Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - FOURTH QUARTER Continued

Miller takes the kick-off out of the end zone and gets jacked-up by Larry Izzo at the 23 yard line. Now, the Patriots are feeling some good vibrations. Five minutes left, and an almost turnover as Mickens knocks it away. ASANTE!!!

Samuel picks Pennington and brings it to the house. Thirty-six yards and now it is 37-16.

Tully Banta-Cain sacks Pennington for a big loss to start the next possession. Now second and twenty-three, and Pennington gets away from pressure to get a dozen yards back to McCareins. Third and eleven at the thirty-one, and Mickens almost grabbed the ball. Jets have to go for it on fourth down now. Pennington sidesteps pressure and completes it over the middle just past the marker to the 43.

Now, the Jets are running out of time. The game is about over and the Jets are trying to at least get one TD back. Bruschi got his ands on the ball as Colvin just nailed Pennington coming in untouched. Another incompletion and it is fourth and ten with 2:32 left in the game. Big Sey brings down Pennington, and the kneel-down crew should be in now. Well, the Pats need to run a little.

Fresh legs with Maroney are in the game and he pounds it into the pile. The Jets are burning time-outs and CBS is trying to cram in as many crappy Coors Light commercials as humanly possible. Maroney pounds it up the middle again and gets the first down. Kneel down time is here and Brady heads to the sidelines. Big Vinnie T. is in to kneel down and end the play-off game against the Jets.

Finally, the Handshake: and Mangini gets a hug from Belichick (after he tosses aside a cameraman). Belichick searches out Pennington, who we know he respects immensely. A big win for the Pats. 37-16 is the final. A I had said, the defense needed to step up with some big plays, and they did in the fourth quarter. BRING ON THE CHARGERS!

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - FOURTH QUARTER

Gostkowski boots it out of the end-zone. On the final play of the quarter, the Pats get yet another penalty, this time holding on Hobbs. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Pennington hits Chris Baker for 26 over the middle to mid-field. Baker again gets ten more yards. Where are the inside linebackers? Call in an APB for Vrabel and Bruschi!

Pennington gets four to Coles as Samuels keeps him from making a move and getting more on that play. Baker then splits the invisible inside linebackers to grab it at the twenty. No pass rush anymore. No coverage. The Pats defense is sucking wind and sucking eggs. A run by Washington nets four, but holding on the Jets backs it up (fortunately for the Patriots oxygen-depleted defense). Washington gets ten back on the first play, and now it is second and eight. Bruschi again cannot cover the shifty running back. Seriously, right now I am ready for ANYONE else in there right now at defense.

FINALLY some pressure, as Pennington has to throw it away as Big Vince gets at it right up the middle. Third and eight at the 19. James Sanders steps-up to knock the pass down as Pennington goes to the Chris Baker well one too many times. Nugent banks through the field goal (40 yards).

After the kick-off, Brady goes deep to Jackson but just cannot make the hook-up. On second down, Maroney gets only two. Big third down with 11 minutes left in the fourth at the forty. Good protection and Brady goes to Troy Brown slanting over the middle for the first down at the 49. Maroney then bounces outside the right side for eight yards following Dan Graham. Second and two and the Pats go big and Maroney goes for four yards inside the forty following Evans, Light and Mankins (with a nice seal-off block by Graham). Under pressure, Brady is forced to throw it away on first down. In the gun five wide, the Pats get a bunch on a receiver screen to Caldwell. After Faulk gets stood-up at the line of scrimmage, Gaffney gets almost nine yards for a third and inches. Nice job by Maroney picking up the blitz on that play.

