Running on First Down I personally thought little of the running on first down, and thought it to be a very prevalent and foolhardy part of the approach in the game. I decided to look at the play-by-play to see how often the Pats ran on first down, the results of those runs, and the patterns for calling those plays. It seems I was a little mistaken on one of my presumptions. The Pats passed far more often on first down, though I did accurately gauge that the gains from runs on first down were mediocre or non-existent. By the second half, the first down runs diminished greatly, partly as a result of playing from behind. Total runs on first down: 11/27, 31 yds, 2.8 YPC Breakdown by Half First half: 7/15, 16 yds, 2.3 YPC Second half runs on first down: 4/12, 15 yds, 3.75 YPC Brady? Brady's choice of targets may be unfairly maligned. Unlike what some are saying, Brady spread the wealth a little bit, targeting nine different receivers, while completing passes to eight. However, he does target Moss and Welker more than the other receivers. Hernandez was a favorite target of Brady's as well, and Hernandez was bulletproof reliable, picking up big yardage. Though, after Hernandez, the distribution is pretty thin. Only Faulk, Edelman, and Gronkowski were targeted more than once. For the game, Brady's targets were as follows: Hernandez - 6/6 - 101 yds Edelman - 1/2 - 6 yds Faulk - 2/4 - 15 yds Welker - 6/7 - 38 yds (1 TD) Moss - 2/9 - 38 yds (1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 Def PI for 8yds) Gronkowski - 1/2 - 14 yds Crumpler - 0/1 Morris - 1/2 - 19 yds Tate - 1/1 - 17yds Unknown - 0/1 (throw away?) In the second half, Brady targeted nine different receivers, completing passes to five of them. There are a few interesting points to note. Brady targeted only six receivers in the first half, as opposed to nine in the second half. Moss was targeted 5 times in 20 attempts in the first half and 4 times in 16 attempts in the second half. In other words, Brady looked for Moss with the same frequency before and after the touchdown, the fifth pass attempted to Moss. Here is Brady's pass distribution in the second half: Hernandez - 2/2 - 21 yds Edelman - 0/1 - 0 yds Faulk - 1/1 - 7 yds Welker - 2/2 - 5 yds (one for -2 yds) Moss - 0/4 - 0 yds (2 INTs, 1 Def PI for 8yds) Gronkowski - 0/1 Crumpler - 0/1 Morris - 1/2 - 19 yds Tate - 1/1 - 17yds Unknown - 0/1 (throw away?) One could still make the argument that though Brady was not targeting Moss more frequently, he was still forcing passes to Moss. One could also make the argument that second interception wasn't all on Brady. However, it is definitely not accurate to say that Brady was looking for Moss anymore than he was in the first half, when the Patriot offense was supposedly doing alright. It would also be a mistake to say that Brady was not trying to spread the wealth around, even after the Moss touchdown. In fact, he successfully incorporated Morris and Tate in the second, albeit only one time a piece. Of course, the focus on Brady-to-Moss is because of the INTs and the fact that Brady targeted Moss on 3rd and 7, the incompletion of which forced a punt. A major problem appeared to be the inability to find Hernandez more often in the second half. This could be due to the Jets defense, but without game tape, I'm at the mercy of those who have it, and can't make a determination as to why Brady didn't find his most productive target more often. In any case, that's my two rambling cents and this is probably the last I really want to talk about that game. I think the numbers above are more important than what I have to say. Thoughts?