BB always says "wins aren't as good as they look, and losses aren't as bad."
Taking that a bit further, spending about 10 minutes on these forums, it is so easy for the "under educated" to jump to the conclusion that the 2011 Patriots are little more then "a great offense and a *****ty defense". Well, I actually looked at a few comparative stats and have come to the conclusion that BB is 100% right- "This OFFENSE isn't nearly as good as we think, and this DEFENSE isn't nearly as bad as we think.
I back up my claim with some FACTS from the CHFF Site
which is great at pointing to stats that matter. For those not familiar, they have something called quality stats. They are called that because, they correlate directly to wins/losses. To huge ones are Bendability (defense) and Scoreability (offense). What those measure are efficiency in offense and stinginess on defense. It's a combination of yds allowed/gained and points scored.
For bendability (defense), it measures how many yds your defenses make opposing offense go before scoring a point. Obviously a team with a real low number is a sieve, because they allow more pts per yard earned. The higher the number, the stingier a defense is because offenses have "go further" for every point. You get the idea. Conversely, scoreability measures offensive efficiency by determining how far your offense has to go for every point scored. Low numbers are good (they score lots and quickly). Higher numbers means your offense is working to hard to earn points and your probably leaving points on the field.
Last year (until playoff), we'll all agree that we had the best team, record and performance wise in the NFL. Of course, we also were very highly ranked in the league for both Bendability (4th w/18.61 yds per pt) and Scoreability (1st with 11.35 ids per pt). We scored early and often and our D generally made you earn your score. For this exercise, I looked at where were last year after 3 games for both these figures and sure enough, it tells me exactly what I remember. Offense was good and defense was a work in progress. We basically watched them mature every week until they were pretty good by the end. We all know this D will likely improve as well.
After three games last year we were also at 2-1, and we had a bendability of 13.87 yds for every point scored against us. Considering where we ended (18.61 yds/pt), you can see just how well we improved. For scoreability, we were at 12.35 yds for every point we scored which is pretty good and we only got a marginally better through the year (11.35 yds/pt at the end)
Now, after three weeks this year. Where we at?
Been fun to watch all those yards, but have we been efficient? So far we are averaging 540.3 yds/game and only scoring 34.7 points. That's a scoreability rating of 15.5 yards per point scored, which is SIGNIFICANTLY more then last year at this point. We haven't been nearly as efficient at scoring points. Sure, yards are great, but if you drive 90 yards then throw an interception, you've done nothing. Granted, the 5 picks this year has a lot to do with our current rating, but hey, they are part of the package. We have to do a much better job on offense scoring points in an efficient manner to lower that number down into the 11-13 yds/pt range. This number will improve as we take better care of the ball going forward.
Last year, we started out rough and got better as we went judging by the numbers above, and this year…….. We didn't start of nearly as bad as we did last year. Right now, we're allowing 468 yds offense and 26.3 points per game. We're making offenses drive 17.82 yards for every point they get. Sure, our safeties can't cover a fire hydrant, but when it matters, we're either making a stop, Int, or allowing a FG instead of TD, at least up this this point compared to last year. I expect, as we improve defensively, this number will rise and we'll end up being being one of the stingier defenses as far as making teams earn their points. We certainly are ahead of where were at this point last year.
Now, I know there are lots of facts and figures that people will throw out how the above analysis is wrong or flawed thinking. But, when it comes right down to it……….. BB is still 100% right………. This offense isn't nearly as good (efficient) as we think, and this defense isn't nearly as bad as we think
. (at least compared to last year's D, which turned out to be pretty good).
I think we're gonna end up fine as the defense matures, and our offense settles down a bit an isn't so reckless with the rock and we balance in some more running. let's settle back and enjoy the season a bit.