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A novel theory

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by AzPatsFan, May 5, 2011.

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  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Many have complained here that it does little good to compile records like 11-5, and 14-2 if you immediately lose in the Playoffs. Real Patriots fans remember the dreary decades of hoping for merely .500. They then describe what they believe the reason is for losing to a club that they had beaten soundly in the regular season.

    We have all heard the ideas: can't rush the passer, can't force the run, can't go deep with a game-breaking WR, etc.

    I propose a much more mundane suggestion. The Patriots are not yet deep enough to withstand a rash of injuries, especially at critical positions.

    But I think everyone overlooks THE most critical position of all. The last two seasons we staggered into the playoffs with a throughly beat-up QB.

    Both off seasons, Tom Brady had to go in for surgery. Even now we have a report that Brady is still not fully recovered but making good progress. How can you win, if your GOAT QB is walking wounded, by the 'Second season'?

    I know that BB hasn't felt that he could force Tom Brady to sit, and send in a QB to mop up, or take over in a lopsided game, and try to pull it out, when the danger of injury is greatest. Hoyer is still learning and with his limited athletic talent, needs to use every bit of it, and his head to succeed. I expect Hoyer will eventually be able to do so, but he isn't ready to do that yet.

    Ryan Mallett is another kettle of fish though. If or when, Mallett gets his legs under him, Belichick will be able to force Tom Brady to sit, and that is what it takes to make the competitor to sit down. Hopefully the Team will have him healthy, and more ready to go in the Playoffs.:D

    I'd much rather enter the playoffs with a healthy Tom Brady, rather than walking wounded, staggering into the playoffs, unable to avoid the sacks (2010), or throw well (2009), hampered with a broken foot or a bum shoulder. :(
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  2. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The QB wasn't the reason we lost the last 2 playoff games. We couldnt stop the Jets running game and their DBs blanketed our receivers. Hopefully Dowling and Bodden will help the secondary become nasty, then if we can get Kiwi and Fitzgerald we'd be loaded for bear.
     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I do beleive that we have depth. We deal with injuries as well as any team. The problem in the past couple fo years is that we just asked for the problem by carrying the three oldest running backs in the nfl on our roster.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Yes, this is a novel theory. Your position is that this team is plenty good enough to win playoff game if Tom Brady is healthy going into the playoffs.

    While I agree, the question is HOW to keep Brady healthy going into the playoffs.

    Some suggestions include
    --------------------------------------------------
    1) Have a backup QB who does some mopup duty during the season and plays when Brady is injured during the season.

    While this sounds good, I don't think either Brady or Manning have ever handed over the ball unless they absolutely couldn't walk into the huddle. And the record of these two teams has been the best in the nfl over the past 10 years.
    --------------------------------------------------
    2) Have an improved OL.

    Yes, fewer hits lead to a stronger Brady in the playoffs. I would argue that Belichick has done all he can in this regard, other than paying a LG starting LT salary.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    3) Give Brady more targets and go-to receivers, and shorten the offense.

    If Brady can get rid of the ball faster, then he will be hit less. Belichick got rid of Moss. Belichick has drafted Gronk, Hernandez and Price in the last two years. And now, he has added Vareen as a target to replace Faulk.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    4) Make sure that the blitz will be picked up on third down.

    A blocking TE and a running back who can pickup the blitz are essential. Crumpler and Gronk are the answer, with Smith as the replacement for Cruimpler. Vareen relaces Faulk in this regard. Also, Ridley is a fine blocker.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    5) Have a running game that uses up clock and can be counted on in short yardage situations.

    Having Brady as our short yardage back is just not a great idea. Welcome Mr. Ridley!

    The running game has been very predictable, or so our opponents have indicated. Green-Ellis in the game means run. Woodhead in the game means pass. In addition to the inflexibility of these two, the problem was that the other running backs were always injured.
    Having four (or even 5) running backs with different roles will help a lot.
    ----------------------------------------
     
  4. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    The most obvious explanation is that we're dealing with such a small sample size of games when talking about the Pat's playoff losses.
     
  5. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I agreed with you up through the qb depth being the issue. I do agree that we all look for silver bullets that solve all our team's problems when it comes down to playing well for that one game in a sudden death tournament.

