Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year
posted at 1/27/2014 3:25 PM EST
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Given that there are 60 minutes in a game and in most games teams have about 11 drives each, the average drive length is roughly 60:00 / 22 = 2:44.
Stats with out context are meaningless, imo. ...AND I mean context for every single down and distance, time on the clock, qtr, weather, playing home or away, if you are playing from in front or behind/momentum, if you have timeouts in hand, etc.
...and lets not forget the systems the Patriots play both on Offense and defense.
As a gross generalization, the Pats are COACHED/Instructed to play bend don't break, keep everything in front of you, play the odds, smart and conservative to force teams to "consistently" execute long sustained drives at a higher efficiency than what they think Brady and their offense can accomplish. Relying on other teams to make as many eventual mistakes to stop themselves as the Patriots make defensive plays to stop them. That window of possible successful execution for the other teams offense shrinks as the field shrinks as well.
Which is why the yards, 3rd down conv. numbers are never great but the points against generally are good. You know, the column at the end of the row that actually matters and determines the winner of the game. Points! Not top, not # of possessions, etc...
Additionally, as a generalization, the Pats offense has been largely predicated on timing and YAC. The QB can have a OK game with decent completion numbers and no turnovers making the stats look good or better than he actually played. If the majority of completions are off the mark on that day causing a receiver to go out of bounds upon catching the pass, or having to do a jump ball with himself because the throw is way up over head even though he's wide open, or leave his feet in a dive to make the catch, or catch a ball behind him slowing him down instead of in stride when he has a couple steps on the defender then your offense will generate very little YAC, few long sustained drives, minimal points, and keep putting the defense back on the field. That's not good when you play that particular style of defense that the Patriots play.
The two units have to compliment each other.
The idea that the defense will morph on the fly into something they are not necessarily coached to do in an effort to cover for an offense that is not being successful in doing what they typically do and are built/coached to do has never made any sense to me. Not on the fly for a single particular game because that is NOT an in game adjustment. That's a philosophy change.
I've always felt looking at end of season stats as a whole is virtually meaningless.
Whenever I had gone back and looked at stats from games early in a season or even seasons past, while coaching, it always gave me a very different picture until I read my detailed notes on the game that I had written down in the aftermath. The stats alone will most often be very misleading without the detailed notes on how a game unfolded. (Were there linchpin physical or mental mistakes in the game? Did I lose key personnel during the course of the game? Was I already depleted going into the game, either from injuries or team wide illness? Were there 1 or more BIG PLAYS in the game for either side that significantly skewed the stats for that particular game? Were points scored or given up(yards also) at the end that were virtually meaningless to the outcome of the game? Etc. etc.)