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Parallels Between 2009 Patriots and 2003-2004 Colts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by maverick4, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I believe a case can be made that the current 2009 (or even 2007-2009) Patriots teams bear resemblance to the 2003 and 2004 Colts teams:

    - High powered offenses with great talent at multiple skill positions, capable of regularly putting up lots of yardage and point stats.
    - Elite quarterback play.
    - Focus/scheme on playing to your personnel strengths, as opposed to attacking opponent's weaknesses, even if it means repetitive/predictable formations or tendencies. The talent is so good it doesn't usually matter, the execution is usually still there.
    - A very strong tilt towards the pass. Pass to gain the lead, run only to keep the D off balance. No strong commitment to the run as a primary method of attack.
    - More finesse type offense compared to a physical, in your face unit.
    - A defensive wizard at head coach
    - Defense which does not physically abuse QB's or play attack-style, with more of passive and bend-don't-break approach.
    - Defense incapable of, or scheme-wise avoidance towards, generating pass rush.

    I think that going back to our last game in 07 to now, teams are having success beating the Patriots the same way the old Patriots used to beat up on the Colts: lots of pass rush at the QB, physical defenses, and timely offense.

    Even the recent loss to the Jets has a similar box score of what an 03 Colts would have after a playoff loss to the Pats of old: Manning throwing 40+ times, completing about half, with very low yardage relative to avg. yards per pass, and exciting Patriots defensive pressure at the end to ice the game.
  2. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Way to 5 star your thread before anyone's even replied :p
  3. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    Those Colts' defenses would regularly give up 30 points and 250 yards rushing. That offense was insanely fast but the receivers were not physical. Those teams lacked toughness and tanked it in the playoffs.

    If anything I would compare this team to last year's Colts team. Peyton Manning looked shaky coming off an injury and Marvin Harrison's absence is pretty similar to Welker's. They had some injuries on defense but were still pretty good at keeping the score down. The problem with last years Indy team was they got stuck with their worst matchup, the Chargers, in the first round of the playoffs.

    Also, people forget how absolutely horrible the Patriots' offense was in 2006. To begin the season Branch was traded. We had Reche Caldwell and Chad Jackson at wideout. We then traded for Jabar Gaffney. By the end of the season we had one of the better offenses in the league, with Brady finally clicking against the Jets, Chargers, and Colts, in the playoffs.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I had to pre-empt your trollish behavior =D
  5. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They didn't trade for Jabar Gaffney; he was on the street.

    They traded for Doug Gabriel though.
  6. SidelineSid

    SidelineSid Rookie

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    Actually, he's got a point. Our defense isn't as bad as the Colts defense was during 03-04, but he is spot on with his offensive comparisons. We are not a physical team anymore. No one, and I mean no one, fears going across the middle against us on defense. We rarely jam receivers and get in their face.

    Regarding the offense, our offensive line is not the problem. They were flat out hung out to dry. Our five guys, and Watson, were usually stuck blocking five or six defenders from multiple angles. The problem is that opposing teams defenders do not fear the physical consequences of our offense. They know that even if they send safeties and linebackers after our quarterback, the worst case scenario is that they may give up some yards. The best case scenario is that they get to beat up on Brady.

    There is no reason to fear our offensive line because they are going to be passive all game. They are not going to come after people on big brutal running plays and throw people in the dirt. That's how you where them down. You use various schemes to get our offensive linemen to the second level to punish opposing safeties and linebackers. I guarantee once you have maulers like Mankins and Neal fiercely hitting linebackers, they are going to calm the F down.
  7. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I did say the comparison was from 2007-09, and it's a fair point you made. However, even in 06 our disproportionate use of shot gun and the pass, was similar to the next two years (and this year looks even more predictable and pass-reliant, something I didn't think was likely and is unfortunate).

    The Patriots offense now is very pre-Manning-championship Colts-like... and that's not a good thing. Those offenses kept getting stuffed in playoff games by physical, attacking defenses. The elite QB got shut down by all the battering on the body.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  8. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very true. Teams have been passing all across the middle of the field for the past few seasons. Philip Rivers was probably right last year.
  9. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A lot of good comments above, but I think the Jury is still so, so out on whom this Pats team will resemble that I have no idea how to make a judgment like that. I just want to beat the Falcons.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  10. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Here's something just to throw out here, some past box scores of elite QB's under repetitive, predictable EXPLOSIVE offenses against a physical, attacking defense:

    P. Manning, 2004 playoff loss to Patriots:
    27/42, 238 yds, 0 td, 1 int. RB's run a total of 14 times.

    T.Brady, 2009 regular season loss to Jets (Rex Ryan Ravens D):
    23/47, 216 yds, 0 td, 1 int. RB's run a total of 19 times.