    As for depth, one of the things I look at in our post-season loss against the Jets is the fact that so many of our DL was hurt and out. We weren't missing stellar players or anything but when Wright, Brace, Pryor, and Deaderick are all hurt (or out) that's a huge amount of our depth. Love and Cohen should not have been seeing the field against other playoff opponents. Defensive back was also an issue. From the get-go losing Bodden and then even Wilhite and Butler getting banged up. While a guy like Wilhite is no allstar, the loss of depth brings Chung up into playing nickel.

    I look to this lack of depth as a significant contributing factor in our loss...plus the fact that the Jets just played well and were emotionally supercharged for the game.
     
  6. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    The last 3 playoff losses are so confounding to people because everyone looks for THE reason why they happened. The Pats could easily survive a single breakdown. These losses were the result of inefficiencies for a team that was built around being efficient in all 3 phases of the game.

    Check out the drive charts for these games. The Pats offense couldn't sustain drives, turned the ball over uncharacteristically and didn't build early leads when the opportunities where there. The defense didn't get turnovers when they were available, gave up big drives late and allowed offenses to stay in a comfort zone and continue doing what they do well. Special teams typically lost the field position battle and failed to pin opponents deep.

    All of these were departures from the norm for those teams. One position didn't lose the games. Neither didn't one unit. They were systematic failures which a smart and deep team should be able to avoid. That makes the losses hard to absorb and even harder to take a concrete action to "fix".

    Injuries happen, but I can't see the Pats losing any of those games if everyone just did their job to expectations. I think that explains a draft full of players that are technically clean and coachable with predictable motors...and lacking guys with high upsides but even higher uncertainty. It is all about efficiency.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  7. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    If you want to go all the way back to the loss in the Superbowl you’re talking a bigger conversation, and I think the flaws are obviously a result of coaching and personnel, but just about all the problems stem from that, and each has an impact on the other.

    In a nutshell, the biggest flaws have been:

    - 07, the O-line couldnt stop a wet fart, Brady gets beaten to a pulp
    - 09, D-line can’t stop the Ravens running game, the Offense was beyond predictable
    - 10, our receivers were owned by the Jets DBs, we didnt have a running game that could truely keep the defense honest. Weak D can’t stop the Jets running game, and allows Sanchez to appear competent
     
  8. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    I blame the ESPN culture of over-analysis. Bottom line: The 07 and 10 teams were good enough to win the SB, but in a loser goes home format, there are no guarantees. Every year a flawed team wins a SB and equally flawed teams get bounced.

    The 09 team was garbage. No Welker. Brady coming off ACL surgery. Adalius Thomas. Poor secondary play, locker room issues.
     
  9. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

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    More running plays will keep Brady healthy.....and....what do you know. Drafted 2 OLs....Drafted 2 RBs.....and 1 blocking TE
     
  10. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Ok, so you gave detailed reasons why the 09 team failed yet you think it's silly to analize why the 07 and 10 team failed because it just happens:rolleyes:

    Thanks, that helped.
     
  11. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    If I didn't know better I'd say that BB is showing his hand.

    I find it interesting how BB has been very open (and hasn't tried to hide anything) regarding the offense's transition to a power running attack. Last offseason, he stated publicly that he expects more teams to increase the role of their running games as more defenses become lighter in an attempt to combat the spread offenses. And low and behold, the Pats start switching midseason into a run-blocking offense--wide receivers and all.
     
  12. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yeah it just happens. If you want to over-analyze two games that came down to one or two plays then go ahead. The 09 team is a completely different story -- a divided team with multiple major flaws and injuries.
     
  13. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    The problem with your generalizations is that they ignore how all the phases of the game interact with each other. They are also more associated with feelings than with reality, which leads to reactionary thinking.

    So Brady didn't have any hot outlet receivers against the pressure? Successful first and 4th quarter drives leads me to believe otherwise. Also, you aren't considering the soul-sucking 10 minute opening drive for the Giants that shortened the game by one sixth...which is exactly how big underdogs get and keep their confidence. And did sitting on the sidelines in the biggest game of their life for half an hour throw the OL off their game?

