Why the Patriots are back to Champion Level

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    There is really one simple reason.


    Since Bruschi's return we are 6-2. One of those losses, to the Colts was right after he came back, the other was a 4 Int game by Brady.

    Why is Bruschi a cause rahter than effect?

    Since Bruschi has returned, the Patriot run D has allowed 80 yards per game (which would rank 2nd in the NFL) and 3.1 yards per carry (which would rank first).
    If we give him a mulligan for his first game back (which by the way was only 3.5 per carry) the Pat run D since he was back, and reasonably ready to play, has allowed 70.4 ypgame and 2.95 ypcarry. Both would easily rank first in the NFL.

    Before Bruschi came back we allowed on average, 125.3 yard per game, and a 4.3 yard per rush average.

    With Bruschi back the Pats have not allowed more than 4.1 in ANY SINGLE GAME. They have allowed 3.1 or less in 5 of the 8, the others being 3.5, 3.8 and 4.1.

    Before Bruschi's return, the Patriots allowed 27.3 points per game, since his return 15.6. (Which by the way is right about what the best Pats D, 2003, did)

    Before Bruschi's return the Pats allowed 20 or more points in all 6 games. Since they have allowed more than 17 only twice. (Outside of the Colt game, the average allowed is 12.1)

    This, however, means even more than it seems.

    In the last 4 years, we have not won the SB only 1 time. What is intersting about that year? Tedy Bruschi was injured. During the games Bruschi did not play, we allowed 180 rushing yards a game. When he played it was approx 110, the same as in 2001. Had Bruschi not been injured, would be looking for the 5th in a row???????????????

    Any Patriot gan knows this is a different team with Bruschi, and all knw the leadership and intelligence he brings.
    But these numbers out his impact in black and white.

    If we continue to play run defense that allows 70.4 yards a game, and 2.95 a carry, it is very simply, no one will beat us.

    There has been much talk of the team getting new players in, fixing the secondary, improving as the season goes on, etc.
    Really, this Patriot season can be divided into 2 halves. The half without Bruschi, and the half with. IMO, the evidence says that the half before Bruschi is irrelevant to what the next 7 weeks will hold.

    Tedy Bruschi is co-MVP of this team, along with Tom Brady.
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    I remember when you presented the with and without Tedy numbers on Run Defense before the 2003 season and you were proven correct. It is impossible to disagree with the otherwise coincidental turnaround this year. Not being a tape watcher, I don't know how Vrabel is doing inside but my feeling is that his moving inside with Colvin looking electric in his outside spot is another significant factor.
  3. lutontown_fc

    lutontown_fc On the Game Day Roster

    I agree - as much as it is a cliché to say it - Bruschi is our Defensive QB - he is the best at play diagnosis and getting the his unit into the correct position.

    More than likely someone will say that Seymour is more important - maybe they have a case - all I know is - seeing Bruschi out there gives me a lift and id imagine it does the same for the team.

    Plenty of people are still pointing the finger at our secondary, but most teams have a weakness and at least we can counter-act this with our strength in the front 7.

  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Interesting question. I certainly wouldn't have bet against them. :)

    Personally, I think SI should have named Brady and Bruschi Sportsmen of the Year. In any case, though, Bruschi better win Comeback of the Year. . . .
  5. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

    No question in mind ... if Bruschi did not come back PATs Defense would not
    be where it is today. He is an essential ingredient.
    He is the biggest factor. IMO

    Also have to look at other factors such as Seymour getting healthy and Vince
    starting to finnally play the way many thought he could paly. Also the right
    combination of DBs and their ability to work together. The coaching that
    was necenssary for all to come together and start playing "team defense"
    as Belichick stresses.

