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Key to beating NE - "Be patient"

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by richpats, Dec 31, 2007.

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  1. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    I've watched the Pats escape defeat 4 times this year and I'm amazed how the 4th quarter plays out every time. They all follow a similar pattern of events. If I were an opposing coach, here's what I'd focus on if I wanted to beat NE:

    1. Be patient on defense - NE will move the ball, but stopping them in the red zone will keep the game close. They had 4 scores in the 1st half Saturday, but 3 were FG's and they found themselves down 12.

    2. Be patient on offense - NE will allow a team to move the chains if that team is patient enough. Take advantage of NE's red-zone D. The Giants went 4-for-4 scoring TD's in the red zone Saturday.

    3. Be patient in the 4th - don't go for the kill on a big play, NE has forced a takeaway in each of those games, all on passing plays. Keep moving the chains but don't become predictable. Mix up runs and short passes.

    4. Be patient that NE will make a mistake - those 4 games all had plays that came at the expense of NE's mistakes: Addai's 73-yard TD, Philly's onside kick recovery, the 53-yarder on 3rd down in Baltimore and the Giants big pass play early, along with the kickoff return for TD. The Pats focus on 3 things: protecting the ball on offense, preventing big plays on D and error-free special teams play. If they slip in any of those areas, that will give their opponent a chance.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  2. Truck

    Truck Rookie

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    1. How do you propose a team stop them in the red zone? If a team was able to stop them in the red zone with any degree of certainty, wouldnt they also be able to stop them outside the red zone?

    2. okay

    3. Unfortunately if you go for only runs and short passes, NE will bring 8 in the box and the DBs close to the line

    4. okay



    So in conclusion; your keys to winning the game:
    1. Prevent NE from scoring TDs and limit to FGs
    2. Score TDs instead of FGs
    3. Don't make mistakes
    4. Score when NE makes a mistake


    Damn you should be hired as a coach!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  3. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Bend-don't-break, that's about as close as you can get. San Diego has a comparable defense - they allow TD's but they also can force turnovers.

    Granted, but a good o-line or a team that had a running QB could do some damage. Garrard is that type of QB.

    I think some teams try to hard to STOP New England when they only need to worry about BEATING New England. It would likely be a high-scoring, one-possession ballgame and a team has to prepare for a 60-minute battle. I think some teams want to beat NE with only 50-55 minutes of great play.
  4. SmokeShowin

    SmokeShowin Rookie

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    Someone leaked the blueprint! :eek: :eek: :eek:
  5. hwc

    hwc Rookie

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    The Giants had 18 yards rushing in the first half.

    First half time of possession:

    Pats 20:00
    Giants 10:00

    The fourth quarter script was already written at halftime. The Giants defense was too gassed to be patient. The shot their wad early.
  6. DaedalusX

    DaedalusX Rookie

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    The reality of the situation is that unless you have a fool-proof means, through talent and game planning, of keeping the Pats from scoring in under 2 minutes at will, while guaranteeing you can score in under 2 minutes at will, and do all of this for a full 60 minutes without making a mistake, you will not beat the Patriots.

    I think teams have spent too much time trying to bring the Pats offense down to earth and not enough time planning on and planning to win a shootout. Unless you can find a way to score as fast as the Pats can, at will, and control the clock strategically -- in terms of when you possess the ball, not how long you possess the ball -- you will lose.

    In short, you need to be able to match the Pats in scoring and plan to have the ball last. That requires excellent pre-game planning and in-game coaching, and a quarterback who can control the clock to perfection. That's why Indy is the only team capable of competing with this team. And I don't think Dungy and Peyton are as good at this as Belichick and Brady.
  7. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Quite an interesting topic, of course.
    How Can You Beat Me?

    Doing so obviously requires special circumstances to come together.
    What strikes me about all those close games is
    the opponents' powerful QB play.

    Put Peyton aside ... maybe Romo too.
    But what ever did possess Feeley ... Boller ... and Eli
    to play so out of their minds, so far beyond their normal competence?
  8. NYPatsFan

    NYPatsFan Rookie

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    Thank you John Madden. Boom!
  9. Crazyeechrispats1

    Crazyeechrispats1 Rookie

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    Don't you know we can't be beat in fair play?
    Do you pay attention to tv at all?:rolleyes:
  10. FrontSeven

    FrontSeven Rookie

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    I think you're right. I also think that you cannot artificially manufacture patience. It has to be earned and cultured over time.

