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Were NFL defenses catching up to the tricky 2007 Pats?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by eom, Apr 30, 2009.

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  1. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    NO!

    I forget the thread and the poster, but some guy on here's claiming our 2009 offense can't be as good as that of 2007 because he's got some graph of the offensive output declining as a result of the nfl getting all this film on us throughout the year, and thwarting our schemes --- culminating, of course, w/the unmentionable game.
    I've actually heard this crock of **** from a few other people, so I promised I'd enlighten him --- but I forgot the thread.
    so, here it is........

    (that's how my original post started out, but I lost it after typing a ton of stuff, so here's the short version:)

    I want to focus on 2007, because that's really what everybody talks about, but just as I was about to post this up I thought I'd sample a bit of the surrounding years out of curiousity --- as a kind of crude anecdotal baseline.
    I just looked real quick and didn't subtract out defensive scoring, weather games, etc on these:

    final 6 games of 2006 - ~33 ppg
    final 6 games of 2008 - ~32 ppg

    I took the last chunk of games from both years so the nfl could get lots of film and adjust their defenses accordingly.
    forget belichick adjusting on his end in 2009 for a minute, this post is just about 2007, and whether the nfl was slowing us down towards the end.
    everyone already knows the hurdles they had to overcome last year --- cassel starting, all rb's going down, offensive line, defense, 16(?) guys on IR, etc, yet after all that, and all that film on us, the offense did surprisingly well at the end of the year, finishing off w/about 32 ppg --- pretty much the same as they had 2 years before, in the gabriel/caldwell days.

    now, on to the 'surprise' offense of 2007.
    we had replaced the aforementioned doug gabriel and reche caldwell with moss and welker, and the nutty theory some people like to fwd around like a virus laden chain e-mail is that we surprised the league, but they caught on to our tricks at the end.

    I'll present the data game by game (not anymore) and look at it in arbitrary chunks.
    note -- I've subtracted out defense/special teams scoring, done some minor rounding, and I believe the passing yardages have been adjusted down for sacks.
    also, I will examine both points per game, passing yardage, and opponent, to try to get a more complete picture.

    ok, these first 5 games are when the league had the least film on us, and when the element of surprise should have been greatest.
    so, let's average this chunk and see how it looks.

    weeks 1-5 32 ppg / 273 pypg / opponents gave up 22 ppg for a +45% scoring average over defense
    right here, you might want to refer back to the 2006 and 2008 ppg #'s above for perspective.

    now things are starting to heat up, and these next 4 weeks are probably the games that a lot of people have stuck in their head from that year.
    three 40 pointers.
    blending these 4 games into our previous 5, we get the following 9 game averages to start off the year:

    weeks 1-9 35.5 ppg / 296 pypg / opponents gave up 21.3 ppg for a +67% scoring average over defense

    bye week followed by back half of the season.......
    garbage in = garbage out
    the baltimore game was described by mankins(??), or whoever it was, as the windiest game he had ever played in, and that jets game was played on the slip n slide at waterworld.
    subtracting out the 2 extreme weather games (jets and baltimore) you get a 'final five' game average that looks like this:

    final 'five' games 36 ppg / 339 pypg / opponents gave up 21.4 ppg for a +68% scoring over average.

    note: strength of opponent, ppg average, and % scoring over defense average are all extremely similar between the front nine and back 'five' games, while the back five boast about 40 extra yards through the air on average.

    heading into the playoffs:
    weeks 1-5 32 ppg / 273 pypg / opponents gave up 22 ppg for a +45% scoring average over defense
    weeks 1-9 35.5 ppg / 296 pypg / opponents gave up 21.3 ppg for a +67% scoring average over defense
    final 'five' games 36 ppg / 339 pypg / opponents gave up 21.4 ppg for a +68% scoring over average.

    JAX game - 31-20 / 258 pyds / 19 ppg (10th) +63%

    this wasn't an average taken over a half dozen games against mediocre defenses, it was a single game against 'pats buster' 10th ranked defense jacksonville.
    despite this, they managed to score right inline w/the first 5 game 'surprise!' chunk of the season, as well as the final 6 game averages of '06 and 'o8, incidentally -- and the +63% scoring over defense average was nearly identical to both the front nine and back five.

