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2010 Patriots offense poised to become one of the greatest of all time

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by VJCPatriot, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    With just one game to go in the 2010 season, the New England Patriots, currently the #1 offense in the entire NFL, have already amassed 480 points. By scoring just 20 more points in week 17 (12 below their season average), they will become only the 12th NFL offense ever to score 500 or more points in a season.

    Although the 2010 New England offense is not as prolific as the 2007 offense, you can make the argument that they are more efficient and reliable. The main difference between the 2010 version and the 2007 version is the balance on offense. The running game has been utilized more in the double tight end set. The talented rookie tight ends have contributed greatly as well. But let's breakdown the stats instead of just making broader generalizations.

    Overall Offense
    2007 589 points. 36.8 ppg.
    Run ATT 451
    Run % 43.5
    Run YPC 4.1
    Run TDs 17
    Total Run Yards 1849
    Pass ATT 586
    Pass % 56.5
    Pass YPA 8.3
    Pass TDs 50
    Total Pass Yards 4731
    QB rating 116.0

    2010 480 points through 15 games. 32.0 ppg.
    Run ATT 409
    Run % 46.1
    Run YPC 4.4
    Run TDs 18
    Total Run Yards 1792
    Pass ATT 478
    Pass % 53.9
    Pass YPA 7.7
    Pass TDs 34
    Total Pass Yards 3526
    QB rating 108.4

    Tight End Contribution
    2007
    9 catches 70 yards 2 TDs
    36 catches 389 yards 6 TDs
    Totals 45 catches 479 yards 8 TDs
    Percentage TE catches 45/403 = 11.2%
    Percentage TE yards = 479/4731 = 10.1%
    Percentage TE TDs = 10/50 = 20%


    2010 through 15 games
    5 catches 42 yards 1 TD
    36 catches 444 yards 9 TDs
    45 catches 563 yards 6 TDs
    Totals 86 catches 1049 yards 16 TDs
    Percentage TE catches = 86/314 = 27.4%
    Percentage TE yards = 1049/3526 = 29.8%
    Percentage TE TDs = 16/34 = 47.1%

    As you can see the Patriots see a marked increase in the utilization of tight ends and tight end productivity in 2010. This reflects perhaps a shift in offensive philosophy or merely an increase in talent in the position and thus higher utilization of the personnel to maximize the talent there. Take the numbers as you will but the increase in TD percentage from tight ends is particulary eyepopping to me, jumping from 20% to 47% which accounts for nearly half of the team's touchdowns in 2010.

    The main common factor with these two offenses is that Brady is the trigger man for both offenses and he is amazingly efficient in both seasons. The 2007 offense is more explosive through the air but averages less yardage on the ground and runs a lower percentage of running plays. The increased utilization of TEs and increased offensive balance is evident from the numbers. We can revisit the final numbers after the Dolphins game but I don't expect them to change much overall.

    Conclusion - the Patriots 2010 offense is extremely efficient, more balanced than 2007, and is quite likely to join the all time great offenses with 500+ points scored in a season. It makes you appreciate all the more the quality of football we are seeing in 2010 and just what a special quarterback we have in Tom Brady.

    (Other all-time scoring NFL offenses.)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    cool story and all but I could care less honestly. I want to win that game in February this year.
  3. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    I'm glad you liked my writing. I think what I'm driving at is that the Patriots balance and diversity on offense should make them harder to stop. Even if they don't average as many points on offense as in 2007 I think it will be harder to shut them down in 2010. Which makes it more likely that they can sustain the offense in January and February and hopefully bring another Lombardi trophy to New England.

