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2014 vs 2007 - Does a more diverse Offense give the Pats an advantage?

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Sep 12th

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JoeSixPat

Pro Bowl Player
I've often cautioned others not to get overly caught up in statistics, as they can blind one from the "eyeball" test of what a team's strengths and weaknesses are.

In the 2007 season, as dominant as that team was, as the season went on I grew to feel more and more that the Patriots predictable offense of going almost exclusively to Moss and Welker could be a weakness when the team faced stiffer competition in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Looking at 2007 receptions (targets) as great as Moss and Welker were at catching the ball despite being draped in coverage as the top two receivers they got 58% of the targets and 62 % of the TD passes (and actually I think this may be skewed to be MORE "diverse" as at the beginning of that season Stallworth was getting more looks than at the end of the season when it was apparent he wasn't coming back at $6 million)

http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/stats/_/name/ne/year/2007

This I felt as a marked difference in the Patriots Super Bowl winning years where Brady's favorite target was the open receiver and he spread the ball around much more (Welker and Moss of course made most catches despite the fact that the D knew it was going to them and being draped in coverage - though all you need is that one missed catch to make a difference when it counts)

In 2014 the top two receivers for the Patriots account for 45% of the targets and 47% of the TD passes

http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/stats/_/name/ne/new-england-patriots

In general my prediction for the offense this year (hope really) was that it would get back to a more diverse offense as seen in the SB seasons than in 2007 (which let's face it, at 18-1 was still dominant - they just were too predictable when it counted most in my opinion on those "must make" plays)

Seems to me that spread offense this season makes the Patriots much more difficult to defend. (I'm wondering whether the relative lack of the hurry up this season was meant to allow Brady to avoid defaulting to his top two WRs too)

I'd be interested in others thoughts on this and whether it provides an advantage going into this game and hopefully the Super Bowl, making them more difficult to defend.
 
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StrawHatPatriot

Practice Squad Player
It's hard to tell because there have been times where the offense hasn't looked that great this year. And I feel that we tend to say that the offense is better than 07 all the time.
 
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