Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    Over the past several years, the Pats have not been a great playoff team for two reasons in my opinon:

    • Poor pass defense, with a penchant for giving up big plays in the passing game at inopportune times
    • Lack of diversity on offense, with too much of the offense depending on two or three players and therefore extremely vulnerable to either an injury to, or an off day from, one of those players

     

    I think the team this year (at least prior to the injuries) solved the problems:

    On defense. The addition of Talib and emergence of Dennard, along with the move of McCourty to safety created a very sold secondary (Gregory too is better than people think).  The depth in the secondary is better than expected as well, with Arrington, Ryan, and Harmon all adding some quality behind the four starters. While the front seven was mostly unchanged, Kelly added some real talent at the second DT position, Chandler Jones advanced to near-elite status, and the LBs were deeper and more experienced.  So overall, the D was still effective against the run and greatly improved against the pass.  Early in the season, it was a D that could control the pace of a game, something the Pats Ds of the early 2000s were great at, but which the post 2008 defenses were awful at. Prior to all the injuries, this was a championship defense, I think.  Now, I'm not so sure.  I will say they play hard and come up with the big plays when they need them.  But giving up 30 points a game isn't a great thing to do. I like the attitude of this defense.  I worry about the big loss of talent thanks to a series of injuries. 

    On offense.  When healthy, this team has a much more diverse group of talented weapons than they've had in a while.  The past few years, the team was too heavily dependent on just three guys, all of whom were primarily short field receivers: Welker, Gronk, Hern.  Now they have young guys in Dobson and Thompkins who may not be great receivers yet, but are beginning to add some legitimate threats on the perimeter and in the deeper parts of the field.  These guys have a combination of size, speed, hands, and athethic ability to threaten D-backs in a way Welker and Hern really couldn't.  Gronk continues to be almost uncoverable when healthy.  Edelman and Amendola allow the slot position to continue to be productive despite the loss of Welker.  And the running back position continues to improve.  Vereen adds an explosiveness in the passing game out of the backfield we haven't had since Faulk was in his prime.  Ridley is a quality runner (if only he can protect the ball).  And the back-ups are solid.  We even have a fullback when we need him.  So when healthy (and with the maturation of the outside receivers) this offense is nearly as explosive as the offenses of the past few years, but even more versatile and diverse, which I believe makes it less likely to stall out even with an injury or two. 

    I'll just add that the special teams look good too . . . especially the punter and place kicker. I haven't paid close enough attention to the stats to be absolutely sure, but it seems to me that kick and punt coverage has gotten a bit less effective this year than last (does it seem to anyone else that Slater, Cole, and Arrington aren't getting downfield as fast?), but I still think it's good.  

    Anyway, I like this team.  I think it has a winning attitude and I won't be surprised if it finally gets that fourth Lombardi.  However, the injuries are a big hurdle to overcome, especially on defense.  It's tough to win giving up 30 points come playoff time and unfortunately the loss of Wilfork, Kelly, and Mayo is a big, big challenge.  Those are three quality players right in the heart of the defense. Not many teams could overcome that, but if any team can, it's this one.  

     

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from cyncalpatfan. Show cyncalpatfan's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Over the past several years, the Pats have not been a great playoff team for two reasons in my opinon:

    • Poor pass defense, with a penchant for giving up big plays in the passing game at inopportune times
    • Lack of diversity on offense, with too much of the offense depending on two or three players and therefore extremely vulnerable to either an injury to, or an off day from, one of those players

     

    I think the team this year (at least prior to the injuries) solved the problems:

    On defense. The addition of Talib and emergence of Dennard, along with the move of McCourty to safety created a very sold secondary (Gregory too is better than people think).  The depth in the secondary is better than expected as well, with Arrington, Ryan, and Harmon all adding some quality behind the four starters. While the front seven was mostly unchanged, Kelly added some real talent at the second DT position, Chandler Jones advanced to near-elite status, and the LBs were deeper and more experienced.  So overall, the D was still effective against the run and greatly improved against the pass.  Early in the season, it was a D that could control the pace of a game, something the Pats Ds of the early 2000s were great at, but which the post 2008 defenses were awful at. Prior to all the injuries, this was a championship defense, I think.  Now, I'm not so sure.  I will say they play hard and come up with the big plays when they need them.  But giving up 30 points a game isn't a great thing to do. I like the attitude of this defense.  I worry about the big loss of talent thanks to a series of injuries. 

