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The Official "Pats Have a Second Half Problem" Thread

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by aluminum seats, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    It seems that the main point of contention following the Jets’ game is whether the Pats’ struggles in the second half are due to the players or the play calling. While I would hope most of us would agree that it’s probably a combination of the two, there seems to be a contingent here that simply will not accept the idea that coaching may be a factor.

    It’s silly to just look at one game and list miscues: this guy dropped a pass, that guy missed a block, etc. But looking back at the last 19 games—inclusive of Pats’ blowouts, Pats getting blown out, close losses, close wins, whatever—allows us to analyze a decent chunk of data.

    So. Over the past 19 games, in which the Pats have gone 11-8, they have “won” (meaning, scored more points than the opposition) the second half of those games only 6 times. Six out of 19. Over the last 11 games, the Pats have won the second half ONCE. One time over the last 11 games have the Patriots outscored their opponents in the second half. This would seem to suggest a problem with coaching.

    Now, to those who get hysterical over any potential criticism of the coaching staff: you know, the “Oh, so you know more than the best coach in the NFL, leader of the team of the decade!” types….stop. Just stop. It’s a little odd to praise the coaching for years and then decide that, you know, it’s really about the players.

    For the record: it’s great Bill Belichick is the coach of this team, there are a lot of young players who will naturally be making young player-type mistakes, and I’m still hopeful for a Super Bowl this year, even with the rebuilding. But the Pats do seem to have a second half problem. The question is, why, and what can be done about it?
  2. 51Hits

    51Hits Rookie

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    Re: The Official Pats Have a Second Half Problem Thread

    It's a pretty impossible question to answer. Looking on the field, to me it's an execution problem and a coaching problem. What will make it stop, I don't know if the team hasn't realized it yet or not but a year and 2 games later, these issues don't seem to stop. I don't think the excuse that this is a young team carries weight all the way here, because that's the cop out I've been hearing for 2 years now.

    I simply don't have an answer for it, but I just hope it stops and soon. The thing that bothers me is I've been hearing the Patriots say they need to be more mentally tough ever since that Miami nightmare of last year, and I still have yet to see it.:bricks:
  3. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    There is already a million threads talking about this, why did you have to make this one? Wasn't aware that you had the power to make something official either, I think you mean unofficial.
  4. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Rookie

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    Sure glad we have an official thread because we've never heard of these second half problems. Glad it's confirmed. :rolleyes:
  5. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    Second half problem and my life is over...

    ...wait I am over that now ;)
  6. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Having some fun with the title....yikes.
  7. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Rookie

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    :eek: What a comeback. Just what we need to correct these official second half problems.
  8. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Oh, but you're bringing a lot to the table.

    Run along now, little boy. Oh wait, I mean "bad mofo." :rolleyes:
  9. boston22407

    boston22407 Rookie

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    :mad::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks::bricks:
  10. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    Why does this "seem to suggest" a problem with coaching any more than it seems to suggest a problem with the players? I don't understand why you think your conclusion is so self-evident. The Championship Patriots teams used to win games by making ONE or TWO plays in CRITICAL situations in the second half of games. The 2009 and so far the 2010 versions don't make those plays. This is the simplest explanation, it's the one Reiss gave in his mailbag today (although he admits that coaching also plays a role), and I think it's the best one, unless you can point me to some EVIDENCE that the coaches become incompetent in the middle of games.
  11. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Wow, an even-tempered, rational post.....I'm stunned.

    But yeah, plenty of threads I think are lame--know what I do? I read something else! How about that.

    For what it's worth, I've waded through (and posted in) a couple of similar threads, but at a certain point, the length of those threads gets tough to go through. And after actually going through the results last season, I thought it worthy of starting one to highlight that.

    To get back to that, again--for those who think coaching isn't an issue at all--in the Pats' last 11 games, they've won the second half once. I'd be interested in comments on that.
  12. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    First of all, let's stipulate that every play during a game is made by a player. So yes, of COURSE it comes down to making plays. But simply saying that discounts the impact of coaching entirely.

    Reiss is off-base if he suggests that the Patriots' atrocious second halves are the result of one or two plays, though. They are getting consistently outplayed. That suggests coaching because it's the most logical explanation for the disparity between the two halves.
  13. BostonBullit

    BostonBullit Rookie

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    The way I see it is like this: the coaches come up with a game plan on both offense and defense, which is given to the players at the start of preparations for that game. The players then have a few days sessions to absorb the plan and practice against the scout teams, which gives the coaches time to make corrections/adjustments. The game starts and things go well on both sides of the ball, the O puts up points and the D makes stops.

    BUT

    After 1.5qtrs the other team starts implementing changes, modifying what the pats have practiced and prepared for, changing the weaknesses that the game plans target. The pats start to look like crap on both sides of the ball just before the half and it gets worse after the trip to the locker room. The question becomes are the coaches not coming up with effective counters to the other teams changes, or is it the players who are too young/inexperienced/untalented to effectively implement the changes?

    The scary thing is that to the man, from Brady trough Meriwether (who shouldn't be allowed to do radio interviews) every interview I heard since the game has said that the jets made no changes, "we just didn't execute". BULL. You don't go from forcing 3 and outs and moving the ball at will to looking like a JV HS team in the same game if everything stays constant, something is changing....just flippin admit it and stop blowing smoke
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IF
    Brady isnt hit on 3rd down so he cant throw the ball
    Brady isnt sacked on the fumble play, so we are worst case 2nd and 10 in the red zone
    Moss uses 2 hands and catches the 2nd Int


    Do we have playcalling, adjustment,and second half problems?

