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Patriots Defensive Deficiencies

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ATippett56, Sep 27, 2006.

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  1. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Football fib: New England’s big problems lie with the offense.

    Daddy’s pigskin wisdom: The Patriots' offense certainly isn’t going to win any beauty pageants this season. But the team’s defensive futility has quietly flown under the radar. New England ranks 26th in defensive passer rating (94.0), 28th in third-down conversion percentage (opponents have converted 46.7 percent of their attempts) and dead last with just one takeaway in three games. The defensive passer rating figure is especially dreadful considering the quarterbacks the Patriots have faced so far this season – the jittery J.P. Losman, the glass-shouldered Chad Pennington and the erratic Jake Plummer, who was on the proverbial hot seat before shredding the inept New England pass defense for 256 yards and two back-breaking TDs.

    http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Article.php?Page=1026
  2. rabthepat

    rabthepat Rookie

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    Dam that is painful to read.:eek: :eek:
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  3. JoePats

    JoePats Rookie

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    It's not like they've given up a lot of points. In fact nobody has 20 yet, and the Bills had 10 (they scored on defense), the Jets had 17, but did nothing until down 24-0. Denver had 17 and the defense didn't play that well in that game but it's not like they're the Giants defense.

    Honestly I think the defense by the end of the year is going to be really really good. They just need to work through some things at corner right now.
  4. rabthepat

    rabthepat Rookie

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    Honestly, how good? I have watched several Jags, Steelers, Ravens and Chargers games this year and I wished our team hit like theirs. I just don't think we intimidate anyone. Everyone on our team has become so nice. Tedy was in this week's Parade magazine with his wife. Nobody spoke of getting revenge against Denver last week. Do you ever see one of our defenders chew out another for a lame ass tackle attempt? Do you think we'll have one shut out this year? Do you think we'll finish in the top 10 in total defense or points given up?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Didn't we start out slow last year, only to finish much better? Every year our complex defense is a work in progress, this year we have not made many changes to the personnel on this side of the board.. except for Seau. Injuries are the equalizer, yesterday there is a few in our d backfield.. Hawkins, Gay IR'ed, Wilson etc. While this is not an excuse, it slows us down. I suspect each week our defense will improve as initially teams make adjustments to our tendencies, and then we in turn change our tendencies to these adjustments.
  6. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Somewhere in between.

    On the one hand, it's right that our team won't have the great stats of some others. Even in our championship years the stats haven't been overwhelming.

    But I agree with Rabthepat that the intensity level has not been where it should be. Nor was it last season. And that's important to our defense. If you're not going to be an all-out blitz team then you have to make sure the running back doesn't turn four yards into six, that you wrap up the receivers and make them pay for receptions and DON'T GIVE UP THE BIG PLAY. Obviously, we haven't done that yet.

    I think that the problems run through all the defense. We haven't sacked the quarterback or stopped the running back in the backfield as much as other teams (though I'd be interested to hear from Box and Pats1 how much holding they saw by the Broncos last Sunday) and we certainly haven't hit as hard in the secondary. Although he's new to the defense and very slow it's notable that the most intense defensive player has been Seau.

    Give it time, though. It's a miracle that Rodney is already on the field -- lets see how he's doing by game six. If he's back to his best by then, it will lift a lot of other players.
  7. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    In the first half of last season and so far this season the team is in CHASE MODE. They chase the play, they chase the ball carrier. It's as though they are PRAYING to make a tackle.

    In the second half of last season you saw the team begin to DESTROY plays again. They had that 'to make a play, you have to get through US' thing going on.

    I don't see that this season. And the absolute lack of turnovers is horrible to me. If our defense doesn't improve (which, last season we were waiting on Bruschi, Seymour's health, and looking for someone to replace Harrison. This season we have all those guys and we still are struggling), then this season really will be a continuation of 2005.

    I'm shocked that for all of BB's genius on defense that our D has been allowed to stay so putrid for so long. We need an answer to that Ty Law/Ted Johnson factor that is apparently what has soured our situation.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FRONT SEVEN
    Three weeks ago, we had the best front seven in the league. The team gives up 17 points a game (7 by the offense) and they are bums. This doesn't compute. Sure, I'd like to see more turnovers and a better 3rd down percentage, but the front seven will be fine. They do need to be much better if the secondary has problems and the offense can't score.

