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Thoughts on Prevent Defense & Why it works

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by cscirpoli, Sep 19, 2016.

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  1. cscirpoli

    cscirpoli Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I've been thinking about the bend but don't break defense employed in the last half of games by BB for however many years. It's an interesting dilemma to me, as a coach. Do you continue to play aggressive knowing that all teams are extremely talented and it's generally only a matter of time before one of those extremely talented and athletic players makes a freak of nature move and breaks the game open? (see GB game 2 years ago when Jordy Nelson put a knife in our hearts at the end of the first half). Or do you play the clock and the odds. Knowing that you generally have the better coached team, the smarter team, and that your opponent will more than likely make more mistakes?

    I think BB has decided the big play, knife in the heart, game changer, is more important to stop than letting them chew up clock on relatively long drives. Think about it, this is a game of strategy, you know that they are only going to have so many possessions in the second half, if you make them take 5 or 6 minutes or longer to get down the field on each possession before they score, then chances are they will run out of time to catch up and the game ends. That's a W no matter what the final box score says. What would lose you the game, is to stay ultra aggressive, have a play break down a couple of times and score two really quick TD's and that puts them back in the game. Now you're facing having to come back in the game with your 3rd string QB. Probably not going to happen.

    The best thing you can do is chew as much clock as possible, keep the plays in front, limit the big play, and try to run out as much clock as possible with long sustained drives on your end. With Brady at the helm, that's easier, with a 3rd string, it's def harder. But the strategy is the same and as we've seen over the years, it's worked. Maybe not for out blood pressure and sanity, but what team has won more over the years playing the odds ? BB is out there playing chess while most of them are playing checkers. But at the end of the day, when you've got 5 or 6 players that have freakish athletic abilities, kind of like the Queen on the chess board. Even the guys playing checkers can do some huge damage that wasn't planned for or expected.

    Just my two cents on the subject and why I think BB employs the strategy he does. As a conclusion, the defense is not so much about protecting the lead, as chewing up clock, and limiting huge game changing plays that put teams back in the game with enough time to win. One more though, lol, then I'll finish, think about how many times teams stayed ultra aggressive on Brady when we were down, and blitzed, etc, and Brady killed them for it to come back from large deficits and win. Although even when teams try to keep Brady in front, he's so good, he will carve you up and run the 2 minute drill the entire time. So yeah, I guess with him it's a double edged sword. There are maybe only 3 or 4 QB's in the league that will kill you like that. So, good strategy on BB's part.
     
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  2. archstanton543

    archstanton543 In the Starting Line-Up

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    "The best thing you can do is chew as much clock as possible, keep the plays in front, limit the big play, and try to run out as much clock as possible with long sustained drives on your end."

    But that's not what they did yesterday. The Phins were picking up big chunks of yardage at times in the second half and did score quickly to get themselves back in the game.
     
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  3. Gallo

    Gallo Practice Squad Player

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    I think you are right, though he is also kind of limited without an elite defense.
     
  4. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Pro Bowl Player

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    Without an elite defense?
     
  5. cscirpoli

    cscirpoli Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Not that quickly, I was watching the clock, the Phins drives were taking about 4- 5 minutes to get down the field and score. That's a long time and it worked. The Pats chewed up the clock and Phins ran out time to score and tie before the game ended.
     
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  6. cscirpoli

    cscirpoli Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I would disagree this defense isn't elite. I would say they are in top 10 of talent and ability.
     
  7. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You can't really judge a plan by results. Every team has a plan. Teams with crappy players have a plan. There is no way to know if a different plan would have worked better.
    For example:
    It's pretty obvious after all these years of BB that his philosophy is to play softer with a lead, basically playing the odds. As the op suggests the chances of blowing a lead are greater if you are aggressive (and the chances of putting the game away early are also). If you have a 4 TD lead and surmise there is only time to allow 3 Tds if you play safe if course it is wiser to play safe.

    However this is the NFL and both teams get paid. So it's ridiculous to think you can ELIMINATE big plays. You can however okay a scheme that makes them more difficult to get.

