2nd half woes
posted at 2/1/2010 3:21 AM ESTIs there any question about it? The story of the 2009 patriots was the inability of the offense to function effectively in the second half. Boston.com poster anarchy99 posted this information detailing offensive production in the brady/belichick era
2007 H1 333
2009 H1 282
2007 H2 256
2004 H1 246
2002 H2 221
2005 H2 218
2008 H1 207
2001 H1 207
2008 H2 203
2006 H1 202
2004 H2 191
2003 H2 185
2006 H2 183
2005 H1 164
2001 H2 164
2003 H1 163
2002 H1 160
2009 H2 145
It is downright weird that the pats offense should flourish in the first half and wither in the second half. Obviously, the patriots could never figure out the reason why. Do you all have any theories?
The other storyline that has been addressed here is who are the guys on the defensive side of the ball that fans can fall in love with? There are no Bruschis or Rodneys left... Doesn't it feel like there isnt THE guy we can count on in the clutch and we use to have several?
To end on an optimistic note, I think if we have a good draft, with all the picks we have, and pick up an A-list free agent on offence and on defense the pats will be right back in the thick of things. But we have to make a splash in free agent pickups this year. Otherwise, we are looking to 2011 or 2012 before we are in serious contention
Re: 2nd half woes
posted at 2/1/2010 8:15 AM ESTMy first guess was that opponents did a much better job making adjustments than the Pats did at halftime.
I also think that this year the playcalling was very vanilla and predictable. Part of that comes from the Pats insisting that they pass the ball when seemingly in the first half they were mostly effective running it. With Brady in the shotgun and spread formations, teams could tell a pass was coming. Because of that, they got away from play action this year, which historically has been a big cog in their offensive success over the years.
Situationally, if it was third or fourth and short, teams knew with backs in the backfield it would be a run up the middle. If they were in a passing formation, it would be a quick out to Faulk or Welker. Football is much easier to defend when you know what is coming.
I also think the lack of trust in receivers not named Moss or Welker gave Brady tunnel vision on those two. "Back in the day," Brady would pass to whomever was open and would spread the ball around. Nowadays, not so much.
I also think the defense has been getting a bad rap. Yes, they are young, but overall they did a decent job. As for who the future leaders will be and who will get name recognition, look back to 2001. Who did the Pats have that anyone was familiar with? Most of the players at that time were no names and a motley crew of cast offs.
Vrabel was a castoff from the Steelers. Many of the other key players returned from a team that had won 5 games the year before. They may have had some experience, but they were nowhere near held in the same regard as they would be later on.
I know it's a cop out, but we won't know how the new crop of players will do until they play a few more years.
Re: 2nd half woes
posted at 2/1/2010 9:33 AM ESTYou nailed it Anarchy99. I'm soo tired of hearing about the so called lack of talent on this team! There is no doubt they have some talent needs (pass rusher, third wideout) and some others as well...But the truth is they lost to a number of teams that they simply should not have and have not lost to in the past.In hindsight the Saints game and even the Colts game are acceptable losses, but to have leads in the 1st half of games against Miami, NY, and Denver and blow them all!Until this year the Pats had an incredible record when leading at the half. For some reason they just could not hold leads in 2009. The coaching staff has gotten off rather easy (in my opinion). It seems to me that they were outcoached several times in the second halves of games.
Re: 2nd half woes
posted at 2/1/2010 9:38 AM ESTIf I (and probably most of you) can sit on the couch and predict what the Pats are going to do more often than not, simply based on formation and down-and-distance, think how easy it must be for NFL defenses, which watch way more film than I do and are trained to identify keys.