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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Oswlek, Sep 7, 2010.

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  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    With all the uncertainty surrounding the Patriots, I thought it would be interesting to look back at performance trends over the past few years. This is going to be pretty long, but I hope it will be informative.

    The Patriots will have a top 10 scoring offense in 2010.

    No matter how you feel about the youth movement on defense, this statement is about as close to fact as a prediction can be. The last time they ended the season out of the top 10 was their 12 place finish in 2003. They didn't drop out in 2006 when Reche was the leading receiver, nor in 2009 when the guys were all banged up and ineffective. Hell, they still finished 8th in points scored in 2008 without TFB!

    So, taking it is a given that the Patriots will finish with a top 10 offense, I set out to see how top 10 offensive teams have done since 2005. Why 2005? Partly due to laziness, and partly because I wanted to see trends during the years since NE last won a SB. For those years, I've tabulated how many made the playoffs, average wins and what the lowest win total was.

    2009
    NO, Minny, GB, SD, Philly, NE, Indy, NY, Balt, Hou

    Playoff Teams - 8
    Average wins - 11
    Lowest win total - 8

    2008
    NO, SD, NYG, Ariz, GB, Philly, Carolina, NE, NYJ, Atanta

    Playoff Teams - 6
    Average wins - 9.5
    Lowest win total - 6

    2007
    NE, Dallas, Indy, GB, SD, Jax, Ariz, Cleve, Pitt, Seattle

    Playoff Teams - 8
    Average wins - 11.5
    Lowest win total - 8

    2006
    SD, Chicago, Indy, Dallas, NO, Philly, NE, Cincy, Jax, StL

    Playoff Teams - 7
    Average wins - 10.4
    Lowest win total - 8

    2005
    Sea, Indy, NYG, Cincy, SD, KC, Denver, Caro, Pitt, NE

    Playoff Teams - 8
    Average wins - 11.3
    Lowest win total - 8

    Not too shabby. An average season with 10.74 wins with 37 of a possible 50 teams making the playoffs. Remarkably, only one team finished under .500 the entire time.

    Now, defense wins championships, right? So let's take a look at teams with top 10 Ds.

    2009
    NYJ, Dall, Balt, SF, NE, Cincy, GB, Indy, Car, Minny

    Playoff Teams - 8
    Average wins - 10.2
    Lowest win total - 8

    2008
    Pitt, TN, Balt, Phill, NYG, Wash, Indy, NE, Miami, TB

    Playoff Teams - 7
    Average wins - 10.8
    Lowest win total - 8

    2007
    Indy, Pitt, TB, NE, SD, GB, Seattle, TN, Philly, Jax

    Playoff Teams - 9
    Average wins - 11.1
    Lowest win total - 8

    2006
    Balt, NE, Chic, Jax, Miami, NYJ, SD, Denver, Caro, Buff

    Playoff Teams - 6
    Average wins - 10
    Lowest win total - 6 (with another at 7)

    2005
    Chic, Indy, Denver, Pitt, Car, Jax, Seat, TB, Wash, Balt

    Playoff Teams - 9
    Average wins - 11.2
    Lowest win total - 6

    Not really a big difference. The defensive teams put 39 teams into the playoffs over 37 for the offensive. That's the only category they win, though. Offensive teams have a higher average win total (10.74 to 10.66) and less teams under .500 (1 to 3). Interestingly, in every year but 2008 the offensive teams have a higher average win total.

    But Oswlek, there is a lot of overlap in those charts and NE's defense is going to BLOW this year!

    Fair enough. Then let's isolate the teams that had a top 10 O, but were not in the top 10 D. Those teams include:

    2009 - NO, SD, Philly, NYG, Hou
    2008 - NO, SD, Ari, GB, Carolina, NYJ, Atlanta
    2007 - Dallas, Ariz, Cleve
    2006 - Indy, Dallas, NO, Philly, Cincy, StL
    2005 - NYG, Cincy, SD, KC, NE

    26 total teams with 15 making the playoffs. The average win total was 9.8. For ****s and giggles, I did the same exercise with all defense/no offense teams. 27 teams, 17 playoff participants and an average win total of 9.7.

    So a big discrepancy must rear its head in the playoffs. That's where defensive teams make hay, right?

    To test this, I gave each team a point for every round they advanced in the playoffs. One and done? Zero points. Get a bye? An automatic one point before playing a game. Winning the SB gets you 4 points whether you were a wildcard or a team resting the first week.

    The teams with a top O but an out of the money D earned a total of 18 points. All D all day teams? 13.

    So the defensive teams earned 5 less advancements despite having an extra team in the big dance? Yup.

    The long and short of it is this. Unless you are willing to step out on the branch and say that this will be the first Patriot team since 2003 to not be in the top 10 in total points, the odds are seriously in their favor of winning 10 games and making the playoffs. Even if the defense sucks.

    I welcome your thoughts.
     
  2. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    Interesting stuff. Thanks.
     
