In response to ghostofjri37's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
In response to ghostofjri37's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
At the same time, when I look at the playoff losses, I see teams that were fairly clearly overmatched by their opponents (Ravens in 2009, Ravens in 2012, Broncos in 2013) or that lost to fairly average playoff talent (Jets in 2010, Giants in 2011). I see the reason for those loses as talent issues. The other explanations given on this site seem to fall in three categories:
- Brady stinks in the postseason
- The loss of assistant coaches and coordinators has crippled the team (leading to poor playcalling, poor offensive strategy, poor player preparation, etc.)
- Bad luck
Pro I would agree with you about being overmatched in the 2009 Raven loss. They were overmatched and outplayed from play 1 in that game.
2010 against the Jets they were just as talented if not more talented than the Jets. Sometimes teams have better game plans and play better than other teams.
2011 it came down to execution. The Giants in no way shape or form overmatched the Pats they just executed the plays that needed executed in order to win. If anything thing in that game the Pats stars let them down. regardless of who you want to blame Brady, Welker, Nink all had plays if executed would most likely have led to a win.
2012 against the Ravens they were up 13-7 at half. They stopped the Ravens on the 1st drive of the 2nd half and then took the ball and drove down to the raven 33. On 3rd and 9 Brady hit Welker between the 8 and 3 at the raven 21 and Welker dropped the ball. Instead of a 1st down and possibly increasing the lead they had to punt and the entire momentum and complexion of the game changed.
Yes this year in the SB the Denver O definitely overmatched the Pats D especially when talib went down.
I just don't think you can broad brush being overmatched in those losses. Definitely in 2009 and for the most part on D this past year against the Broncos.
Hey Ghost, I probably wasn't clear. I'd say they were overmatched in 2009, 2012, and 2013. In 2010 and 2011, I wouldn't say they were overmatched, but they lost to just average playoff opponents.
In 2010, the team with the better defense won. Pats had a better offense, but that 58 yard pass play our secondary gave up killed us, I think. Guys like Chung (of fake punt fame) and Merriweather are examples in my mind of the talent issues. That secondary was just bad.
I do think the Ravens over matched us in 2012. We kept it close for a while, but the second half turned into a beatdown. I don't think I've ever seen Brady look more demoralized than in that game. Without Gronk our offense just couldn't score (again talent--too dependent on just one player). On defense it was the same story. Remove one guy (Talib) and everything falls completely apart.
Giants also were also able to exploit poor pass coverage. Our poor pass defense (and their good defensive line) combined with the Gronk issue was enough for a fairly mediocre team to beat us. Again, I see this as a talent issue. the pass defense was bad because of guys like Sterling Mooore and Chung.
The reasons for the losses vary but I stated my opinions in some posts to PatEng. We could debate the reason for many posts but for me if you get to the AFCCG or the SB and play a competitive game it is difficult for me to say either team was overmatched. Overmatched to me was this years SB.
Here's the thing, though. The Pats have not beaten many truly good playoff teams in the past few years, despite first-round byes and homefield advantage.
2009--one and done at home in a blow out
2010--one and done at home against an average playoff team
2011--beat a woeful Tebow-led Broncos team at home, beat a good Ravens team at home (but barely and with some luck at the end), lost to a pretty average playoff team in the Super Bowl
2012--beat (handily) a hard-to-figure Texans team at home, then got beaten pretty convincingly at home by a good Ravens team
2013--beat an average playoff team at home, then got beaten badly on the road
I just don't see a team that's been all that impressive in the playoffs over the past five seasons. I attribute most of their success getting to the playoffs to Belichick's (and his assistant's) brilliant coaching and game-planning, Brady's talent, and just enough from a few other key contributors. But in the playoffs, the team's talent gaps really have been evident and have made the Pats less impressive than you'd expect from a team with such a stellar regular season record.
I've been watching the Pats since the 70s and I'm certainly not complaining about their recent history, but I also like to understand the team's strengths and weaknesses as they really are. To me, it's all part of better understanding the game and truly appreciating what's done on the field.
