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Week 6 - 3 up and 3 down


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1.  Devin McCourty

Guy has been having a great season.  No matter where he goes, he (usually) wipes out that option for the opposing team.  Without the luxury of rewatching the game, it looked to me like the Jets avoided passing anywhere near him for most of the game, and between him and Harmon, the Jets had no where to go downfield.   This allowed the team to sell out on stopping those passes across the middle of the field and stop the run - a strategy that in years past had been used against the Patriots.   He's been a good tackler and I remember a play where he stone walled a guy by himself and prevented a first down run.   Got a semi-garbage INT, but the coverage and leadership skills have been crucial for us.  =Without McCourty there is no doubt in my mind this defense would be a disaster.  He plugs so many holes and protects so much of the field deep and rarely gets caught out of position. 

2.  Brandin Cooks

Wasn't a huge fan of trading a first for a receiver, but so far he's been worth it.  Without him the field gets shrunk and I speculate that Hogan would not be having the season he would be having with teams gearing up for him instead of Cooks.   While his YAC hasn't been great, his game speed makes him noticeably faster than anyone else on the offense.   Teams are scared to death of him beating them deep which opens up some nice come backs that he's gotten yards out of.  Even with teams selling out to stop it deep, he somehow gets past guys and has had some extremely impressive hands.   He did have a "looking for the defender before catching" drop early in the game that hurt, but he made up for that with a humongous deep ball catch that lead to points in a time crunch situation we might not have scored otherwise in.    On top of that he opens the game up for everyone else.

3.  Rob Gronkowski

It's gotten to the point where 83 yards and 2 TDs seems like an average day of production for Gronk.  In the past this would be one of those games where he gets 18 targets, but even in a somewhat limited role, he carved out ten targets and some big numbers.   Aside from the statistical production, the week off looked like it did him good because physically he looked spry and uncoverable.   Even though he can get open nearly every play and when he doesn't he can still make contested catches, I'm glad Brady has gotten off of him as his binky.  He didn't take any big hits or fall down awkwardly at any point in the game that I can remember which is a huge win in itself.   Once playoffs roll around and they unleash him I (knocks on wood) expect him to be dominant if healthy and be a monster.  In game drew a questionable DPI that lead to points, and drew another another no-call.  Did let a would-be TD through his hands, but was again great blocking and springing outside runs.

HM:  Lewis, White, R. Allen, Van Noy, Branch, Cannon, Mason, Wise, Chung, Hightower, Andrews, Slater


1.  Dwayne Allen

Guy has been busto.  Not only has he not been trusted to be a pass catcher, his blocking has been mediocre at best.   He is starting to give up snaps to Develin.  Don't need him to be Bennett, just usable when we need him for depth and specific roles which he hasn't really accomplished.

2.  Phillip Dorsett

Finally got a lets-see-you-run shot play for Dorsett and it blew up into an interception.  Brady should never have thrown the ball (he was comfortably covered), but for a guy who isn't going to get many looks, his one niche for the team should be those designed shot plays utilizing his speed and hoping the defense sleeps on him.  He failed.  

3.  Cassius Marsh

It seems Belichick wants him in the Ninkovich role which he hasn't had much success in.  Anytime he's in coverage, he's a disaster - poor instincts and even more poor ability to run with guys.   He just can't keep up in coverage.  To compound that, even when the ball isn't being thrown at him, he takes poor angles to run after the runner.  He let McCown juke him out of his cleats even with Hightower there to help.  Had him completely surrounded and took quite possibly the worst angle I've ever seen an NFL player take.  And I suffered through the Merriweather years.

HM:  Gillislee, Harris


Random notes:

-There were three really good players I thought, a handful of good then a whole middle tier of meh, followed by a pretty big gap of bad.

-I'm keeping it to players only but Butler is losing a lot of future earnings.  He was fringe up for the week, but he hasn't been as good as years past.

-Rowe's draft pick status is an up (going down)

-Relatively speaking, Solder was much better.  So... relatively up?

-Already regret not putting the ref's in NY at #1 for any passing by Jets fans.

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Not sure I would put Marsh in the down category. He consistently gets pressure when rushing, which is his main responsibility. It's not really all that unexpected that he isnt great in coverage. I think I'd put Mikey in the down's over him for that untimely fumble. 

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3 hours ago, Deadpulse said:

Not sure I would put Marsh in the down category. He consistently gets pressure when rushing, which is his main responsibility. It's not really all that unexpected that he isnt great in coverage. I think I'd put Mikey in the down's over him for that untimely fumble. 

What is Marsh a DE or OLB? I know they list him as a DE but certainly doesn't have the size as a DE and has no cover skills of a LB. 

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13 minutes ago, NFL Network said:

Do you think Ninkovich would of done a better job than him? I know Nink played as a hybrid DE/OLB.

I think Nink had much better technique, but at his age he doesnt have the motor Cass has to rush the passer. While Rob would not take bad angles he would probably be slow enough to miss just as many plays as Cass. Rob had a knack for making plays, which is hard to replace. Ultimately, Marsh's youth and Rob's age make all the advantages Nink has a wash. 

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I don't really know who I would put in the "up" category. Dion Lewis, I guess. Cooks dropped an easy and important pass.  The safeties played decently as a unit but the secondary struggled again. Van Noy had some nice moments and some bad moments. Malcom Brown had a better game but still wasn't especially noteworthy. Gillislee ran well for a bit then fumbled.

Downs are tough too. The edge guys were pretty bad. Cardona had another day of low snaps. The biggest down to me is the coaching staff. 10 days to prepare for the game and the team looked totally flat and off guard for the first quarter and there haven't been enough improvements in the secondary offensive weapons, the front 7 or the coverage problems.

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14 minutes ago, Hunter2_1 said:

Up: Branch actually back in there and even made a tackle for a 2 yard loss. 

Still pretty limited in his snaps and they played Wise over him to start. 

When your 350 lbs NT is losing snaps to a rookie edge rusher, it's not a great sign 

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