Redefining Balance

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

    Redefining Balance

    There's been a lot of discussion about whether the Patriots should be more balanced on offense. I think a lot of people believe that "balance" means running about half the time.  However, the reality in today's NFL is that very few teams run 50% of the time.  In fact, in 2012, the average team ran just 42% of the time and passed 58% of the time.  The following table shows the pass plays (attempted passes plus sacks) and rush plays for every team last year as well as the percentage breakdown between passing plays and rushing plays (teams are listed from those that ran on the highest percentage of plays to those that ran on the lowest percentage of plays).  You can see that the Patriots fall right near the middle of the list (number 14), suggesting that they are actually very balanced by today's standards, passing slightly less than average and running slightly more.  It may surprise some people, but they actually ran at a bit higher clip than the Ravens did and passed at a lower percentage than 18 other teams.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    You should change your handle to Commie Contrarian the way you've become a provocateur.

    I don't need to tell you that the league has changed, it's all around us, it's the topic of discussion of every sports channel.  You seem to think this has no bearing on altered statistics from now to ten years ago.  The number of pass plays have increased, why?

    In 2001 there were ten teams whose defense had 100+ penalties, in 2012 that number doubled and they all had significantly more than the league leading team (Cards) did in 2001 with 110 penalties.  

    Seven teams in 2012 had more penalties than the league leading team did in 2001, the number of penalties increased grossly and thats why teams are passing more, they heave it up in the hopes of drawing a yellow flag and they're getting those calls.

    Unfortunately for these high flying offenses, the playoffs have not changed at all.  The refs have taken a "let them play" attitude in the playoffs and that's why having a physical team that can assert its dominance (running) while not necessary, is the surest way to win.  

    You have to be able to pass in the NFL to win, that's never been disputed by me or others, but when faced with the dominant opponents you will find in the playoffs and the refs free wheeling ways, you increase your chances of winning if you can smack your opponent in the mouth and pound the rock.

    Until they take away the aspects of football that make being bigger, stronger and meaner than your opponent an advantage, this will never change.  

    The Ravens were more physical than us last year in every way, they ran more than anyone else in the playoffs, they increased their average rushes per game in the playoffs, they ran more than us in the AFC title game, they knocked Stevan Ridley out cold.

    Physicality matters, and there is no greater example of offensive physicality than simply attacking your opponent by running it down their throat.  This is 100+ years of football history you are trying to erase with your love of regular season fantasy football statistics.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

     

    The penalty "excuse" is another myth.  Here are the defensive penalties (number of penalties and yards) for 2012 compared with 2003.  There's almost no change.  It is true that penalties were low in 2001, but that was just an abberation as that year had unusually low penalties compared to years before or after it. 

     

     

     

    As far as the Ravens being more physical in the playoffs, they were, and that is important.  But don't kid yourself, it wasn't the Ravens offense that was the big difference between the Pats and the Ravens.  It was the defense.  Their offense averaged 27.5 points per game during the playoffs versus our offense's 27.0 points per game. Their defense, however, gave up only 18.25 points per game in the playoffs while ours gave up 28 points per game.  Points are what matters, and when you look at points scored by the offenses and points given up by the defenses, the real difference between the two teams was defense. 

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    Here you go Rusty--2011 compared to a randomly selected year (this time 1996).  Just because every journalist on every sports channel is saying something doesn't make it true.  

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

     

    The data is pulled from NFL.com.  You can go do a year by year analysis if you want but it's time consuming.  Eyeballing the data you'll see that penalties are fairly consistent most years.  The breakdown by type of penalty is unfortunately not available on NFL.com, though it would be interesting to see.

     

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    2001 was the year that everything started changing with the Rams moaning about physical play by the Patriots defense, it wasn't an aberration, it was the beginning of this shift.  But Rusty is right that yourt cherry picking your stats, I stand by mine which I got from NFL.com. 

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    You should change your handle to Commie Contrarian the way you've become a provocateur.

