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Most Overlooked (and maybe most important) Part of First 5 Games

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Oct 10, 2007.

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  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I do not know if I have seen this addressed at all.
    It may, as the season wears on be the most important factor in getting homefield advantage and winning the SB.

    OUR RUNNING GAME

    Through 5 games our running game is performing better than it has over a full-season in the BB era. (I am comparing this year to full seasons. I'm sure we have had 5 game stretches better than this, but this ASSUMES we carry it out over a full season...more on that later)

    We are averaging 34.6 rushes per game, 155 yards per game, and 4.5 per rush.
    The best of the BB era 32.8/133.4/4.1 (2004)
    The average of the BB era 28.8/106.4/3.7
    The average of 3 SB champs 30.7/115.3/3.8

    Ranking the teams by rush yards per game

    2004 133.4 SB Champs
    2006 123.1 AFCC loss
    2001 112.1 SB Champs
    2003 100.4 SB Champs
    2005 94.5 2nd round loss
    2002 94.2 9-7 no playoffs
    2000 86.9 5-11 no playoffs

    That is quite a correlation.

    As the season wears on running offense becomes more and more important. We seem to be in the best shape ever to sustain a strong running game. Teams that run well avoid bad days and upsets. (so do teams with a QB named Tom Brady)

    Lookin gbeyond the numbers, it also seems likely we will sustain the running game at levels near this.
    1) The 2 best prior seasons were in 2 of the last 3 years. Our OL has been mostly in place for the majority of that time. (and the down year included a ton of OL injuries) It seems that OVERALL we have been pretty consistently improving the running game.
    2) In 2004 we had our best running game, led by Dillon. In 2005 we took a step back with Dillon injured a lot, and replacements lacking. In 2006, with Dillon nowhere near as effective as 2004, but Maroney added we reached 92% of 04s rushing yards, and 95% of the yards per carry.
    3) This year our OL has continued to develop (there is no question Mankins, Kaczur and OCallahan are better players today than in their 1st or 2nd years, and none of our more veteran OL have yet declined) Maroney, when healthy has taken on a larger role, and Sammy Morris is extremely productive.
    It seems that the basis of what is making the running game improve is all going in the right direction. Addtionally, as our passing game is more explosive than ever, the running game should see less focus from defenses.

    There has been so much notoriety to the unbelievably passing game we have had through 5 weeks, its almost surpising to see that our running game has:
    20% more rushes per game than the average of the BB era
    45% more rushing ypg than the average of the BB era
    22% higher ypc than the average of the BB era

    If this continues, it will pay HUGE dividends in December and on, and is not a bad harbinger for a game coming up with some team in November that has always had trouble stopping the run.
  2. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Rookie

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    You're reversing cause and effect.

    It's not that the Pats were more successful because they were averaging more rushing yards, they averaged more rushing yards because they were successful.

    When you're winning in the 2nd half of games, you run more to run the clock out.
  3. mykl

    mykl Rookie

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    Plus, an explosive passing game can really help to open up room for the running game to get going. You don't see as many safeties sneaking up into the box when Moss is on the field. :)
  4. mykl

    mykl Rookie

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    Great post though!
  5. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Unfortunately against the Cleveland Browns in the second half, the Patriots failed to emphasize the rushing game with a 20-0 lead. Thru four games into the 2007 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns defense ranked 30th against the rush. I seriously question the Patriots offensive playcalling in the second half of last week's game.
  6. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is AJ at his best !
    Facts. Data. Carefully researched and creatively assembled.
    An irresistible conclusion.
    And an intriguing ... grounded ... projection.
  7. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    I think we can say that the new zone blocking schemes are a signal success--and it hardly matters who's carrying the ball.
  8. njpatsfan

    njpatsfan Rookie

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    So the 14-2 teams didn't run to kill the clock ? This argument has no merit in this case.

