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Can we stop the run? Or 2002 redux?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patters, Dec 5, 2007.

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  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In one sense, the Ravens game made me think of 2002. That year, we had a hell of a time stopping the run, in part because we had a lot of older players.

    Comparing our key players then with our key players now, we're actually even older. While some, like Wilfork, Warren, and Seymour, may be at or near their prime, the others are past it. If we're to go all the way, I think we will have to rely more and more heavily on our O and perhaps not set our sites on trying to sweep the season so that we can give our older players more rest.

    This list isn't complete and maybe I left someone important off, but it shows that our D is really kind of old.

    2002
    Tedy Bruschi: 29
    Jarvis Green: 23
    Bobby Hamilton: 31
    Ted Johnson: 30
    Willie McGinest: 31
    Roman Phifer: 34
    Anthony Pleasant: 34
    Richard Seymour: 23
    Mike Vrabel: 27

    2007
    Eric Alexander: 25
    Chad Brown: 37
    Tedy Bruschi: 34
    Ty Warren: 26
    Vince Wilfork: 26
    Richard Seymour: 28
    Mike Vrabel: 32
    Adalius Thomas: 30
    Junior Seau: 38
     
  2. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    Uhhh....

    Isn't NE the #6 team in the league at ypg? Aren't they middle of the pack at ypc despite playing several games with a nickle defense and giving up the run? Where is the comparison to 2002 coming from again?

    Let me point out another game that was much like this past one: The Holloween Bowl of 2004. Pitt ran for 221 yards at 4.5 a pop.

    Check out this drive in the 3rd quarter:

    12 consecutive runs to go from Pitt's 35 to NE's 13, only 4 of which were "stuffs" of 2 or less yards. This despite Pitt holding a 31-13 lead at the time so it isn't as if NE didn't know what was coming.

    Or maybe this one that started with over 6 minutes remaining with NE down only two scores:

    7 of 8 meaningful plays were runs and Pitt was able to go from their own 30 to NE's 7. Again, this was despite everyone in the stadium knowing what was coming and NE still having a chance to make a comeback.

    Can anyone remind me how that season played out? Was the run defense a major problem?

    This was the first game all year that NE decided that the run was the biggest part of the opposing offense and didn't stop it. They stopped LdT, they stopped Lynch with the exception of one drive, they stopped Westbrook, they stopped Portis. Addai, Barber/Jones and Miami gave them problems, but all of those were against teams that were in nickle for various reasons. The team was also playing their 3rd straight night game, with two coming on the road.

    Can we please drop any comparisons to 2002 for the time being?
     
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I don't see much comparison. We've had our bad moments for sure. But this year we're right in the middle of the pack allowing 4.1 YPC. In 2002 we were 31st in the league allowing 4.7 YPC. The run defense, and the pass defense for that matter, isn't as good as I'd hoped but there's no comparison to 2002 - this year we're average, in 2002 we were virtually the worst in the league.
     
  4. Gopats!!!

    Gopats!!! On the Game Day Roster

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    It looked exactly like 2002 on Monday night. I have thought the defense looked like the 2002 version a couple times throughout this season. And I felt the same way I did in 2002-- we've been winning so our D can't be too bad. Of course, in 2002 it did not last.

    I am not saying that this defense is as bad as that 2002, but I am surprised it has not lived up to its potential. Maybe I was expecting too much.
     
  5. D-cleater

    D-cleater Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    [​IMG]

    Sure, Tedi and Junior are showing thier age. But this is no where near 2002 and once we get past Pittsburgh there won't be any more questions about run defense until the offseason.
     
  6. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    In 2002 we had no Nose tackle. The LBs were Ok and the Safeties were poor, resulting in lots of 10 yard plus kinds of runs. And Belichick blamed Martin and Milloy .

    In the past few games the runs have been for 4-10 yards, between the tackles and cleaned up by the safeties and LBs as they are supposed to do.

    Not comparable as a situation at all. While the LBs are older, they are /were being platooned, until Colvin went down. Chad Brown is irrelevant; as is his age.

    Pierre Woods actually has more snaps. What is missing now is a breather for the ILBs. I predict AD will spend more time inside and Pierre will get more outside snaps with a few going to Woods and then Brown but AD will take some there as well. Alexander is still invisible and may not be back in form from his injury. Or he just doesn't have it.

    Actually teams have been playing into Belichick's hand since no one have scored enough to catch up with the Pats offense. He may been seducing them into power runs, that are not quite enough.

    The Eagles and Ravens ended up with a cheap score that made the bankruptcy of this power run strategy less visible.
     
  7. DisgruntledTunaFan

    DisgruntledTunaFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Didn't Thomas Jones get 100+ against the Steelers' D, and this behind a VERY bad Jets OL?

    Why all the negativity??
     
  8. PowerAlley.com

    PowerAlley.com Practice Squad Player

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    When the Ravens went through the Pats on their first drive of the 2nd half, I kept thinking about the 2002 game against the Chiefs. I hope we dont see that again any time soon.

    On a positive note, look at what INDY gave up(without Bob Sanders) in rushing leading up to the playoffs. Then playoffs came and they were shutting runs down. It would be cool if Rodney could have some of his classic smash mouth games.
     