    I don't need to tell you that the league has changed, it's all around us, it's the topic of discussion of every sports channel.  You seem to think this has no bearing on altered statistics from now to ten years ago.  The number of pass plays have increased, why?

    In 2001 there were ten teams whose defense had 100+ penalties, in 2012 that number doubled and they all had significantly more than the league leading team (Cards) did in 2001 with 110 penalties.  

    Seven teams in 2012 had more penalties than the league leading team did in 2001, the number of penalties increased grossly and thats why teams are passing more, they heave it up in the hopes of drawing a yellow flag and they're getting those calls.

    Unfortunately for these high flying offenses, the playoffs have not changed at all.  The refs have taken a "let them play" attitude in the playoffs and that's why having a physical team that can assert its dominance (running) while not necessary, is the surest way to win.  

    You have to be able to pass in the NFL to win, that's never been disputed by me or others, but when faced with the dominant opponents you will find in the playoffs and the refs free wheeling ways, you increase your chances of winning if you can smack your opponent in the mouth and pound the rock.

    Until they take away the aspects of football that make being bigger, stronger and meaner than your opponent an advantage, this will never change.  

    The Ravens were more physical than us last year in every way, they ran more than anyone else in the playoffs, they increased their average rushes per game in the playoffs, they ran more than us in the AFC title game, they knocked Stevan Ridley out cold.

    Physicality matters, and there is no greater example of offensive physicality than simply attacking your opponent by running it down their throat.  This is 100+ years of football history you are trying to erase with your love of regular season fantasy football statistics.




    Good post. What some of those fantasy football fans who are enamored of certain views of statistics miss is not the number of running plays or the yards but the actual ability to make the other team pay if they cant stop you from running effectively in the playoffs. And so that goes to not only your running O but your running D!

    This makes your toughness in the trenches and your LBs and RBs and TEs more critical in the playoffs.

    There has been here a disconect at times between what is effective in the regular season v the playoffs. OK it is all football and what is effective in one should be effective in the other. But the weather, the intensity. and yes even the refs can all conspire to make things just different enough so that the playoffs have a different tilt - though not absolutely and altogether. You can take it too far either way.

    Bottom line - it is no secret that it takes a bit more ability in running and stopping the run in the playoffs. It does not mean that if you can still dominate an opponent due to your elite talent or matchups or injuries that you could still pass an opponent to death. We even almost won both 2007 and 2011 SBs but for injuries or botched play or lucky play. Very close... so it is not impossible. It just takes that much better play... But generally speaking you need the strength of balance to give you the upper hand.

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

     

     

    Hey, you can choose to hide your head in the sand, but if you look at the years immediately before and after 2001, you'll see clearly that 2001 was an abberrant year with low defensive penalties.  Anyone who cares to know the truth can simply look at the year-by-year data on NFL.com.  I looked at the late nineties and 2000s. Maybe it was different in the 70s or 80s, but since the Krafts bought the team, there hasn't been a trend toward increasing defensive penalties.  Now it is true that teams can't be as physical with receivers anymore, but that isn't necessarily leading to more penalties, because teams have adjusted the way they play.  Also, it's a lot harder to be sure how penalties change in the postseason because sample sizes are small, but generally I see nothing to suggest a great reduction in the average 6 or so defensive penalties per team per game.  Maybe a slight reduction, but nothing that changes the game wholesale.

     

     

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance


    but the data is not broken down by type of defensive penalty, i.e., pass interference; which would be the most signficant one.  So, if Joe QB chucks it downfield up for grabs and the WR has decent position to beat defender - there is greater chance that that there will be PI?

    balance is not the same as being unpredictable. In addition, it's about taking advantage of the opponent's weakness - and using whatever works regardless of the type of play.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

     

     The Super Bowl tends to be played in domes, so the weather excuse in that game in particular is a lame one. Maybe in some playoff games weather is a factor, but many playoff games are played in mild climates and domes.  And a lot of late regular season games are played in bad weather.  So the weather difference is exaggerated.