    Outside the opening run, the Ravens running game was the least of the Pats problem. The Ravens drives looked like they were playing by college OT rules. When you have a lead and are constantly in great field position, you just keep plowing straight ahead with a 3.4 ypc average. That doesn't make the Ravens running game great or the Pats running defense poor. As far as the offense is concerned, when you are down by that much so early, how much surprise do you expect the Pats offense to be able to generate?

    Jets 29 att, 120 yds - "Weak D can't stop the Jets running game"
    Pats 28 att, 113 yds - "we didn't have a running game"
    Pats 29-45 (64%), 299 yds - "our receivers were owned by the Jets DBs"
    Drives with 3+ first downs: Pats 5, Jets 0

    Playoff losses become an echo chamber for whoever screams the loudest and demands immediate and simple answers. The Pats are a complex team which doesn't lend itself to easy fixes. That is frustrating for the short attention span generation but is what Belichick brings to the party...for better or worse.
     
  14. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have a novel idea, keep Brady off his back by developing a better O line, especially in the middle, thats where the pressure seems to come.

    Go back to the days when Brady was more of a game manager instead of depending on Brady all the time.

    I hear the NFL is a passing league, Get a freaking pass rush to help out the DB's.


    Better half time adjustments.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  15. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Things dont just happen, there are reasons for them. The 07 SB loss didnt just come to the Tyree play, throughout the game the Giants held the most prolific offense in history to 14pts, that doesnt simply happen, there were many reasons for it, the biggest was their D-line having our O-line for breakfast.
     
  16. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I do not believe the recent playoff losses are a reflection of the talent on the team. A 14-2 team is plenty good enough to win the Superbowl. Indeed 16-0 is good enough too.

    The reason we've lost the last few seasons is because of gaps in coaching talent, not the players. I dont think things have been the same since we lost Weiss and Crennel. Josh got the offense working while he was O-coordinating, but the Defensive side could not match it. The fact that BB is leading and training the D himself is a sign that the coaching pool is short of difference makers.
     
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The 09 team was a weak offering only barely into rebuiding with numerous obvious shortcomings. The Matt Cassel 08 version, if it had gotten into the Playoffs with its 11-5 record, was far stronger. The oldsters hadn't yet retired, or been put out to pasture...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  18. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    yeah, you can cite reasons why we lost various games, but this whole thread is nothing but excuses.
    whoever is on the field needs to execute --- this isn't madden where everybody has some kind of stat profile they play to.

    the pats lost every one of those games because they were outcoached and outplayed and that's it.
    you can sit around all year making excuses if it makes you feel any better about it.

    I think the problem is that a lot of patriots fans look at this with the expectation that we should be winning the superbowl every single year, and that's not very realistic.
    personally, every year I think they have as good a chance as any, and I'm sure the players and coaches feel they can win on any given week, but that doesn't mean they just roll out a team and win every game they play.

    as for the op's contention that mallet is some key to turning things around because of brady's injuries --- when did brady get hurt in '08?
    when did haynesworth squash him and crack a rib?
    when did he supposedly hurt his finger --- I really mean it, I have no idea.

    mallet has never played a game in the nfl, and as of right now I'd estimate his contribution towards rectifying those playoff losses at about 1%.

    I don't know how you want to rank them in terms of disappointment, embarrassment, severity, or whatever, but one of the more lopsided losses was baltimore.
    they gave up like an 80 yd run to rice --- what's mallet got to do with that?
    suggs got loose for a strip sack early --- what's mallet got to do with that?
    after those plays built a lead they ran the ball like 50x and we couldn't do jack about it --- what's mallet got to do with that?
     
  19. jcdavey

    jcdavey In the Starting Line-Up

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    i don't know the exact stats as far as rushing and time of possession, but if you look at your last few playoff losses, giants ravens jets

    mainly teams who try and establish the run and control the clock

    i recently watched the giants pats sb again, and it was incredible, some of those giants drives, how they would just keep drives going
     
  20. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    The idea that we lost to the jets because of the defense is tired, lazy, and incorrect. We lost to the jets because we turned the ball over 3 times within field goal range (twice we gave the ball to the Jets inside the 20).


    An offense can't do that in the playoffs and expect to win. The offense gave the Jets 3 free scores (1 of which the jets managed to mess up - missed 27yd fg.).
     
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