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Where are the Turnovers and 3rd Down D ?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mcdonut16, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

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    +/- Turnovers for Patriots

    2003 = + 17
    2004 = +9
    2005 = -6
    2006 = -3

    3rd % (Conversions Allowed) for Patriots

    2003 = 34.5 %
    2004 = 38.8 %
    2005 = 42 %
    2006 = 48.3 %

    (stats from nfl.com)

    Anyone notice a problem here ? While the defense is off to a pretty good start as far as run D and getting sacks, the downward trend continues for making big plays on Defense. Turnovers and making stops on 3rd down are the definition of making big plays on Defense.

    The D is, and probably will always be solid as long as Belichick is here, but the big game changing plays that were the hallmark of the championship teams seem to have gone missing.

    Specifcally the problem seems to be in the defensive backfield as the Patriots are near the top of the league this year in rushing 3rd down conversions and rushing yards allowed. Those 3rd downs are being converted by passing. The Patriots are near the top of the league in sacks so pressure is not the problem.

    The Patriots are not causing fumbles or INT's, and turnovers more than anything can determine the outcome of successfull team.

    Is this a result of losing Romeo Crennel and personnel changes ? The Patriots D better get this fixed quick as this deficiency has yet to rear it's head, but the long term trend is not good.

    I am optimistic about this years team but these stats set off a reason for concern. Maybe the ball just isn't bouncing the right way.
     
  2. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm interested in these stats, although it is VERY early in the season. The third down conversion figure certainly checks with my sense of how things have been going.

    But I have a question about the turnovers. Since it is a net figure, is the problem that the defense have been getting fewer turnovers or that the offense have been allowing more? I wouldn't be surprised at the latter.
     
  3. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ty Law....
     
  4. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

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    The Patriots have only 1 INT and 0 Forced Fumbles. That is 1 turnover in 2 games, tied for last in the league. Like I said, not good.
     
  5. patological

    patological Practice Squad Player

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    Lets not forget the touchback against Buf and the 4th down stop in each game. As BB says, those stops are as good as turnovers.
     
  6. p8ryts

    p8ryts Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Thank goodness we found something to worry about. I hadn't seen any hand wringing for a couple days.

    It's only 2 games.
     
  7. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

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    Make that the entire last season and 2 games !
     
  8. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    CB height is given far too much importance. Can you tell me one play so far that has happened because the CB in coverage was too short to make a play on the ball?
     
  9. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    True #1 CBs are not defined only by coverage ability, but the way their ball skills strike fear in the heart of opposing QBs. If the QB doesn't fear that an INT will be made, indecision and doubt never creep into his mind about throwing the ball, no matter how good the cb's coverage skills. Fear and doubt cause bad decision making. Bad decision making leads to holding the ball too long, or throwing it to the wrong place, which lead to strip sacks and INTs by other players. Our lack of a true, ball hawking #1 CB or big time ball hawking FS are affecting the TO margin. The hope is that Hobbs can become this. If Hobbs does not become this, which is alot to ask so soon in his development, this team will struggle all year with TOs, especially if Geno doesn't snap out of it. We no longer see that kernel of doubt and indecision in the QBs we face when they look downfield. They seem comfortable and confident despite the collapsing pocket, because they are no longer haunted by the ghost of a talent like the old Law.
     
  10. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Reiss touched on it in his stat blurb this AM. Lookin' good EXCEPT for the turnover differential and defending 3rd downs....which is also our tackleing issue raising it's ugly head. I've noticed our DB's have a tendancy to pause and watch the completion and then mull their approach to corraling the receiver while he picks up the first down. Without searching I sense we are OK against the run on 3rd downs but porus on the 3rd down pass.

    "Stat check
    A look at a few key statistical categories, and where the Patriots rank in the NFL through two games:

    Rushing
    Yards per game -- 3rd (165)
    Yards allowed per game -- 9th (75)

    Turnovers
    Differential -- tied for 27th (minus-3)

    Points
    Scored -- 12th (21.5)
    Allowed -- 14th (17)

    Third down efficiency
    Converted -- 4th (48.1 percent)
    Allowed -- 29th (48.3 percent)
    * Patriots also tied for 1st in NFL with 2-of-2 success on 4th down"
     
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The difference is that last season the D was terrible in nearly every facet of the game for much of the season.

    By comparison, the D this year has held one team to 10 points, none after making adjustments at the half, and another to nothing until two fluke plays occured. The trend is pretty clear, but I am cautiously optimistic that as long as NE can continue to put teams in uncompromising positions, the turnovers will come.

