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What's the Deal with the Patriots' Playoff Offense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ivanvamp, Feb 17, 2013.

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What's the deal with the Patriots' playoff offense

  1. There is nothing wrong. It's just a small sample of bad luck.

    3 vote(s)
    6.5%
  2. The offense needs some small tweaks but overall is fine.

    32 vote(s)
    69.6%
  3. The offense really has major problems in the playoffs and serious changes need to be made.

    11 vote(s)
    23.9%
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  1. rabidfireweasel

    rabidfireweasel Rookie

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    2007
    31-20 31 2
    21-12 21 2
    14-17 14 1

    2009
    14-33 14 2

    2010
    21-28 21 0
    2011
    45-10 45 1
    23-20 20 1
    17-21 17 0

    2012
    41-24 41 1
    13-28 13 0

    total 23.7 ppg despite the defense only averaging 1 TO per game. No specials teams scores and zero defensive scores
  2. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that Ballard's presence could help to offset any missed time from Gronk, and the odds are probably in our favor that he wouldn't get injured in the postseason for a 3rd consecutive year anyway. I also expect Belichick to go after another TE or even two, to add more depth and competition. He seemed to be on the right track bringing in 4-5 TE's at one point in the offseason. Hell, I wouldn't even put it past Belichick to take a flier on a lower round TE if he thinks he could give Ballard a run for his money in training camp, or even as a developmental 4th TE.

    I'm hoping that they retain Welker, not just for his obvious production, but also for his insane durability.

    One would also imagine that defense will continue to be addressed also, so that it is not so one-sided. I think they have done a pretty good job in starting over from scratch on that side of the ball, but they are still a couple/few players away. I am expecting Belichick's 2 main priorities to be retaining Welker (or going another route to try and improve upon the offense) and then defense. These 2 aspects can be addressed via the draft and FA.

    We seem to be pretty set for the most part in many other areas in offense though, at least on the line, at QB, at TE, and at RB. The receiver position needs an upgrade, but then again, if they keep Welker it isn't nearly as bad as some may believe. They could also potentially try to improve upon Llyod, although I would find that hard to imagine happening.
  3. rabidfireweasel

    rabidfireweasel Rookie

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    The offense isn't the only problem. It is actually better than in the pre-2007 era, although it has struggled at times. The problem is compounded by the fact that this D rarely forces turnovers and never scores. All of the pressure (and much of the payroll) is on the offensive side of the ball.
  4. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Yes, the last 3 losses in the postseason were definitely affected by the lack of the defense being able to get even ONE turnover in 12 quarters of play, especially after excelling in the area during the regular season.

    And as you said, absolutely zero contributions by ST and/or defensive scoring, although those are rare we see many teams take advantage of those kinds of things during that time of the year. It was probably the main reason why the 2001 team ended up winning the SB after all.
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Yes, we were the 3rd lowest spending team in the entire NFL on that side of the ball behind only Cincy and Detroit with only 38 million spent. Although the offense will always be the bread and butter, it would be nice to see another 5 million swing in balance towards the defense. Of course that's easier said than done with guys like Brady, Mankins, and Welker taking up double digit cap hits.

    In comparison I think the 2 SB teams had at least something in the mid-50's in millions spent on their defense, but then again either one of them had to worry about a high franchise QB cap hit. That certainly will be much different for Baltimore this year, and is also one of the reasons why I don't see them going nearly as far next season. SF is loving life at the moment with Kaepernick having next to nothing as cost, and their potential to clear another 8.5 million off with Alex Smith too. They seem to be in pretty decent shape at first glance cap-wise, and with their potential success for the future. Of course many other aspects could change that very quickly, but I think they are set up pretty nicely with their business decisions for the future, at least on a quick glance anyway.

    Obviously the best scenario would be to see low cost talent achieved through the draft with at least one/two players on defense this year who could potentially start on DL or DB, although a strong argument can be made that at this point we may need to spend a little more in free agency on that side of the ball. It may also be one of the reasons why Welker may unfortunately not be retained, due to Belichick choosing to spend that money in another direction. I just think that would leave a gaping hole at the WR1 position then, which would offset any potential bonus for the defense.