  9. Grogan's neck roll

    Grogan's neck roll On the Game Day Roster

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    The negativity comes from playing two very close games against teams that frankly aren't that good. The speed with which McGahee was getting through the line to the second level was concerning. Add to that the fact that Pittsburgh is a better team (especially defensively) than both Philly and the Ravens and a rational fan would have some concerns.

    On the plus side, this coaching staff has the ability to take steps to fix things, and step number 1 was giving the players an additional day off. Isn't that a tacit admission that these guys are a little worn down?
     
  10. denverpatsfan

    denverpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't understand this question. The Pats stopped the run in the 4th quarter on Monday and allowed the offense to catch up and win the game. Rodney moved up to the LOS and helped stop the run.

    This is not 2002.
     
  11. DisgruntledTunaFan

    DisgruntledTunaFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    I've brought up that '91 Skins team that went undefeated late into the season-there were a couple of games late(including a Dallas team that was young and inexperienced) that just bulldozed their front 7(Emmitt was taking advantage of some gaping holes). I remember at the time pundits were throwing up the red flag how the Skins were supposedly "finally getting exposed". Of course, you know what happened at the end.

    Anyhow, my point above was that the Steelers, believe it or not, DO have the #1 D in the ENTIRE league-but somehow, Thomas Jones and that HORRIBLE Jets' OL somehow managed to exploit some gaping holes. Heck-did you see what the Broncos did, WITHOUT Tom Nalen, to the Steelers' run d? Could somehow tell me how Pitt has the freakin' #1 D??

    To the Eagles' and Ravens' credit, they DO have very good OLs.
     
  12. LiveShot

    LiveShot Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Bruschi and Seiau have slowed and are not sure fire tacklers anymore but they still have enough talent to beat Pittsburgh. Brady will shred the Pitt defense.
     
  13. Grogan's neck roll

    Grogan's neck roll On the Game Day Roster

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    I just looked at Pittsburgh's schedule, and their only real good wins are against Cleveland (2) and Seattle. They beat Buffalo and Cincy (2), as well as Baltimore. Perhaps that's why thy have the #1 D, they haven't played a LOT of great offenses.

    The point is, they do have a good D rating, and given the Pats recent history, the Pats are going to need a better game against the Steelers than they had against Baltimore.
     
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, we stopped the run in the fourth quarter because we knew they were going to run and had everyone stuff the line. In the other three quarters, where we had to play against the pass and run, we didn't do so well.

    I'm still hopeful that this year will turn out as great as it started, but in the last two games, two ostensibly weak teams have shown an ability to slow our O and get through our D.
     
  15. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    But NE didn't stop the run even when they knew it was coming in 2002.

    And I just showed you an example of a game played in 2004 where they couldn't stop the run even though they knew it was coming.

    You logic is terribly misguided on this one. Frankly, I am surprised that you are even trying to say this after my earlier post, particularly considering that you didn't even respond to it.
     
  16. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    C'mon now, take a deep breath before you start crying 2002. That defense allowed big run after big run. They couldn't stop a single one of the league's elite runners. They couldn't stop the run at the goal line or late in games even when they knew it was coming.

    This defense has given up big games to 2 runners, Addai and McGahee. Both players were stopped in the 4th quarter when it mattered most. The other top RB's we've faced? Tomlinson, Westbrook and Portis were shut bown, Barber had some success but was contained. This run D is not getting gashed. Time to relax.
     
  17. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You're right about 2004, but of course what I'm looking at is the last two games, and I am worried that if our problem is age, then some of our players are having trouble as the season wears on. Even Randy Moss admitted being awfully tired and banged up and wanting an extra day of rest. We're obviously a better team than we were in 2002, but we're also struggling right now. I'm not saying we won't make the playoffs, but I am questioning whether BB will have to forgo serious pursuit of a perfect season.

    One of the advantages that I think our D has had this season is that our high-scoring O forced our opponents into predictable aggressive play. Now, that the games are closer, our opponents can be less predictable. If the Eagles and Ravens were considered among the best teams, I wouldn't be as concerned. That said, I'm hopeful that these last two games were anamolies and that you, stinkypete, and others are right.
     
  18. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    Are you sure that you are looking at the last two games?

    From the Philly game:

    Again, you are overreacting to one game. There is absolutely no reason to even be thinking 2002 at this point.

    And there are plenty of similar games in the past against crap teams as well.

    Hou in 2003
    The awesomely comparable Cincy-Miami games in 2004
    To a lesser extent Cleveland in 2003.
     
  19. FrontSeven

    FrontSeven Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Who said we can't stop the run? We had one bad game and it was on a night when the Ravens were holding everybody, and a night when a good power running back had the game of his life.

    You'll notice they didn't run very far after we brought Rodney up into the box.

    A lot of this is about schemes and personnel matchups and those things got adjusted and we shut them down. In 2002 there was no way to shut anybody down.

    Also in 2002 we didn't have a decent NT. That all changed when Big Ted arrived and we've never been soft against the run since. Once in a while somebody finds a way to tool our nickel configuration, and it would be ideal if we prevented that.
     
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