A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    (Should have been "defense" not "defines" but the software won't let me correct the typo)

     

    Statistics never tell the whole story, but they do provide some interesting hints about what a team is likely doing well and where it likely needs to improve.  Looking at the Pats' final regular season defensive statistics for all 16 games, here are a few things I thought were interesting:

    • The average NFL defense gave up 346 points this year.  The Pats defense was better than average, giving up 318 points.  The range this year was from just 218 points given up for Seattle to a whopping 438 points given up for Minnesota.  Points given up is the best way to judge a defense, so the Pats ended up as a good defense, but not an elite one.  Maybe without the injuries they would have been closer to that elite level, but to be elite they need to get closer to the 270 points given up mark. 
    • The Pats D gave up a lot of yards this year--5,969 total.  This is about 400 yards more than average.  It's not extreme--the worst this year was the Cowboys at 6,645.  But it's also nothing like Seattle's superb 4,378.  While the Pats are below average on total yards given up, they did better when you consider that a relatively large number of plays were run against them (1,118 compared with an average of 1,041).  Yards given up per play were just 5.3, which is very slightly better than the 5.4 average. First downs given up per game were a bit worse then the average of 19.9, at 21.1 and 3rd down percentage was a weaker than average 42%.  Teams were running lots of plays against the Pats but they were only picking up average yards on those plays.  Still, they were getting first downs and moving the ball fairly well. These stats, combined with relatively low points given up, suggest that the Pats defense was not great at getting off the field, but was still effective at making key stops when needed. I don't like the term "bend but don't break" because I don't really think anyone wants to "bend," but there does seem to be a bend but don't break element to this defense.  Maybe more important, though, is this suggests our special teams were very good.  In fact, Football Outsiders says the Pats defense had the advantage of their opponents having to start their drives, on average, at the 24 yard line (third best in the league).  The defense owes Matthew Slater a very nice dinner this offseason. Good kick coverage may be the primary reason why our defensive points given up number is so low!
    • When we look at pass defense and rush defense, we see a few things.  First, it's probably worth pointing out that NFL teams passed on average on 58% of plays this year and ran on 42%.  "Balance" in the NFL today means passing on 6 out of 10 plays and running on 4 out of 10.  The Pats were run against 43% of the time and passed against 57% of the time, so there was nothing unusual or skewed in the play mix used against them.  I suspect teams tried to run against us, but ended up passing more than they wanted because of game situations.  We gave up 4.5 yards per carry, which is worse than the 4.2 average.  The really good run defenses gave up less than 4 yards per carry (Jets were best at just 3.4, Seattle and a few others were in the 3.9 or 3.8 area) and the really bad run defenses gave up closer to 5 yards per carry (the worst was the Bears at 5.3 per carry, but most of the weaker run defenses were more in the 4.6, 4.7 area).  Run defense wasn't a strength (no surprise with the injuries to Wilfork, Kelly, and Mayo), and we ended up giving about 400 more rushing yards than average, but we also weren't run against as heavily as you might expect.  Again, game situations probable forced more passing from our opponents. 
    • When we look at pass defense a couple of things stand out.  First, we gave up a lot of yards per completion--an average of 12.3 yards per completion, against an average for the league of 11.6.  The range for the league went from a low of 9.9 (Seattle) to a high of 12.8 (KC). Pats were just slightly higher than average in interceptions (we got 17 against an average of 16).  Surprisingly given the perception that we lacked a pass rush, we were better than average in sacks (48 against an average of 40 and fifth best in the league).  What really made the difference for us in the passing game was the low completion rate we held our opponents to. Only 57% of attempts against us were completed (fourth best in the league and well below the the 61% average).  High sack totals and low completion rates meant pass plays overall netted 6.0 yards per play.  This is a better number than the 6.2 average.  While completions went for long yardage, completions were relatively hard to get.  This suggests that a key to our defense's success this year was getting incompletions on enough pass plays to stop drives.   We gave up a fair number of yards, we allowed teams to run a lot of plays, but the key to mounting long drives and scoring is good efficiency in the pass game, and our defense did a decent job of preventing teams from being that efficient. 

    Overall, when I look at the defensive stats, I see two keys: first, good special teams play that forced our opponents to mount long drives to score, and second, the ability to force enough incompletions to break drives even if we were bending a bit more than desirable. 

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    Well, like you said, stats don't tell the whole story.

    I think the forced incompletions as well as points against were more a reflection of playing against 7 rookie and 2nd year QB's and Josh Freeman,LOL, who made bad decisions and bad throws .

    T/O's were nothing special and did you happen to check actual pass defended?

    I know they only had one last week (with pm completing 75%), compared to Denver's 5.  Not good!

    The high 3rd down completion % is this teams biggest problem (for years).  It's damning in so many ways (as it also hurts the O) and probably paints a better picture.

