pats = same old problem - defense

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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    All I'm saying is the trend in playoff games is for the offense to struggle early and the defense to struggle late.  The difference between win and loss this decade has been how well the offense performs late.

    I defer to BB on what offensive formations are best for each opponent and situation.  If he and his coordinator go with the shotgun spread, I trust it was the best decision, even if it doesn't work. 
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    BB is the head coach and the calls on offense, defense and special teams are his responsibility.  This is O'Brien's third year running the offense.  If he were doing a bad job, BB would have canned him.  BB trusts O'Brien, therefore I trust O'Brien.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense:
    clock killing corey dillon 2004 divisional game vs the colts.. textbook.. every superbowl winning patriot team had a balance of run and pass. the spread/shotgun throw throw throw has won 0 superbowls.  nobodys saying to run every down, but having the threat of a running game makes the passing game that much better.
    Posted by kjfitone


    They were 9th in the NFL in rushing last year, ahead of a Pittsburgh team (among others) that played in the Super Bowl.  2004 was a different time.  The table has tilted so far in just those few years in favor of the passing game that you might as well be talking about 1985. 
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    This has been an interesting discussion. I've pretty much been lurking and posting just a little, but to the people out there really ripping the defense for the Jets playoff loss I will merely say the following:

    1--They were only able to dress 4 healthy defensive linemen that day due to the multitude of injuries they had

    2--The fake punt and the botched onside kick when it was 21-14 which Cromartie ran back to the NE 30 yard line (I think) gave the NYJ two very short fields. Now, I'm not excusing the defense for allowing TDs and not FGs there, but really, anytime you give an offense a short field it simply makes their job easier.

    3--See Point #1 above as to why the defense may have folded and allowed 14 points in the final 5+ minutes of the game: no depth along the defensive line because of the injuries = fatigue.

    4--King is right about the offensive approach that day. Even if they didn't run the ball more effectively with BJGE, they should have at least tried it more often. The Jets were daring them to run. So run it. Even if they stop the offense and force punt after punt, at least you're making their defensive coaches think that you're committed to running the ball, and they have to soften up their coverages a little bit, which opens up the passing lanes a bit more. This is exactly what Weis did in 2003, with a HORRIBLE running game (historically bad for a Super Bowl winner, in fact...3.4 YPC for the season; only the 1970 Colts were worse and still won a SB). Weis still called running plays about 47% of the time that season (don't have the exact numbers here now), even though they had very little success to show for it. This made defenses respect the fact that NE would try to run the ball, even if they couldn't do it very well, and that made defenses game plan for the run, thus opening up the passing game a bit more. It also shortened games and kept the defensive players fresher.

    In the end we can all agree that the Pats' pass defense still has to improve, but I think it does go hand-in-hand with the offense taking a bit more balanced approach when it comes to playcalling.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    2 plays for 20 yards, that was the Jets last TD drive at the end of the 4th quarter of the playoff game. Cromartie picked up the onside kick and ran it back to the 20. It would have been nice to stop them there but it's hard to blame the defense for that.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense:
    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense : How is it "abysmal" when your own offense isn't scoring for entire qtrs, losing the TOP battle, turning the ball over, giving up short fields, etc? Your comments are EXACTLY what I am talking about. Throw the Baltimore playoff game out the window. That's as overstated a playoff loss as it is saying NE hasn't "won a SB in 6 years". Very misleading statement/examples. Period. I don't; want to see it again. We all know Brady had cracked ribs, Moss had a separated shoulder, Welker was out, the D was in a rebuilding mode with Seymour and Vrable, etc, That yteam was absolutely, FACTUALLY, NOT BUILT TO WIN A SB in 2009. Get over it. Good god. Ok, so, we move on to last yea'rs playoff game where these things by the offense happened: 1. Brady INT.  D holds.  Success for D, fail for offense. 2. Cumpler TD drop. Success for D, fail for offense. 3. Leads to Chung fake punt before half BECAUSE OF THE ANEMIC OFFENSE. These 3 things lead and a lack of establishing a run in the 1st half, all contributed to the "28 abysmal points" the D allowed. One of those TDs was on a short field off the botched fake punt! How many times do you expect our D to bail out or sputtering offense in a game? They held on the Brady INT for ZERO points because they forced a long FG. This is like blaming the Miami TD last week after the Brady INT.  It would have been fantastic if they held them to 3 points, but it didn't happen. I don't blame the D, though. I blame pass interference not being called on that screen or a bad executed play by the OFFENSE. And that's Week 1. The Brady "ballwashers" refuse to put any responsibility on his and O'Brien's plate. I don';t know if there is a disconnect between them if O'Brien can't handle it or what, but outside of poor execution in the Jets playoff game, this is a fundamental problem. There are so many negatives with this offense that people flat out ignore.
    Posted by RidingWithTheKing