  3. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Another fine post that we come to expect from you.:rocker:

    Sure the defense this year does concern me. I think the offense will be better than last year. If the O can carry the team for the 1st half of hte season, I think the D will keep improving and be better than last years defense by the last quarter of the season season.

    The schedule is tougher this year but I expect 10-11 wins and an improving team going into the playoffs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2010
  4. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I agree with you, but I think what this shows is that the doom and gloom mentality that you CAN'T win with a great offense and below average defense, is flawed. The numbers show it can happen either way.
     
  5. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great job with the stats.....!!

    I'd also add a point in for the team that had BB as it's HC :cool:
     
  6. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    can you put this up against the success of top 10 defenses?
     
  7. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    15-11 isn't reason for the extremists on either side to be overly certain in their positions.
     
  8. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The question to me, is NOT whether this Defense is as good as the 2005 team. It is whether it is better or worse than the 2009 team on Defense.

    I would wager no one would argue the 2010 Offense is better with TEs, WRS , healthy RBs but tempered by the loss of Mankins and Kaczur, each or both, for all or some portion of the season.

    I maintain this Defense is significantly better, too.

    I see signs of a pass rush from the DL and ILBs and S where there was none last year. I like the ILBs much better. Mayo and Spinks with a reserve Guyton, is vastly preferable to dinged Mayo and Guyton, and no one else.

    The secondary was clearly better before Bodden was lost, but the S situation is better and the CB situation is at least equal. Last year, Springs and Wheatly were dinged, and Chung and Butler were raw rookies. Now only McCourty is.

    At OLB, you pick 'em. Is TBC and Cunningham and maybe Crable better than last year? I also have a hunch that DB will be back, resigned after game 1.

    But most of all, the DL has had steps taken to stop the run, to fill the hole created by Seymour's last minute departure.
     
  9. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Its in there, just read further.
     
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I agree that this defense will be better than the perception seems to be.

    But I pray you are incorrect about Burgess. He was terrible.
     
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Considering every team - statistically, of course - begins each season with a 12/32 chance of making the playoffs (38%) a bump up to 15/26 (58%) is a significant jump.

    And that assumes the defense will be out of the top 10 in points allows, which it hasn't done since 2005. You yourself have championed the fact that this defense isn't what it used to be, pointing out the age issues. You were correct, but somehow they still managed to rise to the top by season's end.

    It is undeniable that a lot of NE's defensive success was because of their offense, but why should we expect different this year? And I find it uniquely telling that the defense we all feels was dreadful, the 2005 sieve, ended the year ranked 17th - basically average.

    If I had to predict, I'd say NE is around 9th in points allowed this year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    he did that
     
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the offense is much better than 2009, because Brady is 100%, and he has more weapons.
    I think our offense will be as unstoppable as any we have seen in years this side of the 2007 Patriots.
     
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Could you break out just the top 5 offenses, also after excluding ones with top 10 Ds, like you did here?
     
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, I agree with conclusion that our top 10 offense is likely to make the playoffs and have between 9 and 10 wins.

    Has there been a new level of acceptance in New England? Since when is just to get into the playoffs an OK situation?

    New Engand fans consider a season a total failure if don't win the Super Bowl. Certainly not have a projection of being in the AFC Championship game is a failed season.

    That's just the way Boston fans are!
     
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I dont think he was arguing that 9 or 10 wins would be a success. I think he was arguing that the impact of the uncertainty of our defense is being overblown, and trying to show a worst case scenario of having such an offense. Gvien the 8-8 or 9-7 crowd that has been here lately, I think that was the audience he was responding to.
     
  17. HowardRoark

    HowardRoark On the Game Day Roster

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    Fantastic post. Thanks.
     
  18. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Bingo. Barring a Brady injury, predicting less than 10 wins is a fools errand IMO.

    Here is the data you requested.

    Since 2005 there were 14 teams with a top 5 offense without a top 10 defense.

    2009 - NO, SD, Philly
    2008 - NO, SD, Ariz, GB
    2007 - Dallas
    2006 - Indy, Dallas, NO
    2005 - NYG, Cincy, SD

    of those teams 11 made it to the playoffs (79%) and the average win total is 10.4.

    Obviously this group suffers from small-sample-size-itis, but it is interesting to note that 3 SB entrants are found in there, as well as two victors.
     
  19. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think you and I would find ourselves rating the Patriots much differently, overall, although we may differ on how they get there. I've got the team winning the division, which would get them into the playoffs. I was just noting that the numbers don't favor an approach of "They are definitely making it!" or of "They don't have a chance!". A more middle ground approach seems to be called for in light of what we've seen to date, both last year and this offseason.
     
  20. Leave No Doubt

    Leave No Doubt PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the defense will be a lot better than people think; we've got some playmakers now as well as some potential beasts. They're smart and coachable, they'll play up.

    Our offense is going to rock this year and as someone said, Brady's healthy, so is Moss. This team is definitely capable of turning it up and jmho but I get the feeling BB's on a mission this year, what did he used to say about November? Barring injury, I'm expecting a fun ride:rocker:

    Great posts, great thread!
     
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