    SECONDARY
    We need better tackling. We are counting on Hobbs and Samuel to be our shutdown starting corners. We count on the secondary for run and pass blitzes. Chad Scott and Hank Poteat are our nickel and dime backs. Wilson has played poorly, and apparently is injured. Sanders missed the coverag on the big play last week. Face it, this isn't a strong group. But it could be good enough.

    OFFENSE
    Is this the offense that led the league in passing yards last year, and was in the few places in several overall categories? We lost Dillon for part of a game and the offense collapses? Isn't Maroney and Faulk an adequate running game. Personally, I think the OL has been playing fine, except for the glaring hits that Brady has occasionally been getting. Subject to check this is a problem with getting more help to the LT. This group does need time working together, as any OL, but they have been playing well enough to win.

    BOTTOM LINE
    I disagree with the premise of this thread. The offense is indeed the problem. One freak play and a couple of missed tackles or one bad coverage do not make the defense the culprits.
  9. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    Very good and accurate points.
    This thread does have a point- our defense needs to play BETTER and it will!

    We'll get it together for the playoffs.
  10. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rookie

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    Belichick needs to read it as well..........that secondary of ours is a total fraud. Samuels and Hobbs are not going to get the job done. We need physical studs not two nickel corners starting.
  11. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    I'm in the camp that it's been the safety play that's been lacking.

    Ellis had perfect coverage on that 3rd and 1 bomb to Walker. The problem? If you look you'll see Wilson trotting just barely on the screen as Walker nabs the ball. He bit on the playfake and was no where to be found when Ellis needed the over the top coverage. Ellis was stride for stride with his man. It was a perfect throw over the top. Only safety help could have prevented that TD and the safeties were no where in sight.
  12. brady et al fan

    brady et al fan Rookie

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    Thanks for putting some stats down to support what has been bothering me about this team since second week of football and said so in the Seau thread. I've maintained that this defense looks old and slow period. I like the front 3 but not the front 7. Not only is our defensive backfield terrible but our linebacking core is showing their age.

    I don't care how intense Seau looks (does he?), he's just come out of retirement and has been getting pushed all over the field. The long ground gainers last week were almost always run right at him. Tedy, I love him, but I don't think he's the same flying all over the field guy he was before his stroke. Vrabel is servicable but does he really strike fear into the hearts of the offense? These guys just may be past their prime and Belioli may have been caught napping and let this group age without grooming anyone else.

    And I think the 1 turnover in 3 games is the most telling, and even that one was of garbage time hail mary vintage. In our super bowl years, one of the things that made this team great were the turnovers forced. I just don't see that happening at this point and can only hope that Rodney finds his legs and becomes the intimidator again.

    Lets see how these guys do in Cincy. I'm not optimistic at this point.
  13. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    Several posters have noted here for some time that the lack of pass rush is really hurting this team. The high 3rd conversion rate and the lack of turnovers have often been the result of QB's being allowed to stand back there and scan the field. Even when we blitz we don't seem to consistently harry the opposing QBs. The number of sacks a team has isn't always indicative of the amount of pressure being put on the opponents passing game. It's more the environment - and we aren't scaring anyone right now at all. Not like Baltimore, who is one team winning mainly due to outstanding defense.

    Now, all that said, certainly one reason a team like Cincy has so many takeaways is because they score so many points that teams are forced to take more chances with the ball to try and keep up.

    So, we don't scare anyone on defense and were not putting up a bunch of points so others teams have to take more risks - in others words we're not doing much of either thing that leads to TO's!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  14. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There is holding in the trenches on every play from both sides, the larger problem from what I can see is Wilfork and
    Seymour aren't playing to their full potential yet.
    Seau is a spark plug, Tedy is starting to get back into form as is Rodney - injuries as you pointed out. Wilson has laid some hurt on people, but it goes unnoticed because he's occasionally been juked out by tough open field problems like your friend Coles with the classic name. Hobbs has been operating near the borderline of excellent and shut down, and Samuel has started bringing his 'A' game.
    Once the front seven all start playing to the level Warren has established things will start popping - it will also help once some of the many turnover opportunities bounce their way.
    Reserves Jarvis Green and Chad Scott are playing well, and the secondary will be better for Hawkins return to health.
  15. SVN

