Suh and Co. pleased with pressure on Brady


Suh and Co. pleased with pressure on Brady

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
DETROIT - The ferocity of the Lions front-seven Saturday night is exactly what the New England Patriots needed. Tom Brady was under siege in a way that can only cause the Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, receivers coach Chad O'Shea and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to examine closely how to fix a problem that -- when it arises -- usually results in the Patriots getting croaked. We saw this kind of pressure in each of the Patriots last three playoff losses. To get a fresh look now against an excellent front gives those coaches plenty of ammo. The Lions defense was on-point with both coverage and pass rush, said Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril who credited the secondary for making Brady hold the ball longer than desired. "It was also the defensive tackles," Avril added. "Once we made him step up, he didn't have a lot of stepping up room so he tried to slide out a little bit to the ends and we just made the plays. But definitely the defensive backs did their thing."Brady claimed in the postgame that the Patriots were trying to go downfield on the Lions and that's why he got stuck holding a little longer. He was waiting for wideouts to uncover that never did. But the pass rush -- even though Brady tried to absolve his offensive line -- was intense. Asked if Brady was rattled, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said, "To be honest with you, I didn't pay attention to his emotions. My job is to continue to rattle him and be in his face. When he starts yelling at me like 'leave me alone' that is when I know I have completed my job. He didn't talk too much today. He is a good player and I respect him a lot. Ever since we played against him last Thanksgiving and I had a conversation (with him) after the game, I have a lot more respect for him. He is a great player and he keeps it in house whatever is going wrong with him, if anything."What seemed to be going wrong with him had a lot to do with Suh and Co. on this Saturday night. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?


EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study


Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."