Re: A tale of the fourth; Patriots offense vs. defense, who's to blame?
posted at 10/24/2012 9:07 PM EDT
In response to Muzwell's comment:
It's basically the same theme as last year, except the offense isn't covering up as well for the defense's shortcomings, so far anyway. They could have a much different record but for a few plays, really they could easily be undefeated. But regardless they'd still have the same deficiencies.
Bottom line: It doesn't really matter what they looked like the last 7 games. But they very likely need to improve by the end of the year (and do enough to get into the playoffs, obviously)
They were 31st last year defensively and they came within a dropped pass/overthrow (depending on your POV) of winning the championship.
You don't need a great defense to make it to, or win the Super Bowl. You don't need a world class offense or dominating running game either. You need to be just good enough in the RS to make the playoffs, and then you need to get hot (some luck helps as well). Virtually every SB winner in recent years followed that path:
Colts in '06 were abysmal defensively, historically bad against the run. But they peaked at the right time, became great against the run in the playoffs, squeaked by the Pats in the AFCCG and beat an inept Bears team (Rex Grossman, really?) in the SB.
Giants in '07, well we know that story. They are a perfect example of this rule.
Pittsburgh in '08 is an exception. They were strong all year with a great defense. Arizona would have been a perfect example of this rule, had they managed to win that SB which was very close. They were 9-7 with a very good passing offense and a terrible defense, but they got hot in the playoffs.
New Orleans in '09 was hot all year and stayed hot, but their defense was atrocious.
Green Bay in '10 is a fine example. Made the playoffs as a Wild Card on the last day in large part because of a bad call in a game between Detroit and Tampa Bay. Then they got hot.
Giants last year, made it to the playoffs by default at 9-7, only because the rest of their division was awful. They were basically the same as '08 Arizona, terrible defensively with a good passing game. They just peaked at the right time.
This, this is very true. Momentum is a huge key. However, you also cannot have one part of your team (even special teams) be so bad that it makes it impossible to get 'hot.' Getting hot is about synergy, meaning that when one aspect isn't working another can pick up the slack. This defense can never pick up the slack. Never.
New England is 3-13 in the last four seasons (counting the playoffs) when they score less than 23 points. That is an alarming stat.
If the offense doesn't score a bunch of points, and by a bunch I mean a BUNCH because they've also lost several games scoring more than 30, then they are pretty much done for.
They've played 60 games in that span. Their offense has been top 3 in each of those seasons. They've scored less than 23 -16 times.
So 75% of the time their offense is giving them a good score. The remaining 25% are most of the losses. Now think. If they had a defense that could pick up, maybe, 40% of the games where the offense doesn't get 23 points, they would have 3-4 more wins in that time span. Who knows ... those could have been the elusive losses that put them out of the playoffs.
1.) No offense, no matter how good is perfect 100% of the time. It's a game. People aren't machines.
2.) Their defense is not good enough to carry them in a tight game.
Stop blaming the offense on the rare occaisons it doesn't play perfectly when this defense basically stinks every single week it hits the field.