    One of the things i think fans have always gotten wrong around here is to say that protecting a leaf conservatively resulting in a close win is a bad thing.
    At the end of the day there are only 2 results, win or loss and yesterday turning into 57-3 would have earned the patriots no more than 31-24 did.
     
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  8. BobDigital

    BobDigital Pro Bowl Player

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    The prevent defense works just fine but you need to know what you are expecting. It would be better to call it "controlled losing" as that is more of an apt name for it. It is not the same as "bend don't break" which still is a defense intending to win.

    The the idea of controlled losing seems odd in a sport you are trying to win but if you have enough of a lead as long as you make the other team take a long enough time (control how quickly you give up points which makes it less likely you give them up quickly) it tends to do its job very well. As fans we hate the prevent defense but coaches continue to use it cause it overall works better than other options.
     
  9. tasmlab

    tasmlab Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IMO, this strategy always looks better when they gift the other team 4-6 yard runs where it looks like a lot of progress is happening but no points are getting scored.

    They may have been a little worried about potential Brissett interceptions or fumbles as well, and not really that eager to have him out there throwing it. It was all about the clock.

    As strictly entertainment, Miami coming back made for a much more interesting half, if one enjoys nailbiting.
     
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  10. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When you are giving up chunk yardage you aren't "preventing" anything. We should have gone to a dime defense and invited them to run the ball. I don't see how playing soft zone and giving up 35 yard plays helps to seal a victory.
     
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  11. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Florida Man PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It was a terrible idea yesterday and it nearly cost them the game. If you have a very raw rookie with either zero or very few first string reps stepping into the game at quarterback after injury, you have to keep attacking on the other side of the ball. Man to man, bump the Miami WR's off their routes, force Tannehill to actually read a defense while pressuring him with well disguised extra rushers. That's what they were doing in the first half and part of the reason they built that lead. The defense was actually bailed out by the ground game late in the game yesterday. If that hadn't happened, that god awful coaching decision would have put the game back in Miami's hands to close things out.
     
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  12. FoxWhiskey

    FoxWhiskey Practice Squad Player

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    To be honest:
    I hate our prevent defense. Remember last year in Buffalo. Same ****.
    With our prevent defense we gave up a lot of yards in a short amount of time and we let our opponents score. That´s not the general idea.

    We motivate our opponents. Time after time.

    Yesterday we were lucky, that Miami was unable to take benefit from the limited playbook with Brisset.
    Really, Phins limited Blount, with JG on the field, to nearly 2 yards per carry. And after JG was injured and Brisset on the field, they could not stop all the Option-plays and HB-Toss plays to Blount?
     
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  13. cscirpoli

    cscirpoli Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The line changed it's blocking scheme when JG went out. If you looked at the line, the Patriots were not in an actual power run scheme, they were in a pass blocking scheme. The runs were to keep the defense guessing what was pass and run to a certain extent.

    When they went to heavy run scheme, they started (and I don' t know the terminology) the slant run blocking scheme, where the linemen block at and angle to the guy to their left or right, rather than blocking head on. This allows one guy at the end to run free, but since they are running to the left or right, he is chasing the RB from behind, rather than able to block him at the point of attack. Doesn't really work.
     
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  14. Froob

    Froob Independent Investigator & pliable af PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't understand why you'd go away from what's working until the Dolphins can force you to do something else...
     
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I like whatever results in winning.
     
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  16. letekro

    letekro Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I hate the prevent. It doesn't make sense to me. But since we have always done it in these situations and we are successful 99% of the time, how much incentive is there to switch to Plan B?
     
  17. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Prevent defense only works when you are playing against Andy Reid teams.
     
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  18. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    So we should keep our foot on the gas and give away more of our defensive playbook to upcoming opponents? No thanks. Playing prevent D is a privilege, not a mistake.
     
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  19. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Florida Man PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's a gigantic mistake when you don't trust your QB to move the ball through the air on the other side. Luckily the Pats were playing the Miami Dolphins who somehow still could not stop the run even though they were loading 8 in the box.
     
  20. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Isn't the fact that it is 99% successful the reason it DOES make sense?
     
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