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Not Getting off the field ""IS" the problem

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PushnPencils, May 1, 2011.

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  1. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    A lot of our glaring defensive weaknesses were hidden by the prolific scoring of our offense. When we faced better defenses, those weaknesses were our undoing.

    Our ability to get off the field WAS the problem. Let's look at the stats compared against the two Superbowl teams.


    HERE is the BIGGEST issue:

    We allowed 348 first downs. Pittsburgh allowed 272. Green Bay allowed 270.

    Teams converted a lot on 1st and 2nd down on us too. Mainly in the passing game. 226 of those 1st downs came via pass.

    Allowed third down, conversions: Pats 99, Green Bay 77 and Pitt 70.

    You say that's not a huge disparity....fine but those conversions against tough opponents at critical points of the game are costly.

    Teams also converted 12 of 20 4th downs against us. Pitt stunk there too with 10 allowed, but GB only allowed 6.

    Remember....BB said sacks are a meaningless stat.....But PASS PRESSURE....is not. An NFL caliber QB who is comfortable in the pocket...is deadly..whether it's Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn.

    You can have great corners...but they can only cover so long.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  2. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    We were playing with a lot of rookies, and they looked much better getting off the field later in the season.

    Flash forward to the Jets playoff game.

    Dropped passes, special teams gaffe, horrid play by safeties, this got the Patriots down in a big hole. Offense came out sputtering, and though the defense held initially, New England finally went to the run and were grabbing 8 yards at a clip (and winding the clock down). I saw a problem in the secondary mostly that game, although on the first bomb down the sidelines, Sanchez had about 8 seconds to throw. It's the only point I saw lack of pass rush really hurting.
     
  3. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    How many of the the ninety-nine 3rd down conversions came via the Pass?

    Of the twelve 4th down conversions the Pats allowed, how many were via the Pass?

    Do you also have the breakdowns of 3rd and 4th down conversions allowed for the Pack and Steelers?

    Can you provide a breakdown of the 3rd down conversions allowed from the 1st half of the year to the 2nd half of the year?
     
  4. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Patriots close out 2010 with solid 3rd down defense improvement

    Yes, we were historically bad at this, especially to start the season. But you can see it improved down the stretch as the rookie, the UDFA, the second-year guy, and the clueless guy started to figure things out together. This despite the DL getting decimated.
     
  5. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Give me a minute and I will compile them....but if you have them handy you're more than welcome to share.
     
  6. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    QB pressure is what you mean to say.
     
  7. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    We lost in the Playoffs this past season due to an ungodly number of injuries along the Defensive line, late in the season. We could NOT stop the run; or the pass given the run, when we had un-dressed the Jets unmercifully, only weeks before when healthy. Don't make more of that then is neccessary.
     
  8. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    From games 8 through 16:

    3rd down stops they were 58-136 or 42.6%

    4th down stop they were 7-14 or 50%

    My assumption is the first 8 would be worse since we played so many rooks...right?

    Still working on the rest.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  9. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    I don't have them handy... Not sure where to go looking for them.. I was asking out of curiosity so we could better understand where the breakdown of the defense might actually be..
     
  10. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I went on advancedNFLstats.com.....it's got a lot of info but most of it looks like hieroglyphics to me.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  11. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    My belief is it was the secondary. I mentioned it in another thread, but there's a fairly stable connection between sacks vs. 3rd down defense. 8 of the top 12 teams in sacks also finished in the top 12 in 3rd down D. Another finished one spot out. Of the 3 outliers, they had awful secondaries.

    The flipside is 6 of the bottom 10 teams in sacks finished in the bottom 10 for 3rd down D, with another finishing 1% off of the bottom 10. The other 3 had solid secondaries.

    The Pats were 14th in sacks with 36, yet finished dead last in 3rd down D. I think it has a lot to do with the young, inexperienced secondary. They showed improvement down the stretch, especially their last 5 games.

    I'm all for improving the pass rush, but it really wasn't as bad as advertised.
     
  12. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Bend but don't break. Its the patriots way. You can give up all the 1st downs you want as long as the other team doesn't score
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  13. crowell33

    crowell33 In the Starting Line-Up

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    The defense must feel like the red haired step child. Tommy Brady gets the highest contract per year of any player at any position ever. Mankins will get over $10 million for next season ( is that the most ever for an OG ? ), the offense gets all the draft picks ( except for the cornerback ).

    All the big money and draft picks seem to be going to the offense. Can't the defense get a little love ?
     
  14. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Here's a crazy idea....It could have been a combination of both factors.

    Young secondary...sub-par pass rush....chicken...egg.

    My thing is...you need playmakers.

    McCourty....was it. During our SB runs early in the decade...we had playmakers on D....

    Now we have some nice pieces...but few stoppers.
     
  15. The Scrizz

    The Scrizz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #11 Jersey

    Here's a crazy idea. Our young, injury-riddled D was 2nd in turnovers created and first in interceptions. How did they make so many plays with no playmakers? Interesting.
     
  16. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    Take a look at Vince Wilfork's contract and the huge amount of draft picks spent on the defense from 2008-2010. Then go ahead and ask that question again.
     
  17. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Are you...William...Shatner...or what is...this...about...?

    It's a symbiotic relationship, I agree.

    But the pass rush was able to finish 14th in sacks. We could call that middle-of-the-pack. We could call that mediocre if you want. But it's not the reason the 3rd down D was almost historically bad.

    Over the last 5 games, as everyone melded together, the defense was able to improve significantly, to middle-of-the-pack, which is what we would expect given the sack totals.

    Basically, I think we're really over-worrying about a problem that has already begun to resolve itself.

    I would like to see the pass rush improve, don't get me wrong. But I think the 3rd down defense will improve now that the secondary has some experience. The addition of Dowling and Bodden should further that, and if Ty is healthy, that will be a big boost.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  18. The Scrizz

    The Scrizz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #11 Jersey

    I think the number one issue on 3rd downs was nickle-back. watching Chung try to cover guys like Austin Collie and even Blair White was painful. I feel much better with Ras I and Bodden joining this group.
     
  19. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Secondary took a big step backwards in the playoffs- in the game vs. Jets. For example, that crucial 3rd down and 6 completion to Edwards was the result of a breakdown on what appeared to be a late-forming cover 3 with Chung as the high man. Both Chung and Sanders broke left to cover the flat, leaving Butler on an island with Edwards, and that set up the first Jets TD. Since Chung is the high man, the fault is his, for not reading the break under him and being disciplined enough to focus on his job instead of trying to do another man's job.

    This is the kind of mistake that you have to make, to become a better player. It's just a matter of knowing the nuts and bolts, the great number of nuances to this game.
     
  20. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I haven't had a chance to re-watch this game (more like I'm still not ready to), but I do agree they took a step back in the play-offs and there were several blown coverages.

    Chung definitely needs to improve, not making excuses. But Meriweather isn't what I'd call a leader, and Chung as a second-year player, first-year starter, McCourty as a rookie, along with Butler or Arrington is a very, very young group.

    There were several instances throughout the season where I think Chung tried to do too much instead of just doing his job. That's the inexperience. But I do think we're trending in the right direction.
     
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