    For those calling Denver's D bad, they had a 38% 3rd down completion, as apposed to the Pats 42%, against weaker competition.  That's telling!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    prolate... good post.  A couple thoughts to add:

    #1 - lack of third down stops contributed to the higher number of plays run against the Pats D. Plus, add the fact many of these failed 3rd down stops occurred on 3rd and long situations.  How many times did we groan when the Pats had the opponent in a 3rd and 8 - 10+ yards and they got the first down?

    #2 - Even though the passing D held the opponent to a respectable 57% completion rate, ( certainly surprising this was 4th BEST! ) it is the number of big plays they gave up.  There are a lot of 20+ yard pass plays given up in that 57% which added up to the 12.3 YPC rate.

    #3 - Sack totals.  True, they got some sacks, ( again, surprising the count was 5th BEST )but, overall the pressure was not consistent.  Where was this "sack" machine in the AFCCG?

    All in all... to finish with these stats with all the starters on IR.. can't wait to see what this D will do in a full season with most of the IR guys on the field instead of IR!

     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to pezz4pats' comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Well, like you said, stats don't tell the whole story.

    I think the forced incompletions as well as points against were more a reflection of playing against 7 rookie and 2nd year QB's and Josh Freeman,LOL, who made bad decisions and bad throws .

    T/O's were nothing special and did you happen to check actual pass defended?

    I know they only had one last week (with pm completing 75%), compared to Denver's 5.  Not good!

    The high 3rd down completion % is this teams biggest problem (for years).  It's damning in so many ways (as it also hurts the O) and probably paints a better picture.

    For those calling Denver's D bad, they had a 38% 3rd down completion, as apposed to the Pats 42%, against weaker competition.  That's telling!

    [/QUOTE]

    Pezz, I also made a mistake in pulling the first downs per game number, which was 21.1 and not 19.9 (I've corrected my original post).  I think it's fairly clear that this defense allowed teams to move the ball.  Still, the points given up weren't that high and that means that the defense was making stops before opponents could score. You could be right that these stops might be more a reflection of our opponents' weak offenses than our defense's own skills.  Still, stops were made for one reason or the other.  

    I also would stress again that the good special teams play (forcing opposing offenses to go close to 80 yards on most drives) was very important to the low scoring totals of our opponents.  You can't underestimate how important guys like Gostkowski, Allen, and Slater are to our defense's relative success this year. 

     

     
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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    Here are some more interesting defensive stats..

    Patriots defense allowed the 3rd most plays from scrimmage, just below the Vikings who were #2. 

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    The Patriots defense just couldn't get off the field as we witnessed in the 3rd qtr of the Broncos game. 

    It wasn't because the Pats offense wasn't staying on the field long enough.  The Pats offense was ranked 2nd in the number of plays ran from scrimmage, the Broncos were ranked 1st.  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    Defense takeaways for this season was at the lowest (29) since 2009 (28).  Last season they had 41 takeaways, 2011 they had 34 takeaways, 2010 they had 38 takeaways.

    Certainly the takeaways and staying on the field were major problem area's for the defense this season.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to pezz4pats' comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Well, like you said, stats don't tell the whole story.

    I think the forced incompletions as well as points against were more a reflection of playing against 7 rookie and 2nd year QB's and Josh Freeman,LOL, who made bad decisions and bad throws .

    T/O's were nothing special and did you happen to check actual pass defended?

    I know they only had one last week (with pm completing 75%), compared to Denver's 5.  Not good!

    The high 3rd down completion % is this teams biggest problem (for years).  It's damning in so many ways (as it also hurts the O) and probably paints a better picture.

    For those calling Denver's D bad, they had a 38% 3rd down completion, as apposed to the Pats 42%, against weaker competition.  That's telling!

    [/QUOTE]

    Pezz, I also made a mistake in pulling the first downs per game number, which was 21.1 and not 19.9 (I've corrected my original post).  I think it's fairly clear that this defense allowed teams to move the ball.  Still, the points given up weren't that high and that means that the defense was making stops before opponents could score. You could be right that these stops might be more a reflection of our opponents' weak offenses than our defense's own skills.  Still, stops were made for one reason or the other.  

    I also would stress again that the good special teams play (forcing opposing offenses to go close to 80 yards on most drives) was very important to the low scoring totals of our opponents.  You can't underestimate how important guys like Gostkowski, Allen, and Slater are to our defense's relative success this year. 

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Thanks again to BB and Caserio!  Execs of the Year. Right here in NE.

    We have a very special thing going on here with the youth movement, drafting and development, that is for sure.

    Ya think Brady wakes up in next year's title game? lol

    [/QUOTE]


    Dorsey, exec of the year.

      Imagine, you have the real COACH of the year right there in your backyard and don't even know it.  LOL BWAHAHAHA  Fraud!

