What Problems With The Passing Game?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Brady'sButtBoy, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    Yes, yes, stats provide a limited picture to be sure. However, when you consider we've lost our number 1 and 2 WR's, it is a bit reassuring to discover-

    Only FIVE potential playoff teams average more yds/game through the air than the Pats. (Saints, Colts, Eagels, Bengals, Cowboys)

    We are 9th in scoring in NFL (tied with Jax, by the way).
  2. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    It's an interesting question - seems to me that opposing D's aren't all that worried about us beating them in the long game.

    They assign a CB to Caldwell, and often double cover Watson because #1.) they can and #2.) they know that statistically there is a VERY high likelihood its going to him or Caldwell. There's not too many other players they need to worry about beating them deep. This frees up players to move forward and pressure the QB, and make sure that the short to mid-range yardage is contained.

    Everyone else, including both Safeties quite often, come forward to the line of scrimmage - sometimes dropping back into coverage, oftentimes blitzing or pressuring Brady, requiring an already thin receiving corps to keep a decent TE like Graham into block instead of being another receiver.

    Maybe, if they kept the safeties back in mid- to deep coverage both Watson and Caldwell would have a tougher time, but I think DC's have seen that they are better off putting pressure on Brady they way the Dolphins and other teams have.

    So in the end they wind up allowing a decent amount of yardage, but are able to sack & pressure Brady, often resulting in game changing turnovers - hence the high number of offensive mistakes and general inconsistency in the offense.

    I know I've seen this scenario happen numerous times in games - whether it's become a trend I'm not sure - but I think it would explain a discrepancy in statistics that suggests our offense is good when one must logicially agree with Tom Brady that it's been inconsistent at best

    If what I've postulated is indeed playing out, it would suggest that one shouldn't put too much emphasis on statistics. (99% of all people know that!)
  3. pencilneckgeek

    pencilneckgeek Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    No Jersey Selected

    First off, JSP, :agree:

    Getting Maroney back will help. With Dillon in there, the defenses can pack it in and blitz up the middle, knowing he's gonna have a hard time turning the corner to get to the seconary. If it's a passing play they get a push in Brady's face. With Maroney's ability to get outside and downfield quickly, the safeties need to play more conservative - not as much as if we had, say, a Dieon Branch at wideout, but more than they have these last two weeks.
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    This Sunday is when Jabar Gaffney and or Chad Jackson start to step it up, I really think both these guys are going to be good in the final weeks and playoffs. I think the main thing is that Brady has to feel trust in these guys, and that only comes with time, and CJ has been injured so much and Gaffney hasn't been around long.

    Our passing offense isn't based on the "just throw the ball up and let the receiver make the play" style - like the Jags are for instance.
  5. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    Yes, Maroney definately will help. But having the defense stacked at the line also limits the effectiveness of the running game, as well as the short and mid-range game. That to me makes what Dillon, Maroney, Faulk and Watson have been doing all the more impressive... and I wonder what they'd be able to do if they had a true deep game threat stretching the field.

    Conversely, it also suggests that Caldwell might have an even tougher time if both safeties were kept deep instead of playing close to the line. In effect it's a bend but don't break gameplan that I think has been a great benefit to Caldwell's stats.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased with the contribution Caldwell's provided, but I do think he's benefited from the fact that Defenses don't consider anyone a breakaway threat once they double cover Watson and keep a CB behind Caldwell.

    Defenses prefer to pressure Brady and stack defenders at the line, forcing mistakes and turnovers. To a large extent it's worked, but give Brady and the boys credit - 10 wins is impressive with this WR lineup.
  6. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    Anything Jackson does this season is gravy for me - next season is the true test for a rook WR.

    Gaffney though is another story. This is a situation where the stats DON'T seem to give him credit for his improvement., but my "eyeball test" likes what it's seen from Gaffney.