    On offense.  When healthy, this team has a much more diverse group of talented weapons than they've had in a while.  The past few years, the team was too heavily dependent on just three guys, all of whom were primarily short field receivers: Welker, Gronk, Hern.  Now they have young guys in Dobson and Thompkins who may not be great receivers yet, but are beginning to add some legitimate threats on the perimeter and in the deeper parts of the field.  These guys have a combination of size, speed, hands, and athethic ability to threaten D-backs in a way Welker and Hern really couldn't.  Gronk continues to be almost uncoverable when healthy.  Edelman and Amendola allow the slot position to continue to be productive despite the loss of Welker.  And the running back position continues to improve.  Vereen adds an explosiveness in the passing game out of the backfield we haven't had since Faulk was in his prime.  Ridley is a quality runner (if only he can protect the ball).  And the back-ups are solid.  We even have a fullback when we need him.  So when healthy (and with the maturation of the outside receivers) this offense is nearly as explosive as the offenses of the past few years, but even more versatile and diverse, which I believe makes it less likely to stall out even with an injury or two. 

    I'll just add that the special teams look good too . . . especially the punter and place kicker. I haven't paid close enough attention to the stats to be absolutely sure, but it seems to me that kick and punt coverage has gotten a bit less effective this year than last (does it seem to anyone else that Slater, Cole, and Arrington aren't getting downfield as fast?), but I still think it's good.  

    Anyway, I like this team.  I think it has a winning attitude and I won't be surprised if it finally gets that fourth Lombardi.  However, the injuries are a big hurdle to overcome, especially on defense.  It's tough to win giving up 30 points come playoff time and unfortunately the loss of Wilfork, Kelly, and Mayo is a big, big challenge.  Those are three quality players right in the heart of the defense. Not many teams could overcome that, but if any team can, it's this one.  

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    I understand the concern about the effect of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, however, I still have a great deal of optimism.  Take a look at what they did against Houston.  Specifically, how the defense finished the game.  They had three important stops... 1) allow the offense to tie the game 2) allow the offense to take the lead 3) prevent Houston from tying or winning the game to close it out.  Look at what they did against Denver.  They gave up points early, but then effectively shut them down to give the offense time to fight its way back.  That's a tendancy that I like...getting stronger as the game goes on.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    Mentality wise I would say they are better built. They have won a number of close games and come from behinds which will help them moving forward. However, physically they are so beat up I would say they were better off last year. We have so many injures right now it's not even funny. Having no push from up the middle and the gapping hole on run defense is really going to hurt them badly. The major issue is going to come if they can't generate pressure the secondary will fall apart even with the current secondary. We don't know what's going on with Dennard and Ryan/Harmon are both still rooks. Last week the Pats gave up huge plays in the passing game and we know what happens when Arrington has to play extended mins. If the injures didn't happen this years team would be better built but the injures have taken their toll. Now the question will be if the mental fortitude can overcome the lack of physical talent lost.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ghostofjri37. Show ghostofjri37's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?


    Can't speak for the D as of right now. They are b*nged up and if they have a less than a 100% Talib and if they can't commit the safeties in the box for run support they could have issues in the playoffs against certain teams.

    As far as the offense is concerned this team is much better equipped this year to win in whatever fashion that is needed. With a healthy Gronk & Vereen this team will be tough to defend come playoff time.

    On a side note... you can't use the word b*nged?

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to cyncalpatfan's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    [/QUOTE]


    I understand the concern about the effect of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, however, I still have a great deal of optimism.  Take a look at what they did against Houston.  Specifically, how the defense finished the game.  They had three important stops... 1) allow the offense to tie the game 2) allow the offense to take the lead 3) prevent Houston from tying or winning the game to close it out.  Look at what they did against Denver.  They gave up points early, but then effectively shut them down to give the offense time to fight its way back.  That's a tendancy that I like...getting stronger as the game goes on.

    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly.  This is why I like the team's mentality.  Despite the disadvantages they have with the injuries, they seem to have a winning attitude and do enough to get it done.  Still, 30 points is a lot for the offense to overcome every game, particularly when we face good defensive teams.  That's the one thing that gives me hope if we face Denver in Denver.  They aren't that good defensively, so I think we should be able to score with them.  If our offense is on, then all the defense needs to do is make one or two key stops and we can win. 

