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In response to BabeParilli's comment:
In 2012 we ran 1.3 times more per quarter than in 2011, but we had 1.7 more plays per quarter than in 2011.
We actually passed more in 2012 than 2011.
In 2012 we ran 43% of the time. In 2011 we ran 40% of the time.
3% - That's once in every 34 plays.
Our running was a little more effective so we ran a little more.
So much for the myth that our balance dramatically changed.
That the running was more effective does not negate the uptick in the running attempts. In fact, taking the increase in the TWO aspects - effectiveness AND attempts - is illustrative of more balance.
Also, consider this approach to statistics (one which I think is actually meaningful though in this case not the be all end all): if we had 40% runs and 60% pass in 2011 as you indicate that is a delta of 20%. It also is reflected by saying we passed 50% more times than we ran in 2011. If the runs went up to 43% then the passing went down to 57%. That is a delta of 14% - down from 20%, a significant drop. It also means we passed just under 33% more than we ran - a drop from 50%. Also significant. And this is not taking into account our effectiveness.
Furthermore, it is significant that the Pats improved situationally - which is a critical element. We were very good on short yardage running and very good in red zone. That means we took advatage SUCCESSFULLY of having the run as a truly viable option situationally (sorry for the wording). ALso consider that in 3 and long you rarely run anyway, regardless of who you are (unless you are the Vikings perhaps).
Another aspect that is overlooked is that BB has created a roster that can adjust to different opponenents and weather conditions. Some games we pass and never stop passing. But some games, like the win over Denver, we run a lot, successfully. That translates into a better record and into being able to make teams play more honest or take a larger risk.
To sum it up, the Pats were more balance and so helped all aspects of offensive effectiveness (ie. helped the passing game and situationally) by a combination of more attempts and being more effective with those attempts, in being very successful when needing short yardage and in the red zone and in being able to aapt to the opponent, the opponent's packages and the weather.
This my friends is the Final Word on balance, regardless of the thread's first post.
That isn't even close to the final word. Just looking at the frequency outside of context only renders an opaque statistic. I doesn't matter what the 'delta' is, if it's derived from situations where the offense is compelled to run or pass. There is sooooo much data out there that simply blows away the stats people are posting on this thread.
Again, saying "we win whenever we pass X amount of times and run Y amount of times" is the most reductive way of lookng at it. Again, the *amount* of running has a terrible correalation to winning if you subtract the 4th quarter. Just like the amount (high) of passing has a terrible correalation to losing if you subtract the 4th quarter. Teams that win, and are winning run more late in the game just like teams that are losing pass more late in the game.
It's been covered, to death, by stats analysts.
Not that I think there is one way to skin a cat, because we've seen all kinds of teams win in the NFL with all kinds of approaches, but here is one website that covers this topic in depth.
The only thing raw run to pass numbers like we have posted in this thread tell you is how often they are ahead. Saying that running causes winning is akin to saying winning causes winning, or that you should kneel on the ball as often as possible because the team with more kneel downs wins the ball game 95% of the time, or more ludicrously, that puddles cause rain because you always see puddles when there is rain.
Run the numbers on the first two quarters, then the first three quarters, and ignore the 4th quarter, and you'll find out what just about every analyst already knows: abstract run/pass ratios tell you the story of how well the team executed all phases early in the game. That is all.
Furthermore, 3% is statistically irrelevant over the course of an entire season. A much, much larger shift would be needed to indicate that the difference was more than situational, on a micro level. Better efficiency on 1st down, for instance, will always lead to more running. More games ending in a larger spread. More extremely short yardage plays that call for running.
The best running indicator correalated to winning is the standard deviation of YPC, which still pales in comparison to the standard deviation of passing, as passing efficiency is the number one offensive statistic that correalates to winning .... yes it matters even more than turnovers.
I guess you jumped to some conclusions and put words in my mouth. I did not say that simply looking at numbers of runs and passes was the be all end all. In fact I said that the COMBINATION of more attempts and more effective running was indicative of a more balanced game. I went on to say that in some games we were able to favor the run to more efffectively influence a good outcome. I also said that we were more effective in short yardage and red zone.
And standard deviation of ypc does not address effectiveness in 2, 3rd and 4th down running when the goal is a first down and not simply more yardage. Effeciveness of a running game is in achieving the goal - in some cases a first down, in some a touchdown, in some just getting as many yards as possible without tuirning the ball over.