    Frankly, much of this year's lack is luck. Buffalo put the ball on the ground 3 times with it bouncing right back to them, and the Jets had one pass that was tipped by the WR into the perfect area to avoid an int. A yard in just about any other direction and that ball is picked by one of the 5 Pats that were in the area.

    If by game 6-7 NE still only averaging .5 TOs per game, then I will worry.
     
  12. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with you entire post, it is or should be obvious to anyone who has followed this team. But I also think the last part of your statement has a lot to do with it.

    In the Buffalo game the Bills fumbled three times only to have it bounce right to a Bill who recovered it. If those three balls bounce to a Pat then chaulk up 3 TO's in the + column and we aren't so concerned. I think it will come together, hell it is already light years better than it was last year, so I think the balls will start to bounce in our direction.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  13. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Way to small of a sample size. And don't say "last year too", there were a lot of other issues last year especially in the first half.

    Consider :

    - Warren's Safety was really a turnover. Why do Safeties not count ?
    - Speaking of which, why does our turnover of stopping the jesters on 4th and inches not count ?
    - As someone mentioned, the ball was on the ground a few times against Buffalo, we just didn't get it.
    - The hit on Cotchery would often result in a fumble, instead it's a TD.
    - Brushci is a great turnover guy and has played in just 50% of the games.
    - Harrison is still getting back to himself.

    The 3rd dowm thing has been a problem, we have to get off the field. But, again, the sample is ridiculously small. And the fact that teams are having to throw on even third and short dictates this will chance. It just will. Unlike if teams were running on third and 4 and making it because we sucked against the run. Not much you can do on that. When they're passing, they'll start falling incomplete.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  14. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    I agree, BF, and also would like to remind everyone that during the BB era, the team has almost every year been like a heavy truck - it takes a while to get going, but once it does, look out!

    As I recall we started out 0-2 and 5-5 in 2001, a Super Bowl year, and 1-2 in 2003, another Super Bowl year and just before starting the NFL record-setting 21 game winning streak. Last year after a slow start we entered the playoffs as the #4 seed nobody wanted to play. This year we're 2-0 and while everything isn't clicking perfectly just yet, I don't feel like we've yet hit our full stride either.

    Not to worry.
     
  15. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    new faces adjusting to the D and a ton of injuries last year. Adjustment period this year so far. If it's similar by the end of the season, or even 3/4's through, then I'll consider it a trend. For now, I think we need to wait.
     
  16. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, it's actually going to be very interesting to see how the packages work out, including 3rd down, with Seau in, TBC looking good on the pass rush, Vrabel able to play inside now, etc. I really like having Vrabel outside on early downs with Seau next to Bruschi then having Colvin, TBC, Vrabel at LB (plus Bruschi if we play 4) on passing downs. There's a lot of combinations for Pees to consider and juggle in the first half of the year.
     
  17. edgecy

    edgecy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    2 games into the season, I don't see this being a concern at the moment. If by Game 4 we're still doing poorly then I'd be more concerned.
     
  18. Born_a_Patriot

    Born_a_Patriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that we need to improve in that area, but we are 2-0 and our defense has not been a push over.
     
  19. SaCaCh

    SaCaCh Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    The problem as I see it is we have switched from a stong DB backfield in 2000-2004 to a strong Front seven 2003-2006. Notice that our two cross over years are when we were the strongest. Through injuries and not wanting/being able to resign our backfield has turned into a small quick group of zone cover type backs. Whether this is by design or not I am not sure. BB may think that the price you now have to pay for good cover corners is not worth the benefit you get from them. But he will always pay for a good front seven as they protect vs run and pass (through pressure), while cover corners only help vs a few recievers. You will notice though that the type of play this small group help eliminate is the long catch. Huge chunks of yards is something BB hates to give up, and will take his chances with what happens most now, and that is passes short and to the flat. These do have a good success rate on 3rd down if you can't get to the QB quickly and if you do not have strong DBs that can check at the line. The zone coverage will also take away INT chances because most of those are thrown deep and we are covering well enough that not alot of QBs are throwing deep. There were a bunch of fumbles in the Bills game, but they picked them all up lol.

    IMHO
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  20. hwc

    hwc In the Starting Line-Up

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    Since the NFL banned pass defense, it's pretty much impossible to stop many of those 3rd down possession plays.

    Remember, the game changed after the 2003 season. Defensive players can't even look at a receiver wrong once they've left the line of scrimmage. Those slant patterns used to be physical contests with the receiver and defender actually playing football and jockying for position. Now, the only way to defend it is to jump the route -- a sure fire recipe for giving up big play touchdowns.

    It is what it is. The name of the game now is to keep those receptions in front of the defense. The rules are the same for both teams. It's pretty much impossible for the other team to stop Brady from completing a 5 yard out or 5 yard slant, too.
     

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