    It will be more challenging if we end up facing a team like some of the better NFC defensive teams. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from neinmd. Show neinmd's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    Unless the can run more and better on offense, and stop other teams from running as much on them, it's hard for even a confirmed optimist like me to see them going far in the playoffs.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from joepatsfan111111. Show joepatsfan111111's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    No. the loss of Mayo the biggest loss we've had. this season just shows how valuable mayo really is to this. Same goes for Kelly & VW. Their absences just go to show the money they are making is well worth it. 

    Mayo & Kelly to me are the biggest. I think VW wasn't same player those first 4 weeks. And he may never be again after this kind of injury. Kelly brought a run stuffing presence who could get to the QB as well. Mayo just did it all. 

    If mayo & Kelly & vw were healthy we could be 10-2, 11-1 and have a premier D and be well on our to a legit chance at a 4th ring

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    Prior to the injuries on defense the Patriots would have steamrolled over anyone in the playoffs, their biggest challenge would have been Seattle in the Super Bowl and they would have beat them  also.

    Now we still have a very good chance, offense is more balanced than years past, even with the weakness at DT the defense is also substantially more talented.  Special teams could put us over the top, both our punter and kicker are superior, Josh Boyce returning kicks will be the X factor, the kid has blazing speed and may add to the passing game by season's end.

    Keep everyone else healthy, why not us? We've gotten to the Super Bowl with much less...

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    This team is closer to those that won Super Bowls in the 2001 - 2005 stretch.  Granted, the defense is no where as good as back then, but, the team is gritty and is winning close games now when it may not have been the case the last couple years.  During those years, we all were on edge about how the team would win games as blowouts were not a common theme as we have all been spoiled to expect since 2007.

    The most glaring concern..  how does the team overcome the losses of Wilfork, Kelly and Mayo on defense?  In those SB years, the team did not lose any core defensive players come playoff time.  This appears to be the common concern of most here.  Hopefully, BB has picked players who can do more than just step up, but step up and be superb.  The team does not need "average" right now because it won't be facing "average" in the playoffs.

    As for the offense, it has a better running game that it has had in prior years.  The team is not so one dimensional to pass most times.  Yes, the O was very schitzo to begin the season and is now rounding into form as the rookies get more experience and Gronk is back.  If Amendola stays healthy, there is a more rounded receiving corps than just the one or two players TB relied upon in the past.  Now, if the O-line can protect Brady better, he has been sacked 32 times to date, compared to 27 all of last season and 32 for all of the 2011 season, would be nice.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pcmIV. Show pcmIV's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    As long as Gronk and Brady are healthy we have as good a shot as anyone.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RallyC. Show RallyC's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    bumped

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from RallyC. Show RallyC's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    YES. For a change, our offense is showing a propencity to peak at the perfect time....the last 1/4 of the season. Tom and Co. are still getting better week by week. Our injuries and personnel losses on D have shown that the PATRIOTS really do have adequate depth, and/or the most exceptional game planning strategies/coaching in the league. Our passing D is SOOOOOO much more solid than in recent years past. 10th this season as compared to 29-th last year. The Patriots have withstood some devastating injuries with a group of very young, but more energetic players. Better motor type guys who just don't give up on any plays. Though our run D stats have been pathetic recently, keep in mind that the last 4- Superbowl Champs have had rush D's with an NFL ranking of: 20th, 19th, 18th, 21st respectively. None of them in the top 1/2 of the league's rush D standings. Its clear that good passs D is more critical than a top run D in today's league. PATS are in a great position to make a successful run at the next trophy! Our offense has more diversity and has afforded more liberal young/new player participation and develpment throughout the season than what we saw during last season. Also, they lost a major choke factor in letting you know who walk. They are much beter built for success than what they were last season...........

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ghostofjri37. Show ghostofjri37's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to PhatVirgin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to ghostofjri37's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    Can't speak for the D as of right now. They are b*nged up and if they have a less than a 100% Talib and if they can't commit the safeties in the box for run support they could have issues in the playoffs against certain teams.

    As far as the offense is concerned this team is much better equipped this year to win in whatever fashion that is needed. With a healthy Gronk & Vereen this team will be tough to defend come playoff time.

    On a side note... you can't use the word b*nged?

