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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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    #12 Jersey

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

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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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 Practice Squad Player

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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 In the Starting Line-Up

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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 In the Starting Line-Up

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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
     
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