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BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
The Patriots haven't look like themselves this year and that has a lot of fans as well as me concerned. But as we all know, it isn't just about how good you are. It is about how good the field is. What about the other teams in the NFL?

I wouldn't call the Patriots the best team this year, but they are the most balanced. I think this hasn't gotten enough play. Let's look at overall PPG rankings and then break each team down.

Patriots - Offensive PPG 4th, Defensive PPG 7th - overall that is 11.
Chargers - Offensive PPG 6th (tied), Defensive PPG 8th - overall that is 14.
Colts - Offensive PPG 5th, Defensive PPG 10th - overall that is 15
Saints
- Offensive PPG 3rd, Defensive PPG 14th - overall that is 17.
Rams - Offensive PPG 2nd, Defensive PPG 20th - overall that is 22.
Chiefs - Offensive PPG 1st, Defensive PPG 24th - overall that is 25.
Dallas - Offensive PPG 22nd, Defensive PPG 6th - overall that is 28.
Eagles - Offensive PPG 18th, Defensive PPG 12th - overall that is 30.

Now being the most balanced and good on both side of the ball is nice, but it doesn't make you the best team. However I think this is worth pointing out. Besides the overall PPG rankings there are other things worthy of note.

Balance isn't just about PPG over the year. It is about who is the best right now and who has a weakness that can be exploited. Something for the next post I think as that may be a long one.
 
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BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
KC Chiefs - This offense has fallen back to the NO/LAR pack since Hunt got hurt. So while they are the overall highest rated offense in PPG for the year they may not be the best offense in the playoffs anymore. But that isn't an issue. The issue is they have the worst defense in this playoffs and it isn't even close. This isn't like when a team has a bad defense in the regular season and gets games back. It is just that bad. They can't stop the run or defend the pass well at all. They are just flat out bad and that won't change.

Rams - The Rams are an offensive power house and the 2nd worst defense left. The issue they do have play makers on defense but their rush defense is arguably the worst in the NFL. They may have only 23rd most YPG but they gave up the most YPA in the league at 5.1. It is hard to win 3 games in a row when you do that. While KC gives up more rush YPG the YPA here is to me a more important stat in most cases as both teams for various reasons forced teams to pass on them and I don't think the crown for worst run D should go to KC just cause they forced teams to abandon the run sooner. Also this wasn't a scheme thing. They had 3 LBs on the field more than not from what I've read.

Dallas - The worst rated defense left in the playoffs. However they are clearly not as bad as they were. Since getting Cooper their offense has become rather respectable. In the 10 games with Cooper (including playoffs) they have averaged 22.3PPG. Not much better than the 20PPG they averaged before he got there but it is something. It still puts them below the Eagles in PPG and as the worst offense in the playoffs. They are also one of the more inconsistent offenses.

Saints - The Saints have the worst pass defense left in the playoffs and it isn't close. They are 27th in Defensive passer rating giving up an average of 100.3 and the 28th most YPG at 269. Also the worst mark. The run defense is actually the best in the playoffs but if you can get passed on like this that is pretty horrible.

Eagles - The Eagles have one of the more forgiving weaknesses. They are the worst running offense in the playoffs. They rank 30th in YPA and 28th in YPG. It has been overcome before and they have the weapons to do it if Foles plays well for 3 games. I don't think it is likely this year and this weakness may come back to haunt them if/when the pass game stalls. One other issue is they (along with the Ravens only had 17 take aways all season. Tied for the worst among playoff teams and were the worst at Give/Take coming in at -6. You don't tend to win against good teams if you lose the turnover battle.

Indy - No particular one weakness sticks out. They are a bit overrated on defense IMO due to a fairly week schedule offensively but not as bad as other teams. Overall they are one of the better run defenses in the NFL and their pass D is about average. On offense they can both run and pass effectively. But I think some of that is that they haven't been tested. The lack of the defensive talent isn't just perception. It is a real issue and I think it will come back to bit them. Still, it is hard to jump on them for any one thing they do awful.

Pats - No particular one weakness sticks out. The 4.9 YPA given up per rush is alarming but when you see they are ranked 11th in YPG you know there is more too it. If they were that bad against the run teams would exploit it more. It isn't like they had a ton of blow outs this year. As we know it is by design due to the 4-2-5 they usually run and when they want to stop you they have a fair chance. The speed at LB and pass rush is an issue but overall they don't have that one glaring weakness.