    P.Manning, 2003 playoff loss to Patriots:
    23/47, 237 yds, 1 td, 4 int. RB's run a total of 22 times.

    T.Brady, 2007 playoff loss to Giants:
    29/48, 266 yds, 1 td, 0 int. RB's run a total of 16 times.



    Does a pass-happy, repetitive style which plays to your offensive strengths, work against tough defenses in the playoffs? If the 2003 and 2004 Colts had better defenses, would their style have succeeded with championships? I say no to both questions, and would like to see the Pats ram the ball down opponents throats more this year, even if it means Brady only passes 25 times a game. I'm not sure why after seeing for ourselves how the 03-04 Colts were shut down, that we've now emulated their style of offense, and even their team in general.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  11. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    Good stats. It seems almost as though the NFL has abandoned the "run-pass" balance as the model of excellence. The 2007 Patriots helped change that, even though the Giants were probably the better model since they had a great, bruising running attack.

    Last year the Steelers and Cardinals made the Super Bowl. Both teams had garbage running games. The Cardinals were ranked worst in the NFL. Most teams seem bent on developing huge passing games now.

    One thing about Manning's stats listed above is that he was constantly playing with a deficit and was forced to throw that many times. I'm not sure why the Patriots abandon the run game when the score is close.
  12. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    The history of championship teams which overly relied on the pass, or run, is not very good. The teams that have won most of the rings, going back say even 30 years, have largely been able to beat you both running and passing, based on the situation, not committed to any scheme except winning. That, and a physical attacking D have been general formulas for success no matter how far back you go.
  13. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    To add to the previous comparisons, here is another one:

    K.Warner, 2001 playoff loss to Patriots:
    28/44, 365 yds, 1td, 2int. RB's run a total of 19 times.

    R.Cunningham, 1998 playoff loss to Falcons:
    29/48, 340 yds, 2td, 0int. RB's run a total of 27 times.


    previously posted:
    ---
    P. Manning, 2004 playoff loss to Patriots:
    27/42, 238 yds, 0 td, 1 int. RB's run a total of 14 times.

    T.Brady, 2009 regular season loss to Jets (Rex Ryan Ravens D):
    23/47, 216 yds, 0 td, 1 int. RB's run a total of 19 times.

    P.Manning, 2003 playoff loss to Patriots:
    23/47, 237 yds, 1 td, 4 int. RB's run a total of 22 times.

    T.Brady, 2007 playoff loss to Giants:
    29/48, 266 yds, 1 td, 0 int. RB's run a total of 16 times.
  14. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just for kicks, I just ran a few simulations on WhatIfSports.com in fair weather with the 2007 Pats at home - 2003 Pats won 3 of out 5 times.
  15. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Sweet, that is a great website by the way, have spent some hours over there before.

    I think if you were to try any of the recent explosive pass-happy offenses in history (07 Pats, 03-04 Colts, 00-01 Rams, 98 Vikings), and put their teams up against any of the physical, attacking D's of the same period (00 Ravens, 07 Giants, 03-04 Patriots), that the tough defenses shut down the offense.

    It's like in baseball, where strong pitching kills strong hitting (especially home-run heavy emphasis teams) in the playoffs.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    6 games over an 11 year span doesnt prove anything.
    I'm sure I could find 6 games in the last 11 years that would prove anything, such as running for over 235 yards is a guaranteed loss.
  17. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    You're correct that it's a small sample size.

    However, it's clear that's not your true beef. You refuse to see how running predictable offensive formations and plays, based on superior talent to execute, ends up burning you in the end. Why don't we address the real issue on your mind?
  18. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course the 2003 team beat the 2007 team. I will always bet on a team with a superior defense and a mediocre offense over a superior offense with a mediocre defense. The old cliche "defense wins championships" isn't that way because it isn't true.

    My bet every game the 2003 team won in your simulation, the score was low.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  19. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    If we are in agreement that the 03-04 Pats teams beat the 07 Pats or 03-04 Colts teams a good portion of the time....