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    Thanks again to BB and Caserio!  Execs of the Year. Right here in NE.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Really?  I thought Dorsey from KC won the award!  Damn that ESPN, they must have been in on this.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from CatfishHunter. Show CatfishHunter's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    Here's another telling stat:  4 straight playoff exits where the defense forced ZERO turnovers.  

    There is still not enough pressure generated by the front 7.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    WE HAD A FAIR NUMBER OF SACKS WHICH SHOWS IMPROVEMENT FROM A FEW YEARS AGO BUT OUR PRESSURES AND HITS ARE JUST NOT HIGH ENOUGH.... CERTAINLY NOT CONSISTENT ENOUGH.

    We need to make the front 7 dominant. That means we need to make the D line dominant whether it is a 3-4 or a 4-3.

    TO improve the D I look there FIRST. Yes we could improve at SS and you can never have to many real good cover guys... especially someone who can cover bigger WRs or TEs. But it starts at the DL.

     

     
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  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to CatfishHunter's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Here's another telling stat:  4 straight playoff exits where the defense forced ZERO turnovers.  

    There is still not enough pressure generated by the front 7.

    [/QUOTE]

    Pats had 4 in the Divisional Rd. Don't expect turnovers in every single game they play, stupid.

    The idea is to win the turnover battle.

    Brady sucks in AFC title games and has since 2007. It actually started in 2006 when he crapped out in the second half.

    [/QUOTE]


    He Crapped in the second half?    BwahahahahA.  AGAIN, IT WAS THE PATHETIC GENIUS DEFENSE.  Oh and the bugged eyed receiver, that bb graced him with.  Nice move GM,

    you lost us another one.

    And he said, no turn overs in the EXITS.  That means losses in case you don't comprehend.

    Learn to read and learn the game, learn music, learn something before opening your ignorant trap.  Plinko queen!  LMAO@U

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from joepatsfan111111. Show joepatsfan111111's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Brady sucks in AFC title games and has since 2007. It actually started in 2006 when he crapped out in the second half.

    [/QUOTE]

    i agree TB has struggled mightily in AFCCG since 2007 but 2006? that was the D. the offense was no good all season and they were lucky to escape San Diego (thank you Troy Brown).

    32 second half points by the defense. thats rough. the offense scored 13 wasn't like they did nothing. the defense fell apart in 2006 title game.

    the offense should not have been expected to do anything that year. Reche Caldwell, Gaffney an Gabriel... ugh.

    oh well yes 2007 was bad, 2011 lucky (thank you Cundiff and Evans) and last year was not good either.

    this year was defense and offense

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    Rusty is right here.  Pioli did a good job of bringing in talent to KC.  They had a lot of injuries last year that caused the fall of Pioli.  KC had a lot to work with along with a weak schedule that helped mask their true identity.  But they won the games they were suppose to win and good for them.  It won't be as easy next season.

    Also it seems people are forgetting the injuries we had on defense this year.  It's dumb founding.  If one can look at Brady as having no weapons on offense you should be able to see the defensive side too.  

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    Thanks again to BB and Caserio!  Execs of the Year. Right here in NE.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Really?  I thought Dorsey from KC won the award!  Damn that ESPN, they must have been in on this.

    [/QUOTE]

    Like I said, BB is very unpopular.   Explain what Dorsey did that was more impressive than BB this year, please.

    It's so ridiculous. Hiring Andy Reid and absorbing some good young talent from Pioli is superior to NE's draft picks and not falling off the map, decimated by injuries?

    If you run away and cannot form a premise as to why Dorsey is deserving over BB and Caserio's work, then you will look like a moron.

    I just watched KC's D shredded by Andrew Luck, but somehow Dorsey did a better job, huh?

    Ridiculous. Obviously.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    You are kidding, right?  Dorsey in his first year as the Chiefs GM turned the whole franchise around.  Took a 2-14 team and through trades, draft and free agency turned the team into a 11-5 team which reached the playoffs.. all in 1 season.  What a magnificent job.  You are a joke if you don't think that is deserving of being the Exec of the year.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattC05. Show MattC05's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    ...  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    [/QUOTE]

    These 2 statistics are utterly impossible.  Time of possession must be exactly the same between offense and defense; if the Pats D is 8th worst in TOP, the Pats O must ALSO be 8th worst in TOP.  Unless the statistics you're using are simply raw time including OT, in which case they are absolutely useless.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to MattC05's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    ...  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    [/QUOTE]

    These 2 statistics are utterly impossible.  Time of possession must be exactly the same between offense and defense; if the Pats D is 8th worst in TOP, the Pats O must ALSO be 8th worst in TOP.  Unless the statistics you're using are simply raw time including OT, in which case they are absolutely useless.

    [/QUOTE]


    No, they are independent.

