I think that in the playoffs against a team like the Jets last year, we gave up running the ball before really even trying. We have seen it for the past few post seasons. If we get behind at all(and in most cases even if we are ahead) we abandon the run and the other team knows it.
That's the NFL. When you are down, like in the Ravens playoff game, by a ton of points, you don't have time to run the football. The Ravens would have let NE run the football all day long that game because the physics of football don't allow you to come back from 24 points running the football. A run heavy drive eats about 8-10 off the clock if it goes all the way. That leaves NE with what, three, maybe four drives for the rest of the game? OK. If their defense, which was getting gang-r@ped by the Ravens, is perfect then they maybe pull it out 28-24 ... that is if they are perfect, and each drive results in a TD and each Ravens drive is a three and out only consuming a couple minutes. In reality the Ravens would respond by running the football and NE would probably only be left with two drives. IF you are up 24-0 at the end of one quarter, and the other team offers you 11 minutes of clock for seven points, you take it. Essentially ... and this is the part that people overlook, if you plan on running the football a lot more than you pass it, your defense needs to be perfect, because even if you are successful, you are only going to have four to six drives for an entire game.
Against the Jets they ran it three straight times coming out of the half ... once to Woodhead, two more to BJGE ... they got zero yards and kicked the ball away. On the next drive Brady was sacked, and took a loss of like eleven yards.
On the following drive, they scored it in hurry up passing mostly with some runs mixed in.
Now, keep in mind at this point the game is 14-11. The offense isn't going like a steam roller, but they aren't terrible either. The NYJ complete a 58 yard pass to Cotchery ... on a short pass that he just rips down the middle. A few plays later they are in the end zone. 21-11.
By the fourth quarter NE DID run the football and were still stopped. The Jets let them run the football ... they took up 7:45 in time. The Jets thanked them. Then, guess what?
There is no time.
Ne got a FG passing. 21-14 What are they going to do? Run the football some more with a few minutes left? Whatever ... the hurrry up actuall put points on the board.
At that point, there is 3:29 left. NE does an onside kick. Why? Because BB knows the defense cannot stop the Jets. Just like when he didn't punt it against the Colts. He doesn't have faith in the defense. He shouldn't have faith in the defense ... it simply has not earned that.
So how does the defense respond, even when the Jets are running it, content to settle for a FG, leaving NE a few minutes to work with? They give up a TD!
NE scored, but only passing after that. In those final two drives NE attempted 14 passes. Outside of those final two drives, and teh drive at the end of the half with 33 seconds on the clock where they tried two passes to woody, NE was 29 passes to 28 runs. They scored 11 points ... with almost picture perfect balance.
Here's the problem.... the Jets scored 28 points against NE's defense (not 21 as Seattlepat is saying).
Yes. That is a defensive problem. NE scored enough points to win that game. The Jets had a top five defense, and bad offense. 21 should take it.
The problem is that people take the offense for granted. The defense had been giving up that many points for most of the season last year, and it wasn't unitl the shutouts against some really bad teams later on that the defensive scoring was skewed.
NE ran the ball 28 to 29 passes outside the final five or six minutes of the game.
The thing that stood out to me after that game was not that NE needed to run the ball more. What do you want? 40 runs and 15 passes? NE would have been shut out playing football that way. What stood out was that they needed someone more credible than Tate (zero catches two drops) outside that could make a few plays against Cromartie, and that most overwhelmingly they need a defense that can stand on it's own and not use the offense and Tom Brady as its crutch.
"I also believe the ineptitude of our offense(post season) has played a role in hurting our defense. We take almost no time off the board when we run spread, have 2 in completions, and a run for 1 yard. Especially with a young D like we have had the past few years. We need to protect them, need to run even if it doesn't work sometimes just to give the D a break and let the other team know that at least we will try! On the 2007 SB I have to wholeheartedly disagree with you. I just cannot blame the defense for that loss. Talk about ramming your head into a brick wall that is what we tried to do with the spread against the Giants defense. They knew what we would do had not worked all game and more importantly they knew we were going to continue doing it anyway. "
Yeah. That was a terrible game plan by McDaniels. One that he had been using all season long. By week 19 it was old. Let's not confuse them with the 2010-11 Patriots, who are a different team. That team threw the ball 492 times and ran it 454 ... which (again) is the very picture of balance at 52/48. The reason I (and others) blame the defense for that SB game is that the defense had not won a game for NE that season against a quality opponent. Asking them to man up right after the offense got the go ahead score isn't too much. Though, in practice... that was really a freak occurance on that pass by She-li.
But NE hasn't had a defense that could actually win a game since 2004. The rest is EPIC collapses like the game aganst the Colts in 2006. Failed clutch moments like in 2007. Complete beatdowns like the 33 point debacle against the Ravens offense, and a mixture of both against the Jets 28 point performance.
So let's summarize the last four Patriots playoff losses: opponents scoring about 30 ppg .... and people are telling me there has been an offensive problem, or that running the football fixes 30 ppg??? Really?
It seems pretty clear to me that NE simply hasn't had a playoff caliber defense in quite some time... despite what others might say.
Posted by TrueChamp[/QUOTE]