    I think we have to keep Welker and go from there, but a little bit more may have to be spent on that side of the ball. When you think about it though, besides Cincinnati, we probably get pretty good production from the defense in terms of monetary cost, possibly better than anyone else (besides CIN) in the entire league. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened at the right time of the year though.
  6. Deus Irae

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

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    While I think it's cute that you knew you had no actual answer to my point and had to respond with this gibberish instead of analysis, it shows the vaccuousness of your argument and responses in general, so there's no need to continue with you posting that same garbage again and again.
  7. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    Picking a nit, but in the 2001 AFCCG (technically played in 2002, of course), the Patriots scored *14* non-offensive points, not just 7. They had a punt return for a TD plus a blocked FG for a TD. So in 2001, the Patriots *offense* just scored 39 points in three games:

    16 against Oakland (in OT)
    10 against Pittsburgh
    13 against St. Louis

    Thank the good Lord that the defense and special teams played out of their minds during that run. They only allowed 47 points total, and managed to score 21 of their own. That's pretty amazing when you think about it.
  8. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #95 Jersey

    i think the pats 2 years have in large part been due to gronk not being there at the end
  9. rabidfireweasel

    rabidfireweasel Rookie

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    No worries. As I said, there might me errors, as I was manually checking old box scores.
  10. rabidfireweasel

    rabidfireweasel Rookie

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    Score Turnover Diff.
    2001
    16-13 -1
    24-17 +4
    20-17 +3
    2003
    17-14 0
    24-14 +3
    32-29 0
    2004
    20-3 +3
    41-27 +4
    24-21 +3
    2005
    28-3 +2
    13-27 -4
    2006
    37-16 +1
    24-21 +1
    34-38 0
    2007
    31-20 +2
    21-12 -1
    14-17 0
    2009
    14-33 -2
    2010
    21-28 -1
    2011
    45-10 -1
    23-20 -2
    17-21 -1
    2012
    41-28 +1
    13-28 -3


    Synopsis:
    Win the turnover battle, win the playoff game every time. If it is a 0 in the turnover battle, you are likely looking at a nail biter that could go either way. The pre-2007 Pats only won one game (Raiders in overtime) where they lost the turnover battle. The post-2007 are 3-4 with some ugly losses. It is hard to win the turnover battle (and impossible to win by those early +3 margins) when you force 1 turnover or less in 7 of ten games and 2 in the other 3.
    They recently have either been unable to force turnovers (or pick up the free-ball fumbles off the ground) against good teams the last 5 playoff runs.
  11. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

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    The offense has become way too dependent on perfect execution to succeed. After every single loss, what do we hear? "We didn't execute". Well you know what? Maybe it'd be nice to have individual dynamic players who can just win a game by sheer talent.

    Maybe if focusing on scheme players saved significant money to put towards a defense that was dominant, I wouldn't mind, but it's clear as freaking day that when we don't completely overmatch a teams talent or completely outcoach a team that we can't win a dog fight. We don't have guys who can just go out and win a game. We need to finesse our way to everything. We've become exactly what we mocked for years with Peyton and the Colts.

    There are two correlations to our recent playoff struggles in our offense.

    1. Injuries to key players
    2. Or offensive line being man handled

    You know what those two say to me? We are too dependent on individuals (remember when we scored 41 points on the Steelers 04 defense with a bunch of no names?) and our offensive line has become too finesse.

    Thankfully the past couple years with Solder and Vollmer and replacement of Koppen, these issues on the OL hav gotten significantly better (and against the Giants SB and against the Ravens the OL certainly played significantly better than 09 Ravens and 10 Jets).

    However we are so scheme heavy and have only one guy who can physically force his will on other guys that our team completely fell apart without him (Gronk). Even in 2010, part of it was Welkers injury but we had no one who could go out and win the game. All the players were just good-great role players who could do their job and had Brady carry us and we lost because of it.

    Sure you can say "well if we had Gronk..." but I'd rather not have all of our eggs put into one basket, no matter how nice that basket is. We need more diversity and reliability from our secondary receivers.
  12. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. I think *THIS* is, when all is said and done, the single largest factor in the Patriots postseason "failures".

    Let's compare, for example, the 2001 Super Bowl with the 2011 Super Bowl.