Gaffney now has eight receptions for 104 yards. Pats go big and Dillon bounces it out to the right and stumbles down to the ten and a first down and goal. Ben Watson drops a pass inside the five, as Brady almost had a quick TD. Less than six minutes left in the game and Watson gets two down to the eight on a little toss. Third and goal now at the eight yard line, the Pats go four wide and Faulk in the backfield. Faulk waltzes out in the right flat uncovered and Kevin Faulk is left alone to trot into the end zone. After listening to Simms wonder why the Pats did not run into the line three times and kick a field goal lead, I remember why announcers usually do not make good coaches. The Patriots needed to go for the jugular, which is exactly what they did on that drive. Patriots 30 Jets 16.

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - THIRD QUARTER continued

Maroney brings the kick-off out to the 25 yard line. For today, that is good field position for the Patriots. On first and fifteen after a false start penalty, Brady gets 12 back to Gaffney over the middle. Dillon gets the first down and then busts up the gut for 13. Gaffney goes over the middle again and Gaffney gets 31 yards down to the 18. The Pats give Dillon a breather and bring on Maroney, who goes for three. Brady gets sacked after not finding anyone open and trying to dance away. That is a coverage sack as the line held up the blitz for a good five or seven seconds. Third and 19 now and Brady completes a short pass to Caldwell to set-up a 40 yard field goal attempt by Gostkowski which he bangs through to make it 20-13 Patriots.

Both teams are moving the ball well right now. For the rest of the game it is going to come down to who can create a turnover or make a couple of big stops. Personally, I expected more from the Patriots defense, as they still look out of sorts.

A great job by the special teams holding Miller to a seven yard return. A three and out right here would give the Pats offense some field position for the first time today. The Jets start at the 13 yard line. Of course, a draw to Washington goes for ten yards. The battle for field position ends quickly. Another penalty on the Pats give the Jets a first and five as Seymour jumped off-sides. The Pats really need to make a play here on defense. They have to swing the momentum and field position to their offense. A four yard out sets up second and one. Three missed tackles later and Washington takes the ball 19 yards and the Jets into New England territory.

BIG VINCE!!!

Catching the network off-guards, Big Vince grabs the backwards pass that Colvin knocked down and Big Vince Wilfork had the sense to grab off the ground and run. Great shot during the Jets challenge of Belichick waving his arms and urging Wilfork to run downfield. The Jets lose the timeout as the Pats take over at the 15 yard line. Like I said, the defense needed to step-up.

On the first play, Maroney goes up the middle: once for six yards and again for nothing. Now it is a big third down at the ten yard line. Look for a Brady Play-Action again. Nope, he is in the gun and going to Gaffney in the corner of the end zone. Barrett makes a nice play to break it up. Gostkowski booms through a 28 yarder. Three for three for the kid who could never replace or even hold the jock-strap of the sacred Adam Vinatieri.

23-13 Patriots as the third quarter comes to a close (almost as there are :04 ticks left until the fourth quarter)

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - THIRD QUARTER

After a snack of leftover Chinese food and girl scout cookies washed down by the nectar of the Gods (Sam Adams Octoberfest), I almost choked to death when the CBS halftime bozos (Boomer excluded) interviewed Shawne Merriman, who boldly predicted the Jets would win. I guess he meant that he hoped they would not have to play New England. The Pats opened by stopping Miller on the kickoff at the 24. The Jets open four-wide, and the Pats front line gets pressure again. The Jets gain two. Cotchery takes a reverse for 14 yards to the forty as Banta-Cain could not contain the play. First down run by Cedric Houston nets nothing. Tedy Bruschi (raise a glass) makes the stop; but then another completion to Coles. Bad news for the Jets though, as a good tackle by James Sanders leaves Coles on the ground as the medical crew is out to look at him.

No word yet, but a nice pass is brought back due to holding during the play. Jets face first and fifteen now near mid-field. With plenty of time, Pennington dumps off to Houston for eight yards. An end-around to Washington nets a few. But another flag flies in for a late-hit by the Patriots (Bruschi this time). Stupid, stupid, and dumb. The Pats just keep giving the Jets life. First down at the 25, a draw to Washington barely gets back to the line of scrimmage. On second down, another Jet first down to tight end Baker at the 12. Nice dive by Washington to get five. Pats need a red zone stop here. Asante Samuel makes a nice play to break-up a pass. Pats need a time out. Bruschi is covering a receiver wide left. No call. A tipped pass ends up in the arms of Baker somehow but a yard short of a first down. Nugent has to come on to kick a field goal to end the seven minute drive and make it 17-13 Patriots.