    SD game - 21-12 / 198 pyds / 18 ppg (5th) +17%
    as we get deeper into the playoffs, we naturally face better teams --- this time another 'pats buster' in the 5th ranked defense san diego chargers.
    maybe all this film study is starting to pay off because at first glance the 5th ranked defense has held us to only 21 on that frigid new england field.
    but what you might remember (or not...) is that we ran the ball 20(!) times in the second half, eating over 21 of the 30 minutes, and culminating in an awesome 9 min drive where we essentially sat on the ball and put the game away.
    sitting on the ball for 21 min doesn't run the score up, but it wins the game, and is what I'd call offensive dominance.

    superbowl - our offensive line got run over by their defensive line.
    period.
    that's it.
    they hurt us w/their inside blitzing, but they didn't blitz a lot, like philly likes to do.
    the baltimore overload attack is a style of THEIR defense, not the rest of the nfl's.
    if other teams had the coaching or talent to replicate philly or baltimore, or the line to emulate the giants, they'd ALREADY BE DOING IT.

    this entire supposed trend consists of nothing more than a couple extreme weather games and a single game against the giants where they RAN US OVER.

    if that's what you're so concerned about heading into next year, then you're more worried than I am.

    CROCK!!
     
  2. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    The 2007 offense caught most off guard because of the innovative spread offense adapted from Meyer, which nobody had seen in the league.
    We eventually got stopped though, as teams adapted and our over-his-head coordinator didn't know what to do against experienced D coordinators who scouted our tendencies.

    The 2009 offense may not go 16-0, but it is very deep in almost all positions, and has a better chance at a ring.
     
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Damn! My man spent some time on his rebuttal.

    Round one goes to eom:D
     
  4. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    dude, I have just shown you that this is a CROCK!

    spread your misinformation and unread joke e-mail fwds elsewhere, plz.

    you have zero factual basis for this opinion.
     
  5. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Please now pull a 400 word rationale out of your arse for why down 3 points, with all 3 timeouts, and needing 40 yards to kick a field goal, we call four straight slow developing hail mary plays to end the Superbowl?

    You're in denial. Our chances for 2009 are EXCELLENT with a new o-coordinator. Nothing McKid has done in Denver has dispelled the fact he's inexperienced, over his head, and lacks situational awareness. His entire episode with Cutler screams lack of situational awareness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  6. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Seriously, after reading your whole post I'd have to agree with the numbers backing up your argument.

    I guess when you told that dude last night "it was on," you weren't kidding:)
     
  7. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    stop derailing my thread w/your cutler nonsense.

    for all you know, him and cook were already trying to wiggle out of denver, and mcdaniels was their excuse.
    that whole episode was ridiculous.
    you can bash mcdaniels for that all you want, but I believe the magnificent cutler was .500 and out of the playoffs last year.
     
  8. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I think it will be even better than 07, maybe not in points or yards, but in coming through in key moments and actually scoring when in crunch time.

    Teams did catch up to the Pats in 2007 though, look at our offense in the playoffs, we were like a stubborn Mike Martz running the same plays into a defense that expected it.
     
  9. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    yeah, I DID look at our offense in the playoffs, and even summarized it in a long winded post in bold type.

    see above.

    "teams" didn't catch up to ****.

    by the way, we agree that 2009 pats will be awesome.
    barring excessive trainwreck injuries, of course.
     
  10. Deus Irae

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

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    Disable Jersey

    Eom, meet Maverick, the man who would be NEM
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  11. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    You wasted a ton of time with that first post, because it didn't account for the opponents we played against during those time periods. You also can't just throw out the Superbowl because it doesn't fit your argument.

    Your thesis isn't supported by what you wrote.
     
  12. tobias funke

    tobias funke Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    i dont usually like to insult people but this maverick guy is pretty stupid
     
  13. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    NEM? NEM?

    I thought I was rid of him on another board...