    2001
    - 3 turnovers caused; one defensive TD
    - 11 offensive drives
    - average starting field position: NE - own 27; StL - own 22

    2011
    - 0 turnovers caused
    - 9 offensive drives
    - average starting field position: NE - own 16; NYG - own 24

    When your offense only has 9 offensive drives, and you start from your own 16, you are not expected to score many points. According to this (Advanced NFL Stats: Expected Points), a 1st and 10 situation from your own 16 has an expected point value of just over zero. Here are their approximate expected point totals from their 9 starting field position spots in SB 46:

    NE 6 = -0.5
    NE 29 = +1
    NE 20 = +0.5
    NE 2 = -0.5
    NE 21 = +0.5
    NE 17 = +0.3
    NE 20 = +0.5
    NE 8 = 0
    NE 20 = +0.5

    Total expected points: 2.3

    In other words, given their starting field position, the Patriots should have scored about 3 points. Or, rather, it had an expected point value of +2.3. Obviously you can't score negative points, so those negative numbers imply that a turnover that deep in your own end should yield points for the other team, etc.

    So the bottom line is that the Patriots offense, to score 17 points in that game, actually did pretty well, given the crappy field position their defense and special teams gave them. At no point did the D or ST units give the offense anything even remotely resembling a short field. It was a long field, and they only had 9 cracks at it. And, obviously, the D or ST units didn't contribute any actual points of their own, unlike what happened in the 2001 Super Bowl.

    For comparison's sake, here is the 2001 Super Bowl based on the expected points values:

    NE 3 = -0.5
    NE 19 = +0.5
    NE 42 = +1.5
    NE 15 = +0.3
    NE 40 = +1.5
    NE 32 = +1.0
    NE 19 = +0.5
    StL 33 = +3.3
    NE 25 = +0.6
    NE 20 = +0.5
    NE 17 = +0.3

    Total expected points: +9.5

    The Pats also got 7 points from the defense. Thus, the Patriots' defense and special teams in 2001 "gave" the Patriots about 14.2 points more than they did in 2011 (7 points plus the difference between 9.5 and 2.3).

    So yeah, we can say that the lack of turnovers and quick stops REALLY hurt the Patriots in 2011 compared with 2001, where their D and ST units did a phenomenal job setting the Patriots up.
  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    4 balls on the ground and 4 NYG recoveries...that is just something that you can't prepare for as sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

    Speaking of the 17 pts scored in that game, what are the odds of winning for a team that:

    A. Scores 17 unanswered in the SB

    B. Scores back to back TD possessions before the half ends, and then again to start the second half

    (I would think that both would point to victories in a high majority of the time, although we saw another SB loser this year in consecutive games who scored 17 unanswered, so those odds have to be extremely low)
  14. makoute

    makoute Rookie

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    Why do people keep saying that? Did the giants not beat the Pats earlier that season in Foxboro, with a healthy Gronkowski?
  15. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    No Welker, no Gronk, no Gronk.

    In 2007 they came out overconfident and got their butts whooped on the line.

    Then no Welker, no Gronk, no Gronk.

    Ever see what Rodgers looks like without his offensive weapons? It's not pretty.
  16. DarrylStingley

    DarrylStingley Rookie

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    None of the poll answers captures my view so I'll post.

    To me, the biggest three problems in the last two playoffs losses were

    1. No Gronk or injured Gronk. He's a massive part of the offense. They don't have an effective blocking TE without him. He's by far the most important player in the red zone. Jake Ballard will help with the former. But they need this guy on the field.

    2. They need a viable outside threat. Not necessarily a deep threat, but a guy who will prevent opposing defenses (and include the 2010 Jets in this too) from packing the middle. This is why I would let Welker go IF they only way they could bring in a viable outside threat would be to use the dollars on obtaining one.

    3. Welker's drops. Hey, I love Welker, but they win SB 46 if he catches that pass and they have a shot against the Ravens if he catches the other one. I'm a zillion miles away from being a Hater. I have a Welker jersey! But those drops were brutal. And yes, Tom's throw in Indy was far from perfect.
  17. Deus Irae

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

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    Uninjured Gronk catches the pass that Boyer picked off, and that alone is enough to make the difference in the game. Also, Brady was dealing with that should issue in the regular season matchup.
  18. Bravo777

    Bravo777 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    ABANDON SHIP! Trade, Welker, Gronk, Hern, Brady, Lloyd, Ridley, fire BB and start over!

    Nah, I think we only need a few tweaks and we'll be fine.
  19. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

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    Nobody is saying anything about blowing it up. Just tweaking it.

    Thanks for your incredibly insightful post.

    And by insightful I of course mean completely worthless.
  20. Bravo777

    Bravo777 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    It was a joke dude. Lighten up.
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