Re: can the Pats power run all the way to a championship
posted at 12/28/2013 9:16 AM EST
In response to wozzy's comment:
In response to rkarp's comment:
If we agree to not get giddy over one game (last week) has anyone seen the consistancy from the OL the entire year to lead us to believe they can run at will in the playoffs?
I actually thought the key to the run game success last week was due to the Ravens playing pass first, with Suggs and Ngata coming upfield and leaving lanes open. The Ravens also did a good job putting their LB's in that mid field area taking away the quick slants TB loves.
All this simply opened up the run game...
I presume BB will have this team prepared to do anything needed in any game, pass heavy, run heavy or balance, with TB able to execute what ever BB wants. This flexibility ImO has been the key to the pats success.
I thought the success of the run game was patience by McDaniels, even when it wasn't overly successful he kept at it and Blount started ripping off more long runs. I thought the run game was partly responsible for the play action working so well, not the opposite. He sure does remind me of Antwoine Smith.
Wozzy, I think the success was more because the run was working more consistently. I went back and looked at the play-by-play and watched film of the last three games. Many of the running formations and plays were identical in all games, it's just that the Pats got more big gains and fewer small ones against the Ravens and generally ended up in situations where running was more appropriate. I don't think McDaniels or Belichick lose patience or give up on the run. I just think they sometimes find it isn't working and end up in situations where passing is more necessary. Also, the Pats played from well ahead in the Ravens game, and running becomes more feasible when you're ahead. They've been playing from behind a lot recently, which forces more passing.
Play action worked this game, but so did shotgun formations. I didn't count all the plays, but from a quick skim of the play-by-play, it seemed to me like Brady's completion percentage may have been better from the shotgun than from under center at least for the first three quarters (fourth quarter may have flipped). I think the two sacks were both against the shotgun. Against several teams this year, however, they've had trouble with sacks on play action, especially when they pull a guard.
My point, really, is that while running well is always good, the bias against passing and the shotgun is really unwarranted when you look at what happens in the games.