Ground Game: Spills, Fits, and Ninkovich

I know what you're thinking: It's about time the New England Patriots got a little coverage on this site. The good news is this isn't a story about Bill Belichick's frosty demeanor, or Tom Brady's latest modeling gig. No, this piece by Brian Filipiak at Sons of Sam Horn breaks down the recent successes and failures of the New England run defense, and though it's a specific analysis of the Patriots, there's a lot of good stuff in here that will help explain what's going on with any other team. Part I, linked above, looks at some plays where the Patriots got it right; Part II looks at some plays where they got it very, very wrong. Other stories on their site analyze Nate Solder's blocking and Matthew Slater's punt coverage ability (including very rare special teams Xs-and-Os chalkboard stuff).

Reminder: We're always looking for this kind of play breakdown, regardless of team. If you see something out there you think we should run, please drop us a line.

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7 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2014, 2:14am

#1 by killwer // Oct 23, 2014 - 5:29am

If you want great breakdown of the Eagles, the following is a must read:

Chipwagon: The following is a great break down of how the Eagles are scheming pressure

Eagles eye in the sky:

Weekly break downs of the Eagles performance and scouting of their upcoming opponent by Fran Duffy (the podcast is also worth a listen as he has great guests like Greg Cossell in every week)

Kellystrator (its not the full archive):

Eagles coach Chip Kelly breaks down a couple of plays down each week together with Ike Reese.

All-22 break down of the Eagles by birds 24/7's Sheil Kapedia (now also writes for Sportsonearth)

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#2 by In_Belichick_W… // Oct 23, 2014 - 1:02pm

Nice pieces. Wish I was able to see some of the breakdowns from the KC game (which looked to me like some poor edge setting on the side of Chandler Jones and quite a bit of holding by KC). Not one offensive holding penalty called in the entire KC-NE game.

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#3 by RickD // Oct 23, 2014 - 1:34pm

I'm guessing Ninkovich will be exposed in Part 2. I recall he repeatedly failed to set the edge properly, instead inexplicably ducking to an interior position.

And yes, there were uncalled holding penalties. Also at least one block in the back on one of the Geno Smith scrambles. I'm reluctant to mention the holds, since it tends to be uncalled in every game.

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#4 by LionInAZ // Oct 23, 2014 - 8:47pm

In other words, why whine about calls when insinuation will do?
Pats fans and anti-Pats fans are so predictable.

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#6 by In_Belichick_W… // Oct 24, 2014 - 9:20am

The break down on why the play worked so well included some called out holds by the author of the article. How this leads to "Pats fans and anti-Pats fans are so predictable" is beyond me.
Sounds like somebody that likes to stir the pot instead of adding anything insightful.

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#5 by In_Belichick_W… // Oct 24, 2014 - 9:18am

All of the parts are available now. You have to click around on other articles to find them. Unfortunately it isn't easy to go from part 1 to part 2, etc. Good articles but a poorly laid out web site.

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#7 by mehllageman56 // Oct 25, 2014 - 2:14am

Great article, but I didn't see part 4. As far as the hold, well I'm not surprised. Its Jace Amaro; blocking is not his strong suit. If only he would stop dropping passes. That said, if the Pats fans are griping about holds when playing the Jets, get ready to be really disappointed against Denver.

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