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - Last Two Minutes Second Quarter

Last two minutes - second quarter:

First and ten at the eleven: Maroney over the left side for five following Matt Light and Logan Mankins. Huddling-up and going with a fullback (Heath Evans), the Pats run the exact same play again and Maroney takes it to the goal-line. Matt Light totally blew-up Vilma on that second run. First and goal at the one and Brady rushes to the line and forces the Jets to burn a time-out with fifty-five seconds left in the first half. First and goal now on the one. Heath Evans runs a quick-hit from fullback and gets nothing. Clock running inside thirty seconds as the hand off is to Maroney who is stopped on the left-side. Vilma, making up for the pancake-job done on him by Light, makes a nice stop on Maroney right at the one-yard line.

After a time-out by the Pats and then one by the Jets, it is third and goal at the one with fourteen seconds left. Play-action fake by Brady and a completion to Dan Graham in the back of the end-zone. Eleven ticks left and the Pats have a 17-10 lead. A nice return gave the Jets some hope at taking a shot, but with no timeouts and Pennington tossing it across the middle, the play was merely a stat-booster as Askew was dropped in the middle of the field. Halftime score: Pats 17, Jets 10.

Some quick analysis: The Pats blew some shots to move the ball early and get some points. The Jets only scores came off a turnover and a big (broken) play. If the Pats can keep the Jets from big plays in the second half, they should be able to stop them and keep the ball moving through the air and on the ground on offense. The Pats hopefully can create a turnover on defense and get a big lead to get the Jets on their heels in the second half.

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - SECOND QUARTER

All of a sudden, Jerricho Cotchery catches a slant over the middle of the seam and is gone. Seventy-seven yards later the Jets are up 10-7. Artrell Hawkins misses a tackle and poor Mike Vrabel is left to huff and puff after him while Sanders gets over too late inside the five yard line tackling Cotchery into the end zone. Somewhere there was a breakdown on defense, as Hawkins just did not keep him in front of him. It was just a bad defensive play. There was hope, as a flag was down, but it was off-sides on the defense so the touchdown counted.

A nice return by Maroney brought the Pats up to the forty and in a short third and one Corey Dillon made a nice eight yard run bouncing it outside. Brady went long to Gaffney, who despite being shoved in the back, could not hold onto it. A quick pass to Ben Watson covered by Matt Chatham led to third and six. In the shotgun, Brady somehow got away from a blitzing Vilma who went for the ball instead of trying to sack him, and Brady was able to get out with a blocker in front of him and get 12 yards.

The Jets are moving a lot before the snap, sort of like playing offense against Peyton Manning. Pump-faking and going long yet again, the Pats get a pass interference call and a first and goal at the three when Hank Poteat just manhandled Benjamin Watson. On first, a short swing pass to Dillon missed as he stepped out of bounds after breaking a tackle. On a second and goal, a rush left goes nowhere. I expected a play-action fake and pass here on third down and goal. Exactly the call, as Ben Watson was open over the middle but the low throw was dropped and Gostkowski had to come in to crank it through for the tie at 10-10.

After the kickoff into the end-zone was retuned by Justin Miller out to the 27, after a seven yard completion to Coles, Tully Banta-Cain, who had sacked Pennington on the first Jets offensive play of the game, did a nice job of knocking the pass down at the line. Nice to see Banta-Cain having a good game as he has been a valuable role player this season. After a time-out as the Pats got caught with too many on the field, it is yet another third and short, where the Jets killed the Pats in November, Cotchery makes the catch in front of Ray Mickens at the marker yet again, gaining six yards on third and four.