    EOM makes great points so I'll be blunt- EOM how does the underestimation of the Patriots second and third receivers play into your equations? They were going with receivers that were either ignored or undermanned in formations that to me looked like they were similar to ones that were used the year before but with the exception of the talent level increase, how did thier receivers play into the equation?
     
  14. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I guess the topic is offense.

    There aren't ant teams that have our offensive "blueprint".
    That is inside of TB's brain.

    Our offense will be better/deeper this year.

    Maroney, Morris, Faulk should be healthy new guys-Fred T. should put up around 1000yds-GallowayWelkerMoss...some new TE help

    We won't be kind to the defenses we face.
    We can run, spread, pass, hurry.....just think....

    Matt Cassell killed it last year because we have an awesome offensive unit that's in sync. Obviously he's a very intelligent player but wait until TB gets back out there in a rhythm.

    People forget that he calls a lot of the shots on the field w/ adjustments etc.

    To be the best...you gotta beat the best.
    No one has our blueprint or number;)
     
  15. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm not sure I understand your question, and while welker might have been underestimeated by some fans, I doubt anyone was underestimated by nfl defensive coordinators.
    stallworth probably got as much respect as he deserved, and personally, after that indy debacle, I thought welker was the missing piece.

    my opinion is that the patriots came out and simply beat their opponents down -- there was no trickery.
    unfortunately, in the biggest game of the year we were on the other end of that and they had no answer.

    if we can avoid the parade of injuries we had in '08 this team should be even better than '07, although I'm not sure if it'll show up in the box, considering some of the circumstances.
    I always wonder how much of that '07 offense was just circumstantial, and how much was design.
     
  16. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    That answered what I was thinking of, they got what the coordinators expected and couldn't handle them. No underestimation, just got beat.
     
  17. muslimman

    muslimman On the Game Day Roster

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    I couldnt have said it any better. I think a lot more fans need to think of exactly this before they predict another 16-0 or even 19-0 season.
     
  18. tobias funke

    tobias funke Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    16-0 may never happen again. 50 TDs in a season may not even happen for a long time.

    I really do hope people realize how awe inspiring what that team did was.

    I feel like a lot of people have let the last-second loss in the Super Bowl ruin it for them, and I just see no reason for that. 2007 was basically the most consistently magical thing I've ever seen in sports.
     
  19. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    That's the entire point. We were so good in 2007 and so devastating, that we never bothered around with deception that year. We basically telegraphed to the other team what we'd do, and it really didn't matter most of the time, because our talent was just that good that we could still execute.

    I don't see why you're bragging about how the 07 offense was completely straightforward without deception. It ended up being the downfall of the offense.
     
  20. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Hi, I'm the one who argued with you earlier. I hope to do a more in-depth look at the Pats 2007 season with my own breakdown hopefully sometime this weekend or next weekend. But I’ll quickly take a look at what you wrote….

    For right now, I’ll just say that I have quite a few objections with your stats. First off, you selectively picked your stats. You saw two games that didn’t fit your argument and simply chose to delete them. Anyone who is familiar with statistics or taken a course on the subject would tell you it’s a misleading way of presenting an argument, you might even call it “a crock.”
    Also, after deleting the two “weather games” you didn’t even bother to include the 3 playoff games in your averages – you chose to treat those games separately. Therefore, you chose to compare a rather manipulated “final five” regular season games to the first half of the year. Again, you are picking and choosing your stats to fit the frame of your argument. It would’ve been much better to try and split the entire 19 game season in two halves, with the 10th game of the season (Philly) as the cutoff point since I previously claimed that it was pretty much the point where teams started mixing it up on D.

    If you believe the two “weather games” were aberrations, or “outliers.” Then in statistics the proper way to diminish their affect is to also treat the two highest scoring games as outliers. I’ll point out that I personally believe an NFL season is far, far, far too small of a sample size to treat games as outliers – you simply factor in all the data. But we’ll do this for the sake of an argument. Therefore if you are going to delete the Baltimore and NYJ game, I will also delete the Steelers game and the wk 17 Giants game, because they were the two highest scoring affairs on the latter half of the season. When I do that, the Patriots PPG average over the last 9 games goes down to a meager 25 PPG; which would’ve been 10th in the entire NFL.
    What was it over the first 10 games? Well, like I did above; deleting the two aberrant high scoring games (Wash, Buf) and deleting the two outlying low scoring games (Indy, CLE) NEs PPG over the first half skyrockets to a whopping 40.8; far and away #1 in the NFL. I believe this shows a pretty clear downward trend for the 2007 Patriots offense.

