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2006 statistical comparison to 2003/4

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by pats1, Dec 19, 2006.

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  1. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There have been two posts that have aggravated me today:

    Without a doubt, these are misconceptions. I would like to address these.

    As many of you already, I'm a firm believer in "a win is a win" and a team's record determining its status in the league (is that not how the entire system works?) Therefore, with the 2006 Patriots' record the way it is at 4 losses, it will be impossible for it to match that of the 2003 and 2004 Patriots at 2 losses.

    Human tendency is to inflate the achievements of the past while downplaying the achievements of the present. For example, we may think back to January 2005, remember that dominating 20-3 win over the Colts in the dusk snow of the Razor, and say "the 2006 Patriots haven't been able to do that." This game, along with other exciting playoff wins, is played on a win-or-go-home stage where these achievements are most remembered.

    Lost in the past are games such as the shootout win against the Bengals, or the loss in Miami to a team with the exact opposite record as the Pats, or a humiliating shutout loss in Buffalo. They're forgotten when we recall the past. However, when similar situations occur in the present, such as a shootout win against the Lions, or a humiliating shutout loss in Miami, these performances are scrutinized. Observations of the game spawn dire predictions and "this isn't the same team as 2003/4" statements. Human nature.

    I'm never a fan of putting a "label" on a team, such as "Super Bowl caliber" or "quality opponent." These are made purely out of personal satisfaction with a particular team or opponent.

    So when we take a statistical approach to see where these teams actually stack up against each other, even I get caught up in personal, rather pointless evaluations. However, the whole concept of stats and rankings places these 3 teams (2006, 2004, 2003) on equal footing, and in comparison to the competition they face (i.e. rankings) on the road to a championship.

    Without droning on any further, here is my rebuttal to those that believe the 2006 offense is anemic and can't hold a candle to the "infallible" offenses of 2003 and 2004: (this was posted in another thread)

    2006 offense:

    Passing yards/game: 14th (most)
    Passing TDs: 9th (most)
    INTs: 11th (least)
    Sacks: 11th (least)
    Rushing yards/game: 13th (most)
    Rushing TDs: 5th (most)
    Scoring offense: 9th (best)
    Offensive time of possession: 7th (best)
    Total offensive yards/game: 13th (most)

    2004 offense:

    Passing yards/game: 11th (most)
    Passing TDs: 6th (most)
    INTs: 12th (least)
    Sacks: 5th (least)
    Rushing yards/game: 7th (most)
    Rushing TDs: 9th (most)
    Scoring offense: 4th (best)
    Offensive time of possession: 7th (best)
    Total offensive yards/game: 7th (most)

    2003 offense:

    Passing yards/game: 9th (most)
    Passing TDs: 12th (most)
    INTs: 6th (least)
    Sacks: 14th (least)
    Rushing yards/game: 27th (most)
    Rushing TDs: 25th (most)
    Scoring offense: 12th (best)
    Offensive time of possession: 11th (best)
    Total offensive yards/game: 17th (most)

    ...

    Rankings:

    Best to worst by rankings:

    Passing yards/game: 2003, 2004, 2006
    Passing TDs: 2004, 2006, 2003
    INTs: 2003, 2006, 2004
    Sacks: 2004, 2006, 2003
    Rushing yards/game: 2004, 2006, 2003
    Rushing TDs: 2006, 2004, 2003
    Scoring offense: 2004, 2006, 2003
    Offensive time of possession: 2004/6 tie, 2003
    Total offensive yards/game: 2004, 2006, 2003

    2004: 6 first place, 2 second place, 1 third place
    2006: 2 first place, 6 second place, 1 third place
    2003: 2 first place, 0 second place, 7 third place

    The 2006 offense is worse than a Super Bowl winning team, yet better than a Super Bowl winning team.

    Therefore, no one can say this isn't a "Super Bowl caliber" offense.

    ...

    2006 Defense:

    3rd down conversion percentage: 11th (best)
    4th down conversion percentage: 4th (best)
    Defensive time of possession: 7th (least)
    Passing yards/game: 13th (least)
    Passing TDs: 1st (least)
    INTs: 3rd (most)
    Sacks: 8th (most)
    Rushing yards/game: 4th (least)
    Rushing TDs: 6th (least)
    Points/game: 2nd (least)
    Total defensive yards/game: 6th (least)

    2004 Defense:

    3rd down conversion percentage: 21th (best)
    4th down conversion percentage: 14th (best)
    Defensive time of possession: 7th (least)
    Passing yards/game: 17th (least)
    Passing TDs: 9th (least)
    INTs: 7th (most)
    Sacks: 4th (most)
    Rushing yards/game: 6th (least)
    Rushing TDs: 8th (least)
    Points/game: 2nd (least)
    Total defensive yards/game: 9th (least)

