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Post Draft Thoughts on the Pats in 2012

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ivanvamp, May 1, 2012.

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  1. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

    Mar 4, 2007
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    Let's start by reminding ourselves of what the team was at the end of 2012. The Patriots were one of the best teams in the league last year, going 14-2 and losing the Super Bowl in the last minute. They had a top-3 offense in the league in terms of both points scored and yards gained. Defensively, they were #15 in points allowed but 31st in yards allowed. Their top two pass rushers from last year are gone. Matt Light retired. Green-Ellis left via free agency.

    What did they get in free agency?

    1. They re-signed some key offensive players (Connolly, Koppen, Branch).
    2. They added a useful and versatile OL (Gallery).
    3. They got pass-rush help on the DL (Fanene, Scott).
    4. They added two guys in the defensive backfield (Allen, Gregory).
    5. They added two running backs (Fiammetta, Larsen).
    6. They added TONS of receiving help (Lloyd, Stallworth, Gonzalez, Fells).

    And in the draft (and UDFA), they:

    1. Got more defensive line help (Jones, Bequette, Forston).
    2. Added some defensive backfield help (Wilson, Ebner, Dennard).
    3. Got some additional OL help (Warren, Zusevics, Herman (TE, Iowa)).
    4. Got one of the premier LB in the nation (Hightower).

    So they've added a bunch of guys that I really think can help them upgrade the defense long-term, and the offense should be even more explosive than it was last year.

    So here are my thoughts looking forward (obviously players need to be signed, show up to camp, there will be tons of cuts, etc.):

    1. I think the Patriots will have the #1 offense in football in 2013, both in terms of yards and points. They will average 34+ points per game. Brady will throw for 5,000 yards again and 40+ touchdowns. The numbers won't look too far off what they were last year, but on the whole, they'll be more efficient and explosive. Ridley and Vereen will provide serious punch from the RB position. There will essentially be no way to defend them, so long as the OL does its job.

    2. I think the defense will improve to a top-10 defense in terms of points allowed, and they will be top-15 in terms of yards allowed. I don't see a leap into elite defense status, but they will improve greatly. Last year here's what they allowed:

    - 1st four games: 24.5 ppg, 477.5 ypg, 368.8 pass ypg
    - games 5-16: 20.3 ppg, 388.9 ypg, 269.0 pass ypg
    - 3 playoff games: 17.0 ppg, 348.7 ypg, 224.0 pass ypg

    So the defense improved as the season went on, by virtually every measure. And before we say, look, they played teams with no good QB after game 4, I say really? Here's who they faced in the first 4 games of the year:

    - Mia (Henne)
    - SD (Rivers)
    - Buf (Fitzpatrick)
    - Oak (Campbell)

    Of those four, only Rivers is really any good. After game 4, they faced some bad QB, true, but they also faced Roethlisberger and Eli Manning. Bottom line? The D was much improved after the first 4 games of the year.

    And now they've added some *significant* defensive help. They'll also get back Dowling, who played well early until his injury.

    So I think their offense will be the best in the league and they'll really have a defense in the upper third of the league. And I think that will put them in the driver's seat in the AFC, and they'll finish with the top seed for the playoffs.

    From there, of course, who knows what happens, but we'll once again be looking at a deep playoff run. I see this team finishing the deal in 2012, getting the Pats' fourth Lombardi.
  2. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Nov 30, 2009
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    Until someone beats us 19-0 :rocker:
  3. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Jul 11, 2005
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    #91 Jersey

    Usually I'm the overly optimistic one. The Pats WILL have a very good offense, but it only needs to be in the top 5 and not turning the ball over to reach our goals. 5000 yds is a huge number. A number only done by 3 QBs in the history of the game. It might not be so easy this year. 4500-4800 is a number I can live with and so can the Pats. Also I think there will be an increased emphasis on the running game this year, which will take away opportunities away from the passing game.

    The Key stats that I'd like to see the offense improve one are time of possession, rushing yds and fewer picks.

    These are very reasonable goals for this defense - top 10 in scoring - top 15 in yds - top 7 in TO's.

    Obviously we have SIGNIFICANTLY added to the talent level of the defense, even with the loss of Anderson. I can't over emphasize the impact that getting Dowling back will have on the entire secondary, and EVERY DB we added are improvements on the every S that played with the exception of Chung. Its a real good place to start.

    While I find it hard to expect any rookie to have a significant impact, there is no question that we greatly upgraded the talent in the front 7 with this draft and to a lesser degree FA.. Its quicker, much more explosive, and athletic.

    However I see the biggest difference in what we'll see in this defense will be how BB uses it. Its been a long while since we've really seen the wildly changing week to week schemes. Injuries and a lack of depth caused Bill to have to be more vanilla and conservative. I think with the addition of more athletic skill sets, depth, and experience, BB can finally open the defensive playbook to a level we haven't seen here since 2007. This almost forgotten asset will help improve this still very young defense as much as the improved talent level.

    These are very encouraging numbers, especially the playoff ones, vs the top competition. But they are only indicators, and as hopeful as they are, we won't know how this new defense will mesh together until it actually does. There are going to be so many new parts that will need to be assimilated.

    They also did a pretty good job on Romo as well.

    And now they've added some *significant* defensive help. They'll also get back Dowling, who played well early until his injury.

    That's using just a little bit hyperbole I think. The offense will be very good, and the defense will be better. Those are givens. However there a OTHER very good teams in the conference as well. So. you'll have to pardon me if I'm just happy to be lumped in with the likes of Houston, Baltimore, and Steelers as favorites in the AFC. There are a number of teams in the conference that got significantly better, like KC, Denver, Cinci, and Buffalo who will push us as well.

    My only goal is to get to the playoffs with a home game. Recent years have shown us that once you get a ticket to playoffs, ANY of the teams can get the Lombardi, That's all we can ask, AND expect.
  4. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Sep 15, 2004
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    In all this discussion of how terrible the Pats Defense was in 2011, everyone overlooks the terrible injury toal.

    The Pats lost their two outside starting CBs, their starting SS and his backup. Removing Leigh Bodden, Ras-I Dowling, Patrick Chung for a goodly portion of the season can't help but hurt. In addition, Belichick previously cut Meriwether and Sanders just before all those injuries struck, for uncoachability, and the unpardonable sin of being very out of shape. The replacements did not pan out.

    You can't remove five starting caliber players and not have it show.

    Nonetheless as the season wore on, Belichick found street FAs who could play some such as Moore, and got Patrick Chung back. As a poster here pointed out by the Playoffs the Defense in general, and the pass defense in particular, was much better.

    Now he gets Ras-I back, and adds Tavon Wilson and Alfonzo Dennard from the Draft, and ex-starting vets Will Allen and Steve Gregory from FA. Plus he added pass rushers Fanene, Scott, Jones, Hitower, and Bequette. He also gets back Cunningham and perhaps Andre Carter.

    I think the Defense will be fine.

    The Offense is was fine, and gets even deeper.
  5. Simple Jack's Brother

    Simple Jack's Brother Practice Squad Player

    Feb 19, 2012
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    Love pretty much everything the Pats have done so far this offseason.

    Question though, Jacoby Jones was just released by the Texans...any shot we take a flier on him as strictly a return man? We SUCKED in that aspect last year.
  6. Teapot

    Teapot On the Game Day Roster

    Apr 28, 2012
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    Brady: Check
    Bellichick : Check

    Ready to go.
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