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

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  1. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    It seems that the pressure of the upcoming game has gotten to some of us fans, both "Boys and Pats alike. I thought that I would start a thread that is designed purely for analytical purposes. I am going to ask a couple questions that I hope will prompt some serious discussion. After a few people answer, subsequent posters can feel free to either answer the quesitons again, or respond to prior answers.

    Please drop the use of thngs like, :rolleyes: or :wha: or :blahblah: or "WTF!" or any other derogatory comment in this thread.

    1) What is a strength of the opposing team that you feel can exploit your team?

    2) What perceived weakness of the opposing team do you feel that your team can exploit?

    3) What other factors do you feel will impact this game?

    Thanks for playing.
  2. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Alright, I'll go first.

    1) I always worry about passing offenses that can make something out of nothing. Carolina and the Jets have made a living in the past out of big plays that occured long after NE stopped the original play call. I fully expect Dallas to have at least 2 20+ plays that happen due to Romo's athleticism.

    To counter this, like a person said on Patsfans, I won't be surprised if NE plays more 4-3 style looks like they did in SB 39, to use containing pass rushes. I have no idea what Romo's passing numbers look like both in and out of the pocket, but anecdotally, he seems more dangerous making plays running around then he does as a pocket passer.

    2) I just broke down both Dallas' and NE's passing stats based on 3 categories; ypa, comp % and passer rating. They look remarkably similar. Check it out:

    Dallas
    6.3 ypa
    58.4%
    64.8 PR

    NE
    6.3 ypa
    58.8%
    70.9 PR.

    When you did deeper, however, things look quite a bit different. I also broke down the averages of the opponents that each team faced. (Caveat: I realize that I averaged averages and the dangers that this entails, but with five games each, I think that these issues should be minimal)

    Dallas' Opponent Averages (+/- Dallas' numbers)
    6.2 ypa (-.1)
    59.3% (+.9)
    69.6 PR (+4.8)

    NE's Opponent Averages (+/- NE's numbers)
    7 ypa (+.7)
    62.5% (+3.7)
    81.8 PR (+10.9)

    NE has done significantly better against the pass than Dallas despite their overall nembers looking good. For all intents and purposes, Dallas has held teams to their average, which should be frightening to Dallas fans considering NE's averages (8.75/74.1%/128.7).

    The sacks show simlar results. Dallas is tied at 11 with 12 sacks and NE is tied for 7th at 14. Again, though look at the opposition:

    Dallas
    Oppenents allowed 57 total sacks for an average 2.3/game. 12 total sacks equates 2.4/game.

    NE
    Oppenents allowed 49 total sacks for an average 2/game. 14 total sacks equates 2.8/game.

    Again, it is clear that NE has performed better in spite of similar overall numbers.

    3) I didn't run through a similar comparison with the offenses because, frankly, they are both excellent. I did look at run defenses because i thought that I would find similar results. Surprisingly both NE and Dallas have allowed 3.6 ypc against teams that rush for 4.
  3. wartowne

    wartowne Rookie

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    I think one of the biggest matchups that will determine the outcome of this game will be the LB'ers covering J. Witten. The Patriots weren't too sharp in keeping A. Gates under wraps, and I'm also interested to see the outcome of this matchup because it could potentially forecast the type of performance we'll see out of Dallas Clark when NE goes to Ind.

    I know the story was that Adalius Thomas can run like a safety to keep these guys covered, yet I don't think he took that matchup very often against Gates. Did anyone happen to observe our coverage scheme for Gates? I remember observing a nickle corner or saftey often coming down to cover up on Winslow last week.

    My hope is that either the pressure up front inspires the Dallas OC to keep the TE back to protect, or that they can spare a guy like Rodney to cover him, which would require that Asante or Hobbs get put up on an island against TO or Curtis. It'll be very interesting to me to see what role Thomas plays in trying to stop Dallas's multifaceted offensive attack.
  4. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Containing Romo. That's all we need to do. If he gets to roll out and hit Witten all day then it will be a shootout (at best).
  5. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Anyone? Bueller?
  6. FirstAndGoal

    FirstAndGoal Rookie

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    I still think the Dallas run game is going to be a key matchup. If we can't stop the run against their big o-line with 4 people, it could change the game.

