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The Problem Over 2020-2023 Has Been The Lack Production By Receivers?


mgteich

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Really?

Receptions of the top 4 receivers by year has been 175, 160, 187, and 164.

The top 3 have given us 155, 139, 175, and 133.
======================
Two of the season were winning seasons; 12-4 and 10-7, two were losing seasons: 8-9 and 7-9-1.

==================
For 25 years, posters have said that the key to success is having a top 10 receiver, one of the best in the league. Over that time, we have had Welker, Moss and Edelman.

I suggest that the answer to success is not at the WR position. Rather this team is about strong lines, top 10 defenses, and top 10 ST's.
====================
We talk about lack of WR production. I would remind folks that even having WR's average THREE receptions a game is relatively rare. We had 2 in 2022, 3 in 2021, 2 in 2020, and 1 in 2019.

Receptions by the number 3 receiver has been 26, 33, 37 and 31.
Folks want to be sure that we have a quality #5. Our #4 has very few receptions: 20, 21, 12 and 31, usually fewer than TWO catches per game, hardly key. Parker is the only #4 to have over two catches per game.
================
BOTTOM LINE
Our number one this year is likely to have as many receptions as last year.
Our #2 will also be likely to have the same as the #2
Parker is on schedule to reach the same total as he had last year (as #3 or #4)

Sure, we could use add a top 10 receiver. That is the case for almost every team. What we need much more is better coaching of the assets that we have, that we draft and that we acquire. We have Bourne and Douglas. A team needs three plus backups in case of injury. It is NOT too much to expect that one of our remaining FIVE can step up the plate.
 

Thelonious

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Thanks for doing all the work to write this. I'm not sure how much satisfaction we can take in matching or even besting last year, but I agree with your case that there is as much reason to blame the team's many others shortcomings for the problems as there is reason to blame the wr's. Like everything else, they need a boost. In my own mind, those who are in a panic to get Mac out of the state make an analogous mistake to the one you show here re wr's. Mac's not great, but he's certainly serviceable, and because of his ill-handling and the weakness around him, we don't really have as clear a sense of his merits as we ought, as arguably with the wr's. If we kept a number of the wr's we have around in better circumstances, with more time to develop, who knows what they might become? It's sort of like: No one problem can be urgent, because all the other problem cry out as well with equal reason. Maybe we should proceed paying more attention to whichever of our needs can in any particular phase of things (or even moment) be solved at that particular time. If there's a more advantageous receiver available for our first pick, for example, I see nothing wrong with holding off on qb, and 100% symmetrically the reverse. Why, I believe that might even be called "doing what is best for the team. What a concept.

I'd have to make an exception re JJSS and Parker. The former is old and out; the latter is a pain in the ass.
 
Last edited:

Ice_Ice_Brady

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Really?

Receptions of the top 4 receivers by year has been 175, 160, 187, and 164.

The top 3 have given us 155, 139, 175, and 133.
======================
Two of the season were winning seasons; 12-4 and 10-7, two were losing seasons: 8-9 and 7-9-1.

==================
For 25 years, posters have said that the key to success is having a top 10 receiver, one of the best in the league. Over that time, we have had Welker, Moss and Edelman.

I suggest that the answer to success is not at the WR position. Rather this team is about strong lines, top 10 defenses, and top 10 ST's.
====================
We talk about lack of WR production. I would remind folks that even having WR's average THREE receptions a game is relatively rare. We had 2 in 2022, 3 in 2021, 2 in 2020, and 1 in 2019.

Receptions by the number 3 receiver has been 26, 33, 37 and 31.
Folks want to be sure that we have a quality #5. Our #4 has very few receptions: 20, 21, 12 and 31, usually fewer than TWO catches per game, hardly key. Parker is the only #4 to have over two catches per game.
================
BOTTOM LINE
Our number one this year is likely to have as many receptions as last year.
Our #2 will also be likely to have the same as the #2
Parker is on schedule to reach the same total as he had last year (as #3 or #4)

Sure, we could use add a top 10 receiver. That is the case for almost every team. What we need much more is better coaching of the assets that we have, that we draft and that we acquire. We have Bourne and Douglas. A team needs three plus backups in case of injury. It is NOT too much to expect that one of our remaining FIVE can step up the plate.

