Honest evaluation of the Pats D

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by hallfamebrady, Nov 27, 2010.

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  1. hallfamebrady

    hallfamebrady On the Game Day Roster

    I am reading some of the posts about the Patriots defense and I think I am reading about a reincarnation the 1985 Bears. Felger is getting slammed for being critical about their play and people are comparing McCourty and Chung to Law and Milloy.

    Based on what I have seen this season, the Patriots D is definitely a liability. Teams are able to move the ball and score points against them fairly easily. However, I have seen some positive signs in terms of the number of turnovers and the ability to stop the run in critical situations.

    Some observations:

    The Pats have been unable to close out games in the second half when teams move primarily to the pass. The Patriots have played from ahead in seven of the nine games they have won this season. In almost every case, the opponents were trying to balance the run and the pass which failed to work in the first half. The Colts even tried to run the ball in the first half despite their lack of success. The Pats were able to take leads during these games. Once these teams were forced into primarily a passing offense, almost every single one of these teams was able to move the ball at will making several of these games close. As a result, the Pats let several of these teams back in the game despite having healthy leads. The Buffalo, SD, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Indy games are prime examples. I wonder why opposing teams have insisted running the ball against the Pats in the first half despite these trends.

    In their two come from behind winning efforts (Baltimore and Detroit), the trend of giving up significant passing yards was still present. The Ravens continued to run the ball despite their lack of success and their success passing the ball. The Ravens ran the ball 34 times for 99 yards and the Ravens were 27 / 34 for 278 in the air. I truly believe the Pats would have lost this game if the Ravens game plan called for more passing.

    The current defense has shown the ability to create timely turnovers which is a signature line of any great defense. The Detroit comeback was possible based on the defense’s ability to create turnovers. Like other teams, the Lions were able to move the ball at will on the Patriots pass defense. The timely turnovers stopped critical drives. The D has been able to create critical turnovers all season which has propelled the success of the defense all season. Key turnovers played a role in their wins over Cincinnati, Buffalo, Miami, San Diego, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Indy, and Detroit. I think this trend is a credit to their defensive schemes and the athleticism of their players.

    The Pats rushing defense has been very good to excellent all season. The D has only allowed one 100 yard rusher. In addition, the defensive stats show the Pats two worst days against the run are also their only two losses of the season. Although rushing against stats are often an indicator of a loss, the Pats poor pass defense was the true cause of the loss against the Jets. The Pats were leading the Jets game up until halftime. The Jets then decided to open up their offense and pass the ball in the direction of Darius Butler. The run opened up when the Pats over compensated to stop the pass. The Pats got man handled against Cleveland and the defense had a complete meltdown that day. However, the run D has been a strength all season.

    Based on this information, I have the following questions comments.

    What is going to happen if an opposing team game plans an offense completely based on the pass against the Pats?

    If Chung, McCourty, and Merriweather are all average to above average players, how do we explain the success teams are having with the pass against the pass? Are these players making individual great individual plays while playing below average the rest of the game? Are Butler / Arrington that bad?

    I am interested in comments.
  2. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

    I have often wondered why teams don't go into a 5-WR offense against them, and I'm not sure why not. In terms of that quote above, it's another interesting question you've raised. The Pats have one of the league's worst pass rushes. In fairness, they rarely even try to blitz (unless you count Banta-Cain), but I think they should mix it up more. Their "safe" pass defense does not work and teams score at will. In my opinion, they just lack the talent to generate a pass rush without sending an extra guy or two. While some of the new guys have shut down the run, they lack the ability to get to the passer or demand extra blockers. Beyond that, Banta-Cain has one terrible spin move and nothing else. Cunningham is improving, but I'm not sure he is the ace they need in the mold of Harrison, Ware, Wake, etc. The 3-4 really needs a stud pass rusher to force errant passes.
  3. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    McCourty is the only above average d-back, and he's only a rookie.

    Chung and Meriweather make an occasional big hit, but their coverage skills are mediocre to poor.

