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What have we learned the last 5 seasons?

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  1. fnordcircle

    fnordcircle tfw not enough helmets PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We've learned that no matter what people say about the 'new NFL', no matter how many offensive records get broken, no matter how many lopsided scores the Patriots can put up, we've learned one thing:

    Defense still wins championships.

    Baltimore's defense, even with Pees at the helm, was able to dictate the pace of that game - not our offense. And so they kicked our ass.

    Just like the Giants were able to contain, dictate and win in 2007 and 2011. Just like the Jets defense was able to contain dictate and win in 2010. Just like the Ravens were able to do to us in 2009.

    Yes, I'm oversimplifying. The Ravens had some great offensive performances too. Yes, Welker's drop changed the tone of that game. But there's a reason why those key drops used to happen to the Patriots' opponents and now they happen to us. It's because the defense is setting the tone and receivers start pressing. Wes wasn't scared he was getting ahead of himself rather than worrying about catching the ball because our opportunities against that defense were limited.

    You can list all the stats you want. You can point out all the blown opportunities from last night that you want. You can do that going back to 2007. The one static amidst all of those variables is that 5 out of the 6 seasons going back to 2007 have ended at the hands of a team with an inferior offense and a far superior defense.

    The good news is that I think we're making a lot of positive strides. I think that the loss of Talib robbed us of our ability to play aggressive - something that had help our defense really turn things around. I think the players are there - but we'll need another half season and we'll need to get healthy again.

    I think we'll have a top 10 defense next year. But the lack of one this year is why we failed and why we've continued to fail for a while now.
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wouldn't an equally valid inference be "Poorly timed offensive injuries lose championships?"

    2007: Lose Stephen Neal and Kevin Faulk in SB
    2009: Lose Welker for season in Week 17
    2011: Lose GRONK for second half of AFCCG, hobbled in SB
    2012: Lose GRONK for postseason in first quarter of playoffs
  3. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here I was thinking touchdowns won championships. Silly me.

    The Pats were pathetic in the red zone. Baltimore wasn't.
  4. fnordcircle

    fnordcircle tfw not enough helmets PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't believe in cause and effect either.
  5. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not disagreeing with you in regards to needing a great D. In today's game, there's not too many defenses that could defend 13 points.
  6. Steve:Section 102

    Steve:Section 102 Rookie

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    The two hardest hitting defenses in the playoffs made the Super Bowl. I do not think this was an accident.
  7. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    We'll, I'm not sure I buy into the "Defense wins Championships" as much as you do, at least in this particular case. There are better defenses out there then Baltimore and the Giants. I think those particular defenses are the kryptonite for our particular offense. That's it.

    We torched better defenses consistently, but we've always struggle with those 2. I think it's a matter of their personal, collectively, just understand our offensive schemes. They defense concepts, instead of personnel.

    Besides, I don't think Baltimore's defense was the root cause of that loss. We move the ball fine. We just failed to execute at moments we are usually very good at executing (Red zone). We had our chances. Defense played better then offense on the whole, but still, losing Talib doomed us at keeping the Ravens under 20 points.
  8. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    Exactly. Pats rely on too many soft finesse players on defense.
  9. BSR

    BSR Rookie

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    We do? I can think of one safety and that is about it.
  10. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Rookie

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    that's funny.......I can't think of any safeties..........that are actually safeties........they all suck
  11. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Rookie

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    the pats have plenty of defensive players who like to hit, they just seemed to not be in the mood last night while the raven defenders wer ripping into the pats......

    maybe if they got more of them to wear yoga pants like brady
  12. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, we've yet to win a SB title when this teams #1 identity has been offense, particularly a passing offense. I'd like to see things change.

    For starters, Brady is now 36 and not getting any younger. While he's still an upper echelon player I don't think he's a guy that can carry this team on his shoulders as he's done in the past. Especially not come playoff time, when the real games begin, and as we have witnessed first hand the past several years.

