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Brandon Lloyd: A success but not a solution?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by borg, Oct 18, 2012.

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  1. borg

    borg Rookie

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    In 2011, successful defenses vs the Patriots passing attack flooded the middle of the field knowing 3 things.

    1) Brady lived in the middle of the field with his TEs and Welker
    2) Patriots lacked skill players that could successfully work sideline patterns
    3) Patriots lack speed to force Ds to respect the deep ball.

    In an ideal Patriots world, the Patriots would have secured a WR that owned the sidelines, and with enough speed to force safeties not to cheat forward as they were doing in 2011. In this ideal Patriots offense, the field would open up and the Patriots passing game would achieve greater heights.

    Enter Brandon Lloyd....the master of the sidelines....with extraordinary hands and acrobatic skills. His diving catch in the 4th quarter was the single greatest leaping catch in my fuzzy memory bank. Amazing effort. Without question, Lloyd has upgraded the non-Welker WR position....34 catches (90 catch projection) in 6 games resulting in 24 first downs. Spectacular production.

    But here's the question: With Brandon Lloyd on the field, have defenses changed how they cover NE? Since Lloyd primarily works the sideline, he faces single coverage....essentially the same as Branch faced last year. Do safeties respect his speed down field? Should they?

    Stat time

    Receptions...34...11th in the league
    First Downs....24...10th
    Yards...........401 yds...20th
    YAC..............68 yds....93rd in the league

    Brandon Lloyd averages 2 YAC.....TWO YARDS!!!

    Yes....I understand that sideline patterns inevitably end up out of bounds due to momentum. And Yes....I understand that these patterns are often used during clock management situations. But as we all have seen, Lloyd has a propensity to hit the ground immediately after securing the ball. I would call it Standard Operating Procedure more than "propensity."

    Now let's slip on the defensive coordinators cap and game plan the Brandon Lloyd pass coverage. Do you bring a safety down to double him as he patrols the sideline? Not a chance. That would open up the center of the field for Brady and his bread and butter passes. Do you leave a safety in deep coverage preventing the home run pass? Again why fear extra yards from a WR lacking speed that hits the turf immediately. It appears D coordinators are willing to single cover Lloyd and if Brady can squeeze the ball in on those back shoulder throws....they tip their cap and continue to flood the center of the field covering the original 3 headed monster.

    LLoyd has proven to be a huge upgrade at the #2 WR position.....but the Patriots passing game remains a move the chains type offense without speed, and their newest weapon has proven to be a POSSESSION WR only whose presence has not forced defenses to alter their coverage. Teams are likely ecstatic that Fells and Welker are the deep threats.

    Thinking forward.... looking at the defenses that typically make it deep in the playoffs, the pressure on Brady gets dialed up. Teams that don't respect their speed bring more defenders forward tightening the box once again. With Lloyd on the field, I see no reason for Ds to alter that approach.

    Is this the Patriots greatest problem?....Certainly not these days. But in the second half of the Seattle game when Seattle was bringing the heat and the NE offense tightened up, you could see more blue/green jerseys closer to the LOS. Perfect time for a Brady to Moss type connection.....but with no deep speed...why would Seattle fear this
  2. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    it takes some time....work in progress

    brady over the years has not been all that accustomed to making the kinds of throws that work best for lloyd......he is getting closer, though
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  3. manxman2601

    manxman2601 On the Roster

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    We are a dink and dunk offense by design, not only because of the resources in the receiving corps. The Moss years were an aberration - a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a hall of fame WR.
  4. Rob0729

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    Lloyd gives the Pats what they need far more than a deep route WR. He is a legitimate outside presence. That opens up the inside the of the field just as much or more than a deep threat.

    In recent years, most of the offenses that have been most successful have not been teams with deep threats. Just look at the Pats and Saints. A deep threat is dangerous on only certain plays, not every down except for maybe elite WRs like Larry Fitgerald or Calvin Johnson or maybe AJ Green.

    I think Lloyd has done wonders for this offense beyond his stats. He has helped to open the middle of the field requiring a #1 or #2 CB to shadow him to the outside.
  5. chasa

    chasa Rookie

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    To be fair, lloyd only seems capable of catching the ball when he is diving for it.
  6. borg

    borg Rookie

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    How does Lloyd open up the middle?

