January 14, 2008


What jumped out to me of the Pats/Jag was:

Gotta love Del Rio starting & effectively establishing the game heavy on the pass after everyone said he'd stick to mostly a running game -- while used pretty effectively, the run looked to be used more to keep the secondary honest, rather than vice-versa.

Anytime Welker or Faulk touched the ball (of course that Welker drop was brutal, but it all worked out); that was a clinic in the short pass run game. Once the the Jags knew they had successfully shut down the deep Moss threat, they knew where it was going and they still couldn't stop the 2-4 yrd plop pass, followed with 3-8 yrds running after each reception.

In the antithesis to the Charger's game-clinching punter, the Jags and Pats punters were seen playing online chess on their respective sidelines against each other (although the Jag's punter did have to pause the game in a quick field visit); Hanson only stretched out his leg on field with 29 seconds left in the game -- I kind of wanted Brady to kneel and turn the ball over, regardless of the field position.

Pats scored every single time they touched the ball, minus the missed 35 yard FG, and the end of game punt.

Faking a Staue of Liberty Play - I've seen the fake jump of Brady worked to perfection in the past, and thought how well Brady executes it, especially when you have the goal line D breathing down your neck, literally right on top of you. That's why I was glad I DVR'ed the game. Watching the elaborate hike, fake hand-off, fake-jump for the phantom over-hiked ball, neatly tucking the ball against his thigh as he turned his back on a Jags D. And this is where he has to presume the Jags scouted this Pats Statue of Liberty Play and what it looked like, because at this point, Brady commits what would normally be suicide and calmly turns his back on the D for a full beat, then turns - with noone in his face - to fire his TD. It was a better surprise ending than the Usual Suspects; The Golden Globes Press Conference Awards should've created a category for Brady. He had to double sell; first he acts hard that they ball goes over his head, then he banks on the fact that the D knows this move & both sees and buys the running back barreling to the goal-line.

Stallworth's long play (longest pass play of the game and he was the second or third option). As Simms pointed out, Welker was the primary on that one & Brady waited long before shifting his eyes at a streaking Stallworth. The catch was incredible (one hand, bouncing off the face mask back into the bread basket), but the crazy part was when they showed the replay, you saw Stallworth looking up at the JumboTron at himself mid-play -- some said to see himself running for a perceived touchdown, others say it was to see how close his pursuit was. I'll opt for the latter opinion.

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