Re: Elephant In the Room Topic on 98.5 Now
posted at 7/28/2013 11:24 AM EDT
In response to russgriswold's comment:
In response to hardright's comment:
I think the one thing we all can agree on as Pats fans is this: the Pats changed their offensive philosophy, DRAMATICALLY, after the massive officiating heist that was the 2006 AFC title game in the Polian Dome.
Belichick clearly got the message after that game. Even though the "re-emphasis" of the five-yard chuck rule that had been rammed through the Competition Committe by a cabal of anti-Patriots forces--Polian had help from Martz, Fisher, and others--in 2004 had been in effect for three full seasons at that point, that game drove the point home into BB's brain with great clarity. The NFL was becoming a league that would cater to the Polian/Manning philosophy, and New England had better get with the program or get left behind.
I personally think BB overreacted a little to that loss, and went too far in the other direction--for a few years there, the Pats practically were a carbon-copy of the Colts, relying too much on the shotgun, fast-paced offense and less defense to win games, etc.
Heck, it almost worked. They fell a couple of bad breaks, bounces and/or injuries (however you want to look at it) from winning a pair of Super Bowls between 2007 and 2011.
I think what we've been seeing in the NFL lately, however, is that, as usual, defenses have begun to figure out how to slow down these wide-open passing offenses (not shut them down, but at least slow them down), even within the restrictive confines of The Polian Rules. As a result, we're seeing teams run the ball a bit more now, not to mention the fact that we're seeing a few teams actually go with running QBs who also happen to be able to throw the football effectively (Griffin, Wilson, Kaepernick, etc.)
Personally, I'd love to see the Pats get back to playing offense more like they played it when Weis was the OC, because their balance was very hard for defenses to deal with back then. It was described in some circles as a "death by a thousand paper cuts" offensive approach back then, but it was effective.
But again, I think the bottom line here is that had the NFL not allowed the Polian Cabal to dramatically change the way the game was played defensively--a change aimed directly at one team and one team only--the Pats probably wouldn't have altered their offensive philosophy all that much, because what they were doing prior to 2007 was working quite well.
Dude, where have you been? I feel like I've been fighting the battle on my own for a while now.
Great post and great to see you back.
There's generally too much negativity and trolling in Internet Land for me, so I usually just "lurk" and occasionally post something if the whim strikes me.
The negativity already surrounding this year's Pats, from the anti-organization media and the fans who listen to them, has already almost sent me over the edge.
I never worry about Brady having enough "weapons"--WRs in particular--because WR is the most overvalued position in all of sports, not just football.
This season, to me, boils down to one thing: does the defense finally make "the leap" from competent, which it's been for the past couple years, to good or even very good? The talent is there now IMO--the Talib trade really solidified things last season and I believe if he'd not been injured in the AFCCG, the result would have been different. They've also made some interesting additions to the D this offseason, with Wilson, Armstead, et al. Plus, the "kids" they've drafted over the past few seasons are veterans now, and should start to come into their own.
I really believe this is the year that the defense takes that big leap forward, but I could just be a hopelessly optimistic homer, too.
We shall see.
But I don't worry about "weapons"--that's for the fantasy football obsessives and the media talking heads.
Seriously, how many "big plays" did the 90s Cowboys pull off during a season? Not many--the occasional Irvin or Alvin Harper deep post (though Irvin did much of his work over the middle and at the sidelines, not deep downfield). But, really, that offense was Smith, Smith, then Aikman to Novacek or Irvin on 3rd and 3 to keep the chains moving.
If the Pats' offense can replicate that, and the defense can step up, they'll be just fine.
And, by the way, this talk about Miami challenging them in the AFC East this year cracks me up. $13M per year for Mike Wallace? Seriously? Tannehill was a "reach" in the first round last year, too, and hardly looked like a franchise QB in the making in Year 1 (though his wife definitely is first round fantasy draft material). Miami will be what they always are: tough enough to make you sweat a few games, but ultimately a .500 team, maybe 9-7.