    If (just putting in #'s), the Pats O, ToP, was 28 minutes,  that could put them 17th compared to other Offenses.

    If the D's ToP was 32 minutes, that could put them near last compared to other defenses,

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Here are some more interesting defensive stats..

    Patriots defense allowed the 3rd most plays from scrimmage, just below the Vikings who were #2. 

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    The Patriots defense just couldn't get off the field as we witnessed in the 3rd qtr of the Broncos game. 

    It wasn't because the Pats offense wasn't staying on the field long enough.  The Pats offense was ranked 2nd in the number of plays ran from scrimmage, the Broncos were ranked 1st.  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    Defense takeaways for this season was at the lowest (29) since 2009 (28).  Last season they had 41 takeaways, 2011 they had 34 takeaways, 2010 they had 38 takeaways.

    Certainly the takeaways and staying on the field were major problem area's for the defense this season.

    [/QUOTE]

    If the pats offense ran the 2nd most plays in the entire league but were only 17th in T.O.P on offense then what does that tell you? 

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to MattC05's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    ...  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    [/QUOTE]

    These 2 statistics are utterly impossible.  Time of possession must be exactly the same between offense and defense; if the Pats D is 8th worst in TOP, the Pats O must ALSO be 8th worst in TOP.  Unless the statistics you're using are simply raw time including OT, in which case they are absolutely useless.

    [/QUOTE]


    Wrong!

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Here are some more interesting defensive stats..

    Patriots defense allowed the 3rd most plays from scrimmage, just below the Vikings who were #2. 

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    The Patriots defense just couldn't get off the field as we witnessed in the 3rd qtr of the Broncos game. 

    It wasn't because the Pats offense wasn't staying on the field long enough.  The Pats offense was ranked 2nd in the number of plays ran from scrimmage, the Broncos were ranked 1st.  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    Defense takeaways for this season was at the lowest (29) since 2009 (28).  Last season they had 41 takeaways, 2011 they had 34 takeaways, 2010 they had 38 takeaways.

    Certainly the takeaways and staying on the field were major problem area's for the defense this season.

    [/QUOTE]

    If the pats offense ran the 2nd most plays in the entire league but were only 17th in T.O.P on offense then what does that tell you? 

    [/QUOTE]


    Well one of the things it tells me is the Pats defense wasn't on the field as long as it was because the Pats offense was getting off the field too fast, which is why I posted it.  I knew there would be some who would try and make that excuse for the defense.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattC05. Show MattC05's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to pezz4pats' comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to MattC05's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Patriots defense was ranked 8th worst in time of possession.

    ...  Time of possession the Pats offense was right in the middle at 17th.

    [/QUOTE]

    These 2 statistics are utterly impossible.  Time of possession must be exactly the same between offense and defense; if the Pats D is 8th worst in TOP, the Pats O must ALSO be 8th worst in TOP.  Unless the statistics you're using are simply raw time including OT, in which case they are absolutely useless.

    [/QUOTE]


    No, they are independent.

    If (just putting in #'s), the Pats O, ToP, was 28 minutes,  that could put them 17th compared to other Offenses.

    If the D's ToP was 32 minutes, that could put them near last compared to other defenses,

    [/QUOTE]

    That is impossible.  Defensive TOP and offensive TOP are inversely linked for every single team in the league. If 16 teams' offenses held the ball for more than the hypothetical 28 minutes in your example above, then 16 teams' defenses let the other team hold the ball for less than 32 minutes.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattC05. Show MattC05's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to TFB12's comment:
    [QUOTE]
    Wrong!

    [/QUOTE]

    You can claim I'm wrong all you want, it doesn't make it so.  This isn't even football opinions, this is pure math.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: A statistical look at the Pats defines this year

    In response to MattC05's comment:

    In response to TFB12's comment:

    Wrong!


    You can claim I'm wrong all you want, it doesn't make it so.  This isn't even football opinions, this is pure math.




    Maybe we aren't understanding each other. 

     

    Lets take the first 5 games:

    Game 1 vs Bills : Pats TOP = 38 minutes, Bills TOP = 22 minutes

    Game 2 vs Jets: Pats TOP = 26 minutes, Jets TOP = 34 minutes

    Game 3 vs Bucs: Pats TOP = 33 minutes, Bucs TOP = 27 minutes

    Game 4 vs Falcons: Pats TOP = 31 minutes, Falcons TOP = 29 minutes

    Game 5 vs Bengals: Pats TOP = 26 minutes, Bengals TOP = 34 minutes

    Total all 5 games Pats TOP = 154 minutes, Opponent TOP = 146 minutes

    So the offense TOP (on the field) was 154 minutes, they would rank that compared to other offenses,  and the Defense TOP (on the field) 146 minutes and that would be ranked against other defenses.  These numbers are independent from each other.

     

     

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