    2003 Defense:

    3rd down conversion percentage: 7th (best)
    4th down conversion percentage: 7th (best)
    Defensive time of possession: 11th (least)
    Passing yards/game: 15th (least)
    Passing TDs: 1st (least)
    INTs: 1st (most)
    Sacks: 6th (most)
    Rushing yards/game: 4th (least)
    Rushing TDs: 7th (least)
    Points/game: 1st (least)
    Total defensive yards/game: 7th (least)

    Rankings:

    Best to worst by rankings:

    3rd down conversion percentage: 2003, 2006, 2004
    4th down conversion percentage: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Defensive time of possession: 2004/6 tie, 2003
    Passing yards/game: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Passing TDs: 2003/6 tie, 2004
    INTs: 2003, 2006, 2004
    Sacks: 2004, 2003, 2006
    Rushing yards/game: 2003/6 tie, 2004
    Rushing TDs: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Points/game: 2003, 2004/6 tie
    Total defensive yards/game: 2006, 2003, 2004

    2006: 7 first place, 3 second place, 1 third place
    2003: 5 first place, 5 second place, 1 third place
    2004: 2 first place, 1 second place, 8 third place

    The 2006 defense is better than that of two Super Bowl winning teams.

    ...

    Total Rankings:

    2006: 9 first place, 9 second place, 2 third place
    2004: 8 first place, 3 second place, 9 third place
    2003: 7 first place, 5 second place, 8 third place

    ...

    Take it for what it's worth, as the 2003 and 2004 teams still hold better records, but statistically the 2006 Patriots hold a combined advantage over the 2003 and 2004 teams in 20 important categories.

    We'll let January and February decide if the 2006 Patriots truly match up against their Lombardi-hoisting predecessors. If so, this 2006 team would be, by the statistical categories listed above, the best of the Super Bowl winning teams.
  2. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Top notch post (as always).

    I like to think of our Dynasty as continuing on whether we win it this year or next....we're still damned good either way.
  3. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    Pats1. Mere thanks is not nearly enough for all of the great info that you provide. But, at least .... thanks and oh so greatly appreciated.
  4. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Amazing summary, particularly the rankings.

    One crit of the Texans game that I would support is that 4 times we had drives stall out that necessated a FG. Room for improvement there. For once I listened to and agreed with the TV talkers that Brady threw a couple 'hard to catch' passed behind Brown to end 2 of those drives. I'm confident that our QB will focus on those and any other miscues and work to remedy them. I drink the Kool Aid philosophy and team culture of demanding continuous improvement.
  5. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Nice work. As long as the D holds tough and the O doesn't turnover the ball, this Pats team has a good chance to go far.
  6. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I can't find any red zone efficiency stats, but I can say that, as with all other areas, there's room for improvement there.
  7. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I believe we've been quite good in the RZ this season. Sunday was an anomaly and I think the FGs were from drives that died just outside the RZ.
  8. Michigan Dave

    Michigan Dave Rookie

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    Nice work! It's good sometimes to read something positive. You nailed it when you said that people tend to glorify the past and that the present never can measure up. I, for one, am enjoying the ride. This year may or may not produce a Super Bowl winner, but I'm still having fun watching.
  9. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    awesome post, pats1. Thank God the Newbie Chicken Littles haven't taken over completely.
  10. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Finally, special teams.

    Real interesting stats here. 2004, while the top in gross punt average, was the worst in the rest of the categories - it being the only year with Josh Miller all the way through. 2003, Walter and Barnard and all, wasn't all that bad, especially holding opponents on returns.Also notice how Gostkowski is an UPGRADE over Vinatieri in the statistical categories included.

    By no surprise, 2006 again takes the cake:

    2006 Special Teams:

    Punted touchbacks: 14th (most)
    Punted inside 20: 24th (most)
    Punted net average: 25th (best)
    Punted gross average: 29th (best)
    Punt return average: 5th (best)
    Opposing punt return average: 16th (best)

    Kickoff average: 4th (best)
    Touchbacks: 6th (most)
    Kick return average: 1st (best)
    Opposing kick return average: 22nd (best)

    2004 Special Teams:

    Punted touchbacks: 25th (most)
    Punted inside 20: 25th (most)
    Punted net average: 31th (best)
    Punted gross average: 17th (best)
    Punt return average: 29th (best)
    Opposing punt return average: 28th (best)

    Kickoff average: 13th (best)
    Touchbacks: 14th (most)
    Kick return average: 9th (best)
    Opposing kick return average: 28th (best)

    2003 Special Teams:

    Punted touchbacks: 24th (most)
    Punted inside 20: 3rd (most)
    Punted net average: 28th (best)
    Punted gross average: 31st (best)
    Punt return average: 17th (best)
    Opposing punt return average: 2nd (best)

    Kickoff average: 9th (best)
    Touchbacks: 26th (most)
    Kick return average: 4th (best)
    Opposing kick return average: 13th (best)

    ...