So my friend your analysis is effectively a bit simplistic. I also did not address the fumble issue but that was essentially because BB teams have staitisticlaly protected the ball even when our running game was suspect.
That is really vague though. Sorry. The combination of more and more effective are really spoiled by a lot of noise.
1.) The Pats ran more total plays.
2.) the majority of the extra running plays occured in the 4th quarter this season where they maintained a 4.4 ypc as opposed to a 3.6 last season. A larger YPC almost always yeilds more runs.
My basic question is "what do you mean by balance?"
My discussion of standard deviation had to do with the fact that someone stated that balance, more of it, created more wins. In fact, New England was a hair (not statistically relevant IMO) more balanced this season, and lost more games.
Standard deviation of all carries minus the fourth quarter is a solid indicator of effectiveness. I understand what you mean about "goal line" exactly. But I think you also need to erase the longest run ... a guy can have one 22 yard scamper, and then follow it up with nine 2 yard runs, and "statistically" he has a 4.0 YPC. But in reality ... he has run like garbage. And he doesn't merit more carries. I think in the Superbowl this is exactly the case, with BJGE who had one long run, but outside of that had a dismal performance and really didn't merit more carries.
For the record, NE is ranked 16th in power running (short yardage for 1st down or TD) and were 17th last season. So that is basically a "wash" between the two seasons. But it's still a solid indiciator. Moreover, I was saying that running,and the amount of balance has a terrible "correalation to winning.'' Which is what I meant by final word.
It's this simple, and there are so many resources that show it. The team that runs more in the first half wins about 50% of the time. It's a coin flip.
The team that runs more in the whole game wins something closer to 75% of the time, iirc.
But when you factor that the team that runs more in the 4th (ie, the team with the lead) wins well into 90% then you have to say ... balance is a product of execution, not something that creates execution.
OK - we are starting to get on the same page but we are not there yet. The point is NOT in how many runs versus how many passes. And if you look at runs in the fourth quarter there is a key aspect you want to ascertain - that is, was the team able to successfully run the ball, maintain possession and either score to win,m score to ice or simply run the clock out. If the answer was that they were able to successfully employ the running game in that situation then it is illustrating that they have the players to execute versus that opponent.
So - success running the ball in the fourth quarter IS important. It can even be CRITICAL. It means that with the game on the line - either in holding a lead or jut holding on to the ball and keeping the opponent off the field - you were able to DICTATE the outcome.
The example of 4th quarter, or short yardage or red zone effectiveness - as well as 1st and 2nd and 3rd and long effectiveness, is in trying to determine whether your team can DICTATE the game... the result. A great running team versus a D that just cannot stop them is correlated to a high percentage chance of winning. If you can convert first downs, score in the red zone or just churn out a high percentage of 6-9 yard runs on first or second down you can significantly improve your effectiveness per drive as well as your ability to do it when the game is finally on the line.
Again, what we are REALLY hoping to do is not look back! WHat we are really hoping to do is see whether the talent and execution is there for one team to dictate to another.
We see poor pass Ds go up against average passing games and fail. ANd we can predict this to some degree. More accurately the better the pass O and more specifically the better the O match ups. For example, an O with good deep WRs and a QB who is accurate deep has a better mathcup when the D does not have the ability to pressure and/or does not have the secondary to matchup to speed and/or size etc.
Same for run offense and run defense. Sometimes it can come down to the most simple things. Size for example. In the Raiders Vikings SB after the 1976 season (Pats got robbed and hsould have been there) the Raiders O line was SOOOO much bigger than the Viking front 4 and front 7 that they just out muscled them . Sometimes it is in a single weak link in the D like a mismatch in setting the edge where the current O has the quality of players to take advantage but some other opponents did not. Just looking at statistics blindly, even good ones, can miss the truth behind their value.
So bringing this back together... attempts and ratios are meaningless really. What is meaningful is effectiveness. Efficiency, however that is defined, is not always the measure of effectiveness we want. Sometimes it is.
In the case of the Patriots what we have is:
(1) a solid group of FIVE o lineman on the field at all times (starters and backups over a 16 game season as injuries are always a factor at different points of the year)
(2) Good blocking TEs - and more than one.
