INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Patriots Offense Came Up Big on 3rd Down this PreSeason

Ian Logue
September 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm ET

Taking a final look at the preseason, there were some things that stood out that are worth mentioning as the Patriots begin preparations to hit the field for real next Sunday down in Tennessee.

One of the biggest surprises was the fact that looking at New England’s 10 longest passing plays this preseason, 6 out of their 10 longest pass plays came on 3rd down, five of which went for 20 yards or more.  Not bad considering how bad they struggled to move the football during their four exhibition contests.

All three quarterbacks were over 60% on 3rd down as well, with nearly all of them finishing with the same completion percentage:

PreSeason 3rd Down Passing Stats
Quarterback Att Comp Yds Comp PCT Sk/Yds TD INT
R.Mallett
21
13
62%
140
1/-5
1
0
B.Hoyer
16
10
63%
101
0/
0
0
T.Brady
8
5
63%
47
1/-11
0
1

The only disappointment is the fact that the offense didn’t manage to make a big play throwing the ball, although they did manage to break off a couple of big runs.  However, there were no plays that went for over 30 yards, with their longest gains of the preseason coming on two rushes of 29 yards each by runningbacks Jeff Demps and Stevan Ridley.

Ridley’s no stranger to making big plays.  He had 7 of the 10 longest rushes the team had last season, and appears poised to do more of the same this year.

As for the passing game, New England’s longest pass play came in week 3 against the Buccaneers on a 24-yard completion to Aaron Hernandez.

You can view this preseason’s complete list of longest plays via this link.


  • Ken Harding

    Hi Ian, I used to work with you in Portsmouth before I moved to Boston for Grad school. I have a few sports apps on my phone and ran across a site where someone linked to your roster tool. I wasn’t a big fan back then but I’ve been reading PFT since like 2003 and NFP for a long time too. I really get into the business of pro football, the draft, and the game planning aspect of the sport. Anyway, I’ve been reading you for a little now and I wanted to say good work. I like how you write, you have a very readable and entertaining style.

    Btw, why didnt the pats use the new IR rules to make Demps available again mid season in case of injury? Am I missing something, did they use it already, or is this more than just “stashing” him for the year while they develop him?

    Take care bud,
    Ken

  • Ken Harding

    Forget the “btw” I didn’t finish reading your article about it. Oops! Lol

  • Hey Ken, thanks for the kind words and hope you’re doing well. Yes, you probably noticed that Demps is gone for at least the rest of this year, which is disappointing but probably for the best. He’s built right now for being a sprinter and needs to get his body back into football shape, as even Woodhead weighs in 25 pounds heavier than he does. But he should be fun to watch when he comes back next season.

    In the meantime it’s great to hear from you, and definitely keep in touch. – Ian

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