    The same is true for our running game. If they can keep us from running with any success with their front 3 or 4, they're going to be able to keep more people in coverage.

    I do think we'll be able to get pressure but I the second half might be an issue.
  7. FlyingElvis75

    FlyingElvis75 Rookie

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    Did you mean their pass *defense* stats, i.e. passing stats of opponents in games vs. the Patriots? 'Cause those sure don't look like the "official" numbers...
  8. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Yes. Oops. :bricks:
  9. The_Dragon

    The_Dragon Rookie

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    Won't have as detailed an analysis as yours Oswlek but I'll give my opinion on it.

    There are 2 things that worry me about Dallas:

    1. The Pass Rush - anytime I've seen Dallas they've been able to generate a great pass rush - as we know from playing Miami, Jets on occasions etc it's something or O-Line can struggle with and consequently Brady struggles. The O-Line, in fairness has been excellent this year but this will be a big test I feel.

    2. The balance of the Dallas offense - they have a good running game, an excellent T-End and 2 receivers that need to be watched and, possibly will cause us to use our safeties stay back.


    As regards exploiting the Dallas defense I would imagine that:

    1. the loss of the Dallas NT earlier in the season might lead to NE to pounding the ball in the running game to see how the replacement NT holds up. This would also slow down the Dallas pass rush - see above - and setup the play action. We know how successful the 3 TE and 1 WR formation has been for Brady and Moss this season thus far.

    2. The Pats might look at exploiting R Williams in pass coverage. He has a habit of giving up bad plays in th passing game and the Pats are a team that can now take complete advantage of that. If Williams is the help over the top on Moss then I could see NE running some plays to try and take advantage of this weakness.

    As for other factors that might affect the game:

    - how will Romo perform after Monday night's nightmare? If things don't start well it could be interesting.
    - what kind of defensive scheme will BB come up with for Romo? I imagine they will try to make him stay in the pocket , like they do with V Young. Make Romo score on them from there.
    - Will Newman cover Moss and will he be able to do it without help? I rate Newman - if he can stop Moss on his own it will go a long way to Dallas stopping the NE Offense.
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    The pass rush should be dominant based on how often people bring it up, but they have sacked QBs almost exactly as frequently as those teams normally allowed. I will grant you that they might be excellent pressure that doesn't lead to sacks, but if so, the rest of the secondary must be really bad because they have allowed QBs to do what they normally do.

    Frankly, I fully expect a huge day from Brady. The loss of the NT hasn't lead to any major issues for them yet, but they haven't face anything close to NE yet. The best QB they faced is Manning, whom they hurt during the game. But the Giants' OL and RBs aren't up to NE's level assuming Laurence plays.

    Dallas' offense is what I worry about, but not much else. And I believe that NE can minimize the run game with only 6 guiys committed, which should allow them to use an extra guy in coverage.
  11. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    I didn't read the other answers thoroughly so as not to be influenced, but here are my thoughts.

    1) ROMO - He has this Farvian "seat of his pants" style that is maddening. It's also something that we seem to struggle with. Hopefully you all understand what I mean by that without further explanation.

    2) Offense - ROMO - That same Farvian style and his relative inexperience, I think we can confuse the hell out of him with some really odd front 7 looks. Buffalo had alot of that working and he was REALLY confused at times and made some terrible decisions. Its something we are good at and I hope we either make him make some bad throws, or if he's over-cautious and tentitive (so as not to throw a pick), we smother him with pressure.

    Defense - Dallas's corners can get smoked and are vulnerable to the long ball, which we are good at. Plus, Watson will get some nice mismatches out there too.