In 2009 I would agree with you 100%. That team from the start lacked fortitude due to some poor personel decisions (not talking about just talent). BB said it all during his football life conversation with Brady the end of the Saints game that year... I just can't get them to do what I them to do or something like that.
2010 talent wise they were as good as the Jets ... sometimes teams just outplay other teams. I get criticized routinely for this but I believe momentum and certain plays can change the momentum and complexsion of game. If you remember the opening drive of that game they drove pretty easily to inside the Jet 30 and instead of openeing the game with points Brady threw a pick. Things like that can influence play calling for the rest of the game and swing momentum.
Agree that pick was bad and helped set the tone for the game--but in the end it wasn't that costly--the Jets only got a FG, right? And it was early in the game, so there was time to regain the momentum. From the stands, the point where I thought the game really was finally lost was that long pass play at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Merriweather was out of position. There were a bunch of plays with poor execution: the interception, the drop by Crumpler, the Chung fake punt, etc. But the thing that really left me feeling like they weren't good enough were the mistakes by the secondary. When a QB like Sanchez rips you apart, that's a problem -- and that was a problem for the Pats for multiple years. To me, the poor talent in the secondary (and even more broadly, the poor pass defense, including coverage from the LBs and pass rush) was their real problem in 2010 and 2011. I think the Jets and Pats were evenly matched, but I don't think that speaks well for the Pats, because I don't think the Jets were that good. And I do think the Jets were better on defense and, in the end, that was the difference. Their defense played well, while ours made mistakes.
2011 I just don't get how you can say any SB team is an average playoff team. If you go back and watch that game it was about execution of a handful of plays in that game. See my post to PatsEng.
I think there are times when the best teams don't make it to the Super Bowl. I really don't think the Giants were that good. Pats were sort of medium. Our defense was not good that year and the offense, while very good with Gronk, wasn't that good without him.
2012 I would disgree they got beat handily. They actually dominated the 1st half. The problem was they could only score 13 points. Again I point to the Welker drop early in the 2nd half which significantly changed the game. They got steamrolled after that.
The lack of scoring was a problem. It reminded me very much of some of their Jets games, actually. Red zone effectiveness has been a real problem for the Pats the past few years when Gronk is out. That has a lot to do with the small receivers they've got. Even the Welker drop was symptomatic of the problems with the receiving corp. I just see those as talent issues. They become execution issues, too, but the root cause is the fact that they don't have big guys who you can rely on to catch the hard balls in traffic.
2013 I would agree they got beat pretty handily on the road. I would say though that as big a BB fan as I am I would question the game plan on both sides of the ball and the lack of in game adjustments.
I think the receiving corp was a huge disadvantage in that game. When I watched the tape of the first half, the thing that really stood out is how the Broncos used one safety deep and basically kept 8 and even 9 in the box on every play. They simply didn't feel the need to defend Edelman and the others down field with more than one defender. We kept trying to make something work with play action, and while a few of those play action passes worked, we missed on far too many of them. This allowed the Broncos to stay in a run-defense mode, which took away what had worked against Baltimore and Indy. In the second half, when the Pats were way behind and had to pass, Denver backed off a bit, but in the first half the absolute lack of concern/respect for our receivers was evident.
Like yourself I have been following this team since the mid 70's and have been attending early 90's. I think under the current NFL rules this regime maximizes their resources. Do they make mistakes? ABSOLUTELY... They do business based on a model that they feel is successful. IMO opinion we fans have a difficult time with the discipline the Pats have adhering to this model. Myself included at times.
Yeah, and like I've said all along, I think Belichick has very good reasons for his approach--particularly when you consider that he ends up with low draft picks year after year. That's a huge disadvantage in team building and probably forces Belichick to focus more on value than other teams if he wants to be successful. The Pats draft position stacks the odds against the Pats, and BB has to be creative and try to beat the odds every year. Still, even if it's a good strategy to do what BB does given draft position, the odds are still stacked against the Pats and the end result is our talent isn't quite as good as the talent on many other championship teams. The NFL rules are designed to produce this result and BB does a good job trying to flout the bad odds the rules force us to take--but you can't beat the odds completely and that's why the talent issues still are real problems for us.