     

     

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to anonymis' comment:


    but the data is not broken down by type of defensive penalty, i.e., pass interference; which would be the most signficant one.  So, if Joe QB chucks it downfield up for grabs and the WR has decent position to beat defender - there is greater chance that that there will be PI?

    balance is not the same as being unpredictable. In addition, it's about taking advantage of the opponent's weakness - and using whatever works regardless of the type of play.




    Keep in mind that unpredictable only matters IF you can make the other team pay for ignorning the run or deep pass etc. If you cannot make them pay then being unpredictable doesnt matter a lick.

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

    Keep in mind that unpredictable only matters IF you can make the other team pay for ignorning the run or deep pass etc. If you cannot make them pay then being unpredictable doesnt matter a lick.




    Of course. I think it goes w/o saying.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Physicality matters, and there is no greater example of offensive physicality than simply attacking your opponent by running it down their throat.  This is 100+ years of football history you are trying to erase with your love of regular season fantasy football statistics.



    Good point in terms of matchups, types of play, and refs handling SB game differently vs. regular season games.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    The Patriots lost there last 3 games to the N.Y Giants. Unfortunately 2 of them were super bowls. They passed 135 times and ran 55 times in those 3 games. That isn't a myth. It's a fact. For too long good teams have known we were a one dimensional pass heavy offense. Anybody who refuses to accept this is wrong.

    I think the rehiring of McD to run the offense was a major step in the right direction. To me coaching is actually a very important part of football. It matters.

    It isn't Tom Brady suddenly becoming un-clutch.

    BB hasn't suddenly forgot how to evaluate talent.

    Good coaches left and young coaches are learning to fill their shoes. Unfortunately as with most things in life there is a learning curve to deal with. Not too complicated if you ask me....at least not for some.

        







    "Defense Wins Championships"
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: Redefining Balance

    To me balance isn't a simple ratio of run vs pass but a large number of factors rolled into one.

    Balance in a series:

    If you run every 1st down and every other 2nd down and pass the other times than ratio wise that's balanced but to me that's unblanced play calling as you should mix it up depending on situation to keep the D off balance

    Balance in the game:

    We've all seen this where some drives are primarily running and primarily passing. That's fine every so often but you can't have large periods where you only go pass or only go run. You need to mix it up and mix it up from series to series. Having a half in which the running game is used 70% on the first series than hardly even touched for the rest of the game until the end drive isn't balance at all. That's where statistics can lie as we saw in 10' were going into the final 2 drives of the game the Pats were passing the ball at a 2:1 clip before trying to run out the clock then that ratio dropped, solely because the final couple drives had 12 runs. Again that's not balance

    The name of the game isn't a direct ratio but keeping the D off balanced and being unpredictable. Of course a 2:1 ratio shows inbalance but you could have a 1:1 ratio and still be unbalanced within the game and even within a series if it's not used properly. To me that was one of O'Bs biggest weaknesses when he was OC here. He did run the ball but in a very unbalanced way typically in very predictable times (ie >80% on 1st downs, >70% on 2nd downs with less than 4 to go) and he typically abandoned it early and came back to it at the end of the game. There were some games where they had 40min stretches of passing the ball 70+% of the time. Though at the end of the game the stats said it was much closer because of heavy running at the opening of the game and at the end of the game. 

    I swear by lil 10 pound bearded baby Jesus

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    To me balance isn't a simple ratio of run vs pass but a large number of factors rolled into one.

    Balance in a series:

    If you run every 1st down and every other 2nd down and pass the other times than ratio wise that's balanced but to me that's unblanced play calling as you should mix it up depending on situation to keep the D off balance

    Balance in the game:

    We've all seen this where some drives are primarily running and primarily passing. That's fine every so often but you can't have large periods where you only go pass or only go run. You need to mix it up and mix it up from series to series. Having a half in which the running game is used 70% on the first series than hardly even touched for the rest of the game until the end drive isn't balance at all. That's where statistics can lie as we saw in 10' were going into the final 2 drives of the game the Pats were passing the ball at a 2:1 clip before trying to run out the clock then that ratio dropped, solely because the final couple drives had 12 runs. Again that's not balance

