Re: Your Thoughts on the Cap
posted at 3/9/2014 9:13 AM EDT
In response to TrueChamp's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
In response to TrueChamp's comment:
Regardless, the offense played no different then the norm on the biggest stage with or without Gronk. They score 15.5 ppg in 6 straight playoff losses. That is no matter who was playing. 23 td Randy Moss or 17 td Rob Gronkowski. You see, all 6 teams produced the same offensive result despite the roster.
There is a problem but it isn't talent, and it isn't Tom Brady. It is the predictable, stale, pass heavy offense that we force down a defense's throats no matter what they are giving us. The players change but the game remains the same. Plenty of talent in Foxboro.
Completely disagree about the coaching. I think the offense overachieves because of the coaching. Without the coaching (and without Brady), the true quality of the talent would be obvious . . . and it wouldn't be pretty.
I understand you disagree with it but what did I say above that is not true? 6 different teams with different but top level talent has scored 15.5 ppg in 6 straight playoff exits. When you take out the variables you have....
I think "different" talent is right, but I'm not convinced "top-level" talent is accurate. I think there have been issues with talent in a fair number of positions both on offense and defense since 2009. The only team that I'd agree was pretty good in talent across most positions was the 2007 team,
but even that one had some challenges with the O line's talent, where Kaczur and Hochstein (filling in for the injured Neal) were not top players in my opinion and even our three good linemen (Light, Mankins, and Koppen) had some weaknesses against quick-footed D linemen. I think that game comes down to the mismatch between our O line and the Giants speedy defensive front. This article from SI is a good one to explain the reason for the loss:
Following the NFC title game victory over the Packers, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo formulated a game plan that has since become legend. New York would play often with three natural ends—Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck—among the front four, attacking the Patriots with speed. "As soon as Spags put in the game plan, we knew [New England Pro Bowl guard Logan] Mankins was going to have a really tough time with Tuck," says Antonio Piece, then a New York linebacker and now an analyst for ESPN. "Mankins plays in a phone booth. Tuck can move. We liked that matchup a lot." Mankins and Tuck will be starters on Sunday.
Additionally, the Giants made plans to blitz out of formations from which they had been passive in the Week 17 meeting, and to sit back out of formations from which they'd blitzed. Seven minutes into the second quarter, Mitchell lined up over center Dan Koppen's nose in one of the A gaps, with Pierce in the other A gap, a look Spagnuolo learned from his mentor, Jim Johnson, the late Eagles defensive coordinator. At the snap Mitchell took two steps back as if to bail—which he had done in Week 17—and then sprinted at Brady for a sack. "Nobody even touched me," says Mitchell.
The Patriots weren't surprised that New York brought pressure. Their response? "We wanted to run the ball," says Heath Evans, the Pats fullback who retired in 2011 and now works for the NFL Network. "I called my father the week of the game and said, 'I'm going to get 40 snaps, because we're going to run it down their throats. We didn't do that because one guy couldn't do his job." Evans would not name the one guy. (Pierce has a guess: "Mankins. Tuck was tough on him.")
Stephen Neal, who started the game at right guard for New England, says, "We had a really balanced game plan based on running the ball and staying out of third-and-long, because they had some really good blitzes." The Patriots had averaged 28.4 runs in 2007 and had only two games in which they ran the ball fewer than 22 times. But despite the low score in Super Bowl XLII, they rushed just 16 times, matching their second-lowest total of the year. (Neal left the game in the second quarter with a torn right MCL.)
Brady would throw 48 passes, his second-highest total of the year. He would complete 29 for 5.54 yards per attempt, his second-lowest average of the year. And he would be under siege nearly every time he dropped back. "The level of execution the Giants brought that night was almost unmatched in my experience," says Kyle Brady. "The speed with which they moved in their stunts and pressures—just a tremendous pace."
Russ Hochstein, 34, the veteran offensive lineman who came in for Neal in Super Bowl XLII and who has played the last three seasons with the Broncos, says, "We wanted to run the ball and we didn't have success. And they had a phenomenal pass rush. Tuck, Osi, Strahan. They were fast and they confused us, absolutely. The speed and intensity of the game, like all Super Bowls, was phenomenal. That game is played at another level. Guys who have never played in a Super Bowl, they don't know that. But it just is."
The Giants sacked Brady five times, hit him nine more times and almost never let him relax on his reads. "Brady stayed in there," says Mitchell. "I remember that. He's a great quarterback. Tough guy. But it really doesn't matter how great a guy is when the pressure just keeps coming like that."
So, you dont think Randy Moss, Welker, Gronk and Hernandez was all top talent?
Re-read the text highlighted in red. I said the 2007 team was talented across a wide range of positions. The playoff teams from 2009 onward, however, I wouldn't call that talented. Sure Gronk is talented, but he was on the field only in 2010. Hern I always thought was a tad overrated. Welker is good. But we never had Moss, Welker, Gronk, and Hern all on the field together. Instead we had one or at most two of those guys and a bunch of scrubs. The fact is you need more than one or two talented offensive weapons on the field. You can't win with two good guys and a bunch of scrubs, because good defenses will just key on the two good guys and force you to try to beat them with the scrubs. You don't need Pro Bowlers in every position, but you need something better than Sam Aiken or a geriatric Deon Branch.
The low scoring in the playoffs had to do with lots of different things:
- In 2007, the major issue was the match-up between our O line and their D line; when your O line can't effectively run or pass block, your offense is dead in the water.
- In 2009, the offensive skill positions around Brady were mediocre other than Welker, Moss, Faulk, and maybe Ben Watson (though I'd argue Moss was becoming much less effective and of course Welker was out for the playoff game). That offense was pretty bad and the poor defensive showing forced the Pats into a pass-heavy catch-up strategy that the Ravens defended with ease. Heck, Brady targeted Sam Aiken 6 times (1 reception, 2 interceptions)--'nough said.
- The 2010 offense was improved over the 2011, but the Jets had a good defensive plan and there were execution failures on our offense like the interception and the Crumpler drop. This was a game where the defenses determined the outcome and the Jets defense was far better than the Pats'.
- The 2011 offense without a healthy Gronk was lame. O line was hurt and didn't play that well. Hern, Welker, and Branch were dropping balls. And then the defense allowed the Giants to mount long drives, averaging around 4 minutes each. The defensive play kept our own offense off the field and led to very poor field position for us. The D and O both were poor in that game. Talent and execution on both sides of the ball were not good.
- The 2012 offense had the same problems as the 2011 with Gronk out. Can't emphasize how critical Gronk has been to the offense.
- The 2013 offense lacked receivers. No Gronk, no one else. Denver just loaded up the box so we couldn't run, and our passing game was too lame to make them pay. Our defense also again allowed the Broncos to move the ball freely. To beat Manning, you have to disrupt his timing or his receivers. Our defense did neither and giving up long drives on defense keeps our own offense off the field.