Talib really is a misnomer to me. He was average to slightly above mediocre almost all of his career and gets to NE and lights it up turning in top performances week in and week out and doing it without much fanfare or love. Very under appreciated. His skillset is matched by his fundamental play, keeping himself in good position and playing a very physical game. I did not expect anything at all of his skillset to match the Patriots defense but looking back on it I forgot how easy it is for Pats DB's to get away with very physical play. Talib played very tough against top WR's and was very effective at shutting them down at the LOS before the WR would release.
Conversely, A. Cromartie went a different route. When I figured he would continue to be above average they had him drop off the line and play piss poor defense getting beat like rug. He couldn't keep up with his speed dropping off, he didn't make the right turns with his hips, and he played entire games catching up to his man. Cromartie needed to be at the LOS to jam his targets.
I wonder if Cro could get released. We have Robey, but Cro could make a tremendous nickel back in the right system (ours).
Maybe it is like I have said a few times, the RB is going to make a comeback soon. The big bruiser back is going to tear up defenses because they've gotten so small and so quick. Our DL is a prime example. We don't have fat men just sitting there like we once did - Ted Washington, Sam Adams and Pat Williams. Instead we have rushing DL that get blown up on run blocks and driven apart by the dive blockers.
I think you may be right, I think it may be here already - the turning of the game back in to the running game. Even thinking of current LB's in the league, few are good against the run. I heard Poz called one of the best LB's against the run this year by a broadcaster. That's scary. Ray Lewis needs to come back and slap some of these guys in the head, because if it does break open like I think then I am all for going RB before round 3. Lets see how the rest of the post season plays out.
i agree 100% JBoyst. The league is never ending change and using history as it's proof.
The fact is, in the cold, snowy, and ever so brutal playoff time, there are a few things that always ring true.
1. Defenses and run games ALWAYS TRAVEL WELL!!!
2. Be bigger and more physical than the opposing team.
The few examples of the quick "no huddle" "greatest show on turf" always seem to be upset by superior defenses. Sure the Rams won one SuperBowl, but then lost the following year to the Pats and their dominating defense.
Off the top of my head, here's a few examples where the better defense for the upper hand
-Giants over Bills
-Redskins over Bills
-Steelers over Dallas
-Packers over Pats
-Ravens over Giants
-Bucs over Raiders
-Pats over Rams
-Pats over Panthers
-Giants over Pats x2
-Steelers over Seahawks
-Steelers over Cardinals
-Ravens over 49ers
Those are just off the top of my head. I'm site there's many more. That doesn't mean that the defensive teams that won had Dominating defenses, just that their defense was better than the opposing teams offense. Or at least that Defense wins championships is more correct than people want to admit.
I'd assume that the running games coincide with the same as well. Looking at that and the late 90s Denver Championships ring a bell. Terrell Davis was huge in those wins. Same with the Steelers with Jerome Bettis and the Ravens as well.
ColdBlueNorth - Belichick always stays one step ahead of the other teams, especially the ones in his division. He knows you have to win division games if you want to make the post season. He knows the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins are trying to build their teams to beat the Pats. No one could stop Brady so the other teams started to build their teams to stop the pass. So what does old Billy do, he changes them from a passing team to a running team. He brings in good backs like Blount and Riddley and runs all over his competitors. The rest of the division build their teams to stop the pass and now he is running all over them. Now they will all have to start over and go into another rebuild to stop the run. Then you know what he is going to do? He will go out and get recievers and go back to being a passing team. He will always stay a step ahead. He's just too smart.
well, this I disagree with. It might not be the fact that Billy is so smart. It could be that his offensive line is horrible at protecting Brady lately. It could be that Brady is getting old and can't do it like he used to. It could be that Hernandez was arrested for murder and Gronk is a porn star banging idiot that can't keep his body healthy because he's out partying too much to get healthy and stay healthy. Or that he just happens to have a few young stud RBs that are the healthiest part of his team right now. His WRs are the worst that Brady has ever had and it shows.
Now that's not to say that Bellichek isn't learning from this experience and uses it going forward, but I highly doubt it was his plan the whole time. The situation dictated Billy.