    Whether its Lloyd or Branch running these sideline routes, they both receive single coverage. Nothing has changed. And with 2 WRs on the field, wouldn't either a #1 or #2 CB be on Lloyd regardless?
  7. DarrylS

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    It seems successful, but we do not know if it is a sollution and we have not seen a full offense yet on the field since week 2...

    With Hernandez back in the fold, Gronk getting healthier, our ground game is also respectful things may change for our offense.. so much of this is premature..

    The major issue, number of catches, YAC etc, is moot as there are only so many touches for the skilled positions..
  8. Rob0729

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    That isn't true. Lloyd has drawn plenty of over the top safety help this season.

    Also last year, many teams would put their #1 and #2 safeties on Welker, Gronk, and/or Hernandez leaving the nickel to cover Branch. With Lloyd being an upgrade and a more legitimate threat, he is drawing a better CB on a more consistent basis.
  9. Gronkandez

    Gronkandez Rookie

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    I agree with the OP. While Lloyd is a nifty WR, he has relatively pedestrian speed, doesn't get much separation and therefore isn't a deep threat. Because of that he can be kept in check with single coverage. He'll get his yards but the defenses don't really have to account for him.

    At least he is an upgrade from the guy he replaced...
  10. Gumby

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    While an interesting theory, that has some truth to it; ...

    IMO it has as much to do with the USE OF lloyd (i.e. playcalling) as it does wiht his capabilities.

    I think as they get more comfortable (he and TB) there will be a few route alterations based on coverage that go for deep patterns.

    so lets just say...work in progress.
  11. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He's helped, but defenses are still flooding the middle of the field quite a bit. It's evidenced by the shear fact that Gronk and Hernandez, when in, haven't been able to simply have their way against defenses like they did last season. Having another receiver in there that can threaten all levels would help immensely. I'm not sure Edelman fits that mold and I'm pretty sure Branch doesn't fit it anymore.
  12. Deus Irae

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    Despite the disastrous game against the Cardinals, the losses of Hernandez and Edelman, and the obviously slowed Gronk, this team has scored more points through 6 games this year than it did last year. Opposing teams are now defending sideline to sideline instead of just numbers to numbers.

    That's a success that's also a solution.
  13. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hernandez has only played one healthy game all year and Gronk has been drawing a lot more blocking duties this season. That has far more to do with it than flooding the middle. Hernandez was on a pitch count last Sunday, but made his presence felt when he was in there.
  14. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Then in 2011, when Branch was running sideline patterns, he was left uncovered?
  15. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    The New England Patriots offense is first in points per game:

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Points per Game on TeamRankings.com

    The New England Patriots offense is first in yards per game:

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Yards per Game on TeamRankings.com

    The New England Patriots offense is third in passing yards per game:

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Passing Yards per Game on TeamRankings.com

    The New England Patriots offense is first in first downs per game:

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team First Downs per Game on TeamRankings.com

    The New England Patriots offense is second in third down conversion percentage:

    NFL Football Stats - NFL Team Third Down Conversion Percentage on TeamRankings.com

    Now where is the problem?
  16. Halifax_Pats_Fan

    Halifax_Pats_Fan Rookie

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    ....if Lloyd was a stand-out corner he would help be PART of the solution....our offence is going to play teams with great defences.

    We also need one of them there defences.

    I think this year's 85 is much better than last years's 85 but to cure what ails us, lets look at what ails us.

    Captain Obvious....out....
  17. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    The hilarious thing is that Julian Edelman is our fastest straight line receiver.

    And Matt Slater. Wish we'd try him in the "go deep, why not" role more often when we've got safe leads.
  18. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that Hernandez has too small of a sample size to make any judgment on right now. That's why I'm interested to see what it's going to look like when they're both back to full health. However, it doesn't stop the fact that defenses HAVE been flooding the middle of the field still. Whether they will continue to do so and get away with it when Hernandez is 100% will remain to be seen.
  19. TommyBrady12

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    it doesn't matter who the receivers are if the quarterback is making bad decisions with the football...
  20. borg

    borg Rookie

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    In their three losses this year, they scored 12, 10, and 6 points in the 2nd half

    They scored 17 points in this years Super Bowl.

    Guess what 17 points gets you in the Super Bowl.....a losers paycheck. Only one time since 1975, would 17 points get a team a victory in the Super Bowl (Feb 3 2008....Giants 17-Patriots 14)
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
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