    Russty, you do realize that was Zbellino's post I copied and responded to right?
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    Hardright, I copied your post and am going to respond to it. Not because I think you support my theories but after reading many of your posts you seem to be an even keeled poster with some solid opinions as does Zbellino, Rusty and Mighty(even though Russ and Mighty might get a lil hardcore on fools sometimes!!!)


    This has been an interesting discussion. I've pretty much been lurking and posting just a little, but to the people out there really ripping the defense for the Jets playoff loss I will merely say the following:

    1--They were only able to dress 4 healthy defensive linemen that day due to the multitude of injuries they had

    2--The fake punt and the botched onside kick when it was 21-14 which Cromartie ran back to the NE 30 yard line (I think) gave the NYJ two very short fields. Now, I'm not excusing the defense for allowing TDs and not FGs there, but really, anytime you give an offense a short field it simply makes their job easier.
    I don't want to make excuses for the def but we all know it was a young D in the process of rebuilding and defensive line injuries were absolutely prevalent to the execution.

    3--See Point #1 above as to why the defense may have folded and allowed 14 points in the final 5+ minutes of the game: no depth along the defensive line because of the injuries = fatigue.

    4--King is right about the offensive approach that day. Even if they didn't run the ball more effectively with BJGE, they should have at least tried it more often.This is spot on but they were effective as BJGE ran for 4.8 a carry which was not skewed by 1 or 2 long runs. The Jets were daring them to run. So run it. Even if they stop the offense and force punt after punt, at least you're making their defensive coaches think that you're committed to running the ball, and they have to soften up their coverages a little bit, which opens up the passing lanes a bit more.This to me is the deciding factor, we passed into a brick wall the entire day. Why go at a great defense who is 100% committed to taking away the passing game? It was the definition of insanity This is exactly what Weis did in 2003, with a HORRIBLE running game (historically bad for a Super Bowl winner, in fact...3.4 YPC for the season; only the 1970 Colts were worse and still won a SB). Weis still called running plays about 47% of the time that season (don't have the exact numbers here now), even though they had very little success to show for it. This made defenses respect the fact that NE would try to run the ball, even if they couldn't do it very well, and that made defenses game plan for the run, thus opening up the passing game a bit more. It also shortened games and kept the defensive players fresher. Kept the defensive players fresher!!!! It is an under rated aspect of NFL defense!