    If
    Moss loafs after the TD like he did the first Int
    Smith doesnt commit a penalty on Welker after an incomplete and we are shut out in the first half, do we have first half problems?

    Thats an awfully thin line to conclude a far reaching systemic problem
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  15. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    #12 Jersey


    Here's another one....

    IF football was a 2 quarter game the Pats would go 16-0

    I really wonder how intense the players are listening to coach BB in the locker room at halftime,are they talking on their cell phones?...maybe playing Madden 11 on their iPod touch? Or what?

    Something is not getting in the heads of these guys during that time,it's like they left the intensity in that locker room
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that the problem is in assuming there is one answer.
    First, I think you have to limit second half 'losses' to actual games that are lost. Its irrelevant that the Bengals scored more points than the Pats last week when the primary job was to preserve the win, not add to the lead. A strategy that protects the lead, even if allowing more 2nd half points than it scores, is still sound.
    Also what happened last year and what happened, will happen or is happening this year are not the same thing.

    Yes, the Patriots have all too often had games that were close at the half, that they lost with poor play in the 2nd half. 5 times since last year.

    The biggest mistake that could be made would be to assume there is one answer for all of those games spread so far apart, with different players, different dynamics, and different opponents.

    I am sure that there were times that the other team did a better job adjusting their game plan than we did.
    Logically, you would expect that to happen half the time. Since we are ignoring the games that we had no second half problems, I dont know that
    I could call losing the 'adjustment battle' 5 times in 18 games bad coaching, if in fact that were the sole cause.
    I mean the standard cannot be that our coaching staff outcoaches every team, every game, every half, or we are being foolish.

    I am sure that an analysis would show that some of those games inviolved poor decision making by the coaching staff, others would sbow poor execution of good decisions, and some would show both.

    IMO, if the discussion is about this weeks game, you can certainly find ingenius ideas in hindsight that got missed and you can certainly find poor exection.
    I think in this case though it is clear that plays were there to be made that werent. and the larger issue was execution.

    Look at it this way, from the offensive side.
    If before the game we said that we would come out and attack the Jets D successfully enough that they will abandon theiir blitzing identity, flood the middle of the field, sit back in coverage and need to leave Moss in single coverage with no help, and no Revis, and all we have to do is execute the plays that will exploit that D, anyone who says that would be a bad plan is lying.
    That is what happened, we got those plays, we didnt make them. Not only didnt we make the plays that exploited that D we turned them into turnovers. That aint scheme, adjustment or play call, thats failing to make the play we wanted to have them give us.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2010
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Alright, let's start with the most recent game and work backwards to see when games were "won" and "lost".

    • Jets 28, Pats 14: NYJ outscores Pats 18-0 after halftime, so game was 'lost' in 2nd half
    • Pats 38, Bengals 24: Pats didn't have a chance to 'win' this game in the 2nd half because of the 24-3 halftime lead. The fact Cincy outscored the Pats in the second half is irrelevant.

    • Ravens 33, Pats 14: Game was lost in the first quarter; 2nd half score is irrelevant.
    • Texans 34, Pats 27: Meaningless game; 2nd half score is irrelevant.
    • Pats 35, Jags 7: With a 28-0 halftime lead, 2nd half score is irrelevant.
    • Pats 17, Bills 10: Though Buffalo outscored the Pats by 4 in the 2nd half, the Pats did what they needed to do in that 2nd half to win.
    • Pats 20, Panthers 10: Score tied at halftime; Pats win in 2nd half.
    • Dolphins 22, Pats 21: Pats outscored by 5 in 2nd half to lose.
    • Saints 38, Pats 17: Game is 'lost' in 2nd quarter; 2nd half score is irrelevant.
    • Pats 31, Jets 14: Pats did what they needed to do in 2nd half to win; 2nd half score is irrelevant.
    • Colts 35, Pats 34: Game is 'lost' in 4th quarter (not a half-time adjustment)
    • Pats 35, Bucs 7: Pats did what they needed to do in 2nd half to win.
    • Pats 59, Titans 0: Pats did what they needed to do at start of 2nd half to remove any possibility of comeback.
    • Broncos 20, Pats 17: Game is 'lost' in 2nd half/OT.
    • Pats 27, Ravens 21: Pats did what they needed to do in 2nd half to win.
    • Pats 26, Falcons 10: Pats break open close game to win in 2nd half.
    • Jets 16, Pats 9: Pats go from up by 6 at halftime to lose by 7, so game was 'lost' in 2nd half.
    • Pats 25, Bills 24: Pats score three times in 4th quarter for come from behind 2nd half win.


    Do the Pats need to be more effective and productive in the second half?

    Yes.


    Are the "second half problems" overstated, maybe due to an over-simplified statistical analysis?

    Probably.
  18. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    For the most part, I think your point is pretty well made, but I have a hard time believing that anyone would consider a 14-point game at halftime a lost cause.
  19. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    FWIW, Bruschi has come down decidedly in the "the Pats need to make better second half adjustments" camp: Bruschi dissects Pats loss to Jets - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    "They look like two different teams between the first and second half," he says. "Making sideline adjustments has always been a strength of the Patriots. They must improve in this area."

    Bruschi's analysis is pretty much identical to Jay's take on the second-half woes in the most recent PatsCast: in the second half, the Jets were consistently dropping 8 into coverage, and the Pats didn't have an answer.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  20. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Good post, particularly noting that the Pats' "second half" problems actually begin in the latter stages of the first half. That is true.

    As far as the players talking about execution, I actually think that's simply what they should do. The moment players start talking about "game plans" the media turns it into "the players are throwing the coaches under the bus." So I think that's what they'll say regardless.
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