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Are the 2012 Patriots team more talented than the 2007 Pats?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by VJCPatriot, May 3, 2012.

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  1. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Hear me out here. The Pats offense has been building up to juggernaut status for a while now. 30+ ppg is routine for this offense. Not only is Gronk coming off a record setting year, but the Pats added new weapons and old with the additons of Brandon Lloyd, Stallworth, and Gaffney. I think we are poised to see an explosion in 2012.

    Let's compare the rosters:

    2012 Offense (roster):
    QB Brady - coming off a 5,000 yard passing season in 2011. Broke Marino's record although Brees set a new one and thus grabbed the headlines.

    OL - Solder. More athletic, bigger and longer than Light. Could be a huge upgrade at the LT position. Vollmer. If healthy gives Brady enormous protection at RT. In addition to great size, has the athleticism of an LT. LG and RG. Mankins and Waters. Pro bowl quality players. C Koppen/Connolly. Solid if unspectacular. Overall this unit is very talented from top to bottom and should be able to give Brady the time he needs to pick apart NFL defenses.

    WR - Welker, Lloyd, Ochocinco, Branch, Gaffney, Stallworth, Gonzalez. An embarrassment of riches. This group reminds me of the Saints superbowl winning group of receivers. Each one of them can contribute to the offense in their own way. Whoever gets cut from this group ends up with a job on another team. Lloyd and Stalloworth add deep threat elements to the O. Welker is a beast. Nuff said.

    TE - Gronkowski, Hernandez, Fells. The Pats are blessed with two of the top 10 tight ends in the NFL. Gronk is a record breaking, defender smashing beast. Hernandez is a matchup nightmare. Fells will provide breathers for our staters.

    RB - Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead. Ridley looks to be a starter quality RB with a good mix of power and speed. Vereen has good hands out of the backhead but has not seen much play time yet. Woodhead is a great threat on 3rd downs. His only drawback is lack of size makes pass blocking a challenge for him. The re-addition of fullbacks Fiametta, Kettani suggest to me that the Pats are looking to have more balanced O in 2012 and pound the ball on 3rd/4th and shorts.

    2007 Offense (roster):

    QB Brady - In this season Brady proved that he wasn't just a game manager but also a gamebreaker at the QB position. His 50 TD record still stands but records are meant to be broken.

    OL - Light and Kaczur at bookends. Neal and Mankins at G. Koppen at Center. Light was a solid bookend but Kaczur and Neal don't look as talented as Vollmer and Waters. This group did their job very well in the pass-first attack though as attested by their record breaking results. Neal's lack of health hurt once the playoffs started as the interior broke down against the Giants pass rush unit.

    WR - Moss, Welker, Gaffney, Brown, Stallworth. Moss in his prime is a HOF talent. He caught a ridiculous 23 touchdowns in 2007. Welker was Welker although not nearly as much a focus of the offense due to the Randy factor. Randy is a unique talent but I would say overall the Pats receiving group is 'deeper' in 2012.

    TE - Watson, Kyle Brady. Watson was quite the athletic tight end but his production on the field and impact never quite matched the numbers he put up in shorts at the combine. I'll take Gronk and company over this group any day.

    RB - Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris. Maroney wasn't asked to do much in a pass first offense, and he didn't. But it was enough to provide a distraction. The oft injured Morris was good, when he wasn't injured. Faulk was a reliable 3rd down option much like Woodhead is for the Pats. Again I have to give the edge to the 2012 unit. Ridley has a higher ceiling than Maroney and he doesn't 'dance' at the line of scrimmage.

    And that's just talking about the offense! Overall, the Pats look like they are poised to shake the NFL world in 2012 with a good mix of veteran and youthful talent at nearly every offensive position. Overall the Pats look more talented on offense in 2012 than they did in 2007. Now that is a SCARY thought! :eek:

    We'll compare the defensive units next. Your comments are welcome on the comparisons made so far!
     
