Originally Posted by mgteich
running backs 74
tight ends 43
A) change our offense and use the tight ends more (perhaps for 75 catches)
B) count on Edelman for 75 catches
C) count on tate for 50 catches
D) count on a rookie/fa for 35 catches
It would take ALL of the above to match 2009's production. That strategy would require two successful additions (TE and WR), no injuries and for both Tate and Edelman to step up.
I would start by setting a goal different from a season where the Pats struggled on offense (2009 or 2002: 370+ comp) or wore out their offense (2007: 400 comp). Just spitballing but how about a 350 completion target or about 22 per game.
So a breakdown like this gets us there:
RBs = 70
TEs = 60
Moss = 60
Edelman = 60
Tate = 30
Rookie = 20
Others (including Welker) = 50
Unless I did the math wrong, that is 350 completions. So that means the Pats need:
-About the same level of production out of the RBs. Faulk, Maroney and Morris are certainly capable of 4-5 receptions per game.
- A nice bump in production from the TEs. Crumpler doesn't get the Pats there so a couple of new additions would need to get 2-3 catches per game. It is almost a certainty that one of the 2nd round picks will be a TE.
- A drop in catches for Moss. This is likely his last year with the Pats so let the weaning process begin. This is still 4 catches per game and hopefully quality will replace some of the quantity. Also keeps him a little healthier.
- A reasonable jump in production for Edelman. Not a Welker 10-catch average which seems a bit unreasonable and unlikely.
- Tate getting 2 catches per game. Shouldn't be much of a problem.
- Rookie addition only getting 1-2 catches per game.
- 3 catches per game going to other WRs like Patten, Aiken and Welker for the stretch run.
This seems like a good model for success. Only assumptions would be adding a top TE (Pitta in the 2nd) and a WR capable of 1-2 catches/game (Ajirotutu in the 6th/7th), as well as Welker returning for last handful of games. The Pats certainly have the ammo to do more than that for the passing game (I like Emmanuel Sanders if he slides a bit), but I don't think they NEED to.
Couple other aspects make this approach possible:
1) Consistent production from the running game. Doesn't have to be great but has to be good enough to keep the offense in solid down/distance and prevent situations where Brady is dropping back 40-50 times a game.
2) Major bump in production from 4th quarter defense. If the offense can trust the defense late, they can look to build sustained, soul-sucking drives and play field position rather than building huge leads.
3) Effective play in the kicking game. Mainly focused on punting and kick returns.
Put all of that together and you don't need to build a run-n-shoot WR corps.