Starting with the 2007 season, the Pats have had 5 playoff losses: 2007 - in the SB to NYG, 17-14 2009 - in the WC round to Bal, 33-14 2010 - in the Divisional round to NYJ, 28-21 2011 - in the SB to NYG, 21-17 2012 - in the AFCCG to Bal, 28-13 It is a team sport, and we must recognize that every player and coach and unit shares the blame for a loss, just as they share the credit for a win. That being understood, which unit more underperformed in these losses, the offense or the defense? 2007 Offense (reg. season): 36.8 ppg, 411.3 ypg, 0.9 to Offense (playoff loss): 14 pts, 274 yds, 1 to Performance: -22.8 pts, -137.3 yds, -0.1 to Defense (reg. season): 17.1 ppg, 288.3 ypg, 1.9 to Defense (playoff loss): 17 pts, 338 yds, 1 to Performance: +0.1 pts, -49.7 yds, -0.9 to 2009 Offense (reg. season): 26.7 ppg, 397.3 ypg, 1.4 to Offense (playoff loss): 13 pts, 196 yds, 4 to Performance: -13.7 pts, -201.3 yds, -2.6 to Defense (reg. season): 17.8 ppg, 320.2 ypg, 1.8 to Defense (playoff loss): 33 pts, 268 yds, 2 to Performance: -15.2 pts, +52.2 yds, +0.2 to 2010 Offense (reg. season): 32.4 ppg, 363.8 ypg, 0.6 to Offense (playoff loss): 21 pts, 372 yds, 1 to Performance: -11.4 pts, +8.2 yds, -0.4 to Defense (reg. season): 19.6 ppg, 366.5 ypg, 2.4 to Defense (playoff loss): 28 pts, 314 yds, 0 to Performance: -8.4 pts, +52.5 yds, -2.4 to 2011 Offense (reg. season): 32.1 ppg, 428.0 ypg, 1.1 to Offense (playoff loss): 17 pts, 349 yds, 1 to Performance: -15.1 pts, -79.0 yds, +0.1 to Defense (reg. season): 21.4 ppg, 411.1 ypg. 2.1 to Defense (playoff loss): 21 pts, 396 yds, 0 to Performance: +0.4 pts, +15.1 yds, -2.1 to 2012 Offense (reg. season): 34.8 ppg, 427.9 ypg, 1.0 to Offense (playoff loss): 13 pts, 428 yds, 3 to Performance: -21.8 pts, +0.1 yds, -2.0 to Defense (reg. season): 20.7 ppg, 373.3 ypg, 2.6 to Defense (playoff loss): 28 pts, 356 yds, 0 to Performance: -7.3 pts, +17.3 yds, -2.6 to 5-game averages Offense (reg. season): 32.6 ppg, 405.7 ypg, 1.0 to Offense (playoff loss): 15.0 ppg, 323.8 yds, 2.0 to Performance: -17.6 pts, -81.9 yds, -1.0 to Defense (reg. season): 19.3 ppg, 351.9 ypg, 2.2 to Defense (playoff loss): 25.4 ppg, 334.4 ypg, 0.6 to Performance: -6.1 pts, +17.5 yds, -1.6 to Here are some observations: (1) Both units underperform. That should come as no surprise. AndyJohnson or Deus (can't remember which guy it was) was correct in another thread when he said that it's not surprising that in their playoff losses their stats are worse. (2) The defense performed a LOT closer to its season norms than the offense did. I mean, look at that. Sure, the D gave up just over 6 points a game more during these playoff losses than it averaged during the regular season. But the offense has scored nearly *18* points less per game. That's an unbelievably huge dropoff. And in yards allowed, the D actually has performed better in these losses than it did during those regular seasons, but the offense...not so much. Underperforming by a tick under 82 yards a game. (3) Turnovers are, not surprisingly, a humongous factor. Not only is the offense turning the ball over in these losses a LOT more than during the regular season (at twice the rate, in fact), but the defense suddenly cannot get a turnover to save its life. Fumbles in these five playoff losses: NE fumbles (lost): - 2007 - 1 (1) - 2009 - 1 (1) - 2010 - 3 (0) - 2011 - 0 (0) - 2012 - 1 (1) Opp fumbles (lost): - 2007 - 2 (0) - 2009 - 1 (1) - 2010 - 1 (0) - 2011 - 2 (0) - 2012 - 1 (0) So the Patriots' offense fumbled the ball 6 times in these 5 losses, and lost 3 of them. Brady also threw 7 interceptions. But the Patriots' defense forced 7 fumbles in these 5 losses, but could only manage to recover 1 of them. They also only came up with 3 interceptions. So just on the fumble front, it isn't like the defense wasn't knocking the ball loose. They just couldn't get hold of them. I'd say that this was the single biggest difference in terms of the performance of the defense. Instead of getting the big turnover, they'd allow the other team to score. Instead of getting the ball back for the offense in good field position, they'd allow the other team to either score or punt, which routinely gave the offense worse field position to work with. So the failure to generate turnovers was the biggest failing of the defense. But the offense failed across the board. Twice the turnover rate. Far worse at gaining yards. And scored at an incredibly poor rate compared to the regular season. So while playoff losses are always a shared effort, I'd argue that the numbers tell us that the bigger failure is on the offense. We can point to one thing here or there as a reason why maybe this isn't the case, but the 5-game pattern is pretty clear.