What went wrong: one cold hard fact

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patspsycho, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    The cold hard fact is that in our last five losses, playoffs included, one piece of stat stands out pretty large. In each of those loss, our primary running back had 10 or less carries.

    I really, just really, don't understand why, with all the intelligence that there is on this team or running this team, they have this infatuation with going empty or with the draw.

    I don't know whose brilliant idea it was to design the game plan with the idea of giving Faulk the majority of the snaps. Don't get me wrong- I think highly of Faulk, but he is NOT a 3 down back. Even in his best season, he was and still is and always will be a 3rd down specialist. I have a feeling that whoever came up with this idea (be it BB, or BOB, or Brady's influence in the game design) it's also the same person who has this stubborn self-destructive desire to cling to the empty or draw formation.

    The Patriots are primarily a pass offense, and they are one of the best pass offense in the NFL, but they do NOT win without their run game. When we have won is when the number of run attempts is near to or equal to the number of pass attempts. That has been a very consistent fact.

    Last night, of the four excellent rushers we had, one was inactive, two had ZERO attempts (Woodhead, Ridley) and one had only five carries (BJGE). That is downright terrible, and is the reason I stopped watching the game near the end of the 2nd quarter.

    Some of our best offensive production comes from the play-action, and that comes out of the run game. So even if our run game is meager, or produces little results, it still provides threat in the form of the play action.

    As it was- we were never serious about it last night- we did NOT game plan for running hard at the Steelers, because all the run plays that were called were basic plays with no advanced whams, kickouts, or 2nd level designs. Also if some of you want to blame BJGE, I would say, why then, didn't BOB swap in Ridley? The bottom line, again, was that we were never serious about running, and that is very aggravating considering the Steelers are #15 in run-stopping.

    That being said, let's look at the other issues that are brought:

    MYTH: BB sucks at drafting.
    FACT: He has drafted a pro-bowler every single year he has been here. That is as good as it gets.

    MYTH: The defense sucks.
    FACT: THE YPG (Yards Per Game) and PPG (Points per game) we are allowing is in fact going down. It has been going down steadily, so we are getting better steadily, not worse.

    MYTH: The players suck
    FACT: We are in a new system, the 4-3, not the 3-4 and there are huge philosophical and systematic differences, even in the secondary where you have one less linebacker. It does take some time to become comfortable, and the lack of an off-season doesn't help.

    MYTH: The secondary sucks
    FACT: We have had NO consistency back there, and I don't mean any individual player- I mean having four or five secondaries playing together consistently, developing chemistry, effective communication skills, and knowing how to play off each other. It is unfair to crucify Molden when he's simply been thrown into the fire. There simply has been too much shuffling back there for the DBs to be blamed.

    The defense needs time to jell. There's no getting around that. That's not what I'm mad at. What I'm mad at are the things we can control, such as the game-plan design.

    There's just no getting around the fact that no matter how good our pass offense is, we just do NOT win without the run game, period.

    As the immortal Bill Walsh said: "You can't get to the superbowl until you're capable of winning in more than one way."
  2. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #87 Jersey

    I disagree, yesterday, BJGEs 0 yard run killed the 1st drive of 2nd and 2. We should have passed everydown against them, running wasn't going to work.
  3. patman12

    patman12 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #12 Jersey

    I think BJGE is hurt and that limited what the Patriots could do in the running game. Woodhead and Ridley aren't the best of blockers so that left Faulk to carry the load.
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    I blamed it on lack of possessions in my own thread, but sure, I buy into this.

    One-dimensional teams don't win Super Bowls. They can come ridicolously close - 2007 Patriots; 2009 Colts - but more often than not, they are out before that.

    Our lack of commitment to the running game against a defense that is #1 against the pass but slacking against the run this year is surprising.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    2010 - We had a OK secondary, with improving younger players McCourty, Chung, and Arrington. We also felt we had some potential in Brown.

    OUT: Wilhite, Butler, Meriweather, Sanders
    IN: Molden, Adams, Barrett, Ihedigbo

    Belichick is indeed inscrutable. How are these replacements supposed to help us in 2011 (or 2012 or 2013)?

    I understand that we drafted a defensive back who was injured. But defensive backs cannot be counted on for great production in their first year.


    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    Definitely agree on wanting to see more BJGE-Ridley in the Buffalo and Dallas games. I'd like to see more of an effort towards smashmouth football and TOP-directed drives rather than just an aerial effort to outscore the other offense. Got to have SOME faith in the defense eventually. Yesterday we didn't really have many opportunities to run though down by double digits most of the game. It was just a poor effort all around.

