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The Pats defense against the run should be much more of an issue this year

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOT64, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. PATRIOT64

    PATRIOT64 Rookie

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    Last year opposing teams got so far behind on the scoreboard that they were almost obligated to give up on the rushing attack and focus on passing to keep up with the Patriots scoring sprees thus the Pats Defense ranking of 4th in the league against the run was mostly due to this very fact that those teams could simply not use the rush against the 2007 Pats and very few opposing teams tried - they abandoned the run early and there was absolutely no pressure on the Pats front D to worry about it since teams were down by 10 or 20 way too fast last year.

    With that said,I think a big part of the success of the 2008 Patriots will rely on stopping the run since I think the Pats offense is going to be much more balanced with run and pass thus taking a bit more time on the field to score and resulting in far less runaway games on the scoreboard and more 3-7 point games than the 10-30 point drubbings of last year,I don't see 500 points on offense this year,more like the mid decade type of offense even though we still have Moss and Welker,I think this year will not be close to last year in stats and points and there will be lots of close games.

    Do you think there may lie a problem that was not seen last year because of the blowouts? - In other words when this teams front 7 is asked more often than last year to stop the run in crucial situations can they do it consistently?

    It will be interesting to see what the changes in defense do and if it was lucky or not that we did not have to worry about stopping the run last year and we will see if the front D truly are a top 5 defense against the run THIS year.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I understand where you are going with this thought, but I do believe the Patriots will be fine. Yes, there were games last year in which the opposing running back appeared to have a very good game. Colts' Joseph Addai 112 yards, Ravens' Willis McGahee 138 yards, Steelers' Willie Parker 124 yards. The most important stat in those games was 24-20, 27-24, and 34-13.

    The fact is that this game is not about style points, as proven in the Pats - Rams super bowl. This isn't about covering the point spread. It doesn't matter if Laurence Maroney is not a fantasy football stud. LaDanian Tomlinson being the spokesperson for EA Sports does not mean the Chargers will win the next super bowl.

    Take a lead and defend against the big play. Let the other team run and then force a turnover when they get impatient. Give up a pawn and win the chess match.

    I have confidence that this defense will be fine. It won't be easy, there are other very good teams out there too. I can't wait for the season to start, it's going to be a lot of fun.
  3. PatsFan24

    PatsFan24 Rookie

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    I think they will be fine for the most part. they are an old D but as long as they can play well in the red zone, and they didnt most of last year, they will be fine. how they play in the red zone to me is a bigger issue
  4. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    i think u may be right...

    or maybe i should check how many rushing yards SD got in their AFC game last yr...
  5. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Healthy Seymour + AD playing outside + Mayo at WILB + Hobson at SILB = a better run defense. The metrics on football outsiders showed that Wilfork and Warren were doing their job against the run, a healthy Seymour will as well, the weak link - I hate to say, but I think was Bruschi once COlvin went down.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  6. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It'll be fine. See 2006.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  7. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Although I think the Patriots' run defense will be tested more this season, it doesn't mean I think it will be an issue. I agree with Seymour coming into camp healthy, it will much improve our defense.

    Our only question is our ILBs. I think Hobson is going to be a free agent find, but we don't know yet. Bruschi is still pretty good vs. the run (his problems last year was in coverage). He should still be an asset on first and second downs. Mayo's progress will be the biggest question in this area. Can he be an impact player immediately?

    Also, the addition of Tank Williams should help out too. Even if he isn't in on run downs, he will relieve Harrison on other downs that will help keep him fresh.
  8. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I understand what you are thinking, but I'm not that worried.

    First, I see no reason why our offense can't be just as explosive as last year unless they just choose to be more conservative.

    Second, we still have a great DLine and safeties that can tackle well. .

    The only question might be how the LBs this year (Thomas, Mayo/Hobson, Bruschi/Mayo?, Vrabel) will handle the run compared to the LBs last year (Colvin, Thomas, Seau/Bruschi, Vrabel).

