Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by SVN, Jan 17, 2008.
baby-blueprint made me laugh
I'm still trying to figure out how there's supposed to be a blueprint for something that changes as much as the way the Pats approach each game.
Wow. It doesn't get any easier. This may be the toughest road to the Super Bowl in the last several years. Looks like Green Bay would be even tougher than San Diego.
CHFF is one of my favorite sites, and they usually do a great job of pinpointing the more useful stats. However in this case I feel that they have slightly overstated the case for the Chargers blueprint. They cite Defensive Passer Rating and Big Play Index as the barometer of strength. I think both are valuable statistics, but again these need to be examined against how they achieved them.
CHFF points to their NFL leading 30 picks as a prime example of this, however a little investigation offered the following:
22 of the 30 picks were at home in San Diego, where they managed to pick off such notable passers as Grossman (1), Rosenfels, Schaub, Cutler, Culpepper and Huard (2 each), and Kitna (5), The lone exception on quality passers is Manning who had 6 Brain Farts in an unexplicable game.
On the road however it is a very different story where they lost out to good passers of the calibre of Brady (1 int), Favre (0) and Garrard (0 - and yes after the divisional game I would put him in the good passer category). Their interceptions came courtesy of Huard (2 again), Young (2), Cutler (1), Russell (1) and Thigpen (1).
Sometime the stats are skewed and so it is really important to see who they were up against. I still think they are a good team, but not dominating which the CHFF article almost asserts.
Those stats include how the Bolts played at home and against non-playoff-caliber competition...none of which applies for this weekend's game.
They got crushed at NE, fell apart in the 4th quarter at GB, squeaked by in OT at TEN and nipped an inexplicably uninspired team at IND. You can add getting wasted at MIN if you want.
The Pats beat SD, PIT and JAX at home all by 10+ points. Squeaking by PHI at home is the only blip on the schedule. Their other big wins (DAL, IND, NYG) were on the road.
Past performances don't guarantee future results, but you can't show me anything that says SD has demonstrated a proclivity for playing well against good competition on the road. Plays hard and scraps? Sure. Hangs in the game? Usually. Gets big plays? Sometimes. Plays at a high level? Don't see it.
Take away the Philly game (it would take a separate thread to explain why the Philly game is not representative) and the Pats have shown an ability to beat all challengers comfortably...meaning even a late fluke play for a score wouldn't have changed the outcome.
So if form holds, the Bolts will stay in the game into the 3rd quarter, using a big play or turnover to keep them close. The Pats will start to pull away late in the 3rd and into the 4th quarter and win by 10-17 points. The key for SD is to do something different to make sure that the game doesn't follow form...and do it in a way that doesn't explode in their face and turn it into a blowout.
Based on SD's strengths, I think the Patriot's blueprint for the AFCCG is quite simple:
1. Execute the offense
2. Don't commit turn-overs.
The Pats have been unbelievable in limiting turn-overs this season, while San Diego (to their credit) has been benefiting from turn-overs all season, especially in the red-zone. As CHFF points out, SD has a high "bendibility index" - indicating that teams have had no problem moving the ball against them. San Diego's defense relies on turn-overs to stop offenses. If the Pat's RBs continue to protect the football and Brady makes good decisions, hello Super Bowl.
How about this last sunday, knocking off the defending SB champs on the road in one of the loudest stadiums, without our starting QB and RB? They were not good competition on the road?
I see you are still predicting a blow-out.
For what it is worth, unlike the vast majority of experts and fans across the land last week, Cold Hard Football Facts predicted a very close game (20-17 Indy) and that margin assumed that Gates would not play.
These Cold Hard Football Facts are about to become.......as Manning said at the end of the game Sunday....The Cold Hard Truth!
Without yet opening the link let me guess...
1.) pressure Brady
2.) rough up the Pats receivers off the line/don't let the get off clean
3.) establish the ground game/kill the clock
4.) win the turnover battle
Gee, now that would be new stuff. We keep seeing the same freakin' blueprint every week, just on a different team's letterhead but with the same end result. Now I'm off to read the link.
