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Pats identity for 2009 has emerged: Most Balanced Team in the NFL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Poker, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. Poker

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    There's been a lot of talk in the last few weeks about the "I" word -- the team's Identity, and that the Pats don't have a distinct one, either on offense or defense. We don't fall into one of those easy "smashmouth D, and we pound the ball on offense" categories that the media love, and are not consistently conforming to our 2007 "air show" edition.

    This has been bothering me and I've been thinking about it for a few weeks, especially as I keep looking at the overall NFL stats as we keep improving a little more each game as BB noted. I think I have discovered a fitting identity for the Pats, and I would propose that it is:

    "The most balanced team in the NFL."

    There is no perfectly accepted definition of this description, so I would suggest the following: There is no other team in the NFL that is better on both offense and defense. A quick analysis of the stats bears this out:

    Points scored: Pats #7, trailing: NO, SD, Phil, GB, Minn, Indy
    Points given up: Pats #4, trailing: NYJ, Bal, Dal

    (We are #2 in overall point differential, ahead of Indy and SD now, trailing only NO, mostly because they have outscored us by 100 points yet given up about 50 more)

    Yards/YPG gained: Pats #2, trailing only NO
    Yards given up: Pats #8, trailing NYJ, GB, Balt, Cinn, Denv, Pitt, Phil)

    This quick analyis supports the point: there are no teams ahead of us on either of 2 common offensive indicator categoried AND on the defensive side so far in 2009.

    Historically, I really like this kind of team--it's the kind that is almost always in games, doesn't get blown out, and has a decent chance to win. Many of us have noted that the 2009 edition feels more like earlier vintages of the decade and I think the "B" word --- Balance, is the answer.

    What do you think?
  2. Simkin

    Simkin Banned

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    IDK, in many stats we are hyped by the blowns with Titans , Jacksonville Tampa...
  3. Poker

    Poker Rookie

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    Yes, that's true, esp the Titans anomaly, but by this point in the season, most of the teams have a few blowout wins too like the Pats and their impact gets lessened and averaged out.
  4. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    Every team has blowout wins against crappy teams, and thus every team's stats are, to some extent, distorted.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  5. Simkin

    Simkin Banned

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    Say it to Pittsburg :singing::singing::singing::p:p:p:D:D:D

    And Brady is being sooo underrated this season.

    For example , is better than the Manning 2008 MVP season
  6. pao

    pao Rookie

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    I think you are right. Excellent point about balance. One question though. The 59-0 win over Tennessee is a bit of an outlier and affects the point differential significantly. I wonder if that may give a bit of a skewed slant to the differential standings. No way to know really or even if it is significant. After all they did have the differential. Whatever. The things that makes the Patriots the most dangerous remain TB and BB, differential of no.
  7. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Most balanced would be great but...

    I think most consistent would be part of that and we haven't quite been. Of course what we are is many multiples more important and we look pretty balanced now.

    Plus we're hot and have the momentum. Scientists in lab coats have proven that just saying the word momentum is good for at least one playoff win.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  8. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think most balanced team fit last years squad. This team has a better passing game.
  9. Poker

    Poker Rookie

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    I don't think you got the point of my original post. I'm not talking about Pats 2009 vs 2008 offensive balance. I am talking about the Pats 2009 being the most balanced team in the entire league at this point. Go back and look at the 2008 team vs the league--not the same.
  10. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Maybe that's just part of the balance -- a balance of good and bad performances. ;)

    I like the concept of this thread, but I'm waring about inferring balance from yearlong aggregates. The problem (as RayClay suggests) is that inconsistency, over the course of a season, aggregates into apparent balance.
  11. Frezo

    Frezo Rookie

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    Yes! When potential energy becomes kinetic energy you get...Belikinetics!!
  12. TheComeback

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    I don't agree with this analysis. We've played much better recently, but calling us the most balanced team in the league is a stretch. We haven't shown the consistency to deserve that label.

    As for those clamoring about "outliers," what a bunch of BS. You play the teams on the schedule. The Titans were on the field and in uniform for that game. We destroyed them, and that's all there is to it. You don't count out games just because a team stinks.

    The people treating the Jaguars like another "outlier" need a reality check. This is a team that can still make the playoffs with some luck. This is a team that the Colts, unquestionably an elite team, struggled to defeat. They were no guaranteed win. The players on the Patriots were proud of that victory, and rightly so.

    That doesn't mean we're suddenly the team to beat in the playoffs. We are never going to be that team in 2009. We aren't the most "balanced," we're the most inconsistent. If the Patriots want to go somewhere in the playoffs, they'll need to focus on getting better every single day. What they did in Jacksonville isn't enough. They need to turn it up, not slow it down.
  13. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    The only real inconsistency for the Pats this year has been in wasted scoring opportunities on offense. A lot of that has been player health. Hard to be consistent when you don't have a consistent set of bodies practicing or showing up 100% for the game.

    As for the defense, it looks pretty consistent to me. Factoring out return points and dropping the Titans shutout and Saints debacle (neither are representative) and you get for points allowed:

    17, 16, 10, 14, 17 (+3 in OT), 7, 17, 35, 14, 22, 10, 10, 7

    The 35 is the only number that stands out...and that would have been closer to 21 if the refs didn't screw over the Pats in the last couple of minutes. My statistics skills aren't that great, but I think even I can figure out that data set. The Pats D operates in the 14-17 range. Consistently.

    The Pats are like the Pack in the NFC. Overshadowed by media darlings (Saints/Vikings for the Pack, Colts/Chargers for the Pats), they are actually better positioned for a postseason run than the unbalanced teams ahead of them. May not be enough to overcome HFA (and the associated hometown calls), but I would not be surprised to see the Pats and Pack playing in February.
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would agree with this. I need to see more than one impressive game to believe that this team has truly turned the corner and gotten its act together. Time and again this season this team has teased us by looking like it was ready to kick it into high gear only to give away games with wasted opportunities - against Denver week 5, against Indy week 10, against Miami week 13. I'll grant you one poor game against the Jets and one blowout by the red-hot and revved up Saints as something that could happen to any team, but the other 3 games were wins that this team forgot to finish off.

    There has never been a Pats team this inconsistent in the BB era. There has never been a Pats team that lost 3 out of 4 since 2002, never been a Pats team that opened December with a loss this decade, and never been a Pats team that has struggled with the same issues (red zone execution, in particular) this late in the season.

    Jacksonville was a pleasant surprise and a good first step. Now we need to show that we can build on that and move forward, rather than taking steps backwards the way we have all season.
  15. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Rookie

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    Brady hasnt had a good season by his standards (despite the numbers) - a few games he's loooked like the Tom of old (Indy, Jax) etc but he's obviously been playing while dinged up

    If he can stay healthy into the playoffs though ...
  16. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    Good analysis.

    Statisically, we do appear balanced, but stats can be manipulated to say whatever the analyzer or detractor wants. It's not a bad thing, just foder for debate.

    IMO, momentum is much more important than balance. Pats have played some good football the past few weeks, against some teams that have given other teams fits. I like where they are going into the playoffs, as long as everyone stays healthy.
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