    In particular I think the increased utilization of the Tight Ends is a positive indicator for this offense. Our tight ends - Gronkowski and Herndandez pose very difficult matchup problems for defenses to solve. In 2007 it became evident in the playoffs that the empty shotgun while an effective tool could be countered by rush heavy teams. The fact that Brady can throw or handoff effectively out of the double tight end set makes our offense in 2010 that much harder to predict and thus stop.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  4. Brettlax3434

    Brettlax3434 Rookie

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    I thought it was a very good read. That’s what patsfans.com is for, to blog our thoughts about the Patriots. Earlier in the year I dismissed someone who compared this offense to the 2007 offense. I was wrong, it’s a legit comparison. This offense methodically kills you, while 2007 was extremely explosive. The offenses are different but like the 2007 offense, this one is very very hard to stop.
  5. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    I meant no disrespect and yes the running game coupled with the tight end play has produced a more versatile and IMO better offense come playoff time but I have a hard time calling any thing one of the "greatest of all time" until after the superbowl. If a team like Baltimore comes in and shuts us down during the divisional round thats what we will probably be remembered by.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  6. borg

    borg Rookie

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    18 out of 19 teams couldn't stop the 2007 Pats. Two teams have already stopped this years team with 4 to go (hopefully)...so I don't grasp your point about "harder" to stop this year :)
    But seriously, if you look at both years and use the time of possession numbers to get a points scored/minute possession...

    2007....ToP=32:31...Pts/game=36.8...Pts/min=1.13
    2010....ToP=28:56...Pts/game=32.0...Pts/min=1.10

    Give the 2010 offense equal time as the 2007 offense and this years O scores 35.75 pts/game.
  7. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    Great thread.

    This year's offense is more multi-faceted and isn't a one trick pony. The tight ends are a double threat to block or catch, which allows the team to pass against run defenses and run against nickel packages. It also improves the rushing average because we aren't telegraphing pre-snap whether we are running or passing.

    Did anyone look up the red zone efficiency numbers? I would imagine that the red zone TD conversion numbers would be interesting, and also maybe 3rd down.
  8. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks, I was just about to go look that up. This year's offense is really close to the 2007 offense in terms of efficiency, and a big reason for the fewer points is the defense struggled at times to get them the ball back.

    I thought defensive/ST TDs might skew the results, but they're quite similar. In 2007, had 2 KO TDs and 6 defensive TDs (3 INT, 3 fumble). In 2010, have 2 KO TDs and 5 defensive TDs (4 INT, 1 fumble).
  9. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    One note about the tight ends. The trio we have is very talented, but I want to dismiss the assertions made in past years on this forum that the tight ends weren't getting the ball because they simply weren't very good. Ben Watson, playing on a bad Cleveland team with bad QB's, just put up a 61 catch 700 yard season, by far his best of his career after leaving New England.
    Benjamin Watson - Cleveland Browns - Career Statistics - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
  10. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Reading some of the comments here leaves me with the impression that some people don't remember 2007 all that well. The Patriots had 6 receivers with 30 or more catches, including a tight end and a running back. This year's team will finish with only 5 players reaching that level, unless Tate racks up 8 catches against the Dolphins.

    Also, when looking at the run, Maroney and Morris both averaged 4.5 ypc, compared to BJGE's 4.4 this season. The the 2010 running game does get the nod with the third down back production, with Woodhead v. Faulk, as Woodhead's averaging 5.6 ypc compared to Faulk's 4.3 ypc.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  11. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dave Thomas will also be putting together his second consecutive 30+ reception season since leaving the Patriots.
  12. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    2007 was #1 or #2 and this year is #3
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  13. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Football Outsiders' numbers support the OP assertion of historic team efficiency:
    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Week 16 DVOA Ratings
  14. convertedpatsfan

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    2007 was a much more explosive team, more of a quick-strike element to it, so they're very different. The offense this year has had the ball less because of the defensive struggles, but they've also benefited from shorter fields from turnovers too. In 2007, we led the league in yards and points. This year, we lead the league in points but aren't even in the top 10 in yards. So they are very different teams. But in terms of results, they've been quite similar.

