Re: #1 Defense NE Patriots
posted at 7/30/2013 2:05 PM EDT
In response to neinmd's comment:
In response to Paul_K's comment:
Depends on the scale used.
If we're counting interceptions, last year the Patriots picked off 20 of them. BB loves 99 yard pick-6 plays because after the touchdown and touchback on the ensuing kickoff the opponent gets the ball back on their own 20, as opposed to first and goal a minute ago. It's not just demoralizing to the other team, it's roughly a 12 point swing if you count the field position. So, I could easily see the Pats going for #1 in interceptions this year, especially concerning those long runbacks from their own 20 yard line to the end zone.
BB only cares about field position as it relates to improving the odds of his winning the game. He historically gives up a lot of relatively meaningless yardage, especially at the end of the game when his team is up 21 points or so, and at the same time he wins a lot of games. For this reason, I will probably never see the Patriots as #1 in defensive yardage given up. BB also hates sack counts. He likes knockdowns and hurries, especially against the Sanchize who is a comedic genius when pressured.
Interesting viewpoint. What are the best benchmarks, then, to measure the effectiveness of BB's defensive strategy, if we buy into this notion? Other than point differential?
Points are always #1 in terms of importance (ppg), turnover differential, goal line and 3rd down % help a lot.
Yards be damned, if they lead the league in all the above categories, who cares how many yards they gave up...