    Defensively I agree we just need some continuity, regardless of the personnel at DB if we play better up front things will come together for us given BB's ability to scheme. Like I said in the other thread, despite the inconsistencies on D, 2 things we HAVE done fairly well all year is stop the run and make RZ stops. Those are the most important and you can get away with a below avg pass defense, just not so far below as we were yesterday. But if you can stop the run, and you maintain a commitment to run, you have a shot in January. The latter is something we've got to work on.
  7. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

    I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Well said.
  8. Deus Irae

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

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    BJGE has a toe injury and missed multiple practices. In his 5 runs, he was a negative for the team. Using him any more would have been stupid.

    Ridley reportedly has a hamstring injury and has blocking issues.

    Woodhead hasn't been the same since he got concussed.

    Vereen can't even make the active roster with the above being the case.

    That leaves a rusty Faulk.

    There's no reason to be surprised, especially given the circumstances of the game, with the Patriots being behind by the most points all season.

    The reality is that this team's secondary is crap, the defense overall is crap, the defensive drafting has been wildly uneven and mostly crap when it comes to the secondary, and running the ball wasn't the problem yesterday. Anyone who tries telling you otherwise is either a fool or a snake oil salesman.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  9. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    I've completely given up on O'Brien at this point. Playcalling last night was atrocious.
  10. Dutchmaster617

    Dutchmaster617 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    You can always look at it both ways, since getting Moss we haven't won just off running. The other way to look at it is that we run so much in wins because we set up the pass first, dominate or at least do a great job, and it makes it easier for our RB by committee to get a lot of carries.

    If we run the ball 30 times yesterday or in a lot of our losses we still lose, Benjarvus is not going to carry this team, he feeds off Brady, and so does the defense in regards to turnovers.
  11. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    When an RB is blown up in the backfield, it is very rarely his fault. It's always the result of a play breakdown or someone missing his assignment. It is near impossible to shake a tackle when you're barely accelerating fast enough to cutback.

    That being said BJGE only had 5 carries, Ridley had 0, and Woodhead had 0.

    So you're saying that all of this happened because BJGE got stopped for a loss on one attempt? Come on.
  12. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I think if they hadn't been playing from behind the whole game, they would have run more.

    I suppose having Brady out there, is just too tempting when they're trying to come from behind.

    We've seen it more than a few times now, and what bothers me about it the most, is that it's so predictable.

    Uh-oh...we're behind ? Pass, pass, pass !! Let's be one dimensional !!!
  13. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    If BJGE was hurt, they would have started Ridley.
  14. WhoaDirty

    WhoaDirty Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I couldn't make it more than 3-4 pages through the postgame thread because of all the extreme viewpoints, but is anyone talking about how poor the special teams were yesterday? If you take away the Guyton INT, I believe the Pats never started past the 22, and I didn't see any touchbacks by Pitt (although did miss the 2nd half kick off). Expecting Brady and co. to march 80 yards everytime is a bit much, especially when they are facing a tough D.
  15. Dutchmaster617

    Dutchmaster617 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Their first drive Pittsburgh kicked out of bounds and gave us great field position. We went three and out quickly and never got the ball back for the quarter.
  16. vuudu

    vuudu In the Starting Line-Up

    News to me. Where did you get that info?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  17. Deus Irae

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

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  18. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'd agree with all of the points of the original poster except 1: I don't agree that running the ball effectively is one of the major causative factors in preventing losses.

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    When we are ahead in the 4th quarter, we are likely to win, and we are likely to run the ball more to control the clock.

    When we are behind in the 4th quarter, we are less likely to win, and we are less likely to run the ball more because we want to conserve the clock.

    It's like the old correlation that says that a rich person is more likely to drive a Mercedes than a poor person. Thus, does driving a Mercedes make you become rich? No!

    Balance between run and pass is good. I don't necessariy think you have to have one 10+ carry person to have a good plan for any particular game, though.
  19. WhoaDirty

    WhoaDirty Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Yeah you're right, I may have blocked out that whole series. My point was that the return game has been pretty lacking this year and that is not helping when the Pats are struggling in other areas. Watching Tate with some great run backs yesterday for the Bengals did not help my mood.
  20. Dutchmaster617

    Dutchmaster617 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    We are not as good as we used to be at converting third downs, field position really shouldn't matter much to this offense but sadly it does, you are correct. I never feel comfortable starting on our 20 anymore.
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