    One other thing I'd point to as favourable for this year's group is they're getting stronger as the season goes on. In 2007, we averaged 41 over the first 10 games, only once finishing under 30 points. But over the last 6 regular season games, they averaged under 30 points, still very good but a significant drop-off.

    This year's team averaged around 27 points per game over the first 8 games, but has really kicked it into gear in the second half averaging 37 points the last 7 games. Hopefully that trend continues this week and into the playoffs.
  15. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    The increased productivity of the tight ends in 2010 is by no means an indictment of the ones the Pats fielded in 2007. However the difference in talent and increased utilization is apparent. Ben Watson was not nearly the threat in the endzone that Gronkowski and Hernandez have been. Gronk is also the superior blocker. Meanwhile Hernandez is far more versatile than Watson ever was, the Pats have lined him up all over the field this season to create mismatches.

    As for Ben Watson's production in another system and on a bad team, which might arguably inflate his statistic, that really isn't debated here. As a group the Pats 2010 tight ends are far more talented, versatile, and productive than the ones we fielded in 2007. Translating it to the field, this allows the Pats to play two tight end set more often, allowing them to either block and run, play action, or split out on passes all thanks to the versatility and strengths of the TE personnel in 2010.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  16. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Route running, creating separation and hands. Both Gronk and AH are superior in those skill sets to BW. I speculate that BW played tense here but I could be wrong. Seemed to drop easy passes, etc.

    I respect the year BW had in CLE, maybe he was just more comfortable in that offensive system.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  17. borg

    borg Rookie

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    The 2010 Pats offense will endup with about 80 fewer plays from scrimmage (5.3 fewer/game) which makes sense considering the time of possession is 3:35 mins less than 2007. So maybe a few of these 80 extra plays would get a 6th WR to the 30 catch number you value so much.
    Looking at the two teams on a yards/point basis. The '07 team scored 1 point for every 11.16 yds of offense while the '10 team was slighty more efficient scoring 1 point every 11.06 yds.
    Using both points/min ( 1.13 vs 1.10) and yds/pt (11.16 vs 11.06)...these two teams are identical
  18. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But if your QB doesn't trust you, you aren't going to get alot of the ball!
  19. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  20. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Strength of schedule
    2007 .469
    2010 .507
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  21. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    I'm not quite ready to say that either offense was better than the other but along the lines of playing quality teams, below is a listing of the top 10 scoring defenses each team faced over their respective schedules.

    2007
    #1-Indy
    #2-Pitt
    #5-SD
    #9 Philly
    #11-WASH

    2010
    #1-Pitt
    #2-GB
    #3-BAL
    #4-Chi
    #7-CLE
    #8-SD
    #9-MIA (2)
    #11-NYJ (2)

    As you can see, over the 16 game schedule, the 2007 D played 5 Top 10ish defenses while over the same 16 game schedule, the 2010 team had 10 of their 16 games vs top 10ish defenses. I have not done the math, but IIRC both teams averaged around the mid-20s in offensive touchdowns.

    So my take is that the 2010 offense is operating at a similarly high-level as the 07 one did, but for the sake of stats, is at a disadvantage because it played twice as many of games vs top 10ish defenses.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  22. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    I don't like the strength of schedule stat when talking about the 2007 season. By mid-season, every team was bringing their A-game against the jaugernaut Pats. I have never seen such intensity over such a long stretch of games for any team, ever. It was like 6+ straight playoff games before the playoffs even started.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  23. convertedpatsfan

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    The 2007 figure is extremely misleading due to a weaker division and a historically-inept Dolphins team that went 1-15. In fact, if you wipe out the two games against the Dolphins, the strength of schedule jumps from .469 to .527.

    Looking back, it was an incredibly tough road.

    We played the AFC North, which had two 10-6 teams in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Cleveland missed the play-offs on tie-breakers.

    We also played the NFC East, which sent 3 teams to the play-offs, with all 4 teams finishing .500 or better.

    For our other two games, we beat the eventual #2 and #3 seeds in Indy and San Diego.