    THEN WHY are we trying to emulate the 03-04 Colts or 00-01 Rams teams which get stuffed by physical teams?
  20. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    I'd take the '98 Vikings off the list. They lost a fairly high-scoring NFCCG in which their kicker missed for the first time all year when making the FG would have propelled them into SB33.

    Replace them with the '84 Dolphins. Marino always in shotgun, spreading the field...5000 yds, 48 TDs. Really had no serious running game. Duper (18TDs) and Clayton were their Moss and Welker. Defense was suspect. 49ers kept Marino in check with rushing just 4 and scored at will on the D.

    Regards,
    Chris
  21. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Chris,

    GREAT point, need to bring that 84 Dolphins team into the discussion.

    D.Marino, 1984 playoff loss against 49ers
    29/50, 318 yds, 1td, 2int. RB's run a total of 8 times.
  22. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    So why are we trying to become (or already have become) the 2003-2004 Colts, or the 2001 Rams?
  23. Satchboogie3

    Satchboogie3 Rookie

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    I think you guys are reading too much into this. OF COURSE the best, most physical, defenses in football will give even great offensives trouble. Of course great offenses might even have horrid games against great defenses. That DOESN'T mean that there is a better way to attack such defenses.

    I don't think ANYONE is arguing that the Patriots should just throw the ball 80% of the time. No successful offense has done that. Despite the perception, the '07 Patriots ran the ball 43% of the time (57% passing) for 4.1 Y/A. The '03-'04 Colts had about the same 43%-57% ratio. The only year the pats ran the ball more than 50% of the time was in '04. There is no single offense that will guarantee points. The Colts have always been a fairly balanced offense, they just happen to have an amazing passing game to along with a good running game.

    You can't just single out individual games and go "Oh look, the pass happy offense didn't work!". Manning, for example, has been great against the Ravens in his career (5-2 record, 106.1 QB Rating).

    Lets not forget that Brady and this offense torched the Giants for 38 points and 346 passing yards in '07. Perhaps Belichick's game plan for the SB was based around a pass happy offense because of the success we had against them in week 17. Logic, of course, always seems to get in the way.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  24. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    1. There are many instances of average offense teams with great D's beating explosive offensive teams in big playoff games, even going back each of the past 30 years. Can you say the same thing about the reverse, naming some dominant offenses that beat great D's? Physical great D almost always beats the great offense.

    2. Interesting that you posted that pass/run ratio showing how both teams didn't have a strong commitment to the run, and don't see how their losses are somehow related
  25. crypto

    crypto Rookie

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    [Sigh.]

    Colts: 2003
    Games played: 16

    Colts: 2004
    Games played: 16

    Patriots: 2009
    Games played: 2

    [hr]33[/hr]
    Manning: 2003
    Games played: 16

    Manning: 2004
    Games played: 16

    Brady: 2009
    Games played: 2

    Looks to me like Indy/Manning outplayed NE/Brady by an average of exactly 8.0 games played per season. Hot damn; we really do suck. PANIC!
  26. Satchboogie3

    Satchboogie3 Rookie

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    1. Yes, there are. BUT, the best offenses in the league will IN THE LONG RUN have the most success. Yes, some teams just don't play other well (Colts vs NE in the playoffs vs early BB defense, NE vs Denver, etc), but in the long run, the stronger the offense (no matter how it is done), the better the results.

    2. I don't know why a team needs to run the ball more than 50% of the time. Again, in 2001 and 2003, we ran the ball less than 50% of the time AND it wasn't as productive (3.6 Y/A in '01+'03 vs 4.1 Y/A in '07).

    Seriously, this "have to run run run" is getting ridiculous. The Steelers won the SB last year because of Big Ben and their defense. They ran the ball less than 50% of the time last year, as well as averaging just 3.7 Y/A, ranking 29th in the NFL.

    The Colts, well, I've already explained that they run the ball well enough and they won in 06 because their defense got it together. Manning picked apart our weak secondary (similarly to how Brady picked apart the Giants in 07 week 17).

    The Steelers won the SB in '05 with, yes a strong running game, but it was partly due to the young QB they had. Their offense was middle of the pack, their defense is what won it for them

    2003-2004 Pats had a balanced offense, defense was beastly.
    2002 was TB, who passed almost 60% of the time, didn't have a good running game, won because they had the #1 defense in the league

    01 pats were a balanced offensive team that came together late and had a good defense.

