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Non-Moss Pats thoughts from Mike and Mike, Weis, Salisbury

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ctpatsfan77, Jan 18, 2008.

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  1. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    (1) They had Charlie Weis on (Greeny admits he hates Weis for helping to develop Brady :p); Weis said that gusts up to 20 MPH really wouldn't hamper "Tommy's" passing. :)

    (2) They also noted something that I haven't really allowed to penetrate my consciousness too deeply: at this point, the Patriots are not merely playing to win the Super Bowl, they're playing to make history. And yet, they are arguably the best team in sports history at ignoring past and present, and focusing on the game at hand, the play in progress, the lesson being taught in practice, etc. [I'm still not sure my brain has fully processed 16-0, let alone that other possibility. ;)]

    (3) Sean Salisbury, breaking down the game, gave the edge on offense to the Pats, but gave the edge on D and ST to the Chargers. Especially funny is his logic for ST: "Well, the Pats don't punt very often* . . . Kaeding was a Pro Bowler last year** . . ."
    *And that's a bad thing?
    **Amazingly, Kaeding, who is now the most accurate FG kicker in NFL history--ahead of Vanderjerk--is only, ahem, 2 for 6 in the playoffs. He doesn't even kick off, either. And, oh yeah, his replacement on kickoffs can barely get to the end zone in a friggin' dome. :bricks:
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Last year Rivers was a Pro Bowler and Brady wasn't. So . . .

    (I think Tommy may have been an injury replacement and went golfing instead but the point remains).
  3. BostonBullit

    BostonBullit Rookie

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    Isn't Keading hurt? thought they said before the titans game that they had someone else doing the kickoffs cause keading had a hurt leg...not defending the guy, just trying to piece together the puzzle for this weekend.
  4. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He has been hurt, they're saying (last I heard) Kaeding will be back to kicking off this week. Although with the bitter cold I'm not sure if that will change.
  5. pwes

    pwes Rookie

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    Yes Brady was supposed to be Rivers replacement (who didn't go for injury). I still can't wrap my head around that.
  6. sieglo

    sieglo Rookie

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    Yeah, I'm glad Brady told em to eff off and went golfing instead.
  7. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    ST Stats:

    Yards per kick return:
    NE: 24.7 (5th)
    SD: 25.5 (3rd)

    Yards allowed per kick return:
    NE: 22.1 (12th)
    SD: 20.9 (6th)

    Field Goal percentage:
    NE: 87.5% (8th)
    SD: 88.9% (6th)

    Opp. Field Goal Percentage:
    NE: 85.7% (20th)
    SD: 68.4% (2nd)

    Net Punt Average:
    NE: 39.7 (10th)
    SD: 42.3 (4th)

    Opp Net Punt Average:
    NE: 39.8 (20th)
    SD: 38.8 (14th)

    Stats don't tell the whole story, but they beat us in all of them this year. I'd have to give the edge to SD too, unfortunately.
  8. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

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    You are right, stats don't tell the whole story. Like the number of times the chargers punted or returned a kick vs. the number of times the Pats punted or returned a kick. The number of field goals Patriots opponents have attempted vs. the number the chargers opponents attempted, weather conditions... and so on and so forth...
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  9. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Right, but the question I believe should be, in a vacuum, whose special teams are more effective. When they DO have to punt, the chargers have been better, when they DO have to kick a FG, they've been more successful, etc, etc.

    The fact that the Patriots offense is so effective that it prevents those situations is not the question, because that again speaks to the strength of the offense itself, not the performance of the ST units.

    EDIT: Except for the weather conditions part, that I will agree could be a factor. But still, if the Patriots DO have better ST, you'd think they'd win at least ONE of these categories, just by chance, regardless of conditions, wouldn't you?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  10. alamo

    alamo praedica numerum! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But your response doesn't tell ANY of the story... you can't just throw out stats without making a credible argument against them or substituting something else.

    I would, though, like to see the average field position after kicking off and after receiving kickoffs before I fully decide SD is better, those stats are missing and are important.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't forget these are also regular-season only. Right now, the SD kicking game (not counting punting) is nothing to write home about (as I said before, right now, it's not even clear that SD will be able to get the ball into the end zone on kickoffs, let alone get a touchback).

    Also, any stat that doesn't consider the effects of differing opponents has to be taken with a grain of salt. [Also, in my original post, I wasn't so much arguing that NE has a clear edge on ST, so much as that there was no clear attempt at "logic" in Salisbury's claim.]
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  12. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    :confused: What does this stat mean? :confused: How are the Chargers better because their opponents missed more FGs than Pats opponents did? :confused: How does this make the CHargers a better team :confused:
  13. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I don't see the big deal with ranking SD's STs above NE's. Haven't we all been watching the same punter all season? SD has a HUGE advantage there. SD has excellent coverage teams led by one of the best coverage guys in the league in Osgood. Kaeding is hurt, but he is a solid kicker. I seem to recall many people ranking NE's placed kicker between 5-7 on a ten scale. Now we don't like it if someone else is better?