    I think they will be fine. We may still sign Seau, which would help with proven ability to stop the run and depth at ILB.
  9. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't get the logic of this argument. The Patriots offense was the greatest scoring offense in NFL history last season. Every starter, with the possible exception of Stephen Neal, is expected back. How is this going to translate into the run defense being more of an issue? Did someone kneecap Randy Moss while I wasn't looking?
  10. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I disagree with the basic premise. We had the highest scoring offense in NFL hisotry last year. We bring back almost the entire unit. You are assuming the offense digresses significantly? Why? You state it will be more balanced. If more balanced means a ton fewer points, why would BB want to be more balanced? He wont. We will score more points if we are less capable of scoring points, not by design.
    The arguments seems to be that while we are capable of scoring a ton of points (500+) and getting out to big leads, we will choose not to because somehow balance is more important that points. I have not heard a single word out of BB that said in retrospect he would have taken fewer points for the sake of more balance last year.

    On a side note, more balance may be part of this years philosophy but it will only be so IF it is expected to create more POINTS. Balance for the sake of balance is inane. Balance in order to create more opportunities in the passing game, can create more plays (i.e. throw less but get more out of it by making the D stay honest) in th epassing game, but the end result is our offensive gameplans will be the ones that BB feels will score the most points.
  11. tuckeverlasting

    tuckeverlasting Rookie

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    lets just stay on the lookout for tonya and gilooly. barring(pun intended) those two i see moss having a huge year.
  12. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Well, in theory I think you're right. The Pats were tied for 26th in the NFL in yards per carry allowed at 4.4... that's not very good at all. Though that number could be slightly inflated because, as you said, the Pats were ahead by a lot most games.

    In that scenario, the opponent wouldn't run as much, but when they did the Pats would be in a smaller defense, so they wouldn't be able to stuff the run as effectively. That's a trade-off they were willing to make.

    I think some of the points people have made above are true. Hobson should help the run D, and Mayo should as well from his early reports. A healthy Seymour is HUGE, and also, if the secondary is better (which I think it will be in terms of overall depth), it will allow more of the front seven to focus on run stopping and not having to help out in coverage. In theory anyway...
  13. ScottieC

    ScottieC Rookie

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    First of all, I'm going to get T-Shirts made for everyone that says "Got Wilfork?". He's the best there is, so the Sky's not falling just yet. One guy can't do it all, but he's a beast that has to be double teamed - That's gonna be big.

    That said, the first 4 games set up very well for the Pats, so if we can get off to a good start and show the league that our Pass Happy/Score a lot of points offense is back (Which I believe it will be and if C. Jackson shows up we could be even better), Then look for teams to abandon the run early and game plan thru a passing game.

    Which leads to the obvious and inevitable question about the Secondary. I'm not going there. I have faith in our coach. I just hope he does not plan to scheme it....The secondary that it.
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As far as the run D, I am not concerned. Stopping the run is a staple of BB defenses. With the exception of 2002, it has never been an issue.
    Some people point to yards per carry last year, but that is a superficial analysis. When yuo are ahead by as much as we were, ypc is the last thing on your mind, and our D will gladly allow rushing yards when the opponent is in the position of not being able to win by running.
    We are exceptionally strong in the DL vs the run. Vrable and Thomas are excellent run defending OLBs. Between Bruschi, Mayo, and Hobson, we will be fine up the middle alongside the other 5 guys.
    Basically last year, our offense stopped the run by being ahead. That doesnt mean our defense wouldnt have if the circumstances were different, and how they played the run with 21 point leads has nothing to so with how they would have in a 3 point game.