    Rankings:

    Best to worst by rankings:

    Punted touchbacks: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Punted inside 20: 2003, 2006, 2004
    Punted net average: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Punted gross average: 2004, 2006, 2003
    Punt return average: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Opposing punt return average: 2003, 2006, 2004

    Kickoff average: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Touchbacks: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Kick return average: 2006, 2003, 2004
    Opposing kick return average: 2003, 2006, 2004


    2006: 6 first place, 4 second place, 0 third place
    2004: 1 first place, 0 second place, 9 third place
    2003: 3 first place, 6 second place, 1 third place

    The 2006 special teams is better than that of the 2003 and 2004 Super Bowl winning teams.
  11. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've been able to gather a few bits:

    Reiss has the Pats ranked 4th in RZE in 2006 at 60.4% (TDs scored per trips)

    In this ESPN article, Clayton lists the Pats being 7th in the league in offensive RZE in 2004 at 58.7%.

    Therefore, the 2006 Patriots are more efficient at scoring touchdowns in the red zone than the 2004 Patriots.
  12. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I still think that NE can and would beat any team in the league if they play their best game, even San Diego.

    My main worry is that NE has not shown yet that they can play 4 consecutive good games against anyone, let alone 4 playoff teams.
  13. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You mean 1 good game - Four weeks in a row. ;)
  14. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I can't believe this thread.
    Trying to say this years 2006 team is as good or better than
    previous teams based on a full years stats doesn't cut it with me.

    Anyone knows it is how a team is performing in the last 4 to 6 weeks of
    a regular season that indicates how it might do in the playoffs.
    Much of 2006 PATs good looking stats were generated earlier this year.

    If you want a more valid idea go back and look at the weeks 12 thru and
    including week 16 of each of these season.
    Don't use week 17 as teams may be playing second stringers.
    I don't have the time or the inclination to put that work in but
    gut says this years team will come in last in most if not all your choose catagories.

    In fact, I don't even know if you can make a valid comparison from one year
    to the next as there are just so many variables that change!

    Statistical inferences can be wrong and often are misleading.
    here is an old adage that should be kept in mind:

    "You can find a statistic to prove any "fact," if only you look hard enough, and are willing to overlook some rather important aspects."
  15. hwc

    hwc On the Roster

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    Here's my rebuttal to your rebuttal. In four quarters of football, the New England Patriots offense never even got in long field goal range against the Miami Dolphins.

    Look, I don't like it any better than anyone else. But, the simple fact of the matter is that any good defense can shut this year's Patriots' offense down cold.
  16. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Do we have a naysayer here? That is fine...don't let the feacts get in the way of an argument...but...but but???
    GREAT POST Pats1....I think THAt perspectiove is alwaus ahead of things..and when Felger and Vorges and rge like pollute the airwaves with negativity...
  17. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Isn't that what good defenses do? Shut down offenses?

    We've also played against many defenses that haven't shut us down. But I guess they must not be that good, because they didn't shut us down. That's not going to cut against all the defenses in the playoffs that are going to shut us down, because they're good. God we suck against defenses that completely shut us down.
  18. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I like stats as much as anyone on this board but according to my eyeball test this team is not as good as the 2003/2004 teams.

    The 2003 team went 7-0 against teams that ended up with +.500 records. Heck, that team went 7-0 against teams that ended up with at least 10 wins. The 2004 team went 7-1 against teams that ended up with +.500 records. That 2004 team went 3-1 against teams that ended up with at least 10 wins.

    If the 2006 team is as good as the 2003/2004 teams, then why does the 2006 team trail those teams in the most important stat - wins??

    The 2006 team has as many regular season losses as did the 2003/2004 teams combined.
  19. hwc

    hwc On the Roster

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    Again:

    In four quarters of football, the New England Patriots offense never even got in long field goal range against the Miami Dolphins.

    The Pats offense never even threatened to score a point in a December football game. Yes, I expect good defenses to hold the score down. But, I have seen very few games in which an offense never even sniffs a point. Usually, when that happens, it's because the offense is truly wretched.

    But, be my guest. Enjoy all the feel-good talk generated by a thrashing of the weak sisters of the poor on Sunday. Let's just hope the Pats can manage go back into the tournament because they really are not playing good football.
  20. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great post. It offers a convincing case that this year's team is very, very good. The question remains, though, why were there some important games where we hardly seemed competitive, such as our losses to Denver, the Colts, and Miami? At any rate, Pats1 has used stats to demonstrate this team really has a shot of getting into the SB, especially if it can get a little healthier. Go Pats!
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