    I really think he's about to turn a corner and be a big contributor. Unfortunately it's not much more than a gut feeling.
  7. pencilneckgeek

    pencilneckgeek Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    No Jersey Selected

    Chad has to learn to run block well enough in practice to get on the field enough in the game to make a difference, unless that Pats are behind.
  8. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    I think this week will be a better barometer, we had such a short field last week, it was hard to tell much of anything from the O - I agree, Gaffney looks better, production should start to match, one would hope/think.
  9. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Good analysis JSP, it started with the Denver game last year. Lynch was in Tommy's face all day. Any team that can do it will. Getting Maroney and Faulk in space seems to be the way to beat it until we have some deep threats. Incidentally, IMO, Kaczur did a better job last yr at LT than Light is doing this year.
  10. wcda

    wcda On the Roster

    I think the major thing wrong is it take to long for a pass play to develop.


    #12 Jersey

    Don't Expect Chad Jackson to start stepping up his game all of a sudden,especially when the playoffs begin,Remember the OTHER teams will be stepping it up as well,so if he has not done much in the regular season with the teams not playing 1 loss elimination,then how you expect him to look like anything near an all-pro type WR now? - That is not realistic.
    What is a possibility is of him learning the ropes a bit this year in a playoff atmosphere and 'Stepping It Up' next year.
    Gaffney has much more of a possibility of improving because of his experience than does Chad...Personally I think the majority,if not all throws will be in the direction of Caldwell and Watson and Maroney out of the backfield..The other guys I don't think will be much of a factor the remainder of this season and thru the playoffs.
  12. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson In the Starting Line-Up

    #37 Jersey

    I can see Gaffney helping out a little, but Jackson is a bust.
  13. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    Another consequence of the lack of a credible deep game is the fact, as mentioned, that with so many defenders pressuring at the line, Graham is AGAIN needed more often than not as a blocker, regardless of whether the OL is healthy.

    That makes for yet another frustrating year for the coaches as well as the fans. We'd love to see more "real" two TE sets - heck, we even have the means to run a 3 TE set.

    But that type of play is largely negated if your TE needs to block nearly every down.

    It's been, what 5 years since we got Graham, and I STILL don't feel like we've truly experienced the benefit of multiple TE sets, due largely because of injuries, but in this season, due largely because we don't have a credible deep threat (heck, one of our TEs IS one of our defacto Wide Receivers... further limiting his effectiveness as a TE.. and of course he's nearly always double teamed!)
  14. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    Jackson's been hurt more than he's been a bust. If he were healthy enough to really run then BB would put him out there and send him deep several times a game, just as he did with Bethel Johnson who turned out to be the king of not being able to 'pick up the system.' Jackson couldn't possibly be worse than Bethel for being lost in outer space, BB never would have touched him if that was the case. Besides, it takes time for WR's to pick up the pro game. Many WR's, even future superstars like Jimmy Smith, struggled mightily as rookies, so give Jackson a break on the bust talk.

    Joe6Pat makes some poignant observations but I don't think needing to keep Graham in for protection is holding us back that much since he's been asked to that for years now, it's not something new brought on by our WR turnover this year.

    The biggest issue seems to be Brady making his so called "hot" read when facing a blitz then looking up and not always seeing a receiver where they should be to catch his quick pass. All cornerbacks have great difficulty covering these short angular shorts, so to me it's still more of a matter of the WR's plugging themselves into the system, not that they can't get open. Whether jackson has command of such reads yet we just don't know because he has not played enough.
  15. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    I fully believe that the OL hasn't become inept overnight - but that the extra near constant pressure they've seen by having the line stacked 8 deep against them has caused them to crumble more often than we'd like.

    So the lack of a WR game HAS affected our TEs in my opinion.

    Because of that, keeping Graham in to help block has become a necessity - whereas in the past that's been because of injuries.

    I'm venting a frustration that for one reason or another we've never really seen the benefit of our investments at TE in the passing game, and I and many fans (and Coach BB) would LOVE to see what that could do for us. Every year there seems to be something else stopping it though.

    In terms of how the WR game and TE games have played in 2006 though, look for Kasmir's thread on those stats. They provide a very different view of the offensive stats that Pats1 nicely provided - stats that DO affirm what we've all seen with our eyes - that the offense is struggling in many ways this season.

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