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    somehow i see that our pass rush is also a bit late always...compared to say the steelers...we need a little defensive speed iMHO
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have Colvin, Vrabel, Green, and TBC, the team isn't that slow; however, I'd be happier if they dropped Bruschi and Seau more and rushed them less often.
  17. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    That's a good point. Over the last year+ it seems the CBs have taken some unfair criticism for the lack of quality play at safety. Of course, Duane Starks sucked hardcore, but Asante and Hobbs are both solid, IMO.
  18. belichickaholic

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    The solution to the problem is very simple. The whole team just needs to Wake up!!!
  19. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    SuberBowl 39 our starting secondary was CB: Samuels/Gay Safety: Harrison/Geno

    How do you feel they are not going to get the job done? Because they had 4 bad plays in 3 games?

    Hobbs is an upgrade over Gay, Samuels has two more years under his belt. The only place the secondary took a step back is with Rodney because of his injury and I am not ready to say that yet because it will take a little time for him to get back to his old self if it is possible. We also have upgraded our Nickel and Dime packages as well with Hawkins and Scott.

    You are using selective memory when making this statement, IMO.;)
  20. fillylabinga

    fillylabinga Rookie

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    I agree that Hobbs had pretty good coverage on this one, but I don't fault Wilson either. It was 3rd and 1 and the Pats had 8 in the box on that play. Harrison was up near the line of scrimmage meaning Wilson was probably playing deep middle--there was no way he was going to get over in time. Props to Plummer, he made a great read and an even better throw.

    Anyway, there has been a lot of (deserved) Wilson-bashing recently, but I thought he played pretty well last week before he got hurt. Given how horrible Sanders looked we really need him in there.
  21. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    True, and with how they were gashing our run D I can't really blame the Ss for biting on PA.

    I'm hoping that if Wilson can't play, then Hawkins can. If we're stuck with Sanders against Cincy we're effed.
  22. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    But Hawkins in injured. Gay is out for the year. Hobbs is injured. Wilson is injured. 4 out of our top 6 DBs are injured. My calendar says 2005.
  23. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hawkins and Wilson are practicing and listed as questionable. Hobbs is the only one not practicing and he finished the game last week which makes me think he will play Sunday. It doesn't look anything like 04 or 05, yet.
  24. cstjohn17

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    I think you can throw Denver's D into that mix, the played great against the Pats. I don't think the Patriots will be in the top 12 in points against which used to be one of their hallmarks and we may not have the offense to pick up the slack.

    I don't think the D has been great by any stretch but they were hung out to dry by the offense on Sunday. I thought there was a lot of intensity from the D line. It looked like Denver just wore the Pats defense down and beat us at our game. The Broncos were more prepared, executed better and were better coached. They played field position and limited mistakes and walked out with a tough win on the road. I don't see this as a dominant D like in 2003 & 2004, it will take a balanced effort (offense, defense & special teams) to win games. We are not strong enough in any one area to have one of the units have an off night. This makes the margin for error razor thin (pun intended). Looking at it realistically we have two main weaknesses on defense, sometimes these warts can be hidden sometimes they can't:
    1) an old, slow set of inside LB
    - showed on many of T. Bell's runs, the most obvious example was on a 3rd and 9 in the 1st quarter, Plummer got flushed out of the pocket and ran for about 11 yards without getting touched, the closest Patriot was Seau who was at least 10 yards away, that was truly pathetic
    2) an average secondary
    - except for the 2 big plays the Pats were able to hide this
    - Hobbs beat by a larger receiver, Samuels & Sanders... we all know that one
  25. SVN

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    agree but look at the pitt defense last sunday...they really frustrated palmer as much due to the speed as much as the scheme and pitt plays a 3-4 as well...i always felt out D was slower on the field -not ability wise-than most good defenses...
  26. captain stone

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    Here's another cold, hard football fact: our back 8 (LBs and DBs) have no drafted talent at the backup/future starter positions, and only 2 - TBC and Sanders - who were drafted at all.

    Does any team have a worse group of backup LBs than we do? If so, please let me know; it would make me feel better. Seau, Bruschi, Vrabel and Colvin are on the field for every snap; the longer the game, and the season, progresses, the more tired they become, and the less pressure they can generate.
  27. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tidbits that may add to this discussion.