    I can also see the case for SD's defense. Down the stretch NE had some highly visible games where the opposing offense seemed to move the ball. Sure NE was likely playing a little rope-a-dope, but does anyone really expect an analyst to understand that? Besides, SD's defense has been playing extremely down the stretch from a point perspective. I think that the cracks are a little wider than point alone would indicate, but again, why would I expect Mike and Mike to understand this?
  14. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    While I agree, then we have to do a complete breakdown of every team's opponents defenses before we can definitively say that NE's offense was the best in the NFL this year. Not saying it isn't, and not saying it's anywhere near as close as this comparison in STs, but at some point you have just say that over the course of 16 games things are going to even out enough to use certain stats as indicators. Not definitive proof, just indicators.

    No argument here.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  15. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    To be honest I just threw that one in because I had done Opp. numbers for every other stat. Still, the difference is so large, it does make you wonder if SD gets enough of a push in the middle to force kickers to pull or push their kicks.

    Again, an indicator, and if the numbers were within a couple of percentage points, well then ok. But we're talking around a 20% difference. That's huge.
  16. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In theory it could have meant that we allow a lot more short, easy FG attempts than SD. However a quick look at the stats shows that it's not that and it's just good fortune on SD's part (especially considering they're playing in the better weathered West Coast also).

    Teams are 4/4 from 40-49 yards against us, 4/7 against SD. Inexplicably teams are only 6/8 against SD from 20-29 yards.

    What does it mean ? SD has been lucky and we've been unlucky. It will balance out over time, maybe this week, maybe next year.
  17. Ethan 55

    Ethan 55 Rookie

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    I think just going by the stats the Special Teams is pretty much even.

    (All stats from NFL.com)

    Kick Returns: Chargers by .3 yards per return

    Punt Returns: Patriots by .6 yards per return

    Field Goal Percentage: Chargers by 1%

    Kickoff Length: Patriots by 1.7 yards per kickoff

    Kickoff Returns Allowed: Chargers by 1.2 yards per return

    Touchback Percentage: Patriots by 5.1%

    Net Yardage on Kickoffs: Patriots by .5 yards (ignoring touchbacks)

    Punting Average: Chargers by 5 yards per punt

    Punting Net Average: Chargers by 3.5 yards per punt

    Punt Returns Allowed: Patriots by 7.2 yards per return

    FGs Blocked by team: Can't find this stat on NFL.com

    FGs Blocked against team: Chargers 1 Patriots 0

    Punts Blocked by team: Can't find this stat on NFL.com

    Punts Blocked against team: Chargers 1 Patriots 1


    So...the summary.

    Punt Returns and Kick Returns: Even

    Kickoff distance: Advantage Patriots in both yardage and touchbacks

    Kickoff coverage: Very small advantage to Chargers when considering touchbacks aren't counted

    Punt distance/placement: Large advantage Chargers

    Punt coverage: Large advantage Patriots


    I think the whole thing works out to be pretty even. However, the defensive numbers are all Patriots.

    The Pats have the edge in Points, Total Yardage, Yards Per Play, Rushing Yardage, Passing Yardage, Yards Per Pass, Sacks, and TDs Scored by Defense. The Chargers rank higher in Yards Per Rush and Turnovers Created. Not much to base that decision on.
  18. Watson's IQ

    Watson's IQ Rookie

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    I would agree with this. I think given the sample size, after you take out the factor that luck plays in this, the difference would be negligible. The other stats are far more telling, as far as I'm concerned.

    I think one beneficial thing to discuss would be whether this argues for the Patriots going towards a true return specialist (in the Hester mold, though obviously you're unlikely to fine one that good). How much does a lack of continuity in returners (just off the top of my head - Welker, Faulk, TB have all returned punts this year, Jackson, Hobbs, Andrews, etc on kicks, and there are obviously more) affect this? I'm definitely a fan of targeting someone like that in the draft, though I'm sure every team will be thinking the same thing.

    As for net punting yardage, I think the team with the better offense (in terms of yardage) will always have a smaller net punting average, because they're just going to inherently drive further per possession before they punt (with a lot heading into the endzone), so I'm not sure that's the best indicator. By way of example, Feagles on the Giants has one of the worst punting averages, but is a wizard at coffin corners.
  19. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Very good point. Hadn't considered that but it makes a lot of sense.
  20. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    At least the Special Teams match-up is a real match-up. They actually play against each other.

    The whole thing where they separate the sides of the ball and ask whose offfense is better or whose defense is better is meaningless. Those units never match up against each other.
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