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It's an interesting thought and I agree with most of what you've written here.

    The fact is, the team's talent is so precarious given it hinges largely on Brady's health, that I feel nervous even to make bold statements about the team in general.

    But if they can keep Brady clean, then yes, I think this team is more talented than the 2007 team.

    Granted, that team had Randy Moss and no one is touching him. Gronk is a beast, but Moss was at another level that year. But the overall dropoff at WR is not as great as the huge boost we have at TE, which I think you show here.

    And 2007 Brady vs 2012 Brady - I'll take where Brady is now. I think he battled some real injuries last year and we saw stretches of less accuracy, but when he's 100% healthy, I think he has such mastery over the game right now that it's almost unfair to opponents.
     
  3. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    no......

    nobody touches randy moss in his prime


    the pats still had a top 5 defense at the time. which made it even easier for the offense to take chances
     
  4. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Simmer down now. I'd like to see the team play a few games before making any judgments. Remember, at this time of year, year in and year out, the Jets are the best team in the AFC East, at least on paper (and that's all that is available right now).
     
  5. Boomer B

    Boomer B On the Game Day Roster

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    The Pats may have more depth now but we don't have one of the top 3 receivers of all time having a career defining year. I'd rather have Moss & Wes in their prime then the receiving core we have now. We also don't have the Spygate scandal making coach Belichick want to destroy teams by 40 pts each game.
     
  6. NinjaZX6R

    NinjaZX6R In the Starting Line-Up

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    Better question would be-Are the 2012 Patriots team more talented than the 2011 and 2010 squad.

    Answer is yes.
     
  7. sly24

    sly24 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    the offense maybe

    defense? no way, 07 still had Bruschi, Harrison, seymour, and so on..
     
  8. TommyBrady12

    TommyBrady12 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    Gronk, hernandez and lloyd >>>> moss
     
  9. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Interesting article about the receivers corp the Pats have built up this offseason.
    Jabar Gaffney Adds to New England Patriots' Low-Cost, High-Reward WR Battle | Bleacher Report

    Remember that Josh McD was also the OC in 2007. 2011 was a transitional year for Josh as we were phasing out Bill O Brien. Not to mention the shortened training camp. We could see even more offensive fireworks in 2012 since Josh McD gets to install his offense from the very start of a full training camp.
     
  10. Spergon Wynn

    Spergon Wynn On the Game Day Roster

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    On paper, the offense certainly is but paper doesn't win you games.

    Defense? No way.

    I have a sick feeling though that we're going to experience a major injury this year. Maybe it's because of what happened the last time we lost a SB to NYG...
     
  11. Teapot

    Teapot On the Game Day Roster

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    Great post . Defense is worse imho.

    And yes, Solder is longer, athletic , but Light is the better player. Solder at LT would get killed.
     
  12. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Sorry, but I cannot help but think that Brady-to-Moss created a talent-gap that seperated the 2007 Pats from the rest of the NFL in ways that simply won't be duplicated; certainly not by the 2012 Pats. It was a huge advantage when things were at their peak. But one that was somewhat one-dimensional. Moss was shut down in the playoffs and the game against JAX was close, against SD it was sloppy, against NYG it was a loss.

    So, do the 2012 Pats come close to having as high of a cealing as in 2007? No. But, I will agree with your assment that the 2012 team is more complete, and might have a more solid base than what was there in 2007. More versatile.
     
  13. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I still think that people underestimate the '07 defense. They were much better at linebacker, with Colvin (pre-injury), Vrabel, and Thomas (pre-injury) all performing at a particularly high level. Same goes for safety. For that matter, same goes for the defensive line, even with Seymour basically playing on one leg.

    The offense might be a little better this year, but the defense was significantly better, without question, in 2007.
     
  14. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    That defense at the start of the season? Maybe it was top 5. But by the end - Harrison, Vrabel, Bruschi, Seau (RIP), were all on the very end of the back 9 of their careers. Losing Colvin is an underrated blow as well.

