Re: JOsh Cant drive the Ferrari. 3rd game in a row he is mismanaging a game to a potential loss.
posted at 10/2/2012 8:12 AM EDT
In response to DelGriffith's comment:
The offense has stunk against good Ds. It blows out bad ones. There's a difference.
Are you talking about last year or this year? Arizona has a good defense, after all, and our offense could barely score against them until it went spread in the fourth quarter. The Bills and Titans aren't exactly the best defenses in the league this year I don't think (at least from what we've seen so far). Baltimore is good--but we scored thirty points using a formula similar to last year's, with heavy use of spread formations. So I'm not quite sure what your point is.
I like what the Pats are doing this year and I think they've upgraded the offensive talent with Lloyd, Fells, and a more experienced Ridley (plus Bolden and probably Vereen). Still, their offensive production isn't much different from last year's--129 points through four games this year versus 121 points through four games last year. Take out the top scoring games each year in those first four games (the 52 point Buffalo game this year and the 38 point Miami game last year), and last year's offense was ahead 83 points to 77 points. The team's record was also better last year 3-1 versus 2-2. So while there's a lot of reasons to be excited about where the Pats offense is headed, it's premature to jump to too many conclusions.
The Bills game was quite encouraging, but not many teams are going to play nickel against us all game either. That may have worked last year, but with the Pats' upgraded backfield and two powerful TEs, it's not going to be effective unless your extra DBs are unusually good run defenders or your D line can stop the run without a lot of help from your LBs. More likely, the teams that will give the Pats more trouble are those whose LBs are better in pass coverage or who have D lines that are excellent against the run.
It's worth pointing out that the two-receiver, two TE, one back set caused a lot of problems for the Bills, because they felt they needed to stay with a nickel defense to handle Lloyd, Welker, and Gronk (all with some speed downfield), but then got just absolutely destroyed on running plays when the two TEs mostly stayed in to block, giving us seven big run blockers. The reason the holes were so big is because of that mismatch of seven big offensive blockers against a smallish, pass-rushing D line and nickel defenders. Ridley has the shiftiness and power to get yards without big holes. I'm not quite so sure about Bolden yet. But regardless of the backs' abilities to create yardage on their own, the blocking mismatches really allowed the kind of run game we saw.