    The name of the game isn't a direct ratio but keeping the D off balanced and being unpredictable. Of course a 2:1 ratio shows inbalance but you could have a 1:1 ratio and still be unbalanced within the game and even within a series if it's not used properly. To me that was one of O'Bs biggest weaknesses when he was OC here. He did run the ball but in a very unbalanced way typically in very predictable times (ie >80% on 1st downs, >70% on 2nd downs with less than 4 to go) and he typically abandoned it early and came back to it at the end of the game. There were some games where they had 40min stretches of passing the ball 70+% of the time. Though at the end of the game the stats said it was much closer because of heavy running at the opening of the game and at the end of the game. 

    I swear by lil 10 pound bearded baby Jesus



    Agree completely that Obie was predictable, so did opposing defensive coaches, one of whom actually commented on how predictable the Pats had become.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/51796/have-formations-made-patriots-predictable

     

    Not only did he run on obvious running downs but he also ran from obvious running formations. He only had a sweep and a dive in his repertoire.  We lost our way under Obie, lost our physical style and generally became soft.

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to wozzy's comment:



    Agree completely that Obie was predictable, so did opposing defensive coaches, one of whom actually commented on how predictable the Pats had become.

     

    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/51796/have-formations-made-patriots-predictable

     

    Not only did he run on obvious running downs but he also ran from obvious running formations. He only had a sweep and a dive in his repertoire.  We lost our way under Obie, lost our physical style and generally became soft.

     



    You know what's funny, I have been making this same balance argument since 11' after watching OB work and actually had a play calculator by boston.com that showed the %'s in which he'd run or pass depending on yard and distance and the ratio's were so one sided it was unbelievable. Basically on 1st down if it was 10 or less yards to go he'd run anything over was a pass. One 2nd down anything under 4 yrds would be a run, 4-6 was 50/50 and anything over 6 was a pass, on 3rd down it had to be 2 or less yards for him to run or it was almost always a pass. There were some situations (1st and 15 and 2nd and 10) which was 100% pass. I got killed by some people saying I didn't know what I was talking about pointing that they only passed 55% of the time and I crazy calling it unbalanced thinking I wanted a straight 50/50 split. Wish I knew about this article back then would have proven my argument

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from mia76. Show mia76's posts

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In the OP - interesting to note the only three teams above 50% rushing were running some version of the pistol for most or all  of the season. The next three had pretty miserable QB play and one had AD who sort of demands to be fed.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to wozzy's comment:

      We lost our way under Obie, lost our physical style and generally became soft.

     



    finesse, soft - two words that characterize last years team.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     



    Agree completely that Obie was predictable, so did opposing defensive coaches, one of whom actually commented on how predictable the Pats had become.

     

    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/51796/have-formations-made-patriots-predictable

     

    Not only did he run on obvious running downs but he also ran from obvious running formations. He only had a sweep and a dive in his repertoire.  We lost our way under Obie, lost our physical style and generally became soft.

     

     



    You know what's funny, I have been making this same balance argument since 11' after watching OB work and actually had a play calculator by boston.com that showed the %'s in which he'd run or pass depending on yard and distance and the ratio's were so one sided it was unbelievable. Basically on 1st down if it was 10 or less yards to go he'd run anything over was a pass. One 2nd down anything under 4 yrds would be a run, 4-6 was 50/50 and anything over 6 was a pass, on 3rd down it had to be 2 or less yards for him to run or it was almost always a pass. There were some situations (1st and 15 and 2nd and 10) which was 100% pass. I got killed by some people saying I didn't know what I was talking about pointing that they only passed 55% of the time and I crazy calling it unbalanced thinking I wanted a straight 50/50 split. Wish I knew about this article back then would have proven my argument

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I saw that play calculator too.  In fact, the percentages were nothing unusual.  All teams pass a lot on second and long and run more on third and short.  I don't think your memory that they passed "100%" of the time on 2nd and 10 is right, though.  Unfortunately, I can't find the calculator online, but I played with it too and don't remember many "hundred percents."   