    Did the Patriots defense really play in the 2nd half of the 2005 season??

    Or did they just play lousy offenses???

    Two games against the Dolphins who finished 16th in scoring
    Saints who finished 31st
    lost to the Chiefs who finished 6th in scoring
    Two games against the Jets who finished 29th in scoring
    The Bills who finished 24th
    The Bucs who finished 20th
    The Jags who finished 12th
    Lost to the Broncos who finished 7th

    When was the last time the Pats shut down a high-powered offense??
  28. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I did a similar analysis in the summer... my opinion, the Pats were ranked 31st in pass defense for a reason, the combination of no consistent pressure and an average secondary sets the stage for teams being able to pass the ball. I had hopes this year would be better but really no moves were bad to improve the secondary or pass rush. We should be better than 31 but top 15 would be a reach.

    full post is here --> http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/showpost.php?p=127913&postcount=17


    This gave me an excuse to break down last years stats in more detail. The breakdown compare the number of points allowed and pass yards allowed against three variables:
    - First half schedule versus second half of the season
    - Against teams with winning records versus losing records
    - Against quarterbacks of various levels (Excellent, Good, Average & Crap)

    The full data is in the attached .pdf

    Pass yards allowed Average points allowed
    Schedule
    1st half 254.75 28.13
    2nd half 237.38 14.75


    Opponents record
    winning record 257.6 25.4
    losing record 226.8 14.83

    Quarterback rating
    Excellent 321 40
    Good 241 31.3
    Average 267 19.6
    Crap 188 13

    Full Data
    Game Team Opp. Record Pass yards QB Schedule Points QB Rating
    1 OAK Loser 265.00 Collins 1st half 20 Average
    2 CAR Winner 154.00 Delhome 1st half 27 Good
    3 PIT Winner 216.00 Roeth. 1st half 20 Average
    4 SD Winner 248.00 Brees 1st half 41 Good
    5 ATL Winner 298.00 Shaub 1st half 28 Average
    6 DEN Winner 262.00 Plummer 1st half 28 Average
    7 BUF Loser 274.00 Losman 1st half 21 Crap
    8 IND Winner 321.00 Manning 1st half 40 Excellent
    9 MIA Winner 360.00 Frerotte 2nd half 16 Average
    10 NO Loser 343.00 Brooks 2nd half 17 Average
    11 KC Winner 323.00 Green 2nd half 26 Good
    12 NYJ Loser 135.00 Bollinger 2nd half 3 Crap
    13 BUF Loser 181.00 Losman 2nd half 7 Crap
    14 TB Winner 155.00 Simms 2nd half 0 Average
    15 NYJ Loser 163.00 Bollinger 2nd half 21 Crap
    16 MIA Winner 239.00 Frerotte 2nd half 28 Average
  29. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    I'm with you gentlemen, the pass D is not good at all. That's why I was hoping for a stud DB in the draft or FA. But the real problem may lie up front where the Pats just don't scare anyone with their pass rush. Supposedly we have all this talent on the D-Line, and while I do understand the 3-4 linemen in general aren't firstly cut out as pass rushers, what I don't undertand is how all this alleged talent in front of Vrabel and Colvin can't mount a more threating attack on a passer?

    Could it be the scheme? Oh help me that I bring up a possible fault in BB's defensive genius but something is holding us back. Either that D-line isn't really that hot or D play calling needs some changes. Or is it even worse- the team lacks a fire in their guts?
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  30. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have a group of very fine pass-rushers in the front seven. It may indeed be a matter of scheme and game plan. Ask an expert if you wish: try Peyton Manning. He has often detailed how good our front seven can be, along with the best linebackers in the game. Colvin, Bruschi and Vrabel are indeed feared pass-rushers. So are the backups: Banta-Cain and Green. Our front three are less involced, as consequence of the 3-4. However, when we run a 4-3 in certain situations, we free up Seymour.

    I believe it is a matter of not trusting the secondary. We could use more pressure and more blitzes, including safety and corner blitzes as we have in the past. But this is now a dangerous strategy. We used to trust guys like Law and OTIS and even Buckley to take care of business when the pressure was applied and the quarterback is rushed. Now we drop Bruschi back in coverage to help.

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