    You have to have confidence before you can be patient.

    You have to have success before you can be confident.

    You have to win big games in the fourth quarter repeatedly before you can have success.

    The way I see it only Indy has the type of patience that the Pats have. They have the only two QBs that can stare down any defense in any situation with time expiring and not make mistakes. That's partly where their patience comes from, and I think other teams rattle just knowing about that. They can talk patience all they want but under the pressure of the clock and staring at the Patriots on the other side, they rattle. And they should. That's their job.
  11. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Just wanted to take a look at the playoff games with respect to the "Keys to beating NE". Scoring on a 0-1 scale (0=failed, 0.5=even, 1=success).

    1. Jax allowed 4 TD's in 6 red zone trips. Not good. Only a botched FG and a Welker drop prevented this game from being 38-20. San Diego didn't fare any better, 3 TD's in 4 trips, but did force a turnover to keep themselves in the game.

    Jax: 0
    SD: 0

    2. Jax was good in the first half, 2/2; second half, 0/2. San Diego failed miserably, 0/4.

    Jax: 0.5
    SD: 0

    3. Both teams were non-existent on offense in the 4th quarter. Jax had 3 points but also a pick. San Diego ran 4 plays in the 4th.

    Jax: 0
    SD: 0

    4. NE missed a FG, gave up a big 4th-down conversion against Jax. SD picked Brady off 3 times, but never did anything big on special teams or offensively.

    Jax: 0.5
    SD: 0.5

    So if victory depends on success in all 4 areas (i.e. a score of 4.0), the Jags only scored a 1.0 while San Diego had a 0.5. Here's how I'd score the Giants' performance in Week 17:

    1. 0.5 (did well in 1st, lousy in 2nd)
    2. 1.0 (did well all game)
    3. 0.0 (the pick killed them)
    4. 0.5 (hit big plays in the 1st half, quiet in the 2nd)

    So the Giants had a 2.0, and the Pats pulled away after a scare.

    Here are the conclusions I can draw from our last 3 games:

    The Pats will not be held out of the end zone all game, an opponent MUST score at least 4 TD's to win.
    If you want to beat the Pats, you better do well offensively in the 4th.
    The Pats do make mistakes, just not over the course of the whole game.
    The Pats' red zone D is much better than it has been all year.
  12. Watson's IQ

    Watson's IQ Rookie

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    Interesting analysis. My takes on your updated conclusions:

    1. Agreed. I find it very hard to believe that the Giants will hold the Patriots under 30 given the week off and the conditions, etc, unless Brady's ankle is more serious than we think. If the Giants want to win, they need to put up AT LEAST 4 TDs.

    2. This would seem to be a given, but we've seen too many teams late in the season go into what I like to call the "OMG we're beating (or hanging tough with) the Patriots! shell" The ultimate example, of course, is Norv calling that punt on 4th-and-10 trailing by 9 in Pats territory in the fourth quarter. Seems to me that this strategy is hinged on the Patriots somehow coughing up the win, which is not a winning strategy. Of course, it's happened, and no one needs me to recount the instances, but if I were the Giants I wouldn't be hanging my SB hopes on it. Really, you'd like to say "be aggressive in the 4th quarter", but then look what happened during the Eagles game (and the first Giants game) with the late turnovers. So I guess you need to be "aggressive AND smart in the 4th quarter." Exactly two quarterbacks can do that consistently - Brady and Manning (not this Manning, thankfully).

    3. I think what you're trying to say here is that while the Pats commit turnovers, they aren't the game-changers you might see from other teams. I think that this is probably more a product of the results of the game, because I'm telling you right now that the three Brady picks in the AFCCG seemed pretty significant at the time. In hindsight, sure, they didn't spell disaster, but it didn't make them any less big at the time. One thing to be glad about - the Patriots almost never fumble.