The Pats could really use a turnover here or at least a quick stop and punt and stop some momentum. Another draw only nets two, and in trying to get it to Coles, the pass pulls him out of bounds. Another third down conversion by Coles as the rush does not get to Pennington and Coles comes down with the throw. The defense is getting desperate here as the Jets are running the hurry-up and the defense looks slow and tired. Pennington overthrows Coles yet again, and then the defenseive line blows up a screen for minus five. Third and fifteen now, a third and long is what was needed: The Pats need to get off the field. Good pass coverage and a bit of a rush gets a short throw underneath for six. Seven minutes plus left as the Jets punt again and it bounces into the end-zone.

Maroney up the middle for six followed by Graham giving five of it back with a false start. Stupid penalties still!!! Brady goes shotgun and five wide and gets it to Watson for ten yards and a first down. For some reason, the Pats again hand it to Faulk who has been totally ineffective running the ball so far. He is at two rushes for minus two yards. A nice slant to Reche Caldwell gives the Pats the ball at mid-field. Going back to Caldwell on the sideline wide open this time, the pass leads him too far outside to fall incomplete. Faulk busts up the gut for seven this time, finally showing some hops. Third and three and the Pats go back to the well again, running the same play as Faulk burst up the middle again and again: seven, seven and then eight. Second and short and Maroney leans forward for the first down. Pats at the 25 yard line now and closing in on another score. Brady in the gun, a blitz by the Jets, and he throws a short-out to Gaffney. Erik Coleman misses the tackle for the Jets, and a four yard pass turns into a 13 yard game. Now onto the two-minute warning still tied at ten.

Pats v. Jets Live Blogging - FIRST QUARTER

Getting the ball first, the Patriots came out in a hurry-up, no-huddle offense and marched right down the field with Brady connecting a couple of times to Jabbar Gaffney picking on the injured Andre Dyson. After a big first down catch by Troy Brown down to the ten, Dillon romped in to the end-zone and the Patriots were up 7-0 quick. The defense came out and stopped Pennington in a hurry with a sack, scramble, and an incompletion. The Pats got the ball back, lost field position on a stupid penalty on the punt and then started down the field behind the running of Lawrence Maroney. Then, on third down and six, Brady completed a six-yard pass to Jabbar Gaffney yet again, but Gaffney, rather than fall down for the first down, back-tracked in an attempt to get more yards, slipped, and ended-up a yard short and forced a punt.

The Jets were able to move the ball a bit (aided by an idiotic 15 yard unnecessary roughness call against Big Vince Wilfork. Vince was stuffing the Jets running game with a vengeance throughout the first quarter, showing the aggressiveness one would expect from a pounder forced to the sideline for the past four weeks. A screen to Leon Washington netted eleven yards. Other than that, the Jets got a third and long short completion to Lavernaues Coles which came up a few yards short and forced, after showing a bunch of different looks, a punt.

Suddenly the shit hit the fan as the Patriots running back Corey Dillon fumbled on the first carry following the Jets punt giving them the ball inside the twenty. Dwayne Robertson knocked it out of his hands and old friend Hank Poteat picked it up. The Pats defense held strong on the first two runs, setting the Jets up in a third and five at the ten. Pennington missed Coles again on third and the Jets were forced to bring Mike Nugent in to hit a 28 yard field goal.

After the kickoff, Brady hit Reche Caldwell on yet another quick-out on the sideline for six yards. Brady seems very comfortable tossing the ball to the sideline. After a two yard run by Lawrence Maroney (in for fumbling Corey Dillon), Brady quick-snapped and snuck ahead for the first. Brady went long on first down and under-threw Chad Jackson. A quick out to Watson netted about seven on second down, but then going to the well once too many times almost ended up in a pick as Brady tried to go to Watson again on the opposite side of the field. Fortunately, the Jets cornerback could not come up with it and the Pats were forced to punt.

Another short run by Leon Washington closed out the first quarter.

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