Now that the pain of that Mile High junk punch has dulled to the point that I can see straight again, let's talk about dem Pats and exactly how Denver managed to punch their ticket to Santa Clara to face the Dabbin' Douchebag of Carolina and his pretty blue freight train!
Forget Clutchkowski's missed extra point, fahchrisake! And forget for just a second that Obi Wan Kabelichick chose against the field goal with 6 minutes to go even though his defense held Denver to 83 yards in the second half (31 of which came on one run). And forget that Jamie Collins could not figure out how to cover Owen Daniels in the first half. Yes, all of those things played a factor in the crash landing end to the season. But none of those things would have been a factor had the Pats been able to figure out the Broncos' defense.
The Broncos baffled Brady with simple math. They used 8 defenders to cover 5 receivers. That allowed them to triple team Gronk and double team Edelman and handle James White, Danny Amendola and Keyshawn Martin with man to man. If you were wondering where the quick releases were and why TMFB looked like a lost boy out there, that's because nobody was open.
By the way... this is math that should not ever EVER work in an NFL football game. Common sense tells you that your FIVE guys should be able to block their THREE guys all fukkin' day! But here is where the home field advantage came into play. And here is why I will tell you that the Patriots lost this game when they rugby kicked against the fukkin' Eagles 5 weeks ago.
Because of the crowd noise, the Pats were forced to use a silent count. Brady could not change up his cadence to slow down Miller and Ware because he was not using a cadence. Center Stork would bob his head a second before he snapped. And the Broncos were timing that head bob to perfection, leaving the tackles spinning like tops and forcing Brady to throw lasers at the cleats of the nearest receiver. Sure, Marcus Cannon sucks pickle dicks and Sebastian Vollmer was playing hurt. But they weren't having that problem last week against KC at home. Last week, the Chiefs registered one QB hit. Yesterday, the Broncos had TWENTY hits on Tommy Boy.
There are a few things that can be done to slow down the pass rush... run the ball more (Pats had 17 carries and Brady was the leading rusher), throw more screen passes or bring in extra blockers, which is what they did against Dallas when Greg Hardy was all over Brady in the first half. I don't remember seeing the two or three tight end set ONCE! Michael Williams should have been brought in as an extra blocker for most of this game. But hey... the Hoodie has more rings than me, so I'll shut up.
Bottom line... Wade Phillips pressured Brady without blitzing, the recipe the Giants used in two Super Bowls. If this was easy to do, every team would do that and Brady would be Tannehill. But what Phillips knew going in was that the Pats biggest weakness was their offensive line. And he out-hoodied the Hood. Credit to Bum's little boy. But fuk him anyway.
But enough with the negatives... can we talk about Gronk? Holy shit, that was by far his greatest performance as a Patriot in list of jaw dropping GronkShows! First, the guy was double and triple teamed all day. He worked his ass into altitude sickness and dehydration. He limped off the field at least twice. At one point, the man beast was face down on the sidelines huffin' oxygen and getting his tired, cramping legs rolled out. But there he was on the last drive, running a 30 yard seam route step for step with double coverage on 4th and 10, and extending yet another drive for TMFB. That was only to be followed by another fight through another double team holding and pawing at him along the endline to make an incredible touchdown catch with 12 seconds left. He was so gawdam exhausted that he couldn't even Gronkspike the ball. He just dropped it to the turf and ambled back to the sidelines like he was DONE.
|Just lemme finish this oxygen and I'll get you that touchdown!!|