In response to zbellino's comment:
Agree totally that when your bread and butter is turnovers getting none in the Super Bowl will be considered a good thing, I don't admonish the defense for penalties and the rest, but they didn't surrender a lot of points either.
That you can say ^this^ but follow it up with v this v is self-contradictory.
A lot of that was Eli, them running the ball and playing a more conservative brand of football, which we can take a lesson from going forward.
What you are really saying is that playing defense is all about points allowed, but playing offense can be about how you score them. The truth is there is a quality to the points of any game on offense and defense. Some are high quality points, others are low quality points, and the difference is in how they serve an overall strategy.
If your offensive strategy is to increase your chances to score then your defense should play looser and more aggressive, understanding that sacrificing a quick score for the chance to get a grab of field position on a turneover is far superior to allowing the other team to score slowly.
Vice versa, if you are pursuing a conservative strategy, your defense should be playing tighter and more disciplined football, meant to prevent scoring TDs at all.
At no point should you be out there backing your kids off the line just praying that the other team doesn't score quickly unless you have a huge lead or you really can't do any better ... which was what NE's defense looked like against the Giants.
There is no *magic* strategy ... playoff games are won and lost in a myriad of ways every single season. If anything can be gained from this last post-season, its is that conservative offense was probably a bad idea for a team with an inefficient defense.
It can be difficult to score 30 points handing the ball off 50% of the time, which was the spread through the first 3.5 quarters. Now if NE's defense could have backed that up (for instance, by not allowing the Ravens to score two TDs in 5 minutes in the 4th) even with Ridley's fumble on the 50 yard line and (we'll grant them) an ensuing FG by the Ravens, New England would have still had the time (and open playbook) in ten minutes to win with a pair of FGs, or a single TD.
Not that I would nitpick what BB put together, but if I had a gun to my head I would have criticized NE for running too often, and not playing enough no huddle, not for passing too often.
On the other side, while they only had a loss of four points from what they had put up against the Giants without Gronkowski, they had an enormous drop off in overall efficieny of offense by running. They committed the same amount of turnovers, chewed more clock, but scored 13 points on 10 drives, whereas they scored a very good 17 points on just six drives against the Giants through the same time span by keeping the pressure on them with a faster paced offense.
Yes, and the Giants and New England had the same chances to score (about 8 per team) which makes scoring 17 and 19 two extremely efficient performances. It's not that an imbalance in drives that makes the defense look bad, saying NE and the Giants had the same chances to score is a non-sequitur: it has nothing to do with the argument people are making.
What makes them look bad is that they surrendered 19 points on just 8 drives. In a fictirious world where you can have four more possessions than the opponent it still wouldn't matter ... 19 points on 8 drives is bad for a defense. It's bad in 2013 ... it's bad in 1930. It's bad if the team is running the ball ... it's bad if they are passing the ball.
It's really, really bad. Even an average performance by the defense would have yeilded just 15 points, and the game would have been tied. A solid performance, just 14 points ... and New England would have had a one point lead with just 52 seconds left ... meaning they would have been kneeling on the ball.
At the end of the day 2.125 points per drive and 2.375 points per drive are both top 10 scoring performances for an offense ... bottom ten for a defense.
You can pretend it doesn't matter ... but in the real world, where every game isn't the same number of chances ... it does. It matters tremendously.
Lastly, without it ... as I intimated above ... your notion that the Giant's conservative offense was great makes zero sense.
19 points in the game cannot be great if 17 points in the game is terrible if we pretend that all games are the same.
I'm not going to stick around, because I have work to do, but I'm just registering my take on the thread. It's difficult to here someone call thoughtful analysis of outcomes 'junk science' when all they offer in return at football platitudes like "tough" wins games, or worse, made-for-tv Maddenisms like "the team that scores more wins" which make zero sense in the real game of football where winning is about a.) complementary strategy and b.) execution resulting in c.) efficiency .... no matter the abstract score, if you do those three things you win whether it's 19-9 or 45-27.
“Stats are for losers,the final score is for winners.” Bill Belichick
I didn't say any of those words you conveniently put in my mouth.
I just echoed what Belichick said and I happen to agree.
You can paint this with any swatch you like, 17 points
scored in the modern day NFL sux.
There are no "high quality points" or "low quality points," that's silly.
There are points scored and points allowed. That's all.
The Giants were more conservative and protected the ball,
preventing turnovers, the Pats didnt.
Everything else is making excuses for an offense that scored 17 points.
The Patriots scored zero points in the 4th quarter,
they turned the ball over twice...
Kind of the opposite of the three Super Bowl bowl
victories won in crunchtime right?