    I am much, much more concerend with 2 minute pass defense. That was our true achilles heal last year and the year before. If I had to (which I dont believe is necessary) trade a weaker run defense for a strong 2 minute pass D given the current make up of our team, I would do it in a second.
  15. Pats_R_#1

    Pats_R_#1 Rookie

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    Our pass defense as a whole is going to be better. With Thomas spending more time outside, combined with a healthy Seymour, the pass rush will wreak havoc on opposing QBs. It all starts up front on defense, and when I look at what we have on paper, I think we'll be dominant in that respect. Letting Samuel walk was the right move, and the additions to the secondary via the draft and free agency will offset his departure. We will miss his playmaking ability, but our secondary as a whole is deeper than it has been in quite a while. A lot of our problems in pass defense last season came from short to intermediate passes over the middle, as QBs took advantage of our nickel and dime corners. That shouldn't be as much of a problem this season when we roll out our revamped secondary, led by the coaching strategy of Dom Capers.
  16. JoePats

    JoePats Rookie

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    As long as Vince is healthy I'm confident the run defense will be just fine, and if Hobson plays well, it could be quite good.
  17. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Our defense is going to be just fine against the run so long as injuries do not mangle our defensive line. Big Vince, Warren, and a healthy Seymour should be able to stuff the run even moreso than last year.
  18. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    But, look at the stats for the first quarter when the games were close and the Pats gave up 3.6 ypc which if prorated over then entire game would rank as 3rd best in the league. It was later on when they played the pass (giving up longer runs)as teams were generally far behind that they sacrificed the 5-10 yard runs to guard against the pass. I posted in the 13-3 Pats record thread this thought last night.....

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/showthread.php?t=83622

    Look at a a breakdown of ypc by quarter . If a team is behind by 3 TD and they have to pass, you play pass defense and occasionally you give up the 10 yard draw play which skews the running average.

    First quarter Pats allowed 103 rushes/372 yds--------3.6 yards per carry
    ( If you take out Leon Washington's 49 yard run on a freaky formation in the second Jet game it drops to 3.18 ypc)
    Rest of the game 269 rushes allowed for 1292 yds-----------4.7 ypc

    NFL rankings for yards allowed rushing...
    http://www.nfl.com/stats/categoryst...ue&Submit=Find&tabSeq=2&role=OPP&d-447263-p=1

    ***The math was based on quick and dirty calculations last night looking at NFL.com play by play for first quarter and whole game stats. They may be off slightly but I think they are pretty representative as a whole....
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  19. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    That's kind of what I was trying to say, but I didn't articulate it as well and didn't have the stats to back it up. Nice find!

    I'm not worried about run D. As someone else pointed out, I'm more worried about 2 minute defense, though even that should be improved this year. Red zone is still an issue in my mind though...
  20. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Some good points that I would like to expand upon...

    Parker and Addai exploited the lack of speed with the LBs. The DL held up at the point and kept the LBs clean. On the big runs, the LBs were generally late and a quick cut put them on the ground. Mayo and Hobson should be able to get to the hole on time, but it remains to be seen if they can be reliable tacklers on these quick cutting backs. I'm hopeful.

    The Ravens game in the 3rd quarter was a complete disaster. The front 7 was playing on skates and provided little resistance until McGahee had a head of steam. I'll call that a fluke since I didn't see anything like that before or after that quarter.

    So these instances of success against the Pats run D don't cause me to worry too much. I will be looking to see if Hobson and Mayo are quick to read and fill or are they hesitant. I would expect some growing pains at first (and lots of worried fans) but consistent production later in the year.

    I agree that this was the strategy last year but think it will be different this year. Focus on the Eagles game. On the late Asante pick, Feeley had a wide open crossing route that could have had a huge YAC. Too much faith in opposing QBs making bad choices late.

    Now add in the Super Bowl where the Giants were able to burn 10 minutes on the opening drive. The Pats defended the big play and only gave up 3 points, but lost 1-2 drive opportunities for the offense. We will never know how that impacted the course of the rest of the game.

    With the infusion of speed into the defense, and knocking on wood for improved health, I expect more aggression early in games to force the action...particularly against suspect QBs. The occasional big play can be made up by the offense. The offense can't do much against hack QBs keeping endless drives going with easy 3rd down conversions.
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