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Box Score and Other Thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFaninAZ, Jan 23, 2012.

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  1. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    The box score of this game is really pretty amazing. It's hard to find a difference between these two teams.

    The Ravens had 11 possessions and the Patriots effectively had 9, not taking into account the two kneel down possessions each half. The difference was the turnovers -- although it's being reported as a -2 in turnovers, it really should be regarded as a -1, because a turnover on downs has the same functional effect as a turnover by fumble or pick. The Patriots had 4 possessions of fewer than 3 plays (not counting the two kneel downs). The Ravens had 3. But the Patriots overcame that difference with 5 drives of more than 10 plays, while the Ravens only had 2 -- the Ravens were able to negate the spread though by having two big plays in the passing game. The Patriots overcame the turnover difference by forcing two punts more than the Ravens. The Ravens were better on third down conversions, but the Patriots were much better on second down (although stats on this latter point are harder to find).

    What really stands out is red zone play. If you define red zone as an area slightly larger than the 20 yard line and more like field goal range, the teams were identical. Each had 5 trips into that area. Each scored two touchdowns. Each settled for three field goal attempts. Neither team turned it over in the red area. Amazingly, even where the field goals were from were very similar. Both teams got stopped once inside the ten and twice each around the 20. Our guy just hit all three and theirs didn't and that was the margin. Other amazing similarities -- both QBs were 22 for 36. Both teams ran 31 times.

    Any way, it's an interesting box score. You always remember what happens late. If there was a place the game was won, maybe it was the three 3 and outs to start the game by the D. After the first quarter, the stats tilt to the Ravens pretty firmly, and I think maybe if the Ravens get points or field possession early, it's a different game.

    I really hope they show a replay, because that last quarter was such a blur. The replays I've seen of the Moore strip, it's amazing how close that was. I don't think that was a "going to the ground" play. I think if he gets that second foot an instant later, it maybe is a replay situation. Two other plays that really stand out are (1) The play Ed Reed made on Hernandez to keep the Patriots from picking up the first down that would have won the game. He looked like he closed from nearly 10 yards away with amazing anticipation. Hall of fame play there. (2) The Pollard tip leading to the interception. If you watch, Pollard thinks the play is over and is sort of running up the middle of the field celebrating without knowing the return was on. Many of the Patriots were standing still on the other side of the field and took a while to realize it wasn't a down by contact play. If Pollard gets out in front and blocks there, I think that could have been a much bigger return.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How close were the teams? Consider this one interesting bit of trivia regarding the two games yesterday: it was the first time ever that the AFCCG and the NFCCG were both decided by three points or less.
  3. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I certainly can't remember a more tense and dramatic championship Sunday.
  4. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Both QBs were exactly 22-36. Flacco however had more yards and fewer INTs. The Ravens also happened to get their TDs passing, while the Pats got theirs rushing.

    Meanwhile, the Ravens STs cost their team 3 points (the missed FG) and also got their team 3 points (the strip on Woodhead). So the final score accurately reflects how the two offensive and two defensive units performed against each other.

    It's a little hard to see why the Patriots scored more given that there's no offensive/defensive stat in which they seem to have outperformed ...

    ... ah. If we look just at offensive/defensive performance, and not the Woodhead fumble, there was a matter of field position. The one INT the Pats secured did more for field position than both of Balt's. And the turnover-on-downs was also good for field position.
  5. slam

    slam Rookie

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    Looking at field position, Baltimore started out it's drives averaging at the 27.6 yard line. The Patriots started out their drives averaging at the 33.6 yard line, throwing out the two end of half kneeldown drives. Over the course of 10 possessions, that's 60 yards that had to be "made up" by Baltimore, which started within its own 25 yard line on 8 of 11 drives, compared to 3 of 9 for the Pats. If we were to throw out the Woodhead fumble, the only possession that gave the Ravens a short field, their average starting position was at the 23.1 yard line, more than 10 yards worse than the Pats.

    Looking at fourth downs, the Pats went for it on 4th once, turning a sure FG into 7. The Ravens went for it on 4th once, turning a long FG try into no points. So that's 4-7 points in the Pats' favor.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
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