    Take the time to actually read what Andy says:
    We are only modestly rushing more per game .... but those rushes are extremely productive.

    Its time to give props to Josh McDaniel and the whole O coaching staff for achieving such great results in the first year of implementing the zone blocking scheme.

    R
  9. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IMO a mojor reason for our successful running game is the passing game. With the current mix of receivers you can't put 8 men in the box without risking giving up a big play.

    The pass is setting up the run this year.;)
  10. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    And, all this with limited play of our best RB Maroney. It should only continue, or get better.
  11. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great stats Andy. Better yet would be to look at the effectivity of the running game in the 1st half or before a big lead was established. I remember Maroney especially starting off slowly. You guys remember Maroney, don't you? You know, the guy who used to carry the ball for us.
  12. FrontSeven

    FrontSeven Rookie

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    It's easy to overlook the running game, but it's been stellar, and I don't think it's all second half success. When Sammy Morris is breaking tackles then you have to give the guy some credit. He runs hard. He seems to have good vision, and good pop. He might be almost as effective as last year's Corey. I know Corey scored a lot last year, but in the other phases, Sammy is a big surprise.

    The play of the OL must be mentioned in this thread. Even without Koppen they were very good against the Browns.

    This is why I think we have a Perfect Storm team: They seem to have it all. Well, I'm not too keen on the punting game, but if that's our biggest problem then we have nothing to complain about.
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    The Patriots running game has been extremely productive in the first half of games. I have seen no sign whatsoever of a tipping point with a big lead that overshadows what we've already done to achieve that big lead.

    Try again.
  14. Amnorix

    Amnorix Rookie

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    That's would negatively affect average per rush, which isn't the case, as it's very high this year. We've also seen tremendous success early in the game.

    Your statement is wrong -- you don't run better because you're successful -- in fact that statement makes little sense. We're running better because Moss and an excellent corps of WR, plus Brady's superb play, is keeping defenses very honest and very pass-conscious, and preventing 8 in the box.

    Just like Indy, which can run with Edgerrin James, Addai or that kid they had last week, our running game is very successful in part because the passing game is DEADLY.

    It's also a testament to our offensive line play this year, which ahs been absolutely stellar in all respects, including run blocking.
  15. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you're right.

    It's hard to see the full formations on TV, but there's no doubt that last year a number of teams saw that the best way to beat the Patriots was to load the box and challenge the team to pass (Denver and after).

    The Patriots' best games came either when teams didn't do that (Cincinnati) or when they accepted the challenge and put together an all-out passing game plan (Minnesota).

    It seemed to me that the Cowboys were using something similar with Buffalo. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots' game plan responds on Sunday!
  16. scott99

    scott99 Rookie

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    Is that you NEM ? lol................As far as the running game, how come I feel more comfortable with Morris running the ball. I was(am) a huge Maroney fan, loved him prior to the draft, was thrilled when we drafted him, and thought he was awesome last year, but for some reason, I feel better when Morris runs the ball. He seems to do something positive every time he runs the ball.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  17. Denzera

    Denzera Rookie

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    Pat, you're correct in that some of Andy's stats are misleading in this way, but as njpatsfan points out, the yards PER-CARRY are also up.

    You would expect any intelligent opponent who is trailing to load up against the run and thus decrease ypc. In this case, you would find the opposite is true of the Patriots - thus, we must be more effective this year.

    What I would love to see is first-half rushing stats for the various BB-era years. Just stats from the first half of games. That would be more telling.
  18. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron Rookie

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    We have an excelllent array of skills at RB this year with Maroney, Morris and Faulk, and the threat at WR means safeties come into the box at their own peril. Pick your poison.
  19. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    I hope this is right, because Maroney doesn't look like he'll be carrying it very much.
  20. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    By all means, make yet another sweeping comment on Maroney - meanwhile there's evidence that it has just been a case of Belichick being extra-cautious the last two weeks in winnable games. Come on, man, be real.
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