You’ve compared the New England Patriots receivers to the New England Patriots receivers.
 

TheRainMaker

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Go back in time and you’ll see why the Pats were eliminated from the playoffs. WR’s were just part of the equation, but they were exposed in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

The bottom line is, the Pats didn’t have much needs overall compared to others teams, but WR was always neglected. Had the Pats hit on a a couple draft picks/invested more draft capital on WR’s or landed Derrick Mason, Steve Smith, or Emmanuel Sanders, they win closer to 10 titles easy.
 

BennyBledsoe

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You don't need top 10 guys. You just need guys who can get open and make some easy yards. Give me a receiving corps filled with Troy Browns. Just get open enough to make the QB's life a little easier.
 

holyredeemer

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Was there no mention of TE’s and RB’s catching the ball opening it up for the WR’s? Give me a dominant receiving back and TE before receivers any day.
 

Stu Pidassle

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Go back in time and you’ll see why the Pats were eliminated from the playoffs. WR’s were just part of the equation, but they were exposed in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.

The bottom line is, the Pats didn’t have much needs overall compared to others teams, but WR was always neglected. Had the Pats hit on a a couple draft picks/invested more draft capital on WR’s or landed Derrick Mason, Steve Smith, or Emmanuel Sanders, they win closer to 10 titles easy.
WR is a high profile skill position that is a very visible part of the roster. It doesn't matter how good your WR corpse is if the OL doesn't give the QB time to throw or if the defense gives up too many points to keep up. You have a point that WR has not been as much of a point of focus under BB's roster construction as many other teams and has been a weakness for the years you highlight. There were also a number of years during the Brady dry period where the offense was great and the defense was the reason the team lost in the playoffs. The statement about 10 titles ignores the fact that other positions would have been impacted by diverting more resources to WR. It is not that simple.
 

mgteich

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Was there no mention of TE’s and RB’s catching the ball opening it up for the WR’s? Give me a dominant receiving back and TE before receivers any day.
I strongly agree with you.

I am not shocked that folks concluded that because our #3 and #4 WR only catch 2-3 balls per game, that the conclusion is that we need to add top receivers. IMO, the lack of top receivers has never been the issue for the patriots. IMO, Terrell wasn't the right choice then (Seymour was a much better pick) and focusing on adding the next new toy isn't the answer today.

The patriots choose to build around a top defense, a top special teams and solid running game. Our passing game is based on 3 WR's, none of which would be considered an all-pro star by others. The patriots passing does require at least one solid RB and a couple of TE's as receivers. For 25 years, we have never had a top set of receivers in the sense that we discuss that today. In 2023, we have 2 very solid WR's, 3 TE's and a RB. all of whom are fine targets. And no, six isn't enough. We need a reliable #3 and a #4 who can sub if someone is injured or not performing, and a 2nd receiving RB.

Yes, I am disappointed in Shuster and Parker. We were supposed to be relying on Bourne, Shuster, Parker and Thornton. Instead, we are looking for help beyond our top 2. However, I think that it quite possible that we have 2-3 possible #3 and #4 WR's in Parker, Shuster, Reagor, Thornton and Boutte. Since our #3 and #4 receivers catch 2-3 balls a game, that really isn't too much to ask, or is it?