    But if you want to single out one factor to call the most important factor it
    sure would be Bruschi. IMO
  6. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I have to agree. Bruschi is the defenses quarterback. He was flapping his wings like Manning out there, calling all the plays and coverages. I too noticed the points per game since Bruschi came back going from 27 to 15. I do have to say, that the ppg going down also happened when Seymour came back also, and also coincides with the weakest part of our schedule too. Lots of factors, but probably the biggest one is Bruschi coming back, as well as Seymour. I will say that besides Brady, Bruschi is the most important Patriot. He is also my favorite Patriot, but I won't jinx him again by thinking about buying a Bruschi jersey. I was thinking about getting a Bruschi jersy, then he had the stroke, then I wanted a Rodney Harrison jersy, and you know what happened. My mother wanted to buy me a Brady jersey in October for my birthday, and I told her "No freakin way in hell" lol.
  7. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    When the Pats won in 2001, one of the big points that I noticed was Willie McGinest become a force in RUN defense. Remember we were playing the 43 and he was an undersized DE. Down the stetch and in the playoffs, he was dominant vs the run.
    One of the big things I have noticed this year is Colvin has become a dominant run defender. Perhaps its the rehab from the injury, but he is a MUCH more physical player and plays superb run D. (Ive notice it since about the Colts game)

    I think Vrabel keeps getting better inside. What has been lost on some is that he still plays OLB too. In our scheme, we play 5+ DBs on at least half the plays. Typically we remove an ILB. Vrabel is staying on the field, pretty much rotating with Colvin and McG on the snaps he is not inside. Vrabel is having an outstanding year.

    Willie is Willie, playing up to his standards. On a side note, I think Willie McGinest is the best player in the league when a fumble is on the ground. How many times, like Sunday, does a ball squirt loose, and Willie is the one to get to it? A lot. Ive also seen him more than once block an offensive player away from the ball so another Pat could recover.

    These LBs as a group, IMO, are playing the best combined football of their careers. This may be the #1 asset we have to repeat. Well, maybe 1A because we have The Brady.
  8. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

    Just a note on your stats AJ.

    Before and After Bruschi is also a break in the schedule in terms of the
    toughness of the schedule. So Even though I believe Bruschi's return
    has been the most important factor in PATs defense getting better,
    I don't believe it because of just the stats. The Bucs game was a good
    indication how PATs D has turned around.
  9. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Remember what these linebackers did in SB XXXIX against Philly. They were in Mcnabb's face from the first play. The Pats D is unbeatable when the linebackers are dominant. And when they are healthy, that is 99% of the time. Fine play by Seymour-Wilfork-Warren allows the LB's to make the great plays too. We don't have a sack happy D-Line, most of our pressure comes from Colvin-Vrabel-Bruschi.
  10. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

    Don't forget McGinest - he led the team in sacks last year and is up there this year also.
  11. kptmorgan04

    kptmorgan04 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Well, those stats include:


    and do not include

    The second group averages 130.5 (we held them to 5.2 below their average, or 96%)
    The first group averages 109.9 (we held them to 29.9 below avg, or 73% of their average)

    I know this isnt a Math problem, but using the averages it says:

    1st 6: allowed 125.3, would have allowed 95.0 with Bruschi)
    Last 8: allowed 80 with Bruschi, would have allowed 105.5 without him.

    Quite a difference no matter the opponent.

    I'll guarantee that if we were allowing only 95 rush yards a game through the first 6 we would have been better than 3-3.
  13. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Damnit, AJ, you beat me to it tonight!

    (Check out my thread with some visuals)

    "Great minds...."
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    It is somewhat of a chicken/egg thing.
    The team leading runs more than the team trailing.

    Did they run more because they led, or did they lead because they ran more?
  15. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Actually, when I was compiling the stats there, I was thinking the exact same thing.

    My conclusion was they're all intertwined and effect each other.
  16. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    What I've seen on the tape is when they pop in 5 DBs (Sanders, Stone, Poteat, etc.) they move Colvin and Willie to the ends to rush, move Seymour inside and sub in Green, and then have Vrabel play the weak edge and Bruschi drop back over the strong side of the field.
  17. Reinforcements in the draft...

    I think our starting LB is as good or better than it has ever been.

    The question I guess is depth. IMO, Chad Brown was brought in as a temporary OLB for a season or two to spell Willie, while Colvin and Vrabel were to rotate, keeping all the pass rushers fresh. Chatham and TBC were meant to be spot players and STers.

    Beisel was brought in to team with TJ, and hope Tedy would return later.

    When both Tedy and TJ were unavailable, this was unanticipated and neither candidate was adequate as a raw starter without experience even as vets. Belichicks system is far from simpleand the ILBs are supposed to be the defensive diagnosticians. It didn't help that Vrabel was injured almost all training camp so he never finished his experiment inside, either. I don't know how many times both guys overran plays. That showed me a) Good diagnosis, b) good athleticism, but it demonstrates lack of experience too. If both guys were still forced to play, I expect that they would be catching on about now, but it wold be too late for this year as the Pats would be about 7-7 and out of the playoffs.