    O'Brien deserves credit for his hurry-up approach which made the Patriots offense extremely productive given the players they had.  In fact, every team in the league is trying to adopt some version of hurry up in large part because they've seen it's success with the Pats.  It won't work, of course, because it depends on having a QB as good at making fast decisions as Brady.  There are maybe three of those in the league. 

    O'Brien figured out a way to score tons of points with a team that basically had no decent outside receivers and mediocre running backs.  And, like it our not, he needed to figure out a way to score a lot because the team also had a pretty weak defense.  O'Brien gets a lot of criticism from posters here, but really he deserves a heck of a lot of praise for what he did while he was here. This team would have never made the playoffs without his and Belichick's brilliant work with the offense. 

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    To me balance isn't a simple ratio of run vs pass but a large number of factors rolled into one.

    Balance in a series:

    If you run every 1st down and every other 2nd down and pass the other times than ratio wise that's balanced but to me that's unblanced play calling as you should mix it up depending on situation to keep the D off balance

    Balance in the game:

    We've all seen this where some drives are primarily running and primarily passing. That's fine every so often but you can't have large periods where you only go pass or only go run. You need to mix it up and mix it up from series to series. Having a half in which the running game is used 70% on the first series than hardly even touched for the rest of the game until the end drive isn't balance at all. That's where statistics can lie as we saw in 10' were going into the final 2 drives of the game the Pats were passing the ball at a 2:1 clip before trying to run out the clock then that ratio dropped, solely because the final couple drives had 12 runs. Again that's not balance

    The name of the game isn't a direct ratio but keeping the D off balanced and being unpredictable. Of course a 2:1 ratio shows inbalance but you could have a 1:1 ratio and still be unbalanced within the game and even within a series if it's not used properly. To me that was one of O'Bs biggest weaknesses when he was OC here. He did run the ball but in a very unbalanced way typically in very predictable times (ie >80% on 1st downs, >70% on 2nd downs with less than 4 to go) and he typically abandoned it early and came back to it at the end of the game. There were some games where they had 40min stretches of passing the ball 70+% of the time. Though at the end of the game the stats said it was much closer because of heavy running at the opening of the game and at the end of the game. 

    I swear by lil 10 pound bearded baby Jesus

     



    Agree completely that Obie was predictable, so did opposing defensive coaches, one of whom actually commented on how predictable the Pats had become.

     

    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/51796/have-formations-made-patriots-predictable

     

    Not only did he run on obvious running downs but he also ran from obvious running formations. He only had a sweep and a dive in his repertoire.  We lost our way under Obie, lost our physical style and generally became soft.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Ummm, McDaniels was OC in 2012 when they played Arizona.  

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Quagmire3. Show Quagmire3's posts

    Re: Redefining Balance

    What I find very very facinating about these stats is the SIX teams who PASSED the most (and 8 of the top 9 passing teams) did NOT make the playoffs!


    "Giggedy, Giggedy!"

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    Ummm, McDaniels was OC in 2012 when they played Arizona.  

    Ummm, the guy was talking about the past few years, not just that game, which was also the 2nd game of the season.

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to Quagmire3's comment:

     

    What I find very very facinating about these stats is the SIX teams who PASSED the most (and 8 of the top 9 passing teams) did NOT make the playoffs!


    "Giggedy, Giggedy!"

     



    It is interesting, but that is due at least in part to the fact that many of them were bad teams that were behind a lot and had to pass because of that.  The reality is most good teams have a balance similar to the Pats.  There are exceptions in either direction, but typical healthy balance nowadays appears to be about 57-43 in favour of the pass.  The perception that the Pats are unbalanced doesn't hold when compared with the league averages.

     

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

    Re: Redefining Balance

    In response to wozzy's comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

     

     

     

    Ummm, McDaniels was OC in 2012 when they played Arizona.  

     

     

     

     

    Ummm, the guy was talking about the past few years, not just that game, which was also the 2nd game of the season.

     



    But he was talking about that game.  McDaniels was not following O'Brien's play sheet. In fact, the game before had been very different.

     

     

     

     

Share