(3) Reasonablly good blocking from H back types - an improvement over most WRs as blockers especially against players other than CBs
(4) Depth and versatility at RB: strength, speed, good instincts, power, etc.
(5) While the O line is not the msot dominating run blocking unit and none of the RBs are in the top 4 runners in the league both the blocking and the runnning is strong and versatile so that the O can attack a weakness either inside or outside. The weakness might be due to the package the opponent puts on the field or due to simply having pne or more players that do not match up well with their counterpart or that the D player(s) are not very good or that the opponent is forced to play without an injured player(s).
The result is that BB and McD and TB can take advantage of an opponents weakness.
ANother illustrative point regarding effectiveness of running - you might recall a recent game where TB ran for 5 yards on FIRST DOWN. While no one will say TB is a great running QB he was bale to take advantage of a defensive oversight and make a good play. That is not something you can count on happening any time soon. But being able to see the weakness, whether it is in the D alignment or personnel or match ups, is the first requirement. The second is being bale to act successfully on your assessment. The Pats do that and have those players to make it happen.
The statistics help to illustarte that. And what we are looking at is not simply a factor of a successful passing game making the running game successful. If that were the case this team would not be a better running team than 2007. But the CERTAINLY are.
Great post. One I address passing setting up running and vice versa above. So I'll let that drop. It wasn't really my point, I was talking about which correalates better to winning. That is where this starts ... there two or three people on the board that seem to think X amount of carries = 100% correalation to winning. It's just, well, false. Teams win a number of ways. Running is one.
Those correalation stats, which are everywhere on the net, really debunk that.
However, I certainly agree, NE has much improved its running game. Statisitcally they ran very well in 2007 though, but they were "front running" as it were.
They were terrible at running when the defense knew they were going to run. They were mediocre at best last season at this as well. Go look at the Q4 play-by-plays. So many drives and sets of downs started with BJGE for 1 or 2, then they another, then they were passing. Or maybe on the next drive, just one run, or none. They had no faith, and they shouldn't have because BJGE had a 3.4 YPC in the 4th. Considering that if they were running him in the 4th it was almost 100% running with a lead, when the defense *knew* they were running, then it was obvious they really couldn't "run at will."
This season, Ridley/Bolden have improved that. I think Bolden has a 4.5 ypc in the 4th and Ridley a 4.1.
This equals more 4th quarter running. Better running sets up more running. It doesn't sound like much but the difference of a half yard per carry is huge because of how running the football is inherently irregular. It means more runs for negative yardage most likely, which forces you to pass two times to that one run.
And yes, this offense, as I've said numerous times, if comepletely healthy has a chance to be better than the 2007 simply because Gronk is a more complete player than Moss ever was, and Ridley is streets better than Maroney. You have a diminished capacity to pass for TDs, but a greatly increased ability to run the football from your base 2TE passing formation.
This allows you to control more matchups. Really, even last season, they lost so many matchups to the Giants simply because they had no one that could challenge the perimeter. They deactivated Ridley for the SB. Went with Benny. Had an aged Branch. That means that everywhere the Giants are strong (middle pass rush, middle LBing, safety) was matched tremendously against NE.
The addition of Lloyd, Ridley/Vereen/Bolden full time, and a healthy Gronk make those matchups swing more in NE's favor.
Likewise, NE's defense was terribly suited against the Giants, who use large phsyical WRs (DMC and Arrington are terrible at jamming) and shifty runners who hit the corners (where NE had trouble setting an edge last season).
Again, Talib, Dennard, Jones, and Hightower all help out there.
The 2012 Pats can certainly skin a cat in more ways. They control more matchups (when healthy).
How this comes out on the field, however, comes down to execution. If NE is making mistakes, getting themselves behind by giving up big plays, not getting off the field on defense and forcing their offense to sit on its hands 7 minutes at a time, giving up safeties/sacks, dropping passes, etcetera .... that will winnow down how "open" their playbook is later in the game, and thus control how versatile they can even be.
As I said earlier, I expected we were close on much of this. Perhaps more than close! I think our differences were more along the lines of not fully understanding the points being made and perhaps also in our "shorthand" way of stating some of our points. I think we are in essential agreement.
Looking forward to the Patriots taking our points and putting them to good use running the football! wink....