Sure, I'm fine with adding another weapon or two, especially if Parker or Shuster can be traded. But the situation wouldn't change much. We would just have a new vet or two who we hope will fit in and contribute. (the biggest variable is patriot WR coaching, not the quality of the receivers)
========
The answer to competing next year, as this year, is a healthy #10 OL, a top 5 or 10 defense, a top 5 or 10 ST unit, a solid runner, and a solid TE or two. Oh, did I almost forget the obvious: adequate QB play. The key to patriot success has never been its WR's.
 

venecol

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Points scored rank for SB teams / top receiver rank:

2022: KC #1 vs PHI #3 / receivers: #8 vs #4
2021: LAR #8 vs CIN #7 / receivers: #1 vs #4
2020: TB #3 vs KC #6 / receivers: #18 vs #2
2019: KC #5 vs SF #3 / receivers: #4 vs #23
2018: NEP #4 vs LAR #2 / receivers: #29 vs #13
2017: PHI #3 vs NEP #2 / receivers: #30 vs #10
2016: NEP #3 vs ATL #1 / receivers: #13 vs #2

Top #1-#5 Offense: 11 times
Top #6-#8 Offense: 3 times
Only 3* of the 14 QBs were outside top 10 (*Brady 4-gm suspension, otherwise he's top 10).

Brady consistently won w/o a top 10 receiver (we should've won LII). He's not walking through that door.

Pats top receiver rank:
2023: #38 (Bourne)
2022: #37 (Meyer)
2021: #32 (Meyer)
2020: #49 ( Meyer)
2019: #18 (Edelman)
2018: #29 (Edelman)
2017: #10 (Gronk) / #11 (Cooks)
2016: #13 (Edelman)

Of course you need a D and ST BUT Points allowed rank for SB teams:

2022: KC #16 vs PHI #8
2021: LAR #15 vs CIN #17
2020: TB #8 vs KC #11
2019: KC #7 vs SF #8
2018: NEP #7 vs LAR #20
2017: PHI #4 vs NEP #5
2016: NEP #1 vs ATL #27

Quite a difference from offensive rankings (only 3 top 5 D vs 11 top 5 O).

With changing of rules to benefit offense, it is more important than ever to have explosive offenses. QB and Receivers are how you get explosive plays. You need a top 10 QB and a top 20 receiver to contend. Don't believe me?

"It used to be that good defense beats good offense. Good defense doesn't beat good offense anymore," Saban told ESPN on Friday (2020). "It's just like last week. Georgia has as good a defense as we do an offense, and we scored 41 points on them [in a 41-24 Alabama win]. That's not the way it used to be. It used to be if you had a good defense, other people weren't going to score. You were always going to be in the game."
"I'm telling you. It ain't that way anymore."

Somebody please tell Bill this.
 

rkarp1

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the problem with looking at historical data is that the league changes, adapts and evolves. rules change. referee calls change. the league is trending to an offensive league and has been for a while. the Pats failed to notice, care or keep up. hence, here we are
 

Triumph

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Yes, lack of production because the NE WRs cannot throw the ball and catch it too.

The Bengals have 3 of the best WRs going and they are a sputtering offense like NE. Why? The QB is hurt and underperforming mightily. KC has Kelce and JAGS at WR and Mahomes keeps winning. SF has the weapons and they lost with Jimmy Hairdo and Trey Lance. Now they have Purdy who aint nothing special, but he just goes out there and plays smart. Does his job.
 

mgteich

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Points scored rank for SB teams / top receiver rank:

2022: KC #1 vs PHI #3 / receivers: #8 vs #4
2021: LAR #8 vs CIN #7 / receivers: #1 vs #4
2020: TB #3 vs KC #6 / receivers: #18 vs #2
2019: KC #5 vs SF #3 / receivers: #4 vs #23
2018: NEP #4 vs LAR #2 / receivers: #29 vs #13
2017: PHI #3 vs NEP #2 / receivers: #30 vs #10
2016: NEP #3 vs ATL #1 / receivers: #13 vs #2

Top #1-#5 Offense: 11 times
Top #6-#8 Offense: 3 times
Only 3* of the 14 QBs were outside top 10 (*Brady 4-gm suspension, otherwise he's top 10).

Brady consistently won w/o a top 10 receiver (we should've won LII). He's not walking through that door.