    REALLY, winning the Superbowl comes down to who is peaking at the end of the season. The #1 defense doesn't always win, nor does the #1 offense. Sometimes, the best team doesn't win. In the long run, though, the best team out there will win. It doesn't matter how they win (strong D, strong O, passing, running, etc).

    I just don't get it. The '07 Patriots were 1 play from going undefeated. Their offense had a stinker and the still almost won. There is no set "blueprint", offensive/defense style, or team that will guarantee a win. That's why they play the game.

    This thread is also misleading. The 2003-2004 Colts were GREAT teams. They just ran into a better/hotter team in the playoffs.

    1 last thing. The Colts are 82-27 (75%) since 2002 (including playoffs) and the Patriots are 19-2 since 2007 (with Brady). How do you possibly argue against that? If you want to mention the defense, fine. I agree that teams with great defenses tend to have more success in the playoffs (they still need a potent offense, though), but to complain about not being "tough" enough on offense or not running enough is ridiculous.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  27. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Our defense is going to be better than the 03-04 Colts. We are much better up front IMO.
  28. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    1. I agree with you that potent offenses historically have great winning percentages. However, you yourself admitted that come playoff time it's about DEFENSE and an offense not committed to either run or pass.

    2. The 2003 and 2004 Colts, or 2001 Rams, or 98 Falcons, or 07 Patriots, did not run into "hotter" teams. Their style of play got exposed. It appears pretty clear that for those teams, the opposing defense was willing to give up a few more yards per rush because they knew the offense couldn't help but keep stubbornly passing and using the same predictive patterns.

    3. Teams that have won the championship have demonstrated a willingness to run even if it means pounding the ball running all game despite mixed early results. There are few outliers in 30+ years of football of course, but when an opposing team knows you are stubbornly committed to passing OR running, those teams historically aren't holding the ring at the end.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  29. Satchboogie3

    Satchboogie3 Rookie

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    I said a balanced team overall. The Colts were a great team and fairly balanced. They had an amazing offense to make up for their below-average to bad defense. HOWEVER, don't forget that the Colts still won regular season games against the Pats. The Colts got flat out out-coached in the playoffs in '03 and '04. Manning got horribly confused and it cost them.

    This is what I don't get. Their "style" of play didn't get exposed, they lost games when it mattered. The '03 and '04 Colts got out-coached and Manning played awful (it does happen, you know). The 2001 Rams nearly won that game. It was a close fought contest and they happened to come up on the wrong end of it. Don't act like they got destroyed. The Pats again out-coached the Rams and executed perfectly.

    The '07 Patriots especially weren't exposed. The lost a hard fought SB by 3 points on a miracle drive to the same team they put up 38 points on just weeks earlier. I don't think Brady was as healthy as he let on, we didn't get the breaks, and the defense out played our offense. Our defense shut them down, though, so again, we almost won that game. 18 straight wins seems to suggest that this WAS the best team in the league, the "any given Sunday" just managed to catch up with them at the worst time.

    How is a team that runs the ball close to 50% of the time somehow not "committed" to the run? I don't get this. You go with what ever works. There isn't much reason to "stick with it" if it isn't working. I agree that you do want to try to run a little to open up the passing game... but if the passing game is already there, whats the point? You go with what ever is working best. That is the whole Patriot approach. That is what won them 3 SB.

    The point is, you field a team that gives you the best chance to win every week. If you have a great defense, but an anemic offense, you might not even reach the playoffs, let alone win a championship. There is no way to guarantee one win. You do what ever gives you the best chance to win the most games. I think the Belichick has always done just that. Some times you win ('01, '03, '04), sometimes you lose ('05, '06, '07). We won 3 championships and were 1 play from winning a 4th. That seems to show that Belichick is doing a damned good job at fielding teams capable at winning it all.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  30. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    1. You referenced more than two times that the losing teams were "out coached". What do you mean by this? I take this to mean that their stubborn tendencies were exposed, that they didn't adjust, and thus the 01 Rams, and 03-04 Colts fans lost. The execution piece you reference, is related to the poor coaching (meaning, predictable tendencies).

    2. I agree with you that the 2007 season, even with the Superbowl loss, was a great F-YOU response to the league and media after the Video Witch Hunt. Their loss at the end, however, was just as predictable as some of the other recent losses of stubborn high-powered offenses.
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