    3) Playing at home will be big for them, but coming in with 6 days rest after an emotional game. It may leave them flat for a quarter or two, which is all we should need to pull them out of their game plan if we can get up by 10 or 14 points.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  12. Krugman

    Krugman Rookie

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    Interesting anaylysis,owlslek,but I fear bringing logic and facts into the argument wont change many opinions....nice job.Can I add one of my oft-used smilies?(its not intended to offend anyone)
  13. The_Dragon

    The_Dragon Rookie

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    I take your point and I'm a fan of using statistical analysis to predict what can/will happen myself. I do think however, that the atmosphere in Texas Stadium on Sunday will need to be taken into account. It will be a playoff atmosphere, no doubt. As we know this can often lead to thing happening that are not covered by statistical analysis.

    I accept however that the Pats generally handle these situations excellently and have great experience of them.

    I'll be delighted if your take on the pass rush proves right. I am concerned about it however. Then again I was concerned about the Bengals offense, the Jets offense, the Chargers D and O etc.
  14. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    1) What is a strength of the opposing team that you feel can exploit your team?
    My take: As many have pointed out the pass rush is one. Also remember-jason garrett their offensive coordinator was in miami before so he has some familiarity with the pats. Anytime miami is mentioned i get nervous for some reason because the pats always screw up against them. Our rushing D has been solid but we have shown some holes occasionally especially against lynch when we played the bills.LT was a non factor partly due to the factor that our offense put a lot of pressure on turner.This week will be a big test for our rushing defense if our offense is slow to start initially.We have to control whitten and tackle to prevent YAC. Colvin needs to step up in his tackling since he will see a lot of runs his side i think.

    2) What perceived weakness of the opposing team do you feel that your team can exploit?
    My take: Their secondary obviously but a lot depends on how well we can screen them. Against the bills the cowboys defense really snuffed out all the screens.We need to hit a few to slow down the pass rush. I think like all games the pats will come out throwing in a hurry up offense.On defense, we have to rely on some confusion hopefully with their inexperienced albeit big o-line. We play a 3-4 so they should a bit familiar with how we play.

    3) What other factors do you feel will impact this game?
    Wade phillips has gotten the better of brady in the past so its an x factor in my book.Whether we can start fast ,their DB henry is injured so his presence or lack of it could be a factor, availability of maroney.
    Thanks for playing
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  15. teamplay

    teamplay Rookie

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    BB's formula against gunslingers: Disciplined pocket contain, pressure up the middle, exotic zone coverages that lead to interceptions. BB makes the gunslinger play as an out-of-character precision passer...beat us with consistency and accuracy.

    Against Buffalo, Romo checked down to Barber at will. An amazing security blanket that BB will definitely scheme against.

    THE key matchup, IMHO, will be how well Dallas can run against the Pats front seven. Dallas has a strong OL. If the Pats can stifle the run without committing RH regularly, I'd say "game over" -- it may sound cliche, but I doubt a one-dimensional Romo can beat NE.
  16. teamplay

    teamplay Rookie

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    I wonder if we see Thomas, Seau, Bruschi, Vrabel at the beginning of this game. IMO, the game hinges on run defense, pocket contain, and pressure up the middle, all with the front seven. Colvin's perimeter rush might be more effective once NE gets a lead.
  17. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Rookie

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    The spotlight is on the safeties. Wilson has a knack for missing tackles, and then a big play ensues. As posters have pointed out the Dallas offense thrives on the "back yard" or "Farvian" style of football, so Wilson and crew must wrap up. Harrison has to stop Barber and help the LB's with covering Witten. Sanders is a bit of an enigma, but no doubt he'll see plenty of action.

    As for the offense, I don't know whether the Buffalo multi-million dollar O-line just had an off night or if the Dallas front seven is actually that good at run D. Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo's greatest threat on offense (which isn't syaing much), had a hell of a time getting any momentum going with his runs on Monday.
  18. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Other than the NYJ game last year and the play where he got hurt against Carolina, when has Wilson shown a "knack for missing tackles"? I personally think that he has played great this year. I view him as a major asset to the team.

    I was surprised when I crunched the numbers to find that Dallas' run D appears for real despite the loss of Ferguson.
  19. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Rookie

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    Also against Carolina in the SB, that Foster run, I believe Wilson missed the tackle. That one comes to mind. But you're right, in this season certainly Wilson hasn't made any big errors.
  20. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    A few guys missed on that play, it wasn't just Geno, but you are correct with that one.
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