Pats top receiver rank:
2023: #38 (Bourne)
2022: #37 (Meyer)
2021: #32 (Meyer)
2020: #49 ( Meyer)
2019: #18 (Edelman)
2018: #29 (Edelman)
2017: #10 (Gronk) / #11 (Cooks)
2016: #13 (Edelman)

Of course you need a D and ST BUT Points allowed rank for SB teams:

2022: KC #16 vs PHI #8
2021: LAR #15 vs CIN #17
2020: TB #8 vs KC #11
2019: KC #7 vs SF #8
2018: NEP #7 vs LAR #20
2017: PHI #4 vs NEP #5
2016: NEP #1 vs ATL #27

Quite a difference from offensive rankings (only 3 top 5 D vs 11 top 5 O).

With changing of rules to benefit offense, it is more important than ever to have explosive offenses. QB and Receivers are how you get explosive plays. You need a top 10 QB and a top 20 receiver to contend. Don't believe me?

"It used to be that good defense beats good offense. Good defense doesn't beat good offense anymore," Saban told ESPN on Friday (2020). "It's just like last week. Georgia has as good a defense as we do an offense, and we scored 41 points on them [in a 41-24 Alabama win]. That's not the way it used to be. It used to be if you had a good defense, other people weren't going to score. You were always going to be in the game."
"I'm telling you. It ain't that way anymore."

Somebody please tell Bill this.
Thank you for the analysis.

I believe that an Offense ends up being overrated when they have a top Defense. Top defenses often score points or set up the field for the Offense.

However, I do agree that Offense is more important now that decades ago. IMO, having a top QB is almost all the difference. It is more difficult than ever to succeed without one. And, of course, WR's that play with a top QB have better stats.
 

archstanton543

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Really?

Receptions of the top 4 receivers by year has been 175, 160, 187, and 164.

The top 3 have given us 155, 139, 175, and 133.
======================
Two of the season were winning seasons; 12-4 and 10-7, two were losing seasons: 8-9 and 7-9-1.

==================
For 25 years, posters have said that the key to success is having a top 10 receiver, one of the best in the league. Over that time, we have had Welker, Moss and Edelman.

I suggest that the answer to success is not at the WR position. Rather this team is about strong lines, top 10 defenses, and top 10 ST's.
====================
We talk about lack of WR production. I would remind folks that even having WR's average THREE receptions a game is relatively rare. We had 2 in 2022, 3 in 2021, 2 in 2020, and 1 in 2019.

Receptions by the number 3 receiver has been 26, 33, 37 and 31.
Folks want to be sure that we have a quality #5. Our #4 has very few receptions: 20, 21, 12 and 31, usually fewer than TWO catches per game, hardly key. Parker is the only #4 to have over two catches per game.
================
BOTTOM LINE
Our number one this year is likely to have as many receptions as last year.
Our #2 will also be likely to have the same as the #2
Parker is on schedule to reach the same total as he had last year (as #3 or #4)

Sure, we could use add a top 10 receiver. That is the case for almost every team. What we need much more is better coaching of the assets that we have, that we draft and that we acquire. We have Bourne and Douglas. A team needs three plus backups in case of injury. It is NOT too much to expect that one of our remaining FIVE can step up the plate.
The Pats' WR's put the "ass" in "assets".
 

RIpats88

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Do we win 3 Superbowls without Gronkowski/Edelman? Does Brady throw 50 TDs without moss?

Brady went from 25 yds in 2019 to 40 in 2020. Even brady was effected by receiving talent

Top receiving talent is important. It changes how defenses defend. Just look at how the Patriots defended Tyreek hill. Left everyone else open.
 

Ring 6

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You don't need top 10 guys. You just need guys who can get open and make some easy yards. Give me a receiving corps filled with Troy Browns. Just get open enough to make the QB's life a little easier.
It really is irrelevant whether one guy catches 120 and the other 50 or each catch 85. It’s about 11 guys not 1 or 2.
 