    [/QUOTE]


    Not sure if I agree about the offense. The skill players have come around - but w/ weakness on the inside of the OL - I think that the Patriots are more vulnerable against teams w/ better pass rush and can cover.

    [/QUOTE]

    Obviously every subjective topic is argueable. My point is as long as vereen and gronk remain healthy this team has multiple options where in the past playoff runs they were more of a one dimensional offensive team. My only concern regarding the O-line is Wendell... if he can move his man in pass protection the i think the offense will be fine.

    this much i know this year has been fun to watch and i am looking forward to the next few months.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from cyncalpatfan. Show cyncalpatfan's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to cyncalpatfan's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    [/QUOTE]


    I understand the concern about the effect of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, however, I still have a great deal of optimism.  Take a look at what they did against Houston.  Specifically, how the defense finished the game.  They had three important stops... 1) allow the offense to tie the game 2) allow the offense to take the lead 3) prevent Houston from tying or winning the game to close it out.  Look at what they did against Denver.  They gave up points early, but then effectively shut them down to give the offense time to fight its way back.  That's a tendancy that I like...getting stronger as the game goes on.

    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly.  This is why I like the team's mentality.  Despite the disadvantages they have with the injuries, they seem to have a winning attitude and do enough to get it done.  Still, 30 points is a lot for the offense to overcome every game, particularly when we face good defensive teams.  That's the one thing that gives me hope if we face Denver in Denver.  They aren't that good defensively, so I think we should be able to score with them.  If our offense is on, then all the defense needs to do is make one or two key stops and we can win. 

    It will be more challenging if we end up facing a team like some of the better NFC defensive teams. 

    [/QUOTE]

    I share your concern about the points allowed.  However, I think that is strongly linked to the health of Talib and Dennard.  If those two are reasonably healthy, come playoff time, I think this team will go far.  Without one or the other, it becomes a bit more of a challenge, but still not impossible. 

    The offense has started to find itself and that's by only showing up for one half of a game at a time!  Once they can get it together for 60 minutes (even 45 would be nice), they'll be even that much better!  The biggest issue for the offense is making it through the end of the season and the playoffs with a healthy Gronkowski.  If that happens, this team is in good shape. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from MeadowlandMike. Show MeadowlandMike's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    Absolutely.  The inability to run effectively and stop the run will pay huge dividends over the top scoring offense in the NFL.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from seattlepat70. Show seattlepat70's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    With the team's construction at the start of the season, I'd say HELL YEAH!

    Right now, with all injuries, I'd say no. Last year, I thought they were one DT short of being well-built for the playoffs. Now they are two DTs short.

    Eventually, the Pats will stop the run by having the LBs move up to help the front four. We will be seeing a lot of short passes just behind the LBs, but too far in front of the DBs, who are preventing the big play.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ultpatfan. Show ultpatfan's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?


    In some ways, yes, in other ways, no.  We will have to beat Denver IN Denver to just even get to the big game.  The only hope a Foxboro AFCCG is for the Chargers to beat the Broncs in an upset in two weeks...I see that as the only hope for the Pats to get the top seed.

    If the Pats win the whole thing, it will not only make history, but people will be talking about it for years...it would be the sewwetest Lombardi of them all...peace. 

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ghostofjri37. Show ghostofjri37's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to ultpatfan's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    In some ways, yes, in other ways, no.  We will have to beat Denver IN Denver to just even get to the big game.  The only hope a Foxboro AFCCG is for the Chargers to beat the Broncs in an upset in two weeks...I see that as the only hope for the Pats to get the top seed.

    If the Pats win the whole thing, it will not only make history, but people will be talking about it for years...it would be the sewwetest Lombardi of them all...peace. 

    [/QUOTE]


    You never know about Sunday against the titans. the weather is suppposed to be in the low teens high single digits with a good chance of snow. The weather would seem to favor the Broncos but with Mannings issues throwing in cold weather... who knows what will happen.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to ultpatfan's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    In some ways, yes, in other ways, no.  We will have to beat Denver IN Denver to just even get to the big game.  The only hope a Foxboro AFCCG is for the Chargers to beat the Broncs in an upset in two weeks...I see that as the only hope for the Pats to get the top seed.