    But I hope to take a deeper look sometime in the future, just not now...


    My other point of contention was that you mocked the idea that the Giants benefited from seeing how other teams attacked the Pats D, and learning from their mistakes/ successes. This is what teams do. This isn't referring to "trickery" either; so I have no clue why you are using that word. There was a noticeable difference when it came to how defenses attacked the Patriots that year. Personally, I don’t really understand why you seem to object so vehemently. No one is saying that Patriots are going to flop in 2009. I said that I believe the 2009 team might even be better. I just don’t think the offense will be one of the greatest of all time like in 2007 - hardly an unreasonable argument. Anyway, I found a nice interview with Giants Defensive Back coach, Peter Giunta, specifically on how they beat the Patriots. He elaborates on a few of the points I made and you dismissed like the value of the Ravens/Eagles game - and the Browns game - which I didn't know. He also points out how vanilla the Jags were, which was something I also pointed out. Either way, it's pretty clear that teams gain a lot from proper film study and learn quite a bit from each other. Not that I think this is any sort of a revelation on my part; I just think it's awful that you choose to be so dismissive over such an important aspect of the game. Anyway, here's the article...

    How we stopped the greatest offense ever Giants assistant reveals the game plan



    They went through all of the other tapes from 2007 and realized one method of defending the Patriots didn't work. "The Jaguars basically rushed three guys the entire game and put the extra defenders in coverage," said Giunta. "As I think everyone saw, it didn't work. Tom Brady had all the time in the world. And every pass he threw was almost perfect. We realized that was not going to be us."

    Eagles', Ravens' blueprint
    One game that particularly caught the interest of the Giants coaches was not the game everyone probably would have predicted, like Philadelphia or Baltimore. It was the Patriots game against the Cleveland Browns, on Oct. 7. The Patriots won, 34-17, which seemed to fit in with all their previous blowout wins the first two months. But the win was a lot tougher than the stat sheet revealed. Two of the Patriots touchdowns followed interceptions in Browns territory (34- and 25-yard lines) and another came on a fourth quarter interception return (Randall Gay) for a touchdown. And while Brady had a very good quarterback rating, 105.7, he completed only 22 of 38 passes for 57.5 percent, his lowest until the Ravens game eight weeks later. "We learned the most from watching this game. Romeo knew the (Patriots) group," he said of Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel, the former Patriots defensive coordinator. "The Browns played a two-deep (safety) scheme, mixing them up on third down, especially. Their players always put their hands on receivers at the line of scrimmage, especially on third down. It was the best we saw. "Romeo didn't want to get beat giving up the deep pass. It was similar to what you saw the Eagles and Ravens do," said Giunta. "But the Browns did it better." The Browns were the first team that decided Moss, who had averaged 7.8 receptions for 126.3 yards and 1.8 TDs the first four games, was not going to beat them. Moss finished the Cleveland game with three catches for 46 yards and no scores. "They also got a little pressure on Brady," said Giunta. "It was really the game that showed us the most." He really means the second most, because the Giants-Pats game to end the regular season was their barometer, and specifically those notes. And the defensive game plan was born.

    The plan was to defend the Patriots, on most plays, with four down linemen, five underneath defenders (three linebackers and two cornerbacks) and two deep safeties.

    All eyes on Brady

    It was the same defense the Ravens used against the Patriots. But the Giants were going to make one adjustment. "The five underneath guys can't all play with their backs to Brady, which is what the Ravens did," said Giunta. "Because there were a couple of times, one I believe was a fourth-and-6, and Brady took off for a first down because nobody was looking. I realize he's not a runner, but he will run if nobody is paying attention to him." The game could not have worked out any better, particularly on defense.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
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