Re: To all (well the 3) Defense is not the Problem Posters
posted at 3/21/2014 1:34 PM EDT
In response to seattlepat70's comment:
I am trying to understand why there is even a debate.
1) The "3 people" are NOT saying that the D has been good in any of the past 4-5 seasons. I don't know what Rusty says (I don't read everything he writes); but most of these 3 people actually have indicated in each of those years that the D needed improvements. If you follow the draft boards, you would see that the Wozzys and Lows of the world were always wanting for the Pats to pick up stud DLs.
2) However, they are saying that a big part of the reason why the Pats lost the SB is that the O underperformed.
Those two are not mutually exclusive. Very good Os can have bad games. The Pats had very good Os in 2007 and 2011, but they did not play well in the SBs.
If you believe the O played well in SB 42 and 36, then I will tell you the data does not support that.
The only piece of data that actually sums up ultimate offensive and defensive output -- i.e., the final score - shows that. ToP, or whatever other data being brought up are simply metrics for various parts of the game that influence the final score, but these variables cannot be viewed in isolation of the others. Taking those variables as being more important than others is like confusing trees for the forest. Only the final score shows offensive output (and defensive output too).
The O output, as indicated but the final scores in 2007 and 2011, were...
- Lower than their respective reg season norms
- Lower than most SB winning teams achieved.
The second bullet is really telling. Since 1984, only one team (out of 30) has ever won the SB with its O scoring 17 points or lower. Yes, that was the 2007 NYG. What is that saying? If you're O scores 17 points, you have a 3% chance of winning. Coversely, if your D keeps your opponent to 17 or less, you have a 97% chance of winning.
Some argue that in SB 42, the Pats had the lead on NYG's last drive. Well, the only reason they even had the lead then was that the D had played lights out for 56 of the 60 minutes. Had the O played well for that long, they would not have even been in that position where a lucky helmet catch would have made a difference. If the O had played well for half that time, they still would have won the game.
SB 46 was a little different, but still similar. If not for that safety, the O actually played better. But the safety did make a difference, because they O scored only 17 points.
How did the D do in SB 46? They gave up 19 points. Intrestingly, over the last 30 SBs, only 20 teams have managed to keep their opponent to 19 points or lower. 19 of those 20 teams won the SB. That D held the NYG enough.
Look at it this way. The D gave the Pats a 95% chance of winning. However, the offensive ouput gave the other side a 97% chance of winning.
Point of clarification: The Pats' O scored just 13 points in 2001 and won. They got to 20 thanks to Ty Law's pick six.
Also, these percentages you are calculating don't strike me as more convincing than what actually happened in the game. Tell me, for instance, how many times a team won the super bowl when its defense gave up scores on 50% or more of the other team's drives in a low possession game?