    If the Pats win the whole thing, it will not only make history, but people will be talking about it for years...it would be the sewwetest Lombardi of them all...peace. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Yep, when the forecast is 20's and windy....  yeah, right!!!!  LOL  (-;

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsLifer. Show PatsLifer's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to cyncalpatfan's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    [/QUOTE]


    I understand the concern about the effect of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, however, I still have a great deal of optimism.  Take a look at what they did against Houston.  Specifically, how the defense finished the game.  They had three important stops... 1) allow the offense to tie the game 2) allow the offense to take the lead 3) prevent Houston from tying or winning the game to close it out.  Look at what they did against Denver.  They gave up points early, but then effectively shut them down to give the offense time to fight its way back.  That's a tendancy that I like...getting stronger as the game goes on.

    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly.  This is why I like the team's mentality.  Despite the disadvantages they have with the injuries, they seem to have a winning attitude and do enough to get it done.  Still, 30 points is a lot for the offense to overcome every game, particularly when we face good defensive teams.  That's the one thing that gives me hope if we face Denver in Denver.  They aren't that good defensively, so I think we should be able to score with them.  If our offense is on, then all the defense needs to do is make one or two key stops and we can win. 

    It will be more challenging if we end up facing a team like some of the better NFC defensive teams. 

    [/QUOTE]

    If we do, it won't be until the SB. I will take this Pats team in cold and possibly snow to win over anyone in the NFC. 

    To answer your original post..mentally this team appears tougher. Offensively they appear more diverse + Gronk is healthy. On defense, if the secondary stays healthy we are better there than last, but, we are weaker at DT than last. Jones at De is healthy and playing, this might offset the mayo loss, but the biggest problem we will have is stopping teams on 3rd down. We need to tighten this up and I hope bb finds the right combos in the front 7 to generate enough pressure and limit the blood loss against the run.

     
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  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsLifer. Show PatsLifer's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    In response to DeadAhead's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to PatsLifer's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to cyncalpatfan's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    [/QUOTE]


    I understand the concern about the effect of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, however, I still have a great deal of optimism.  Take a look at what they did against Houston.  Specifically, how the defense finished the game.  They had three important stops... 1) allow the offense to tie the game 2) allow the offense to take the lead 3) prevent Houston from tying or winning the game to close it out.  Look at what they did against Denver.  They gave up points early, but then effectively shut them down to give the offense time to fight its way back.  That's a tendancy that I like...getting stronger as the game goes on.

    [/QUOTE]

    Exactly.  This is why I like the team's mentality.  Despite the disadvantages they have with the injuries, they seem to have a winning attitude and do enough to get it done.  Still, 30 points is a lot for the offense to overcome every game, particularly when we face good defensive teams.  That's the one thing that gives me hope if we face Denver in Denver.  They aren't that good defensively, so I think we should be able to score with them.  If our offense is on, then all the defense needs to do is make one or two key stops and we can win. 

    It will be more challenging if we end up facing a team like some of the better NFC defensive teams. 

    [/QUOTE]

    If we do, it won't be until the SB. I will take this Pats team in cold and possibly snow to win over anyone in the NFC. 

    To answer your original post..mentally this team appears tougher. Offensively they appear more diverse + Gronk is healthy. On defense, if the secondary stays healthy we are better there than last, but, we are weaker at DT than last. Jones at De is healthy and playing, this might offset the mayo loss, but the biggest problem we will have is stopping teams on 3rd down. We need to tighten this up and I hope bb finds the right combos in the front 7 to generate enough pressure and limit the blood loss against the run.

    [/QUOTE]

    That's my thought as well.  If they can do what they need to do, sustain no more injuries to key people, get through that divisional round at home which they should, I'll roll the dice in Denver.  Denver does not scare me. If Brady doesn't turn it over, we'll take them out.

    If Seattle does get their 1 seed and play as well as they usuallly, they too wouldn't scare me in a blizzard outdoors in NJ.

    Seattle is not the same team away from that Euro soccer stadium.

    [/QUOTE]

    Lol..agree. The only part that worries me is our run D in the snow. in the snow a team like Seattle will run Lynch wild and hope to stop us with their D. In the past, with vw and Kelly this wouldn't concern me. We could stop the run and force them to pass. Now, team are thinking run first and that is the perfect answer to the cold weather and our DL.

     
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  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: Patriots Better Built For Playoffs This Year Vs. Last?

    Yes, look at the competition. Who scares you?

     
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