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Many, many reasons for optimism

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hidden in all the doomsaying in these parts are many reasons to be optimistic about the Pats chances over the next 8 weeks.
    You would never know it from the topics being discussed, but the Patriots have allowed the fewest defensive TDs in the NFL, allowing only 16 TDs in 13 games.
    Compared to the 03 and 04 Champions, they are at a pace of ending the season allowing fewer TDs than both the 03 and 04 defenses.
    We are allowing the fewest points per game of any BB Pat team.
    We are allowing fewer rushing yards than either 03 or 04.
    We are on a pace where we will allow 49 more total yards than the 03 D and 250 less than the 04 D.
    Point blank, statistically, we have the best D of the BB era.

    Offensively, we already have run for more yard than we did last year. We are gaining 20 yards per game rushing more than we did in 03, and 12 less than the dominant running game of 2004.
    We are averaging more yards of total offense than we had in 2003, and only 22 a game less than 2004. We are scoring more points per game than we did in 2003, but about 5 a game less than 04.

    Basically, if you told me before the season started that BBs defense would play better than it ever had, Tom Brady is healthy, and our running game is close to the 2004 running game, and we are headed for the playoffs, I would have said we are on our way to the 4th ring.

    Somehow, all of those things have happened, but the general opinion being expressed by Pats fans is that we arent very good. (There is even one thread out there asking if BB has lost it).

    The bottom line is that the things you need to do to win in the playoffs are the things we are doing well, with the exception of committing too many turnovers.

    There is just no way you can be down on the chances of a team that is allowing 1.23 TDs and 14.3 points per game, and has Tom Brady at QB when the playoffs begin.
     
  2. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Andy...I have to say that I loved your post...it sems Naysayers are all over the place these days..and NOT recognizing where this team is..some may say the team had not played the iron this years so???? But I am totally with you on it all..the D is sold and with Harrison, WIlfork back..this will even be better...Offense is as strong as it is..with always 3 of 4 cylinders running..could mean that if when they all do this will be a more solid O..in many ways I like that..as it could come to life and surprise all...GREAT POST!!
     
  3. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I absolutely agree!!! Defense wins championships. All we need to do is to eliminate the freak fumbles and tipped INTs and I say we got a really, really good shot.
     
  4. Keegs

    Keegs In the Starting Line-Up

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    what is our ranking in fumbles?
     
  5. belichickaholic

    belichickaholic On the Game Day Roster

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    Wow, that puts it into perspective, thanks. I'd also like to point out that this team is winning despite the fact that every team they face is treating the game as if it were their super bowl. They all want to see how they measure up against the champions.

    When I first read your post, I thought you needed to consider strength of schedule, but we're getting everyone's "A" game, every week, so it should kind of equal out. No? In my mind, it's also the main reason we're getting so many more injuries compared to other teams.
     
  6. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    Andy, thanks for pointing out the positive. I have probably been, like many others, a bit down on the team after the two consecutive bad performances. But you're absolutely right, there is a lot to be happy about. If the team puts it all together in the playoffs, with no more major injuries, and Rodney, Watson, and Maroney back we could --- go --- all --- the --- way!
     
  7. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    We are tied for most fumbles with San Francisco, Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit at 15 apiece.

    Lowest in the NFL are Atlanta and Dallas with 4. Atlanta's pretty surprising because they run the ball all the goddamn time. Dunn has beaten the "small backs can't hang on to the ball" rap.
     
  8. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where is our ranking in winning percentage?

    Which one matters more?
     
  9. Keegs

    Keegs In the Starting Line-Up

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    that is amazing considering i've seen Vick fumble the ball twice when he takes off and holds it like a moron.

    that says a lot about Atlanta running backs
     
  10. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yessir. Take a look at this page:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/atl/stats

    Vick: 108 Carries, 9 Fumbles, 3 Lost
    Dunn: 240 Carries, 1 Fumble, None Lost
    Griffith: 18 Carries, 2 Fumbles, None Lost

    Their only other lost fumble is by Roddy White, who couldn't find the handle on a door.
     
  11. sieglo

    sieglo In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yeah but the problem is that in the last coupe games we've lost Saeu and Wilfork, the secondary continues to get banged up, and therefore it is not the same D that was stifling opposing offenses earilier in the year.
     
  12. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    While stats are nice they can often be misleading. Much of PATs stats
    this year were due to the first part of the season not the games since Nov.
    PATs are in decline on almost very stat
    ... win percentage
    ... turn over ratio
    ... points allowed
    ... points made

    Just look at games in Nov and Dec. (discard skewed games GB and Miami)
    This reveals a team in decline. PATs have gone from allowing
    12-13 pts/game to allowing 20 pts/game since Nov. That's huge!
    There are 15 teams right now better than that.

    Then look at Points made per game. Since Nov PATs declined from 24 pts/game down to 20pts/game.
    Again look at games in Nov and Dec but elimninate the skewed games
    GB and Miami.
    I have not looked at rushing yds allowed but my guess is that has increased.
    This is not a team peeking ... it is in decline.

