- I agree with your predictions, Frank. I also believe that our depth is showing itself late in the season. I like the signing of Scott when it happened, and wasMessage 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2012View SourceI agree with your predictions, Frank. I also believe that our depth is showing itself late in the season. I like the signing of Scott when it happened, and was disappointed when he was injured for many weeks. He's a great deal like Ninkovich, and has 3" in height on him. They're the same age, yet Scott has 2 years less experience. Now add Francis, and his surprise showing in the last couple of games; plus the recent returns of both Jones and Cunningham, and I think we have the edges pretty well covered. With Deaderick, Love, and the best NT in the game, Wilfork, in the middle, plus Mayo, Spikes and Hightower behind them, I am very confident in our front 7 going into the playoffs. There are lots of mix and match possibilities among the 10 guys I named, even if Ninko can't go.
The secondary will need a strong pass rush from that front 7 if Talib and Dennard are not able to play. They did very well last week, but that WAS the Dolphins, after all; and they were playing something like 7 rookies on offense. Our next opponent, whichever team it is, will present a much greater challenge. We will be stronger if we can get Talib back at CB, and move McCourty back to S. And Dennard, when healthy, has proven to be superior to any other CB on the other side. If, indeed, we face Baltimore, the key is to take Boldin out of the game, while preventing Torrey Smith from getting past them for the deep ball. Meanwhile, up front, the goal is obviously to keep somebody on Rice from the moment the ball is snapped until he's definitely out of the play. Running or receiving, he can kill you!
Of course, we don't know that we'll be playing the Ravens. The Broncos will get lowest seeded team that survives. So if the Bengals beat the Texans, we get the winner of the Colts-Ravens game. It the Texans beat the Bengals, we get the Texans. The Texans, Ravens, and Colts are 3 very different teams, with 3 very different offenses and key players. So I'm sure that this week's practices will be focused solely on reviewing and correcting our own play and techniques. Game planning will be next week's task.
Mixed feelings about the coming weekend. On the one hand, it will be nice to enjoy a weekend of playoff football without my heart in my throat. On the other hand, I'd really like to see my team getting it on. The former does outweigh the latter, however; since the week of rest and healing for Gronk, Talib, Dennard, Ninko, and others, should be a huge help to us. Brady's shoulder, and "Superman" Wilfork can also benefit from a well earned rest! (And, of course, Ridley should spend the week with a football cradled securely in his arm!) :-)
Overall, ya gotta luv a BB team with 2 weeks to prepare. I really think that the secret to his prior success in those situations is his ability to make improvements during that first week in individual players techniques, and his famous "situational awareness" coaching; without the added burden of studying specific opponents and preparing game plans. The bye week is NOT a "week off". It's a coaching opportunity!
On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 2:16 AM, frankdanabrewster <frank.dana@...> wrote:
Ninkovich's injury didn't look good, but Scott filled in well, as he has whenever he has had an opportunity. This is why we build depth. I'm fairly optimistic, as long as Talib and Dennard are healthy.
Houston should beat Cincy, but I have a feeling they won't. Houston doesn't have a problem, they have a disaster. They are playing with no confidence. Their only hope is that home field gives them an edge. Bengals win; 27-23.
Colts are playing good football, but Ravens have a huge edge in experience, and home field. Luck is a real talent with a bright future, but he will not handle the pressure well. We saw it yesterday in the win - indecision. Raven's 'D' prevails; 20-13.
If correct, that means we welcome Ray Rice and the Birds back to Gillette a week from Sunday.