    The return of Tedy and the shift of Vrabel solved that problem quickly. Now the problem is the secondary,but it actually better than last years SB run, IMO. It took several weeks to find two suitable situation subs to create a virtual Rodney but the Pats seem to have done it.

    By comparison, I think htis makeshift secondary is actually superior to both Pitt's and certainly better than Denver's defensive backfields.

    But the reinforcements by starting caliber LBs are due this offseason; I expect they will sit for a year and then slowly be integrated into the rotations
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2005
  18. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    That is on 3rd down.
    But many times they will add a 5th DB on 1st or 2nd and play a 3-3.
    In the Colts game, the only time Ive ever seen it, they took out the weakside OLB, and played 3-3 with 1 OLB and 2 ILBs. (Bruschi was heavily cheating to the outside though)
  19. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Here's the formations on the first 2 Buffalo drives 2 weeks ago:

    1st and 10 Buf 27

    Result: Run, McGahee, left guard, 0 yds.

    Offense: 2 WR, one left, one right, 2 TE, one down off LT, one down left wing.

    Defense: 3-4, McGinest and Colvin showing blitz, 2 CBs 5 yards off the line.

    2nd and 10 Buf 27

    Result: Pass, Parrish, Incomplete, 10 yard out.

    Offense: Shotgun 5 WR, 2 left, McGahee in left slot, 3 right, TE in right slot, WR (Parrish) on right wing.

    Defense: 3-4, Seymour playing yards outside of the LT, McGinest on the TE in the right slot, Colvin on McGahee in the left slot, Bruschi shading towards the side with the 3 WR, Vrabel playing almost as a safety, 10 yards off the line straight over center.

    3rd and 10 Buf 27

    Result: Pass, Reed, Incomplete, 15 yard out.

    Offense: Shotgun 4 WR, 2 left, 2 right, Shaud Williams RB to left of Losman in the shotgun.

    Defense: 3-3-5 nickel, McGinest and Green at DE, Seymour at NT, Vrabel showing blitz right wing, Colvin showing blitz over center, Bruschi set for coverage over left slot receiver, all coverage, including 5th DB Sanders 10 yards off the line.

    1st and 10 Buf 27

    Result: Pass, Evans, sideline fly, 58 yds.

    Offense: 2 WR, one wide left, one right slot (Evans, came in motion from left slot), 2 TE, one down off LT one down off RT, lone RB.

    Defense: 3-4, CBs 5 yards off the line.

    1st and 15 NE 15

    Result: Run, McGahee, left tackle-to-right guard counter play, -2 yds.

    Offense: 2 WR left, TE down off RT, FB weak side.

    Defense: 3-4, Colvin showing blitz, CBs 5 yards off the line.

    2nd and 17 NE 17

    Result: Pass, Aiken, Incomplete, 10 yard post, overthrown.

    Offense: 3 WR, 2 left, 1 right slot, TE down off RT, lone RB.

    Defense: 3-3-5 nickel, McGinest-Seymour-Green line, Vrabel right wing showing blitz, Colvin left wing showing blitz, Poteat press coverage on the left slot WR, Hobbs and Samuel 10 yards off the line, Sanders and Wilson safeties.
  20. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Right. We played base on 1st and 2nd and nickel on 3rd.

    What I am saying is against some opponents and in some circumstances, we add the 5th DB on 1st or 2nd down.

    We play something like:

    Seymour, Wilfork, Warren
    Vrabel, Bruschi, Colvin
    5 DBs.

    Its not as common against a better run than pass team like Buffalo.

    If you go back to the Colts game, you'll see a low percentage of 4 LBs on the field.

    In other words, the OLBs are DEs on 3rd down, and OLBs in the base.

    But on many plays we go to a 'nickel' that leave the 3 DL in and the OLBs stay at OLB.

    I think its less common this year than in the past, simply because we want all 4 LBs on the field as much as possible, and can mix and match them.
    But last year we had 4 Lbs on the field as LBs fewer than 50% of the snaps.
    If may be more than 50 this year, but not much more. (and remember 3rd down with 2 OLBs playing DE doesnt count, because they are playing LB)

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