Chargers - No particular one weakness. I will say that their ability to defend RBs is highly questionable and their LB group is by far the worst in the playoffs and maybe the worst in the NFL this year. We will see if it comes back to haunt them but overall one of the more balanced teams.
 

Deus Irae

PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club
PatsFans.com Supporter
Josh Gordon's gone. The numbers, particularly on offense, don't mean much of anything, as a result.
 
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Gumby

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Gordon's gone. The numbers, particularly on offense, don't mean much of anything, as a result.

Latest Herald injury update:

Injury update

Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise was a limited participant in practice with an ankle injury and is listed as

For the Chargers, cornerback Brandon Facyson (concussion), tight end Hunter Henry (knee), fullback Derek Watt (shoulder) and linebacker Kyle Wilson (concussion) were full participants and listed as questionable.

Gordon (knee), safety Jahleel Addae (shoulder), center Mike Pouncey (thumb) and tackle Sam Tevi(groin) were removed from the list.
 

goheels22002

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
The Patriots haven't look like themselves this year and that has a lot of fans as well as me concerned. But as we all know, it isn't just about how good you are. It is about how good the field is. What about the other teams in the NFL?

I wouldn't call the Patriots the best team this year, but they are the most balanced. I think this hasn't gotten enough play. Let's look at overall PPG rankings and then break each team down.

Patriots - Offensive PPG 4th, Defensive PPG 7th - overall that is 11.
Chargers - Offensive PPG 6th (tied), Defensive PPG 8th - overall that is 14.
Colts - Offensive PPG 5th, Defensive PPG 10th - overall that is 15
Saints - Offensive PPG 3rd, Defensive PPG 14th - overall that is 17.
Rams - Offensive PPG 2nd, Defensive PPG 20th - overall that is 22.
Chiefs - Offensive PPG 1st, Defensive PPG 24th - overall that is 25.
Dallas - Offensive PPG 22nd, Defensive PPG 6th - overall that is 28.
Eagles - Offensive PPG 18th, Defensive PPG 12th - overall that is 30.

Now being the most balanced and good on both side of the ball is nice, but it doesn't make you the best team. However I think this is worth pointing out. Besides the overall PPG rankings there are other things worthy of note.

Balance isn't just about PPG over the year. It is about who is the best right now and who has a weakness that can be exploited. Something for the next post I think as that may be a long one.

The Patriots have the stingiest defense in the playoffs right now.

If you were to use the difference between offense and defense ranking as the measure of "balance" it would be

Chargers 2
Patriots 3
Colts 5
Eagles 6
Saints 11
Cowboys 16
Rams 18
Chiefs 23

The most imbalanced matchup is the Cowboys at the Rams.
 
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goheels22002

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
KC Chiefs - This offense has fallen back to the NO/LAR pack since Hunt got hurt. So while they are the overall highest rated offense in PPG for the year they may not be the best offense in the playoffs anymore. But that isn't an issue. The issue is they have the worst defense in this playoffs and it isn't even close. This isn't like when a team has a bad defense in the regular season and gets games back. It is just that bad. They can't stop the run or defend the pass well at all. They are just flat out bad and that won't change.

Rams - The Rams are an offensive power house and the 2nd worst defense left. The issue they do have play makers on defense but their rush defense is arguably the worst in the NFL. They may have only 23rd most YPG but they gave up the most YPA in the league at 5.1. It is hard to win 3 games in a row when you do that. While KC gives up more rush YPG the YPA here is to me a more important stat in most cases as both teams for various reasons forced teams to pass on them and I don't think the crown for worst run D should go to KC just cause they forced teams to abandon the run sooner. Also this wasn't a scheme thing. They had 3 LBs on the field more than not from what I've read.

Dallas - The worst rated defense left in the playoffs. However they are clearly not as bad as they were. Since getting Cooper their offense has become rather respectable. In the 10 games with Cooper (including playoffs) they have averaged 22.3PPG. Not much better than the 20PPG they averaged before he got there but it is something. It still puts them below the Eagles in PPG and as the worst offense in the playoffs. They are also one of the more inconsistent offenses.

Saints - The Saints have the worst pass defense left in the playoffs and it isn't close. They are 27th in Defensive passer rating giving up an average of 100.3 and the 28th most YPG at 269. Also the worst mark. The run defense is actually the best in the playoffs but if you can get passed on like this that is pretty horrible.