    This is not a typical PATs team that is peeking towards end of season. This not to say they can't turn it round but overboard optimism has no real basis. Things need to change soon.
     
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Andy,

    Thanks. That needed to be said. The "Chicken Littles" that I so deplore, can grind you down, just by their repetition.

    I would add a few more bits of fodder for the "CLs" to chew on. This Offense is young. Very Young. THAT is the probable reason for the turnovers and inconsistency. But the other side of the coin is that the team will mature and get better. Even now when we are playing with a partially rebuilt WR corps, I would point out that the WRs are actually talented, merely unacclimatized to the Pats complex Offense.

    I know, I know you can't measure a players success in the NFL by where he was drafted but YOU CAN measure the intrinsic triangle numbers. Players drafted high have those triangle numbers and measures of raw athletic talent.

    Our WR corps consists of a 3 second round picks and an old pro.
    The TEs are two #1s and a #3. The RBs are a #1,#2, #2 and #3. And the QB is a League MVP. And despite the game against Miami the OL is young talented and very deep.

    The only young WR playing well is Reche and He ACTUALLY went to Training camp. Lets see what CJ does as a Sophi and Gaffney does after spending a off season and Training Camp with the Pats. Gaffney has proved himself in the league as the 33rd pick in the draft when he came out; he has a career best 65 catches in a season.

    Its fashionable to criticize the age on Defense. It USED TO BE TRUE. But not really anymore. The DL is deep maybe the best in the league all signed, and under 30. The secondary is also almost rebuilt. There are six players with extensive starting experience and all even younger than the Defensive line. The only age or rather EXPERIENCE is at LB where you want it. Bruschi is the old man @ 33 and Phifer was 33 the day he reported to the Pats; Cox was only slightly younger the day he reported too. There are lots of draft picks to spend on younger LB and secondary backups that can be trained for a year or two. The secondary hasn't made a name for itself but Asante, Sanders, Wilson, Blue Gay, and Hobbs are all talented and will get better. Hawkins is still under thirty too.

    The LB corps is even starting to yield to renewal. TBC and Woods are on the roster, Gardner waits to return from IR and Colvin is still under thirty.

    Its these players plus Seymour, Vince and Warren that set those defensive records that AJ has pointed out. This team is pointing to the playoffs in 2006, while rebuilding. Watch out for the next half decade.:eek:
     
  14. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The predicted schedule was pretty easy; but the Strength of Victory calculations show that a lot of our opponents have had pretty good seasons, starting with Buffalo, NYJ and Miami, Cincy, da Bears among others.
     
  15. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    The secondary is actually not completely "rebuilt". There's an argument to be made Hobbs is not a true starter, Samuel may very well be gone next year, and Rodney is in the twilight of his career at 34. Incidentally, Hawkins turned 30 in Nov and Gay has landed on IR two straight years. This is an area where we have some significant long term needs that will have to be filled soon.
     
  16. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You really can't compare last years run offense with this year. Though it's better this year the team is not the power running team many have said all season long.

    Last year's pass offense was awesome compared to this years. The main reason because they couldn't run the ball and got down early.

    What does this season and last season have in common?

    The Pats of Superbowl years past would score early and score first being front runners and then pressure teams into mistakes and capitalize on them.

    The team sincerely misses Weiss's great ability on first drives.
     
  17. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    Not so fast....

    The defense had trouble on third downs but they have been solid against the run and great in the red zone. Before Seau got hurt. That weakened four crucial LB positions as they moved Vrabel inside, moved Bruschi over, moved Colvin to the strong side and put TBC on the weak side. The last two weeks, they allowed 21 points each too the Lions and Dolphins and the pass rush hasn't gotten a whif of a QB. Hobbs was benched because he hasn't been able to cover anyone but Scott has had his trouble also (say "Marty Booker"). They signed a CB off hte street whos tarts as a nickel back and was beat badly last weak but saved from a TD by a Hawkins TD-saving illegal contact penalty. Wilfork is out, leaving the middle very soft. Maybe they can pull a defense together, but the current defense is a far cry from the one that beat the Bears. :bricks:
     
  18. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Not so fast....

    As a Hobbs apologist, strictly based on my efforts to track the game rewatching in slo-mo, I don't know that he was benched for an inability to cover. I'm sure BB will tell us any day now so we won't be in agony over the situation.

    Yes, the defense has allowed a couple of 21 point games, though I like to think the fumbles on offense helped set some of that up. Wright doesn't plug the middle the way Vince does, but he draws double-teams too, so you can't get too concerned, given the Texans' reported O-line weakness, until the on field testing starts. Mickens will have more than two or three practices for this week, maybe it will help him.
     
  19. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There's something about this thread that feels familiar. I wonder what it is.
     
  20. Keegs

    Keegs In the Starting Line-Up

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    it sucks...

    there I figured out the mystery
     

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