    The Cassel year shows the trend that defense was taking, and it started in 2007, but was hidden by the explosive offense at times.
     
  15. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    RIght, but by the end of the year, you're missing Colvin - huge piece. You got Vrabel basically being a ghost in the Super Bowl. Harrison just not strong enough on the Tyree play. Bruschi just missing on a 4th and 1 play.

    These guys were just a little too old and a little too gassed as of February 2008, which is, unfortunately, what matters most when evaluating that defense.

    I agree - for the first half of that season, that defense was a beast and part of the reason why we just rolled over everyone. Adalius was also playing at a very high level for that whole season really.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  16. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Moss was off the charts, however withe the number of WR targets now + a very young coming off the best season ever by a TE & another top 5 TE, the overall set of targets is much tougher to defend.

    The group of RB's will prove better than the 2007 group also.

    The O will be a better O than the 2007 group.
     
  17. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

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    Moss was better than any receiver the Pats currently have. Welker 2007 = Welker 2011, so that's a wash. But on the whole, the Pats' passing offense now is much more dangerous. They can hurt you in so many ways and is much deeper. A set of: Gaffney, Lloyd, Welker, Gronk, and Hernandez, with Hernandez lined up in the backfield, is just unbelievable. There are no weak spots there....unless Revis is on one of the WR, every one of those spots is a mismatch. And you could even run out of that set if you wanted to with Hernandez.

    And at the RB position, I like this group much better than the 2007 group.

    This offense should put up 34 points a game, and they just might threaten the scoring record. The only things that could hold them back are (1) injuries, and (2) the defense. If the defense doesn't do a good enough job getting the ball back for the offense, it will be difficult for even this star-studded offense to break the scoring record. The D needs to hold up its end of the bargain.
     
  18. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'd strongly, strongly disagree. The 2007 Defense, especially down the stretch, was just too old, slow, and stagnant.

    Vrabel (fantastic at first) burned out toward the end. Colvin got injured. As such, Thomas was moved to play OLB, meaning Bruschi and Seau were both forced into full time roles (instead of splitting snaps). Yeah, that defense was frustrating to watch. Especially when backup QBs -- like AJ Feeley and Kyle Boller -- went out and forced, what should have been a blow out, into a nail-biter.

    Also, the defense didn't help the offense. If anything it was the exact opposite. That defense was 'top 5' statistically because games -- especially over the first half of the season -- were total blow outs and opposing offenses would just give up.

    They weren't bad. But they weren't even close to being elite; like they were in 2003 or 2004.
     
  19. highlander2190

    highlander2190 Rookie

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    there are a few notes i'd like to make towards this.
    1. even though brady did have a record setting season last year, so did the majority of the NFL's offenses. This is impart to the lack of an off season due to the lockout. I expect to see a significant drop off in numbers next season from last season for all QBs.
    2. I think the key thing I am waiting to happen before i feel comfortable with this offense is for the resigning of Brian Waters. I think we will need him this year, and unless we sign him the o-line concerns me.
    3. With Gronk and Hernandez we need them to take a step forward again this year. They need to improve as receivers (which is part of a theory I have for why I think Bill has brought so many old receivers in this off season). If Gronk and Hernandez don't improve then I fear our offense will lose its sharpness by the time playoffs come around. Remember the NFL is an adaptive league.
    4. I think the receiver issue we had last year has been addressed, and we should now have a solid 1,2 and 3.
    5.Ridley and Vereen show a lot of promise, but what I really want to see is Woodhead take a step back to what he was when we first got him. He was slowed down last year due to the injury to his leg that he received. If he can regain that extra explosive step that he had in 2010, I think our running game will greatly benefit from it.

    On paper this team looks like it can be great, but this is all with the hope that each person on it plays to their fullest potential, and improves.
     
  20. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just don't walk under any ladders and remember to look both ways before crossing the street. You should be fine.
     
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