After an off-season of coordinator and unit coach poachings, one of the bigger names shipped to another state was Flores. Flores fielded a unit that gradually became more impressive throughout the year, putting on lights-out performance in the biggest game of the year. Days, weeks, and headlines went by - as did a potential candidate (Schiano) - and by crunch time, there were no DC's signed to the squad. It was then half-announced (I think only reporters "confirmed" this, and the team never did themselves) that Belichick himself would assume a lot of the defensive coordinator's responsibilities. The fanbase was excited - we know what he's capable of in the world of football, but to think of him having a heavier hand on the side of the ball that he knows best, with a savant-like understanding - we were salivating at the results. As we got closer to the season, and especially in camp and in the preseason, we got word that Mayo was not only back on the team in a coaching role, but was on the sidelines helping call plays. Bill's son, Steve, was also involved enough to the point where his name was thrown around more times this year than previous. After that, there wasn't much talk of who was the most involved, but there still was talk - it was just directed towards one of the most smothering first halves of a season we've ever seen. The 2019 Patriots fielded an insane passing defense with DPOY Gilmore stepping into his prime and outright blanketing his matchups. The safeties enjoyed a strong year, JC Jackson had absurd QB ratings in throws against him, and it was ridiculous. The run game was our weakness, but even then - teams had to be really well built for the run to make the most of it. Talent stepped up for sure - Hightower enjoyed a healthy year, Van Noy saw his name in headlines more than ever, and Collins.. well, was Collins (my favorite player to watch). But how much of this dominance should be attributed to Belichick assuming a larger role in game planning? Their success even carried into the late season and post-season. Our offense was just so abysmal, we couldn't get the job done. We stifled KC as much as they can be, the Ravens game was close for quite some time, even though they were seen as our worst match-up. Even the Titans game was always within reach until the end. The undermine their performance based on the end of season foibles completely discounts the fact that, well, they actually did their job pretty goddamn well. We just couldn't depend on the offense to score even 14 pts. Also, as I've mentioned in previous threads, their snap count had to be OUTRAGEOUS, which in turn fatigues the defense and continually gives opposing offenses another chance. We ended the year with 14.08ppg, 278 yds/pg, 55% catch rate, 13 passing TDs to 25 ints, about 25% rate on 3rd down for opposing teams, but close to 45% on scores allowed once opponent teams were in the red zone. Sacks sat at a cool 47, with 91 QB hits. So. How much of this was talent? How much of it was coaching? Also, I'm by no means a stat-head, and I know the stats I tossed out are the ones that like. Fantasy fans look at, so if there are more telling stats, please toss 'em in. Also, if any of my stats are wrong, correct me - I was going off of memory from something I read hours ago!