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The Offense hurts the Defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by xmarkd400x, Jan 16, 2008.

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  1. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    The fear that people have of New England's offense leads them to make more aggressive play calls against the Patriot Defense. Put yourself in the same position; you would do the same thing. Take this scenario for example:

    Score tied 0-0. Opponent has 4th and 2 on NE 49. In general, the NFL punts on this down and distance. Against the Patriots, teams feel the need to play more aggressive and go for it.

    This is an interesting scenario. If you have any semblance of a good offense, your best bet is to go for it on fourth and short. You will convert a good amount of the time. New England and Dallas were tied for 4th in the league for 4th down conversions at 71.4%. (#1 Arizona 85.7%, #2 Houston 73.3%, #3 KC 72.2%, http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/stati...rt=pct4&pos=off&league=nfl&season=2&year=2007)

    Most coaches, however, punt. The smarter decision is to go for it. Against the Patriots, coaches are afraid of each possession that doesn't end in points, so they become more aggressive. They make the correct choice for an incorrect reason.

    Since the more aggressive tactics lead to more points, the Patriots offense hurts the Defense by scaring opposing offenses into being more aggressive. If you have any doubt about the validity of going for it, look how much the Patriots go for it on 4th down (21, T6th).
  2. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    This is an excellent thought, but there's a flip side of the coin that needs to be addressed. Because the Pats offense is so good, opponents go for it on 4th down sometimes when they could have kicked a sure field goal (especially in the second half when the opponent is behind). Often, this has led to opponents going away emptyhanded when they should have made 3 points.
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