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The Two NFL Seasons

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, Jan 21, 2013.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It seems increasingly the case that the regular season has little to do with post-season success. Best record, domination during the regular season, locking up a playoff berth early, getting a bye and HFA guarantee little in terms of post-season success. Rather, it seems almost the contrary: teams that struggle to make the playoffs but who have to weather adversity to fight their way in seem to be at an advantage in the playoffs over teams that have coasted during the regular season.

    We've seen it over and over again over the past decade. Pittsburgh went 15-1 in 2004 but couldn't get to the SB with HFA. In 2005 they had to win out just to make the playoffs as the #6 seed, and then won the SB having to play 3 road games.

    In 2005 Indy was the #1 seed but lost to #6 Pittsburgh (see above). But in 2006 they were the #3 seed, and weathered a rough stretch at the end of the season when their run defense got shreeded. They had to go on the road to Baltimore and win a 15-12 sqeeker before surviving against NE the next week.

    The Giants in 2007 and 2011 had to go on the road to win, and were no sure things for playoffs. The 2011 team had to play for their lives to win their way into the post-season. Similarly, the 2010 Packers had to play their way into the playoffs as a wild card before winning it all, whereas the 2011 team went 15-1 and got the #1 seed but got bounced by those same Giants.

    This year has been no exception. Baltimore started out 9-2 with a number of wins coming with a lot of lucky breaks, and then nearly fell apart down the stretch. They lost 3 games in a row for the first time in many years, including 2 home games for the first time in a long, long time, and were blown out at home by Denver. They lost 4 out of their last 5 games. But they regrouped when they had to, winning against the Giants at home to win the AFC North, and then they regrouped and went on the road and started building confidence slowly. It almost seems better to play 3 games, starting with a wild card game against a fairly week opponent, to get a confidence builder under your belt, than to have a bye week.

    Something to think about for next year. Maybe the goal shouldb't be to go 14-2 and dominate the regular season, scoring 550 points and having a 200 point differential over the rest of the league. Maybe we'd be better off scraping and fighting our way in. I don't know. But 12-4, 17-0, 14-2, 13-3 and 12-4 with 4 AFCCG appearances, 3 #1 seeds, and 2 SB appearances hasn't worked in terms of winning it all. Maybe it's just been bad breaks. Maybe not.
  2. OMGWTFJUDD

    OMGWTFJUDD Rookie

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    At the start of the season, when we only about 50%, there was various degrees of dismay and some outright panic.

    Jaws seemed to some it up for me when he said he (BB) doesnt care about August sept, he cares about Dec - Feb and it appeared to be right , until we fell off the cliff yesterday.

    So is it a problem or just a bad day at work?
  3. manxman2601

    manxman2601 On the Roster

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    #24 Jersey

    I can't speak to the other teams, but I've felt all season that we are built to exploit the weaknesses of poor teams (and Houston) on both offense and defense but that we lack the playmaking and explosivity to cause problems for the better teams. Our roster and schemes are too safe. We need that, it's a staple of our success, but to push beyond where we are now (middle of the leaders pack), we need speed and more game breaking ability.
  4. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Agreed. It makes you wonder why I even get mad or excited during the regular season games. They honestly don't mean that much.

    If the Ravens win the SB this year, that's 3 of the last 6 superbowl winners that we're mediocre teams. (Giants x2, Ravens) and another mediocre team was close to being the fourth. (Cardinals)
  5. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    I think you make a valid point - that playoff football is different from regular season football. This could be the result of several factors, among them being 1) better competition 2) higher stakes and different approaches to preparation 3) a larger body of practice work and reps.

    For an example of an offense who's passing game can cause problems for better teams, look no further than Atlanta. Hung 30 on Seattle and despite blowing it against San Francisco in the end, they scored 3 TDs and a field goal. So they scored 27 ppg against the #1 and #2 scoring defenses in the NFL this year. What was their "formula"?
  6. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Stud receivers. No tricks, gadgets, or no huddle BS that can expose you when taken away.

    Defense doesnt win championships. Talent wins championships.
  7. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    I think you are too quick to associate a bad regular season with mediocrity. 16 games is too few to form a very strong opinion of "what a team's made of", especially when some of those opponents are bottom-dwellers who so loosely resemble a playoff opponent.

    I agree that the Ravens and Cardinals are mediocre. But the Giants last year were playing very good ball at the end of the season, and so were the 2007 Giants. That is not mediocrity, that is things coming together later rather than sooner.
  8. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    And to further that distinction, the Ravens are going to lose just like the Cardinals did, and unlike the Giants.
  9. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Fair points. The 2011 Gmen were the most inconsistent team I've ever seen I guess rather than "mediocre." They either played like a 6-10 team (losing to Redskins 2x) or a 13-3 team.
  10. OMGWTFJUDD

    OMGWTFJUDD Rookie

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    We lost 4 times in the regular season including.
    Ravens
    49's
    Seattle.

    It might be that our regular season is a good guide to the post season.

    Most Patsfans expected us to win all those games and when we didn't there was a multitude of excuses made. Substitute refs, travel, early season. When we lost to SF all I heard was how good Brady was to get us back into it.

    Maybe things are not quite as good as we would like to believe.
  11. jnug

    jnug Rookie

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    I cannot say that the powers that be have formulated a post season formula purposefully designed to expose a teams weaknesses and conversely highlight their strengths from a pure honest to God football sense but that in fact seems to be what happens. Seems like what some posters are saying seemingly true is that the finesse teams get exposed by teams that are more in the spirit of football's roots. Teams capable of physically taking you to the woodshed seemingly fair better. In a different post I commented that this Ravens/Pats game reminds me of the Rams/Pats SB with the Ravens playing the role of the Pats and this year's Pats playing the role of the Rams.