    In the end we can all agree that the Pats' pass defense still has to improve, but I think it does go hand-in-hand with the offense taking a bit more balanced approach when it comes to playcalling. Amen, this is all I have been saying on this thread and several others.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    I do not believe the 2003 comparisons hold any water in this discussion. The 2003 offense played more conservative because it was relatively speaking, not that good of an offense. It was not top 10 in scoring or yardage and was lacking in top quality playmakers. It's top reciever (Branch) did not even have 60 catches that year and the rushing attack was near the bottom of the league. If Charlie Weis had the current offense I would be shocked if he did anything different than O'Brien and Belichek did last year. The Jets had one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL last year. The Patriots offense played uncharecteristically mediocre in that game and some really bad strategy put the defense in some tough position which they clearly could not handle. If anything I believe neither Belichek or Weis truly knew how great Brady was. They knew he was a winner and a fierce competitor but if they knew he could play like he did in 2007 and 2010 Belichek would have picked up some good receivers in 2006 and the Pats would have won the superbowl that year. Brady in 2007 and 2010 might have been the two greatest quarterbacking regular seasons in the history of the NFL. I really like Green Ellis as a runner but Brady sets him up, not the other way around. A 36-4 TD/INT ratio is college numbers. About 2004, If Green Ellis turns out to be another Dillon (who put up some great numbers on some god awful teams with bad quarterbacks) I might agree with upping the rushing attempts but I feel the execution in the Jets playoff loss was more important than the % of rushing attempts. I still have no idea why they played at such a slow pace for most of the 4th quarter.  
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    Too many recievers seem to be wide open.  They catch an unchallanged ball.  The pass rush isn't consistant. No one fears the NE defense like they do the Ravens, Jets, Steelers.  That is what NE is missing.  We need to be feared even if it is only a little bit. 
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    Haven't read all the posts on this thread, but in judging the diversity of the Pats offense, I think the important distinction is not so much between run and pass, but between tight and spread formations.  What bothered me about last year's offense is that it relied so heavily on spread formations, which are basically passing formations. The vast majority of running plays seem to have been run from those spread formations--typically we were seeing draw-type runs, often executed with Brady in the shotgun.  You could argue that this is essentially a short pass play (the handoff is just the shortest pass possible) that is designed to succeed by spreading the defense and giving the receiver/runner room to run in the spaces between the defenders. It contrasts with a true power running formation and play where you rely on blockers to push defenders out of the way. 

    One thing I found encouraging about the Chargers game last week is that a lot of passes were made from running formations.  They didn't actually run a whole lot, but they lined up looking like they intended to run. The use of tighter formations creates the threat of a different type of offensive play and forces the defense to be prepared to defend something other than receivers/runners trying to operate in open space in the short zones.  I do think our O-line (with Waters and Mankins and the tackles and big TEs) is a better power run-blocking line than it was.  The threat of a power game, I think, is going to make our offense a lot more diverse and more effective than it was last year. 

    On the defense--they do need to stop more of those short to intermediate passes or they are not going to be able to stop anyone on third down.  I was encouraged by the run defense, but the pass coverage has to get tighter.  I wouldn't worry too much about the pass rush based on the Chargers game, because BB wasn't trying to pressure all that much. He was mostly bringing four without a lot of stunts and trying to defend the pass more with coverage than with a pass rush.  The coverage, though, left a lot to be desired.  Defenders were just too far off the receivers to make plays.  Stopping Gates, however, was a big positive and probably a point of emphasis for the defenders, so the coverage wasn't a complete disaster. 

    I do have mild concerns about McCourty being picked on so much in the first two games and Bodden not playing a bigger role. Those two guys need to step up given the untested safeties and the lack of proven corner talent behind them. 

     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    Anyone that thinks that defense does not win championships is kidding themselves.  Case closed.  It goes for every sport.  Baseball, good pitching beats good hitting.  Hockey, if you have a great goaltender you have a shot.  Even basketball, hard to win without a tight defense.

