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An Analysis on 1st Downs and Brady

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Nikolai, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    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?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  2. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    Hernandez 8/8. This guy is a black hole and will be a force for years. Pats potentially have drafted the best tight end tandem in NFL history. Barring injuries, there is no way Gronk or Hernandez don't make an impact in the league. It's disgusting how good this offense could be if they just looked for the open guy rather than making the decision pre-snap to throw deep to Moss.
  3. Kulko

    Kulko Rookie

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    Nice statistics.

    As always, what you see during the game whenyour emotion runs hot and you have a very short memory is proven to be very unreliable.

    What bothers me more with moss is not that they try to throw the occasional deep bomb to him, to keep the safeties and CBs honest, but the lack of success they had on the intermediate throws yesterday. Hope that stays a one game problem.

    Another thing I thought while watching, was that in the second half, the Jets DLine had much more success in hurrying brady, which of course leads to hurried throws, even when they dont get the sacks.
  4. catsteevens

    catsteevens Rookie

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    That's the problem, I think. The Jits start to come back--the Pats pass, pass, pass, and then finding themselves behind by a single TD, TB throws bombs everywhere. Sanchez was passing too, but mixing in a lot of runs with LT and Green.
  5. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    First of all, nice breakdown.

    I think that either way you slice it, Brady did not have a good second half - between some questionable decisions and some poor throws. Here are some of my thoughts:

    INT #1 - this is actually not on Brady. It was 3rd and long, they had max protection and only 3 guys running routes. Welker and Hernandez were double/triple covered and Moss was 1-1, so it was the right decision. And although it looks like the throw was overthrown, Moss actually slowed down before the throw. So this one is not on Brady at all.

    INT #2 - if you look on Brady's left, Welker and Tate are getting 1-1 coverage. Looks like Wilson screwed up something and both guys were wide open. Tate was wide open in a big way and could have gone for a TD. You could also complain about the throw he made there, but to me the bigger issue is the decision.

    Underthrow to Gronk - this one really hurt. Brady clearly underthrew that ball by about 5 yards.

    Overthrows - Morris in the flat - small gain but an indicator of Brday's torubles, Moss wide open on the sideline - when Moss actually got open, Crumpler on the corner - looks like Brady back-shouldered it but it was way off.

    Sack/fumble - hard to fault Brady because he got hit so quick, but again it looks like he's locked in on Moss. Hernandez had his man beat for a TD with his arm raised and the safety sitting over the top of Moss.

    It's also worth noting that Brady didn't look at Tate nearly enough - he was given an 8 yard cushion almost the entire game.

    Of course, not to zero in on Brady. A lot of guys were responsible for negative plays - Light, Vollmer, Hernandez, Koppen all had blocking breakdowns in the 2nd half. But Brady is supposed to be THE guy on this team and the best QB in the league. He didn't play as such in the 2nd half.
  6. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    By the way, with regards to this running thing - one of the reasons you run is to set up the play action pass. I don't remember the Pats throwing even 1 play action. Which is kind of curious and make me thing they would have been better off running draws from the shotgun.
  7. RhodyPatriot

    RhodyPatriot Rookie

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    On the deflected pick to Moss they showed a wide open Brandon Tate in the middle of the field
    It's not that Brady is throwing to Moss.
    It's that Brady is throwing to Moss when Moss is covered while ignoring other guys who are wide open.
    There was a day when Brady's favorite receiver was the open receiver. It was a quaint saying but it was TRUE and it made Tom Brady a HOF QB, a clutch 4th qtr QB, a feared QB at the end of the game.
    That is no longer the case.

    2007 and the presence of Randy Moss has changed the type of QB Tom Brady is and NOT for the better.

    Agree on the playcalling. You don't run against the Jets and you really don't run on 1st down against the Jets. That puts the offense in 2nd/3rd and long situation. This veteran and supremely talented offense needs to smarten up all the way around. They can start with the playcalling.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  8. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    I'm not as high on Hernandez yet, but he could be great with Brady throwing to him. Right now he is not game planned against like Moss and Welker are so he's mainly seeing a LB or #4/5 DB. With his ability he can easily get separation, and at time the other team will leave him wide open like Cincinnati did. If he keeps playing like he is then other teams will be forced to shut him down too.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  9. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    We're seeing exactly the opposite things. The replays on the two bad INTs to Moss showed other receivers double covered and Moss man-to-man (yes covered).