    That is a game we are very familiar with where the more physical team simply took the other team to the woodshed and won the game in the process.
  12. manxman2601

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    #24 Jersey

    They weren't afraid to challenge better secondaries and have the outside WR's to do it. It's pretty clear that dinking and dunking is to easy for good teams with good DB's to gameplan against. I'm not saying that we should just go out and get a 6'4" 4.4 WR. For one, they aren't that easy to find and secondly there's a lot to like about our offense and we shouldn't be looking to change it dramatically. But I think it is possible to find receivers that can fit our offensive style whilst also offering a deeper threat.

    Right now, I'm leaning towards DeAndre Hopkins, Markus Wheaton and Nick Kasa as the three players in the draft best capable of combining the two requirements. Cordarrelle Patterson is another but he'll go too high and Stedman Bailey could also work.

    1. DeAndre Hopkins - He's Brandon Lloyd plus. Great routes and hands and has Lloyd's body control but unlike Lloyd has very good short area quickness and wiggle. He isn't the fastest or tallest so isn't a #1 guy for most teams but could be in the Patriots system.

    2. Markus Wheaton: Does have the speed to get deep and the short area quickness to stretch the field horizontally.

    3. Nick Kasa: Rob Gronkowski - 6'6", 265, 4.65 forty. Nick Kasa - 6'5", 271, 4.64 forty (thats NFLDraftScout's low for the 40). He's only been playing the position for a year and is raw but there's a reason he's gone from being a failed DE last year to a Senior Bowl invite at TE this year.
  13. skinnydog

    skinnydog Rookie

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    80-90 percent of the teams just can't keep up with the Pats offense, especially the fast pace of play. The problem is that the 10 to 20 percent of the teams who can keep up tend to be playoff teams. With a healthy Gronk, maybe those top 10-20 percent can't even keep up. But the point is the Offense is a better regular season offense than post season offense. The defense? Well it was improved, but I would I would only consider it Good, not great once Talib showed up.
  14. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    Divisional games are tricky, aren't they?

    I think another difference between regular season and post-season play is that offenses are less willing to commit to the run as the stakes get higher. Thus, defenses that are strong against the pass end up in more passing situations, and defenses that made their living against the run end up in less running situations.

    Look at the Packers, Saints, or Giants defenses. None of those units were particularly stout on the ground. However, most playoff teams are better at passing the ball than running it. And in crunch time, it is instinctual to do what you are good at, even if it doesn't make as much sense from an X's and O's standpoint.
  15. Sticky Caulk

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    #63 Jersey

    I think it has a lot to do with a team getting young, cost controlled talent at both defense and offense to go with the veterans. I also think a team with a very good defense has a better shot to win it all if the offense gets hot at the right time. Look at the Giants for the shining example of that happening. The 49ers had a mediocre offense not that long ago. Now they have played in two NFC Championship games and, if not for a muffed kickoff, might be playing for back-to-back Superbowl wins. Seattle is doing something similar.

    I think it really comes down to the draft. If you have a good team that is well coached, but needs a few big pieces to really take a shot at a title, how do you get those players? You do too well to draft early. You spend too much money on veteran players to sign big free agents. So you have to catch lightening in a bottle UDFAs or take a chance on a player you might be able to coach up. Not a lot of options. So good coaching with scrubs is really the only option.

    With the potential signing of Welker to a big, long term contract to go along with the huge increased cap hit of Brady's contract (from $8M in 2012 to $21.8M in 2013); both TE's big contracts, Lloyd and Mankins with the possible big hit coming to keep Vollmer, the pats have to consider letting a few of these guys go.

    I mean, you can't score over 500+ points and dominate the league every year. It has to end sometime. Bill has to trust in Vereen and Edelman to shoulder a bit of the load. Get that replacement for Moss we still don't have. We still have Brady. That means more than anything else.
  16. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    Haven't read Ovid. And while I would welcome a new way to terrorize receivers, I missed the part where the Taliban showed up.
  17. manxman2601

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    #24 Jersey

    Lots of "bombs" perhaps?


    I'll get my coat.
  18. skinnydog

    skinnydog Rookie

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    Corrected, it was interesting the way I first wrote it:)
  19. StrawHatPatriot

    StrawHatPatriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I kind of call BS on being mediocre to win, rather you need a complete team.

    Look at the 9ers this year.

    In fact, has any QB played elite on his own and won a super bowl without a good defense?

    Peyton wasn't elite at all in the playoffs in 06, his defense and running game stepped up a lot.

    Aaron Rodgers was good, but his defense was also damn good the year they won the super bowl.
  20. Sticky Caulk

    Sticky Caulk PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #63 Jersey

    Yeah, I don't understand that line of thinking either. Are the Patriots too good to win? They win too much to win it all? They don't just scrape by, so when it gets tough, they can't handle it? I don't know why that has to be how a lot of people look at it.

    Baltimore had a better team this season. They had a mediocre game plan that was adjusted on both sides of the ball halfway through into a great one. Take the middle away from the offense by jumping into the passing lanes at the line while cheating down the middle from the secondary. Pass first on offense. It worked. New England wasn't talented enough to handle that.

    But really, things change every week in football. Almost every play. Injuries, age.. players weaknesses and teams with one dimensional game plans go from the "Super Bowl favorite, #1 power ranking position!" to just another CBS viewer every Sunday. The Patriots aren't excluded from that, they just won a lot more than most anyone, ever.
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