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What if the Patriots had made the playoffs under Matt Cassel?

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Sicilian

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There was a couple of them like this one...


And then the megathread

I think threads and thought processes like this tap into some kind of primal psychology in humans. We love the idea of succession, that everything dies and is ultimately replaced by something it helped create. It's why so many myths involve gods killing their parents to take their throne, or why sci-fi about robot uprisings are so popular. Somewhere, deep down, people are inspired by the idea of the new defeating the old.

Doesn't make those threads any less brain-melting though. Sheesh!
 

Ring 6

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I will agree that we know for sure BB could do it because he did. But that doesn't convince me that any of those guys couldn't have possibly coached Cassel and that team to a similar record. We're not talking about their teams just this one. I don't know enough about those other teams to compare but the veteran leadership on that 2008 Patriots team can't be understated and that makes any coach's job easier. 2020 also demonstrated that BB doesn't have a magic wand that the can turn a bad football team like the 2020 Pats into a good one.

The 08 Pats did have an extremely easy schedule. They played just 6 games vs playoff teams that year and that's counting the Dolphins twice. Also played all 4 of the 4 worst teams in the league in scoring defense and 7 teams in the bottom 9 in scoring defense. They also played 10 games against bottom-10 teams in scoring offense.
They played both SB teams and 6 games against playoff teams (that’s not few).
 

Ian

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You mean the veteran leadership that 1 year later was a mess?
So your argument is any coach ever could have done as well as Belichick and that can’t be disproven because none of them had his job.
So we could extend that argument to say that any QB ever could have done what Brady did and you can’t disagree because no other QB was in THIS team with THESE players and coaches.

You have reduced your argument to the level of there may be aliens out there tricking us into believing the earth isn’t flat. Nice work.



They played a similar schedule to what everyone else plays and won 11 games. Their opponents were 119-121 in games not against them.
Everybody Loves Raymond Ok GIF by TV Land

You're at a 10 - he was at a 2. WAY too tense for a Friday ;)
 

denverpatsfan

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Cassel was really exposed during that Pittsburgh game. He couldn't handle the blitz and the defenses they threw at him. Maybe if he learned from that debacle he could have beaten them in the playoffs?
 

Ian

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Cassel was really exposed during that Pittsburgh game. He couldn't handle the blitz and the defenses they threw at him. Maybe if he learned from that debacle he could have beaten them in the playoffs?
I sort of felt like I did when the Patriots lost to the Rams in 2001 and liked their chances in a rematch.
 

Sicilian

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I sort of felt like I did when the Patriots lost to the Rams in 2001 and liked their chances in a rematch.

Or more recently, how they lost badly to the Steelers in 04 then beat them handily in the playoffs that same year. Though granted, that 04 team was at the height of its powers, and I think played without Dillon in the first game, so it was easier to see a path to a better game.
 

Ian

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Ok I will not post.
I wasn't telling you not to post, I was just saying to relax a little. Or share the brand of whatever coffee it is you're drinking - it's already after 11am and I could still use a little help getting going today ;)
 
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Ice_Ice_Brady

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The only real answer is they would have had a chance to win the Super Bowl and nobody can say for sure what would have happened since it didn’t play out. The season mainly consisted of them beating bad teams and getting beaten by good teams, but the 08 Cardinals sort of illustrate two points: maybe the Patriots had turned the corner and also, who the heck knows with teams and if they’ll surprise people.

I think they’d be somewhere around 20:1 odds or greater as a wild card, with that roster, to win four straight playoff games as a likely underdog whereas most Patriots teams were around 3:1 to win two home games and a SB.
 

sb1

Hall of Fame Poster
So your argument is any coach ever could have done as well as Belichick and that can’t be disproven because none of them had his job.
You omitted the most important word in there. Any GOOD coach and I gave 3 examples of that.

A mediocre or bad coach? Yes they would have cratered in that situation.
 

sb1

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Cassel also took a ton of sacks for some reason. Surprising for a mobile guy. Not sure if that was just him not being Brady and being a lot slower to release.
 
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Ring 6

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I wasn't telling you not to post, I was just saying to relax a little. Or share the brand of whatever coffee it is you're drinking - it's already after 11am and I could still use a little help getting going today ;)
I stand by what I said, I’m not really sure which part you want to censor, but as I said I will remove myself from the conversation and wait further instruction on future posts.
Have a great day.
 