    This year has been very tough too, no doubt. And the years are quite similar when you compare them.

    2007:
    Beat 8 teams .500 or better, 6 play-off teams, 2 top seeds earning a bye.

    2010:
    Beat 8 teams .500 or better, 5 play-off teams (potentially 6 if GB makes it), 2 top seeds earning a bye.

    Both are very impressive.
  24. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    The Pats finish the 2010 season with 518 points scored. Where does this place them all time in terms of total points?

    1. 2007 Pats 589 pts 36.8 ppg -- Lost Superbowl
    2. 1998 Vikings 556 pts 34.8 ppg -- Lost NFC title game
    3. 1983 Redskins 541 pts 33.8 ppg -- Lost Superbowl
    4. 2000 Rams 540 pts 33.8 ppg -- Lost NFC Wildcard
    5. 1999 Rams 526 pts 32.9 ppg -- Won Superbowl
    6. 2004 Colts 522 pts 32.6 ppg -- Lost div. playoff to the Pats
    7. 2010 Pats 518 pts 32.4 ppg -- (To be determined)
    T-8. 1961 Oilers 513 pts 36.6 ppg -- Won AFL Title (pre-merger)
    T-8. 1984 Dolphins 513 pts 32.1 ppg -- Lost Superbowl
    10. 1994 49ers 505 pts 31.6 ppg -- Won Superbowl

    That's some pretty good company to keep there as far as all time scoring offense goes. The thing to note though is that only 3 out of those 10 teams, discounting the 2010 Pats, were title winning teams, and one of those was a pre-merger winner. So great Offense does not guarantee championships by any means. But it sure is entertaining to watch. It is yet to be determined if the Pats will win the Superbowl in 2010.

    As someone just noted above, the Pats also played twice as many top defenses in 2010 than 2007, so they appear to be more tested against the tough defenses in the NFL. I also see no defensive line as dominant as the 2007 Giants looming out there to stop them this season.

    BTW the 2001 'greatest shows on turf' Rams finished just outside the top 10 with 503 points scored if you were curious.

    Final offensive comparison of the 2007 Pats to the 2010 Pats:

    Overall Offense

    2007 589 points. 36.8 ppg.
    Run ATT 451
    Run % 43.5
    Run YPC 4.1
    Run TDs 17
    Total Run Yards 1849
    Pass ATT 586
    Pass % 56.5
    Pass YPA 8.3
    Pass TDs 50
    Total Pass Yards 4731
    QB rating 116.0

    2010 518 points. 32.4 ppg.
    Run ATT 454
    Run % 47.2
    Run YPC 4.3
    Run TDs 19
    Total Run Yards 1973
    Pass ATT 507
    Pass % 52.8
    Pass YPA 7.9
    Pass TDs 37
    Total Pass Yards 3847
    QB rating 109.8

    Tight End Contribution

    2007
    9 catches 70 yards 2 TDs - Kyle Brady
    36 catches 389 yards 6 TDs - Ben Watson
    Totals 45 catches 479 yards 8 TDs
    Percentage TE catches 45/403 = 11.2%
    Percentage TE yards = 479/4731 = 10.1%
    Percentage TE TDs = 10/50 = 20%

    2010
    6 catches 52 yards 2 TD - Alge Crumpler
    42 catches 546 yards 10 TDs - Rob Gronkowski
    45 catches 563 yards 6 TDs - Aaron Hernandez
    Totals 93 catches 1161 yards 18 TDs
    Percentage TE catches = 93/331 = 28.1%
    Percentage TE yards = 1161/3847 = 30.2%
    Percentage TE TDs = 18/37 = 48.6%

    The relative offensive efficiency of 2010 vs 2007 is debateable. It's clear that the 2010 offense was more explosive overall. But it is also clear that the Pats versatility on offense has increased in 2010 due to the tight end factor.