    As I look at the personal makeup of this current team I see a ton of youth and talent on the defensive side of the ball at all 3 levels. Upfront, a healthy Jones appears to be a player you could build a defense around. Wifork, while not getting any younger, may have had his best season as a Patriot and is all pro. At LB, Mayo, Hightower, Spikes and Fletcher provide huge upside potential. In the secondary, Dennard and McCourty are already very solid with the needle pointing upwards still, If Talib is retained, then he sure looks to be the part at the other corner spot; and he's just entering his prime. Tavon Wilson is young but comes with ? With more experience, and a few more pieces (DE, DT, S) added to it, this defense has the potential to be dominant and the teams strength.

    On offense, I see an aged passing QB coupled with an aged receiving corps. Not ideal! I see a bounty full of youth and talent at the RB position. I see the TE spot filled with a very dynamic guy in Hernandez and chalk full of excellent run blocking TE's including one who also double as one of the leagues top TD maker. I see a veteran and experienced group of OL which includes mammoth sized OT's that are young and just entering their prime.

    Moving forward I'd like to see a change in philosophy that sees the Pats commit to building a dominant defense and making it the focal point of this team. Enough with the passing offense being that ..... as mentioned above, it's not won us a SB title being that.

    Yeah I know the rules are all about offense but having a dominant defense seems to have worked against all of our top flight offenses and so I'd like to try that action out some. Besides, I'm really too damn tired of seeing a pathetic Patriot defense this last decade now.

    Look it, I love Brady to death but he's not the guy to carry this team by himself anymore. Let's use all of those fresh, young RB legs, those excellent run blocking TE's and that large OL to build a punishing and dynamic rushing attack in order to take the pressure off Brady and allow him to pick his spots, something that he'd be devastatingly good at. Get a skilled and dynamic downfield receiver threat and feature Gronk, Hernandez, Ballard and Lloyd inside and underneath. Re-sign Julian.
  13. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    Since the custom titles have been available on here, mine has been exactly the message the OP has posted.

    EDIT: I've just noticed it's disappeared :D
  14. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    I should have specified their Dline. Aside from Wilfork and Jones, no one up front is scaring anyone.
  15. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Our homefield advantage is a meaningless joke?
  16. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler Rookie

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    Exactly, which is why a tall, athletic, real WR opposite Lloyd would have and will do so many things for this offense. We scored thirteen points against an old and very suspect Baltimore defense. Piss poor play calling didn't help things, but again having Branch on that side of the field allows a defense to choke out the inner part of the hashes.

    Lets get a big Dwayne Bowe type WR in here.
  17. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    Well, maybe they don't "suck" but we certainly don't have a true difference maker back there. A smart, big, bone crushing safety, whose got some stainless steel nuts is what that D needs desperately. Ala, Earl Thomas, Eric Berry, Mark Barron, yes, even like Polomalu.

    (I won't say ed Reed because he's become one the dirtiest players in the league along with that tool next to him. I'd be embarrassed to have them on my team.)

    Rodney was one of kind of kind but since he left that D has never been as good. The Pats need another dude like Harrsion, ASAP.
  18. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    I've learned over the last 2 seasons you need healthy players to win championships.

    You don't believe in cause and effect? That's what execution is. The drop by Welker was huge and quite possibly the Pats would of been up 20-7 or at the least 16-7. Talib going down didn't effect how this team played? Several things happen over the course of the game that effect the outcome.

    Anyway, another wasted opportunity, but they will be back. the rebuilding process is almost complete and they've challenged for Super Bowls and and championships while other teams plain old suck.
  19. JoeShmoe

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    The 49ers, supposedly the best defense in football got torched by White and Jones, Atlanta got torched by Crabtree, Jones, even Moss, Denver and us got torched by Smith and Boldin. Megatron's numbers speak for themselves

    This year teams with big physical WR's are laying the wood on all defenses, even those with average QB's like Flacco

    The shifty small WR system we run just wont take you to a SB, even with Brady running it
  20. RhodyPatriot

    RhodyPatriot Rookie

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    Spot on analysis. The Patriots need 2 things.

    First thing they need is players who bring toughness. Hate to say it but a guy like Bernard Pollard is exactly what this team needs. Spikes has "it" but Spikes is not an every down defender. They need some nastiness like Rodney and Ty used to bring.
    This is a soft team. That needs to change if they're going to win another Super Bowl.

