In response to zbellino's comment:
In response to agcsbill's comment:
In response to TrueChamp's comment:
Anybody have any ideas on how we should attack a 4 man rush? Or why teams consistently rush 4 and drop 7 in the post season...how do they know that will work?
What I have observed most times, the O-line IS having problems with a four man rush. Simple as that. Opponents see that and, therefore, do not feel the need to rush more than 4 most times. Especially from an outside edge rusher who collapses the pocket so fast Brady can't make his typical side step moves or step up.
Another clue, the Pats do not stretch the field and are mostly a short to middle passing team. So when coverage drops back, the opposing d-backs have no fear for a deep threat and can clog the short to mid lanes. This requires more time for routes to develop to counter these defensive moves and, by then, Brady is just about out of time.
It's a loaded question.
Just because a team doesn't blitz means they "drop seven"? Talk about massaging a concept.
That's simply not true. Baltimore didn't blitz New England at all last season in that game, but they stacked the box with an extra safety plenty often. Kind of like when the Ravens' Bernard Pollard hit Ridley, and then he fumbled, and then Baltimore scored ... again.
Here is their SS's resume for the day:
S.Vereen right end to BLT 35 for 1 yard (B.Pollard).
T.Brady pass short left to B.Lloyd to NE 49 for 3 yards (R.Lewis; B.Pollard).
T.Brady pass incomplete short left to B.Lloyd (B.Pollard).
Direct snap to D.Woodhead. D.Woodhead left guard to BLT 27 for 7 yards (C.Graham; B.Pollard).
T.Brady pass short left to A.Hernandez to NE 25 for 5 yards (C.Williams; B.Pollard).
T.Brady pass deep right to W.Welker to NE 49 for 24 yards (B.Pollard; C.Graham). PENALTY on BLT-B.Pollard, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at NE 49.
S.Ridley up the middle to NE 25 for 9 yards (R.Lewis; B.Pollard).
(Shotgun) S.Ridley right tackle to NE 47 for 8 yards (B.Pollard). FUMBLES (B.Pollard),
T.Brady pass short right to S.Vereen to 50 for 5 yards (B.Pollard).
T.Brady pass short left to A.Hernandez to BLT 22 for 11 yards (B.Pollard) [C.Upshaw]
Your strong safety isn't making plays from 5 yards and in half the time if you are "dropping seven" into coverage. He's doing it because you are bringing people up to defend the run and short pass. The Ravens SS didn't have 9 tackles because he was deep in coverage. He had nine tackles because he was 10 yards and in. And why wouldn't he be? If Gronkowski is out, New England has a slot WR and a couple running backs as their main targets. How much offense is realistically going to unfold past ten yards from the LOS anyhow?
That bold part is very true. New England doesn't force teams to play deep. It's really easy to cover underneath routes and a running game at the same time. It's exacerbated when they lose their biggest deep threat/closest thing in Gronkowski.
At any given rate ... any difference between playoff stats and regular season stats the last few seasons are kind of easy to explain. If New England doesn't have Gronkowski, the whole offense doesn't work as well.
Anyone not factoring this is negligent or dishonest.
2013 Patriots Offense with and Without Gronkowski.
ppg RZ% COMP% Rat
Without Gronkowski (6)20.840.956.9 79.5
With Gronkowski (7)3268.864.1 95.8
2010-12 Playoff Games with and Without Gronkowski:
Without Gronkowski (2) 15 58.9 74.7
With Gronkowski (4) 32.5 65.8 107.3
This is so incredibly simple, I don't even understand why people spend so much time poring over numbers and facts and figures. Every single season, New England has lost a hugely important offensive player right as the post-season begins.
As far as opponents rushing four, it's very simple. They don't face many teams in the regular season who CAN rush four and still win. Only a select few teams with very good front lines can get away with this: Baltimore, the old Giants, Seattle.
This is how New England won three Superbowls: a defense that could get pressure sending just four. McGinest, Seymour, Washington/Green, and Warren were enough to get more sacks than they currently can get sending five.
A dominant defensive line, or at least on that is playing dominant, is the one single thing that most Superbowl winners have in common. From Baltimore, NY, Pitt, Green Bay, New England, and a long way back.
So why rush four more often? Because they can, and they can devote the extra linebacker to be a RB spy, a zone run defender, or to help bracket a WR, or a combination of things. Heck, tehy can load the front end with an extra safety most of the time if you take Gronk away too.
So your post boils down to...Brady doesn't do well unless he has Gronk? Man, I hope that isn't true, or we are getting piggly wigglied tomorrow.
I also remember our old defense using lots of blitzes, especially safety and corner blitzing....but hey who am I to question your wealth of knowledge.