    4. Well, it would certainly have been hard for it to be much worse than it was early in the year. But I agree, if we played RZ defense all year like we did in the SD game, the "greatest team ever" debate would be over. That said, in the Jax game Garrard made a couple of red zone TD tosses that made my stomach curdle. Thankfully, I think Eli is more Rivers than Garrard (and I don't mean that in a good way).
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  13. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    2. I call it the same thing, teams become "self-aware" of what they're doing and then blow it.

    3. Maybe it was because SD wasn't really threatening on offense, I saw those picks as annoying, like "oh come on already, let's finish this thing". Worst case, even if SD had found the end zone after one of those picks, NE would have been down 7 at most.

    The thing that scares me the most is fumbling, or lack thereof. It hasn't been a problem ALL season, and I guarantee if the Pats somehow lose Sunday, they will have at least 3 fumbles.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  14. Fixit

    Fixit Rookie

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    You know what this reminds me of? A scene in a movie where a guy's running from a monster, only there's a locked door, and he has the bigass key ring, and he keeps trying key after key, and none of them work, and then he finds the right key, but before he can use it...BAM! Headless.
  15. Watson's IQ

    Watson's IQ Rookie

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    :rofl: In all seriousness, that's just about the most perfect analogy for trying to beat the 2007 Patriots that I've heard all year. Hope you don't mind if I steal that one. ;)
  16. Fixit

    Fixit Rookie

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    Be my guest. :D
  17. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Patience. A lot of patience. It make take years, but eventually the tide may turn.

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  18. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    My take would be opening the door, and then discovering the monster on the other side then BAM! Headless.
  19. Satchboogie3

    Satchboogie3 Rookie

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    Patience is NOT how you beat the Patriots. The Giants only hope is for Brady to aggrivate his injuries. They gotta do a whole lot of praying and hoping.

    If that doesn't happen, they would have to get aggresive and kidnap Brady. Or maybe just run him over in the parking lot.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  20. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Patience is how you try to keep the game close and claim a moral victory.

    To win you need to have 3 distinct gameplans...one for the first half, one for the 3rd quarter and one for the 4th quarter.

    In the first half, you need plays that are different that what you would normally do. You also need to involve different players than just your stars.

    In the 3rd quarter, you need to play physical. Big blocks and big hits. Can't let the game turn into a track meet.

    In the 4th quarter, you tell your kicker and punter that their services will no longer be required (at least until the 2 minute warning). Call plays with the intention that you are using 4 downs to get 10 yards. Getting a TD and a turnover on downs is better than a FG and a punt.

    This takes guts. Coaches are much more comfortable following a conventional gameplan to keep it close and hoping to get a few breaks (officials, lucky bounce, etc.) to get them the win.
  21. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Seriously, after watching our close games, the only way I can imagine the Pats losing is the opponent has the ball on the closing minutes while trailing by one score, they tie or take the lead, and leave the Pats with little or no time to get a TD/FG. Pretty much the final minutes of the '06 AFC title game.

    In 2007....
    Indy was in position, turned the ball over.
    Philly was in position, turned the ball over.
    Baltimore was in position, stopped at the 1 (after they should have turned it over- Merriweather's drop).
    Giants failed to get in position by not recovering onside kick.
  22. Watson's IQ

    Watson's IQ Rookie

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    This is what I was referring to as the biggest reason teams have had trouble. There is definitely a "keep it within a touchdown" mentality that pervades NFL coaching today. The only reason you punt in the fourth quarter in a situation where logic argues going for it is because you don't want to give the other team an easier chance to score. They're hoping for a turnover, etc, as you said, but the Patriots commit the fewest turnovers in the league, so it's not a strong bet.

    The problem with this logic is that if the Patriots are on a roll offensively (and we can all tell the drives where Brady et al are in the zone) than it doesn't matter if they start from the 20 or the 40, they're going to score. Make them start from the 20 and they're just going to eat more clock.

    If I was coaching against a team this good, every time I got in 4th and short in Pats territory all game, I would be going for it. As the game went on, I would become more and more aggressive with going for TDs, not FGs. 4th and goal at the one? Try for the TD.

