it become a problem with PA later. We need to be able to focus on stopping the pass and it starts with stopping the run.

Tailgate
01-08-2013, 10:31 AM
Correct but at that time the Pat's had no running game to fall back on. They have a pretty good one now.

And thats ok. Reed should be a welcome addition here. The whole key is to not give up the big plays. They are going to score, and we will have to match them... But the longer the drives for each team the better. DO NOT bite on the damn play action! Leave the front 7 to handle the running game... DO NOT bite on the play fake no matter what!!!

gary
01-08-2013, 11:30 AM
Get the ball to Foster via running or passing.

Texn4life
01-08-2013, 12:32 PM
Correct but at that time the Pat's had no running game to fall back on. They have a pretty good one now.

That has nothing to do with how we rush Brady this game. In 2010 they used Woodhead quite a bit and he was effective running and receiving. They're much more dynamic now, but the same strategy can be used regardless of how much improved the running game is now.