Thelonious

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Everything needs work. Let circumstance and opportunity determine the order in which we address the problems. Whatever positive synergies may (will!) arise as we take on better players are not really dependent on the order in which we acquire the players.
 

venecol

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Do we win 3 Superbowls without Gronkowski/Edelman? Does Brady throw 50 TDs without moss?

Brady went from 25 yds TDs in 2019 to 40 in 2020. Even brady was effected by receiving talent

Top receiving talent is important. It changes how defenses defend. Just look at how the Patriots defended Tyreek hill. Left everyone else open.
FIFY
 

Real fan 02

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Yes, lack of production because the NE WRs cannot throw the ball and catch it too.

The Bengals have 3 of the best WRs going and they are a sputtering offense like NE. Why? The QB is hurt and underperforming mightily. KC has Kelce and JAGS at WR and Mahomes keeps winning. SF has the weapons and they lost with Jimmy Hairdo and Trey Lance. Now they have Purdy who aint nothing special, but he just goes out there and plays smart. Does his job.
Purdy has come down to earth the past 2 games.. the film is out on him.. he was a 6th rounder for a reason.. not every QB.. can be picked in the 6th round and become the GOAT. When you have deebo, McCaffrey and ayuk.. any QB would look pretty good. The NFL is about talent... be it QB or WR..
 

50-yard-line

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Really?

Receptions of the top 4 receivers by year has been 175, 160, 187, and 164.

The top 3 have given us 155, 139, 175, and 133.
======================
Two of the season were winning seasons; 12-4 and 10-7, two were losing seasons: 8-9 and 7-9-1.

==================
For 25 years, posters have said that the key to success is having a top 10 receiver, one of the best in the league. Over that time, we have had Welker, Moss and Edelman.

I suggest that the answer to success is not at the WR position. Rather this team is about strong lines, top 10 defenses, and top 10 ST's.
====================
We talk about lack of WR production. I would remind folks that even having WR's average THREE receptions a game is relatively rare. We had 2 in 2022, 3 in 2021, 2 in 2020, and 1 in 2019.

Receptions by the number 3 receiver has been 26, 33, 37 and 31.
Folks want to be sure that we have a quality #5. Our #4 has very few receptions: 20, 21, 12 and 31, usually fewer than TWO catches per game, hardly key. Parker is the only #4 to have over two catches per game.
================
BOTTOM LINE
Our number one this year is likely to have as many receptions as last year.
Our #2 will also be likely to have the same as the #2
Parker is on schedule to reach the same total as he had last year (as #3 or #4)

Sure, we could use add a top 10 receiver. That is the case for almost every team. What we need much more is better coaching of the assets that we have, that we draft and that we acquire. We have Bourne and Douglas. A team needs three plus backups in case of injury. It is NOT too much to expect that one of our remaining FIVE can step up the plate.
While I agree with part of the post, there’s a difference between having a guy like Tyreek Hill catch a slant and having a guy like Parker catch one.

There’s a lot of openings a team can exploit when you have a guy like Jefferson who demands deep safety help - makes your line, your rbs, and the other receivers look better, yes?

When you don’t have those guys, teams can stack the box or pin the ears back and go after the QB with confidence in the DBs holding up.

Not having anyone like that makes everyone else’s job tougher.
 

203Pat

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We have been chasing a real number one receiver for a while now and failing miserably. I posted this a few weeks back:

I think a big part of the reason why the offense is so bad is mainly because Bill has whiffed so many times trying to get a number one receiving option since Brady’s last year and the N’Keal Harry failure. Bill has burned:

A first round pick on N’Keal Harry
A second round pick in a trade for Sanu
$9 million on a single game for Antonio Brown
Two third round picks on Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene
$56 million guaranteed on Jonnu and Hunter Henry
And finally a second round pick on Tyquan

Those 8 guys produced a whopping 257 catches, 2990 yards, and 23 receiving TDs since 2019.

That's a first, two seconds, two thirds, $65 million in free agent contracts to get 51 less catches, 2042 less yards, and 14 less TDs than just AJ Brown alone.

Just painful.
 


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