    Arrington, Wilhite and Brown need all the help they can get, which is why they drop linebackers into coverage all the time.

    It's hard to blitz without linebackers, but when they do, as in the Steelers game, they've been effective.

    BB has to make the hard choice of rushing the passer with three or four guys, or helping out his inexperienced backs. So far helping out the backs seems to work.

    With a 9-2 record they must be doing something right.
  4. So.....

    If teams can move the ball and score "at will".....

    How can a team ever be 9-2? Shouldn't they be be 0-11?

    Why is this so hard to grasp? You play to win the game.

    Stop fixating at specific points of games.

    The defense shut Pittsburgh down for over 3 quarters then got sloppy.

    The defense shut Indy down for 50 minutes then allowed a "comeback". Look at Indy's other 3 losses. In those games, Indy also mounted a "comeback" with tons of yards, some points, and a loss.

    In the second half at Detroit, the Lions had 5 meaningful drives

    7 points/ 2 picks/ 135 yards of offense.

    Translates to 14 point/ 4 picks/ 270 yards of offense.

    Mediots have a problem because they have a standard view of football that is obsolete.

    We ran over Pittsburgh but after shutting down a dreg team they are officially "back". Why because they pad stats against inferior opponents.

    Also, what about the Jets defense? Don't they suck? if you ding our defense, what about the Jets defense allowing a dreg Houston team back in the game? They gave up 20 points in Detroit?

    Football is 60 minutes

    Games are won by situational football

    Current stats don't tell the story.
  5. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    Cunningham based on being a rookie gets a pass and should be much better next year. As for Banta-Cain he only looks like a world beater against mediocre Left Tackles but anybody half decent he invisible. What a pathetic spin move Tully has.:rolleyes: My grandmother could anticipate that. We have alot of picks we should be able to get a Good Edge Rusher. That solves the problems on Defense.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  6. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats In the Starting Line-Up

    Yeah, I wish posters would be more careful w/the language too. The defense is a work in progress, but saying teams "score at will" is like Felgers' "they can't stop anybody." It's just sloppy.
  7. hallfamebrady

    hallfamebrady On the Game Day Roster

    @patsfaninpittsburgh - go back and re read my post. I stated the Pats D plays well in general in the first half, the Pats D is good against the run, and the Pats D creates turnovers. In addition, the post lacks any mention of the offense or of the special teams which are part of the game.

    I agree stats can be deceiving. However, my eyes back up the stats that I quote. The fact is the Pats defense has failed to put the foot to the throat of any team when that team reverts to a pass only offense. The offense has provided several opportunities where this could have happened.

    The Pats deserve to be a 9 - 2 team. As Bill Parcells stated, "You are what you are." However, the previous games cause reason for concern based on the inability to stop the pass
  8. TommyBrady12

    TommyBrady12 In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    analyzing our defense is very simple and even i can do it: no pass rush. our dbs are getting worked because we can't seem to get enough pressure on the QB. that's why we've had all these fourth quarter near collapses. every time i see the pats blitz i cringe because i know that will leave their receivers one on one with our DBs. i think we are 1 or 2 pass rushers away from becoming like our 03/04 team. :rocker:
  9. cloud34

    cloud34 On the Game Day Roster

    Play well at times, poorly at times. I still think if this team is going to go deep into the playofffs or even the SB, the D is going to have to be more consistent. Have to find ways to get more pressure to help out the young secondary. I still think it can be done, but would like to see the D play a 60 minute game very soon.
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    The Lions and Colts are a close 1-2 for the teams most likely to pass the ball this year, both in total number of dropbacks or passes as well as highest pass to run ratio.

    If any opposing team was going to exploit the Pats defense with an offensive game plan completely based on the pass against the Pats, it would have been one of those two teams.

