Older AFCE

Archer Weekly: Bring Back the Whalers

Older AFCE

Archer Weekly: Bring Back the Whalers
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The offseason is finally here for all four teams in the AFC East as the Patriots “lost” to the Broncos. The Patriots now get to look forward to free agency and the latest episode of the Deflategate Saga as Roger Goodell refuses to admit he’s wrong. It could be worse, they could be the Cavaliers.
 
Fire McDaniels
 
The Patriots offense was anemic against a Broncos defense that was nicked up in the secondary. They had no idea how to run the ball as they thought running Steven Jackson and Brandon Bolden up the gut each play would solve all their problems. The Patriots running backs combined for 31 yards on 13 carries and Tom Brady ended up being their leading rusher. With a bunch of scraps on the offensive line and the Majestic Stork at center, the Patriots were unable to have any success doing anything against the ferocious Broncos pass rush. This led to Tom Brady getting hit 25 times and Von Miller breaking a franchise record for sacks in a playoff game.
 
The biggest failure of the offensive line can be attributed to Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. Over the years he has been really horrible at having a successful gameplan against the better teams and it showed again this week. Ever since Dion Lewis got hurt, the Patriots have been horrible at consistently using the other Lewis on the roster in James White. Just like with Shane Vereen last year, McDaniels has zero clue on how to use his best running back week in and week out. This game wasn’t any different as it wasn’t until they were in catch up mode that they started to use White in the receiving game. Even then the gameplan was horrible as they tried heaving jump balls to White who has shown no ability to do so. Also with a ferocious pass rush, the Pats had no answer to it by either putting in extra blockers or having Gronk chip Von Miller on the line. It seemed the goal of McDaniels was see how much punishment Brady can take before he contemplates retirement. McDaniels sadly won’t be going anywhere as Belichick likes to keep him around for some reason, which means the Patriots offense will continue to neglect using talented players and instead rely on Bolden and guys like Jackson.
 
You Had One Job
 
The Patriots defense did a serviceable job for the most part shutting down the Broncos offense. The run game was ineffective and Peyton Manning outside of two throws was playing like Playoff Peyton. However, one guy did not do his job which ended up costing the Patriots a win. Jaimie Collins had one job in coverage and that was to cover slow Owen Daniels who has done nothing all year. Collins failed miserably in that task as twice he left Daniels wide open which ended up being the two TDs that decided the game.  Emmanuel Sanders or Demaryius Thomas didn’t beat the Patriots, no it was Owen Daniels, a slow and old TE who could even be covered by Wilfork. Instead Collins was distracted by his future payday Daniels beat him. While Josh McDaniels’ poor playcalling didn’t help the Patriots, it was Collins’ horrible coverage that hurt the Patriots the most outside of one big mistake by….
 
The Holder! A missed Extra Point of all things cost the Patriots the win because it mean instead of just kicking the XP to tie it in the 4th they had to go for two and failed. The missed XP in the first ended up costing the Patriots the entire game. Stephen Gostkowski  is getting the blame for the missed XP as it is very easy to blame the kicker then the guy who actually failed to do his job,  Ryan Allen. On the XP that has been automatic for Gost all year long, this time Allen blew it as he failed to do the simple task of holding the ball in place correctly. Instead of straight up, Allen had the ball slanted which means when Gost kicked it the momentum naturally carried the ball wide right. It was equally as bad as the hold for Blair Walsh when he missed a game winner in the Wild Card Weekend. Many blame the kickers for all the misses and instead ignore the mistakes of either the long snapper or holder. This is why Belichick needs to continue his revolution of the game by drafting a holder with his first pick and have a designated holder.
 
Overall the AFCCG was a disappointment as the only legitimate threat against the NFC was defeated. Now we get old and washed up Peyton Manning against the Carolina Panthers who have been on a rampage all year long. I’m expecting this to be similar to the Super Bowl two years ago where Peyton Manning was also embarrassed on National Television by doing his best Ryan Tannehill impersonation on the first play of the game. But it could be worse, at least the Patriots didn’t lose to the Giants.

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