    To say that rule changes have made it so that offense wins championships is just a dream that some pats fans have.  Sooner or later you will run into a wall and then the dream dies lol.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense:
    Haven't read all the posts on this thread, but in judging the diversity of the Pats offense, I think the important distinction is not so much between run and pass, but between tight and spread formations.  What bothered me about last year's offense is that it relied so heavily on spread formations, which are basically passing formations. The vast majority of running plays seem to have been run from those spread formations--typically we were seeing draw-type runs, often executed with Brady in the shotgun.  You could argue that this is essentially a short pass play (the handoff is just the shortest pass possible) that is designed to succeed by spreading the defense and giving the receiver/runner room to run in the spaces between the defenders. It contrasts with a true power running formation and play where you rely on blockers to push defenders out of the way.  One thing I found encouraging about the Chargers game last week is that a lot of passes were made from running formations.  They didn't actually run a whole lot, but they lined up looking like they intended to run. The use of tighter formations creates the threat of a different type of offensive play and forces the defense to be prepared to defend something other than receivers/runners trying to operate in open space in the short zones.  I do think our O-line (with Waters and Mankins and the tackles and big TEs) is a better power run-blocking line than it was.  The threat of a power game, I think, is going to make our offense a lot more diverse and more effective than it was last year.  On the defense--they do need to stop more of those short to intermediate passes or they are not going to be able to stop anyone on third down.  I was encouraged by the run defense, but the pass coverage has to get tighter.  I wouldn't worry too much about the pass rush based on the Chargers game, because BB wasn't trying to pressure all that much. He was mostly bringing four without a lot of stunts and trying to defend the pass more with coverage than with a pass rush.  The coverage, though, left a lot to be desired.  Defenders were just too far off the receivers to make plays.  Stopping Gates, however, was a big positive and probably a point of emphasis for the defenders, so the coverage wasn't a complete disaster.  I do have mild concerns about McCourty being picked on so much in the first two games and Bodden not playing a bigger role. Those two guys need to step up given the untested safeties and the lack of proven corner talent behind them. 
    Posted by prolate0spheroid


    Prolate, you have summed up what I have been blurbing about this entire thread although you said it much more clearly then I have. This discussion is not really about 'running the football more'. It is about Brady being under center more and yes running with a power formation as opposed to running draws and such out of the spread. I believe this will limit a defense's ability to rattle Brady and know what we are doing on offense.

    I am not saying we need another Corey Dillion and we have to be 52-48 pass to run or anything like that. I am just saying we are predictable on offense, and even though that is usually good enough to win ion Sundays, It has not been the case come playoff time.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense


    I too have been thinking that the D has been getting a little
    more blame than they should - especially the Jets game-

    I listened to Playbook last nite and these guys showed where
    7  of Jackson's completions came with Arrignton trailing in coverage.
    They didn't like the scheme and it wasn't adjusted.

    And Scherlitz said that watching the Pat tapes - there was no scary
    Pat pass rusher.

    At the same time - what I thought i saw was that both Rivers and Henne
    had less time than Brady ( i think there was a post here that said the same thing)
    and THEY were getting rid of the ball quickly in dump off's
    or they could use there athletism and run. And QB  running against man
     coverage is a lot easier than zone.

    We also had a lot of penalties? - a few questionable

    In the end I think our run D is much better.
    Our Pass D has some work - but I believe that
    we have really good athletes who are learning the system-
    Just like last year they will turn the corner.

    I think there is something to having so many spread formations
    and something too about some of the D schemes used.

    But right now the NFL is almost all Pass and no run

    It seems that all of the top D's blitz alot-
    And we have not blitzed at all

    And then too - there really is only 1 Defense I am really scared of
    and that is Detroit - Romo killed the Jets before Romo killed Dallas
    and both Pitt and Baltimore didn't show up for one game.
    Houston and Tennessee are the only other top point Defenses-
    but who did they play?

    It will be interesting to see what the chatter will be
    if the Pats shut down Buffalo





     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense:
    Yes. Under center, hence why I keep railing on the "shotgun/spread". The shotgun blows against quality Ds over 4 qtrs. Do people even read these threads?
    Posted by RidingWithTheKing


    Maybe you should print them out and mail them to BB.
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense:
    In Response to Re: pats = same old problem - defense : Maybe you should print them out and mail them to BB.
    Posted by themightypatriotz


    why do that when he could just read them to him while they break down tape together on Tuesday nights. 
     
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    Re: pats = same old problem - defense

    You think BB has been employing the wrong offensive strategy for the past 4 years, and I'm the irrational one?
     
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