    Basically, I would acknowledge that trying to fight a field position battle with the Patriots and expecting three and outs is idiotic, and they're going to get their points no matter where they start from. With that in mind, I would come out with the pedal to the metal from opening kickoff and never take it off. So why don't coaches do this? Simple. They refuse to admit they're playing against an opponent so superior that they need an unconventional gameplan. Andy Reid did the best job of this, in my mind, with the surprise onside kick, etc. But as has been pointed out, all the teams which have come out aggressive against the Pats have reverted to the conventional once they think they have a shot to win, forsaking the strategy that got them there.

    If the Giants want to win, they have to play with reckless abandon from start to finish, knowing that if they want to win, they have to accept the chance they might get blown out.
  23. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I disagree with the main idea of this thread almost entirely. I think the team that had the best mode of attacking NE was Philly, and they eschewed patience entirely.

    I think that NE would beat nearly every team's "patient" game every single time, but it may take longer for them to take control. More aggressive tactics may set your team up to be blown out easier, but I think they also increase the odds of winning as well.

    I personally hope that NY feels that they can go toe-to-toe with NE and manages the game the same way they have all year, because I think it lessens their chance at victory.
  24. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I totally agree.
  25. tailwind

    tailwind Rookie

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    Same here. But will the Giants have the chutzpah to come out on the biggest stage with the deep ball, going for it on 4th down (all game,) onside kicks, and some trick plays?

    The only team that's really been balls-to-the-wall aggressive was the Eagles, and it almost worked for them. An opponent might last longer and "look better" playing vanilla, but that's playing into NE's hand and allowing them to play how they want and giving them ample time to adjust.
  26. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    The problem with the "reckless abandon" approach is that it's almost impossible to succeed on every risky call. A team may get a few big plays early on, but their are going to be mistakes too, and typically late in the game when it matters most.

    EDIT: After mulling through the unthinkable Pats losses over the years, if they lose Sunday, it will be some totally unimaginable collapse, along the lines of 5 turnovers, blowing an 18-point lead....
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  27. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    And the problem with patience is that NE's offense rarely makes unforced errors and NE's defense can stop any one dimensional offense.

    Your OP should say, "key to keeping the game close for as long as possible" because that is what patience does.
  28. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Yet, it could set a team up for the scenario in post #21 or as another poster put it, "game plan to have the ball last".
  29. tedylb

    tedylb Rookie

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    Very interesting discussion with a lot of valid points.

    But nobody has mentioned that in all of the Pats' close games, no opponent has been able to compete wth NE in the 4th quarter. I think this is largely because of Patriot depth, conditioning, adjustments and gameplanning. San Diego had the ball for 3 minutes in the fourth, not at all in the last 9 minutes. Behind by 11 to the Giants in the third, the Patriots scored 22 unanswered points. Dallas, Indianapolis, Philly, Baltimore and Jacksoville couldn't hold leads against us, and faded. In every close game both OUR OFFENSE AND DEFENSE DOMINATED THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE.

    I think the Patriot braintrust saw our 15 point halftime lead dissolve against the Colts in last years' AFCG, and determined we would not be controlled at the end of the game this year. That's why we picked up Welker, Thomas, Kyle Brady, Moss, Morris and Spach. It's scary to think we're still dominating in crunch time without Colvin, Wright, Morris and Dave Thomas.

    If the Giants, on their second try, can be the first team to reverse this trend, and control the final minutes, I can only tip my hat to them.
  30. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Other than the Ravens game - when the weather and NE playing in their 3rd straight night game were just as much of factors as Baltimore was - what game did patience give anyone even a final drive shot at NE?

    Philly? Nope, they weren't patient at all.

    The Jets? Nope. They brought out the option on offense, certainly not a "patient" technique to bring out an offense not used before or after.

    NY? This is debatable but their key offensive plays were passing plays, several of them being long in nature. They were also down by 10 points with 4 minutes left.

    SD? Sure. But then you just have to hope that Brady is sick because otherwise it wouldn't have been all that close. Even then, NE had a 9 p[oint lead for most of the 4th quarter.

    Jax? This is probably the best example, because you have some successful plays offensively and NE made two mistakes that weren't ridiculous that stopped drives. But even then, Jax went with a more aggressive passing offense when they came in with a strong running game and took an early 4th down chance. And Jax wasn't within one score at the end.

    Basically, what you are saying is, "be aggressive, but don't make any mistakes while you are doing it".
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