Wozzy

In the Starting Line-Up
Happens to any new QB until they get comfortable. Jones was sacked 17 times during weeks 1-9, and 11 from Weeks 10-17 in 2021.


I didn't log 2008 so I can't go back and look, but I'd be willing to bet his total might have been better in the second half of that year compared to early on.
First 8 games Cassel had an 83 QB Rating, from games 9 on he had a 94 QB Rating. He had 28 sacks in the first eight games, he took 18 sacks from week 9 on. That was undoubtedly partly on him and partly on the blocking, the Pats are notorious for their slow starts to the season. His yards per pass attempt in the first eight games was 6.72 yards per attempt, his yards per attempts from week nine on was 7.52. The more comfortable he got and more experienced he got the better he got.

He was a first time starter in 2008, hell going all the way back to high school he was a first time starter... he didn't start a single game in college sitting behind back to back Heisman winners.

QB play wasn't the issue in 2008, the team was different due to injuries and circumstance... and need I remind everyone that the 2007 offense wasn't as good in the second half of that season as they were in the first half... and they never finished the job. Eight of the ten highest point totals scored by the offense on the season in 2007 came in the first eight weeks... they petered off as the season went on... meanwhile the defense gave up 20, 12 and 17 points in the playoffs. The offense sputtered in the playoffs, not the defense. In 2008 the defense was a mash unit, completely different team with injuries and age.
 

Deus Irae

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There was a couple of them like this one...


And then the megathread



The trade Brady thread is absolutely glorious. It's the crowning achievement of Patsfans.com inanity.
 
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sb1

Hall of Fame Poster
Saw the comment in that megathread calling Tom Brady "Daunte Culpepper 2"...and that's enough for me in there for today. SMH
 

Sicilian

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Saw the comment in that megathread calling Tom Brady "Daunte Culpepper 2"...and that's enough for me in there for today. SMH

Aside from playing QB in the NFL, I'm trying to think of ONE thing that Culpepper and Brady have in common...
 

Ian

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I stand by what I said, I’m not really sure which part you want to censor, but as I said I will remove myself from the conversation and wait further instruction on future posts.
Have a great day.
(Sigh) - wasn't looking to censor you. You simply came in guns blazing and I tried to joke with you. That's about as far as it should have gone.
 

MAC10

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You omitted the most important word in there. Any GOOD coach and I gave 3 examples of that.

A mediocre or bad coach? Yes they would have cratered in that situation.

When has any of your 3 example coaches done well with a mediocre QB? You cited Alex Smith, but Smith was way better than Cassel, so that argument fails.

I sort of felt like I did when the Patriots lost to the Rams in 2001 and liked their chances in a rematch.

Interesting thing about that regular season game - Bill revealed a few years ago that during the week he split reps between Brady and Bledsoe. Brady ended up starting vs the Rams but was not sharp. As a result, the Pats lost, but Bill named Brady the starter going forward at his infamous "That's what Mr. Kraft is paying me to do - to do what's best for the T-E-A-M as in team" press conference.
 
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crawhammer

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Because the offense was all about the running game that year…
Because they suddenly had a mediocre quarterback as opposed to the season prior and the drop-off in the passing game wasn't just about volume.

Brady 2007:
TD% = 8.7
Y/A = 8.3
Cmp% = 68.9
QB rating = 117.2

Cassel 2008:
TD% = 4.1
Y/A = 7.2
Cmp% = 63.4
QB rating = 89.4

Those are huge differences in those numbers. They didn't have the firepower (i.e. the quarterback) in 2008 necessary to consistently beat good teams. Again 4-5 against teams .500 or better and 7-0 against teams below .500. Also in 7 games they scored less than 20 points whereas that never happened in the 2007 regular season.

It's interesting to think about, because while they had a fairly easy schedule, they DID blow the doors off of the Cardinals, who won the NFC that year.
1. Arizona was a dome team playing in 30-degree weather with precipitation in late December.
2. Arizona was reeling at that point in the season having lost 3 of 4.
3. Even with 2 Arizona still had the division wrapped up a week earlier so the game meant nothing to them because they were locked into the #4 seed.
 
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