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Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff September 22, 2008 07:15 PM
With Tom Brady as his starter, Bill Belichick has a career record of 87-24. Without Brady, Belichick is 43-58. As Bill Parcells might say, you are what you are. As Belichick might say, it is what it is.
Since the start of last season, the Patriots have allowed opponents the disturbing average of 4.7 yards per rushing attempt. Is it possible that last year’s historic offense masked a gross inability to stop the run?
In setting the NFL’s all-time scoring record last season, the Patriots averaged 36.8 points per game. So far this year, the Pats are averaging 16.3 points per game, which currently places Tom Brady’s estimated value at roughly three touchdowns a week.
In his first three career games with the Patriots last season, Randy Moss had 22 catches for 403 yards and five touchdowns. So far this year, Moss has 12 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown, totals roughly equal to his Week 1 totals last year against the Jets (9, 183, 1).
Last year, in 586 pass attempts, the Pats were sacked 21 times, an average of one sack every 27.9 attempts. This year, in 87 attempts, the Pats have been sacked 10 times, an average of once every 8.7 attempts. Can that all be Cassel?
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Tony Massarotti is a Globe sportswriter and has been writing about sports in Boston for the last 19 years. A lifelong Bostonian, Massarotti graduated from Waltham High School and Tufts University. He was voted the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by his peers in 2000 and 2008 and has been a finalist for the award on several other occasions. This blog won a 2008 EPpy award for "Best Sports Blog".
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