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Football Outsiders film study on Pats offense

2021 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: vs Dolphins
Pick Results: MIA: 0% at NE: 0%

Sep 12th

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:


In the Starting Line-Up
I wanted to highlight a few recent good articles from Football Outsiders on the Pats as they've taken notice of improved play.

Film Room: Patriots Passing Game

Notes what's working in the past three productive games, play action and the run game.

Any Given Sunday: Patriots over Ravens

Blow by blow analysis of the Ravens game. I like how they called the Pats OL "All-Pro laden" when the Pats have famously not drafted a Pro Bowler in sooo long. Turns out both have been on All-Pro teams. Maybe they've been busy during the Pro Bowl week for their career for some reason?

Word of Muth: Secret Weapon

Focuses on the OL play of the Jets game. It's a pity he didn't cover the Ravens game as that was an all timer for the OL. He loves our guards of course, but had this to say about Onwenu:

Rookie right tackle Michael Onwenu (71) is solid here too. He has been such a find for New England. He should be the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. It'll never happen because he doesn't touch the ball, but I find it hard to believe there's a better offensive rookie out there.


Pro Bowl Player
Harris has been a secret weapon too. 4th ranked RB in the NFL.

Through only 6 games he has not achieved at least 5.0 yards a carry just once. In 3 of the 6 games Harris has hung up 100 yards.

Harris's rushing stats projected to 16 games: 227 carries, 1256 yards.

If you calculate that using the number of carries Corey Dillon got with us in 2004 - that would be a 1,908 yard season and in the top 10 all time for a single season :oops:



In the Starting Line-Up
The offensive line is really, really special. Given how one-dimensional and limited the offensive skill-players are in certain regards, the OL should really be struggling. Teams are stacking the box against the run and blitzing heavily because they don't respect NE's receivers. The fact the OL is still performing so well is unreal.

If we can get Thuney back next season and the other 4 can maintain their level of play, look out. Add some competent weapons on the perimeter that the defense needs to respect, lighten the box for the OL, simplify the defensive pressures/blitzes/concepts ... my word, this OL would be running teams over.

Really excited about the OL right now, but even more excited for 2021.

luuked Supporter Supporter
I really liked the one going through out passing game. One paragraph stood out specifically:

Things unraveled from there. After a middling showing in a win against the Raiders in Week 3, Newton was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list for a positive test on October 3. He missed the following two weeks, one of which was a bye. Upon returning, Newton looked horrible. He was legitimately one of the worst starters in the league in Weeks 6 and 7, throwing five interceptions without throwing a single touchdown. He looked slow mentally and physically and was even benched towards the latter half of the San Francisco game in Week 7.

And then, unexpectedly, the train got back on the tracks. Since Week 8, the Patriots passing offense has looked as good as it has all year. Three of New England's top-five passing DVOA performances have been the past three weeks, with last week's game against Baltimore taking the crown with a 78.9% DVOA rating.

I don't get why so many are hesitant to state the obvious and say that maybe sitting out practice more than a week due to COVID and then only getting one practice after returning because the facility got show down again might have played a significant role in Newton's regression. They got two more practices in before the 49ers game making it a total of 3 practices in the entirety of October for him with the team.

Just maybe being able to stack together reps for a couple weeks now is the reason why he -- and the offense -- are back to being as efficient as they were early in the year and it really is not as unexpected as even FO makes it sound.

Ochmed Jones

Pro Bowl Player
Harris has been a secret weapon too. 4th ranked RB in the NFL.

Through only 6 games he has not achieved at least 5.0 yards a carry just once. In 3 of the 6 games Harris has hung up 100 yards.

and he has been doing it while facing 8 in the box. The offensive line when Wynn is at left tackle is really amazing.


In the Starting Line-Up

Cam’s frustration is evident. That grotesque pick 6 INT on the screen pass was a case to my eyes of “f —- it. I don’t get this sh-t.” He is being to do what is not his forte.

Is the OC adjusting the scheme to the talent? Or the other way round?

The system requires a football nerd at QB. Just cause Cam’s got the glasses don’t make it more than a look.


2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Is the OC adjusting the scheme to the talent? Or the other way round?

The opposing team's defense has a say in what offensive schemes can be run. The defense can take away a scheme, and the offense has to adjust. If the offense is one dimensional due to limited QB play, the opposing defenses eventually see that and adjust, taking away the one dimension the QB can execute well. After the defense takes away one type of scheme, the offensive play calling has a choice between running plays the QB is not good at, or running the same plays directly into the defensive formation's strength. It is not as simple as "adjusting the scheme to the talent" versus "the other way round". The opposing defense has a say in it as well.

Against Miami we ran the ball a lot and it was effective. So we continued with a lot of running and a little play action. Eventually teams, starting with the Texans, decided to play 8 or 9 men in the box all game to take away the run. Now the OC has to "adjust the scheme to the talent" AND what the defense is doing. Cam was not able to adjust to the 8 and 9 men in the box because he can not consistently make short quick passes to march down the field, so all teams are putting 8 or 9 men in the box, and the offense is struggling. Not because the offense did not adjust, but because Cam's game is one dimensional and the defense is taking away that strength.

Cam was able to adjust against Seattle and threw the ball fairly well. But at this point in the season that ability has disappeared. Most attribute the disappearance to Cam getting weaker as the season progresses - his legs and shoulder are shot. Also could be that Cam's decision making has slowed down. The O Line has been worse since Wynn left, but most of the issue has been Cam.