    Lions: 48 passing plays, 27 running plays
    Result: 2 interceptions; lost 45-24

    Colts: 52 passing plays, 20 running plays
    Result: 3 interceptions; lost 31-28
  11. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Wouldnt the 35-7 second half be an example of clamping down defensively with a lead?
    What about the Miami game? Baltimore? Minnesota?
    It seems we have SD and Indy games where the defense allowed it get back within reach. We have these 4 where the defense was instrumnetal in comeback wins.
    Then we have games like Buffalo, Cincy and Pitt where we protected a large lead effectively but people want to take what happened in a prevent defense that worked and apply it to how the team would play in a close game.
    I see 5 games where the play of the defense in the second half was critical. We won 3 coming from behind with the defense pretty much stoning the opponent, and 2 others where they cut it close but still won. That is actually pretty good.

    It seems that this defense could be put in 2 categories for the majority of its games.
    1) Get a big lead in the first half
    2) Be in a close game and play great in the 2nd half

    It appears many fans dont want to recognize that the less than stellar second halves are after building a big lead and the less than stellar first halves are being followed by very good 2nd halves.
    Rather our defense is being judged from adding the 'poor' second half playing with a large lead to the days we play 'poorly' in the first half and dont have a lead, ignoring that on those days the D has played well in the 2nd.
  12. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Bingo, there is no pass rush. The reason Revis can run around and cover goes is because his pass rush doesn't give teams the time to sit back and have their receivers run around all day before the QB delivers. Most QB's have all day back there to look for the open man against the Pats. If our db's had the Jets pass rush, they'd have more picks or passes knocked down. No DB can be great without a pass rush. Damn, Deion Sanders and Charles Haley seemed to be a package deal whenever they switched between the 49ers and Cowboys back in the 90's.
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    What are 'all the 4th quarter near collpases'. I see 2, and near collapse is a bit of an
  14. ALP

    ALP Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    dont worry, you might still get your chance when the packers are on the slate
  15. D-Money

    D-Money In the Starting Line-Up

    Through three quarters against the steelers was their best performance.This came with pressure as well.They will need to do against the jets.Sanchez is gonna carve up this defense with alot of time to throw.
  16. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    FWIW even though sacks aren't a clear indicator of how good a pass rush really is, the Pats are actually 16th in sacks with the Jets 12th with 24. What is interesting is that the Pats are 8th in passes defensed with the Jets 7th with only 5 more PDed. Pats are 2nd in INTs. Thats where the team is making up for the yardage lost.

    Interesting stat: The Pats are 7th in defensive YPC- 10.9 and have only allowed one 40+ yd completion this year and that was week 1 vs Cinci. Thats pretty good IMO.

    They have also allowed 50 more receptions than the 31st ranked team.

    There is no doubt that they are letting teams pick their way down the field by keeping plays in front of them and captializing on mistakes.

    I wouldn't be too hard on the Pat's DBs. They are doing that they are told to do IMO.
  17. D-Money

    D-Money In the Starting Line-Up

    The jets dont have a good pass rush.They can afford to blitz their LBs because their corners can play man to man.Revis is a shut down corner.The TEs will have to be a big factor come the jets game.Also establishing some type of running game.
  18. RodThePat

    RodThePat In the Starting Line-Up

    We can't rush the passer and we can't cover the middle of the field. That's pretty much it.
  19. andrewgarrr

    andrewgarrr Banned

    Agreed. The defense executed the game-plan in the Steelers game and in the Colts game (giving up the long run to Brown was the only serious mistake). If anything the offense is at fault for the "near collapse" in the fourth quarter of the Colts game, they couldn't sustain a long enough drive to keep Manning off the field (however, I still blame the no PI call on Branch). Even in the Jets game, the offensive turnovers broke the defense's back. People want to blame everything on the defense, but football is a team sport. The offense needs to compliment the defense and vice versa.
  20. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    Good post. And saying the Pats DBs suck and "can't cover" isn't really a fair assessment. IMO the poor pass defense has more to do with a lack of pass rush and the scheme more than anythings else.
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