San Diego can have it's blue print. BB will do what he always does. Start with an idea then allow it to unfold as the opposition shows its focuses and weaknesses. I predict they force the pass rush on TB, then he will start hitting WW in the slot and Maroney will have yet another Monster Game. They are gonna smother Randy and that will probably make folks like Gaffney and Watson the recipients of 6 points on the career stats. WHATEVER! I cant wait to see if Philip "Cry Baby" Rivers tries his antics with the Pats fans! Now that he will need a blueprint for! GO PATS!
Will somebody send their resignation letters after pats wins this SB.?
The problem is that it wasn't really a blueprint. It was just saying that SD should do what they've been doing well, cause turnovers, which causes a short field for their offense, and then score on those opportunities presented by the turnovers.
The problem with CHFF's stats in this case is that they focus on the Chargers statistical success vs the league in general. But when you look at the Chargers stats vs the Patriots specifically, the numbers are terrible.
Football is a game of matchups, and the Pats have the edge. It doesn't matter if San Diego is good at generating picks against 90% of the teams in the league, they will have to force 2007 MVP Brady with a 50 TD to 8 INT ratio to make a mistake to stand a chance in this game.
I'm pretty sure that CHFF's big play index also includes defensive and special teams big plays. The Chargers as we know are proficient at causing turnovers, so thats going to inflate the big play stat.
The other thing to consider is that CHFF pretty much kills their own argument by revealing that the Pats have given up the fewest big plays in the NFL. So that kind of negates that doesn't it.
The other thing that CHFF didn't not go into is Philip Rivers efficiency as a QB vs the Pats defense. PR is coming off his worst year in terms of TDs to INT ratio 21 TDs vs 15 picks respectively. This means we can pretty much expect at least 1 pick from Rivers in this game. That pick, if turned into a "free score" for the Pats could really end up burying the Chargers in a game where they are already outmatched.
I still see the Pats winning this game by at least 2 scores (10-14 points).
I wish I had access to PR's playoff only stats. I'm guessing we'd see an edge in that matchup too.
Actually, it only recommended #4 as the surest road to victory.
Pretty much. CHFF usually comes up with some good articles, but they served up some pretty weak sauce with this one. They weren't even willing to go out on a limb and predict a Chargers win based on their stat analysis. I'm thinking they kind of know that it's not really substantial enough to go that far for.
I didn't say the Bolts didn't play good competition on the road...I said they generally haven't played well against good competition on the road. Against the Colts, Rivers and Volek played well, with Rivers especially able to attack downfield. The running game was fairly ordinary, the rush defense was solid and the pass defense was horrific. Couple of extraordinary plays (Sproles, Cromartie) and overall a good effort against a surprisingly lethargic Colts team.
What about the other road games I mentioned? They could be a team like the Colts last year that rode a late hot streak on defense to the title. My point was they haven't played well consistently enough on the road to predict anything but a solid Pats' win. Any stats that say otherwise aren't being taken in context.
I predict a close game through 3 quarters with the Pats pulling away late. Hardly a blowout. Outside of Philly (again, not a typical result for how the game went), the Pats beat everyone at home by 10+ points. The Bolts haven't shown enough on the road to think they will show up dramatically better than PIT (when they were healthy) or JAX. Add in the freezing temps (winds won't be terrible), travel and injuries, it is only logical to predict a 10-17 point Pats' win.
I will say this: there likely will be a moment or two in the 3rd quarter that could change the complexion of the game. If the Bolts can show enough discipline, concentration and intensity to take advantage of those moments, who knows what could happen? I just wouldn't bet on it.
OK . . . so all the team that's #1 in Big Play differential has to do is force the team that's #2 in Big Play differential (and top 10 overall in Big Plays made) to allow Big Plays--but, oh yeah, they're the best team in the league at preventing Big Plays. Heck, the Pats spotted them two turnovers in Week 2, and left points on the board, and it was still a blowout.
As someone put it, basically the "blueprint" for beating the Pats is "Do something you're not used to doing, and do it extremely well. Oh, yeah, and do it while the Patriots take away the thing you most want to do."
As I said... they served up some pretty weak sauce for a CHFF article.
They should have just come out and admit that there is no blueprint for beating the Patriots.
This "blueprint" word has become so cliched that it is being used without any regard to its actual meaning.
of course its weak, its giving the chargers a chance.
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