    I'd put the emphasis on the running game here. 1 runs in the second half for 2.8 yards?

    That lead to 3rd and longs that were not converted.

    The offensive gameplan leaves much to be desired.
  10. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Normally I would agree, but I get the feeling the Jets are a tough team to play action against, because their front seven tends to play the run and pass the same way: Aggressively. In many cases, all play action does against the Jets is give that front seven and extra half to full second to get to Brady.
  11. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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    It's almost impossible to run against the Jets. It's like beating your head against the wall. The Ravens couldn't do it and they're built to run. I'm not saying we should totally abandon the run against them, but mix it up when to run the ball. We became extremely predictable against the Jets. Run on first down, throw on second and third down.

    When the Jets switched from playing zone to start the game back to man after our two long drives, we should have utilized the screen a couple of times to offset their aggressiveness. We don't run enough screens anymore and we have a perfect TE to run them with now.
  12. sieglo

    sieglo Rookie

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    I kept waiting for screens to take advantage of the Jets over-aggressive defense and they never happened. Ugh.
  13. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    I agree.

    I think the hurry-up offense showed we could have success against the Jets, get Brady into rhythm.

    Of course, as Reiss pointed out, for some reason the coaches didn't give Light help on Jason Taylor.

    But still, I was screaming for the hurry-up offense in the 3rd qtr. and it didn't show up until 5 minutes left in the 4th.
  14. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Except the numbers in the very first post of this thread refute this. In the 2nd half (where we had 0 points), we threw on 8 out of 12 first downs. In the first half, where we scored 2 touchdowns, we were more balanced on first down (8 pass, 7 run).

    I don't think the predictability was the problem, it was the fact that, run or pass, we didn't get many yards on first down.
  15. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    So your position is that our QB is only a good QB when he has mediocre receivers and is a bad QB when he has great receivers? And your solution to that is to trade away a great receiver?

    Watch football but stop thinking... please

    (NOTE: Nothing you said has any truth to it)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  16. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    It was the sequence of those first downs.

    You can't just look at the stats.

    For instnce, say you run on first down 3 straight times in the 3rd quarter, and you go 3 and out after third and long.

    Then in the fourth quarter, you go into a hurry-up offense and get 5 first downs on one series.

    Your stat book for the quarter will read: 3 runs on first down, 5 passes on first down.
  17. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Out of the 11 fist down runs, the Pats ran again on second four times.

    On those four first down runs, here were the stats (second down run in parenthesis):

    1: BJGE, 5 yds (BGJE, -4yds)*
    2: BJGE, 3 yds (Faulk, 4 yds)**
    3: BJGE, 7 yds (BJGE, 4 yds - 1st down)
    4: Faulk, 8 yds (BJGE, 2yds - 1st down)

    * On third down, Jets unnecessary roughness penalty against Welker gave Pats the first down.
    ** On third down, four yard pass to Moss for first down.

    The Pats had 5.8 YPC on these plays, and only then did they follow it up with another run (not so good 1.5 YPC). However, positive yardage was gained on three of four plays, and two first downs came from second down runs that followed first down runs.

    Good question and one which I would like to know the answer to as well.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  18. D-Money

    D-Money Rookie

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    That was one of the worse second halfs i have seen from this team.This team looked dazed and confuse.I wonder if they got too overconfident and the jets just smacked them in the mouth.
  19. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    This was my main point of contention as well. I was hoping to see the payoff from these first down runs with a nice play action.
  20. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    In all fairness, I the numbers would have probably looked very different if Fred Taylor's 50 yard run hadn't been called back because of an illegal formation.

    I don't have a problem with them running. I have somewhat of a problem with the blocking schemes - they try too many reach blocks. I don't think reach blocks work well against a penetrating team like the Jets.

    In any case, to me this thread (and game) is all about Brady and his poor 2nd half.
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