Eagles - The Eagles have one of the more forgiving weaknesses. They are the worst running offense in the playoffs. They rank 30th in YPA and 28th in YPG. It has been overcome before and they have the weapons to do it if Foles plays well for 3 games. I don't think it is likely this year and this weakness may come back to haunt them if/when the pass game stalls. One other issue is they (along with the Ravens only had 17 take aways all season. Tied for the worst among playoff teams and were the worst at Give/Take coming in at -6. You don't tend to win against good teams if you lose the turnover battle.

Indy - No particular one weakness sticks out. They are a bit overrated on defense IMO due to a fairly week schedule offensively but not as bad as other teams. Overall they are one of the better run defenses in the NFL and their pass D is about average. On offense they can both run and pass effectively. But I think some of that is that they haven't been tested. The lack of the defensive talent isn't just perception. It is a real issue and I think it will come back to bit them. Still, it is hard to jump on them for any one thing they do awful.

Pats - No particular one weakness sticks out. The 4.9 YPA given up per rush is alarming but when you see they are ranked 11th in YPG you know there is more too it. If they were that bad against the run teams would exploit it more. It isn't like they had a ton of blow outs this year. As we know it is by design due to the 4-2-5 they usually run and when they want to stop you they have a fair chance. The speed at LB and pass rush is an issue but overall they don't have that one glaring weakness.

Chargers - No particular one weakness. I will say that their ability to defend RBs is highly questionable and their LB group is by far the worst in the playoffs and maybe the worst in the NFL this year. We will see if it comes back to haunt them but overall one of the more balanced teams.

The two visiting AFC teams have the least experienced NFL Head Coaches going up against the two most experienced active NFL Head Coaches.
 

luuked

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
No particular one weakness sticks out. The 4.9 YPA given up per rush is alarming but when you see they are ranked 11th in YPG you know there is more too it. If they were that bad against the run teams would exploit it more. It isn't like they had a ton of blow outs this year.

Out biggest weakness seems to be defeding runs out of 11 personnel.


Well that and the late season stalls in the redzone.
 

Tb12goesinya

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
The ppg rankings confirm what most of us know, they are a rock solid football team. Also when factoring losing games to multiple bad teams it signals to me that the team had not played anywhere near their peak.

When observing the Chiefs, Saints, and Rams at the beginning of the season it seems clear that they were all operating at optimal performance. Would it be fair to significantly factor in Colts's 1-5 start into their current reality?

What if Patriots drafted a WR in Sony's spot, and signed a 100% receiving WR instead of rushing threat like Patterson. What if they played every game like it was the Super Bowl?

The Pats recognized that a more balanced offense was imperative to optimize the goat that keeps on giving. It was brilliant vision and implementation.

Similar to the Warriors after their 73 win season and then winning 50 something following season, adding Durant, and taking the title..were they a worse team?

The Patriots are battling greatness, legacy, and glory. Perhaps there are deeper battles then just totally dominating in September and October.

So sure maybe this unit won't be remember as some NFL behemoth, but give me full health, balanced offense, highly ranked oline, plenty of weapons, great secondary, special teams, coaching, and QB.
 

RayClay

Hall of Fame Poster
I wish I really felt we were the 2nd best on defense out of 8, but I don't. As Deus said we're different without Gordon, but if Gronk is feeling better and he looked more chipper to me, making a shoetop catch for instance, that could cancel out. No stats on Gronk all year, bu he'll be targeted if healthy.
 

BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
I was referring to Josh Gordon. I should have been more clear, so my apologies for any confusion. I'll go back and edit.

Okay. The patriots lost Gordon but got back Burkhead and Edelman looks back near 100%. So they lost and gained something. At some point this year their offense was better than it is now and for their overall ranking. At some points this year there offense was worse than it is now.

The Charges are the second most balanced team by my rankings, and they go into Sunday with their top back hurt. How should that effect them?

Should my third ranked Colts be considered the most balanced team right now? We could call that into question by bringing up their easy schedule which inflated their rankings.

Does that make the 4th ranked Saints the most balanced team going into this week? Considering the state of their offensive line that is a highly questionable proposition.

Personally I think at some point you just need to go with the rankings. I honestly think right now the pats are the most balanced team. Not automatically the best, but the most able to be capable of playing any type of game effectively.
 
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