    It is highly interesting to note that the Pats offense over the final 8 games of the schedule in 2010 has been more consistent and productive than the Pats offense in the final half of 2007. The key for the Pats will be to sustain that great offense throughout the playoffs.

    2007. Final 8 games: 24,56,31,27,34,20,28,38 = 258/8 = 32.2 ppg
    2010. Final 8 games: 39,31,45,45,36,31,34,38 = 299/8 = 37.4 ppg

    Not only did the 2010 New England offense total more points in their final 8 games, they averaged over 5 ppg more, and were remarkably consistent. In contrast in 2007, the New England Patriots offense dipped under the 30 points scored mark 4 times, or half of their final 8 contests. This suggests to me that at the tail end of the 2007 season that some defenses were beginning to figure out how to contain the Pats offense a little better. Nobody stopped them obviously since 32 ppg is a remarkable scoring average over that range. But clearly the 2010 offense has been more consistent and potent over the final span of the season than the 2007 offense.

    Finally let us reconsider the tight end numbers again now that the season is complete. Tight end utilization in 2010 jumped from 10% of total pass completions in 2007 to 30% in 2010. In terms of actual production, the 2010 tight ends produced over double the yardage, 1161 vs 479.

    The New England tight ends also accounted for nearly 50% of the team's offensive touchdowns in 2010 compared to only 20% in 2007. I also think it is safe to say that this is the first time in NFL history that any team has had TWO ROOKIE tight ends each top 500 yards receiving in the same season. Hernandez should be healthy and available in two weeks time, thus giving the Pats two of the most dangerous bookend threats in the NFL just in time for the playoffs.

    The success of the Pats 2010 offense comes down to these key factors: Tom Brady's play at QB of course, the offensive line's blocking, and the increased versatility and talent upgrade offered by their tight end unit.

    The numbers produced by the running game in 2007 and 2010 are deceptively similar but I think the run units for the Pats are utilized differently. The 2007 Pats offense passed to open up the run. Our RBs benefitted from teams having to spread out their defenders to stop the Pats potent passing attack.

    The 2010 Pats run offense on the other hand can run the ball straight at the defense when they want to because of the addition of the double tight end set as a viable formation. Crumpler + Gronkowski are huge additions in the blocking game compared to K. Brady and Watson. Hernandez ability to line up anywhere on offense to create matchup problems has also been discussed and definitely is a wildcard factor that makes the tight ends so difficult to defend and has greatly contributed to the success of the Pats 2010 offense.

    The Pats 2010 offense has earned its place as one of the 10 most prolific offenses of all time. Now all that's missing is the championship trophy that has proven to be somewhat elusive for even the best offenses in NFL history. The good news is that they will not have to do it alone.

    On defense the Pats have become increasingly stingy over the final 5 games of the season, giving up 3, 7, 27, 3, and 7 points over that stretch for 9.4 ppg. Additionally Edelman (who scored a punt return TD week 17) and Tate (2 TD returns) provide the Pats with potent return weapons on special teams. Factor in the increased quality of punting Zoltan Mesko presents over Chris Hanson, and you are looking at a team better equipped to win the field position battle. The Patriots appear to be peaking at the right time in all three phases of the game and that bodes well for their 2010 quest to claim the Lombardi trophy.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  25. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It bears repeating...

    As December went on in 2007 the Pats margin of victory waned as DCs figured ways to stop the Moss/Welker focused offense. This last 2010 December the Pats grew stronger in congruence with BB's better teams.
  26. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This offense is really something special to watch..all these non big name players making huge impacts ala Gronk, Woodhead, Law Firm ect
  27. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    The only offenses that came close to putting up big numbers after Thanksgiving are the 2004 and 2008 offenses where they averaged about 28 a game. Even after T-day in 07, the 2007 offense was "only" averaging 28.8 a game.

    Including playoffs, in their last 6 games the 2006 offense averaged 33 points a game. How I still don't know....
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
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