    Second thing they need is an "attitude adjustment" from this OC and QB.
    All too often this OC and QB revert back to the Greatest Show On Turf. There were multiple occasions yesterday when the Patriots abandoned the run for no legit reason. How many more examples do we need to see that Tom Brady is incapable of carrying this team to championships?? Let the young skilled players play. Where was Shane Vereen yesterday?? These kids can't contribute if they're not given a chance. Vereen has some nice speed. Why was he not allowed to play?? Why do they limit their young skilled backs so much?? It's an annoying recurring theme with this team. Where was Danny Woodhead yesterday? That little waterbug couldn't get that offense some yards?? It's amazing how the passing game opens up if the run is used effectively.
    You can run on the Ravens.
    Patriots refused to exploit that area of the defense. Need to get away from being Brady-centric. You don't beat good teams in the playoffs that way. How many more times do they need to fail before it sinks in???
  21. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Rookie

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    actually, laron landry would have gone a long way.......when it comes to safety, it's not all about coverage......rodney was far from perfect in that respect, but he sure as hell had opposing WR's thinking about he in their vicinity.......not one of the pats safeties comes close to bringing that to the table.......hell, most of them hurt themselves trying to hit someone

    as much as I hate him, pollard is better than anyone we have.....and he could have been had cheap, and think of all the injuries we would not have had
  22. Koma

    Koma Rookie

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    Thanks for making that loss a little harder to take. ;)

    I thought Dean Pees was mediocre in his stint as DC with New England. I was not upset to see him leave a couple of years ago. I could be wrong, but I think that was the general sentiment on the board.

    Yesterday, he was able to come up with a game plan to slow down the Patriots and then shut them out in the 2nd half. Is this a "blind squirrel finds an acorn" moment or is Pees actually a good coordinator who wasn't given as much freedom here?
  23. coolguy

    coolguy Banned

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    Defense doesn't win championships.....Leadership on defense does.

    The haven't had a vocal leader on defense since vrabel/harrison/seymour/and teddy left.
  24. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think we have learned that it is the team that gets hot in the playoffs who wins. I don't think the Giants had the best defense last year (better than the Pats, but certainly not better than many other defenses in the playoffs) and were more of an offensive driven team. The Saints certainly didn't win it all on defense.

    It just seems that one team gets really hot in the playoffs and rolls into the Super Bowl no matter how flawed they were in the regular season.
  25. zipster9

    zipster9 Rookie

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    Dude, your list of players are top notch DEFENSIVE players, the Patriots had.

    Defense DOES win championships. Not sure what you are talking about.

    Our D has been near the BOTTOM half of the D, compared to the other NFL teams.
  26. JPsPats

    JPsPats Rookie

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    I dont post much, but i know you do and a lot of your posts are crap. McCourty is a great safety playing the ball and is actually a sure tackler that looks to strip the ball as well. Perfect FS

    What we need is a strong hitting SS to balance it out, which chung was supposed to be. Maybe tavon is that guy but as of now who knows.

    And in regards to Pollard, hes an average safety on a D with first ballot HOFers and potential future HOFers (ngata).
  27. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Scheme can hide deficiencies for only so long.

    Height is important.

    If you're not trying to lay out opposing offensive players with devastating hits, you're a soft defense and don't belong in the SB.
  28. IndianPat

    IndianPat Rookie

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    What have I learnt? That there are teams out there whose defenses can stop the Patriots offense. Defense may win championships, but no defense is winning championships if your team is putting up 13 pts!!

    This Patriots team is all about the offense - make no mistake about it. It performs at a high level and when it doesnt - the team loses. Its not as if the Ravens blew out the Patriots defense, the game was well within reach.

    This year it was the misplay at the half and the welker drop that pretty much took away the momentum Patriots had. Last year it was the safety and the welker drop that led to the loss.

    Its all about the Offense.
  29. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    We've learned that from 07 to now the offense averaged 24ppg in the playoffs allowed 21.7.

    We know that from 01-04 the team scored 24ppg and allowed 17.2

    The defense needs to get better. Period.

    Allowing 3 straight 2nd 1/2 TDs is unacceptable.

    With that said, not grinding out a TD or a couple of FGs is just as bad.

    Plenty of blame pie to go around....
  30. Claremonster

    Claremonster Banned

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    The Pats team that beat the Rams in 01...has turned into the Rams. :eek:
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