Re: Football Outsiders: Patriots easily the best team in NFL
posted at 12/23/2010 8:47 PM EST
In Response to Re: Football Outsiders: Patriots easily the best team in NFL
[QUOTE]So why is SD trumpeted as the best O and D in the league???
Posted by agcsbill[/QUOTE]
Some people like simplistic stats.
SD is #2 in passing yards, #14 in rushing yards, #1 in passing defense yards and #2 in rushing defense yards. SD is also 4 games behind the Patriots, who are #10 in passing yards, #15 in rushing yards, #30 in passing defense yards and #15 in rushing defense yards.
SD's schedule is rather bunny-hop. This year the AFC West (currently 2 games under .500 as a division) plays all the teams of the NFC West (14 games under .500 as a division) and the AFC South (2 games under .500 as a division). New England's division (10 games over .500 as a division) plays each team in the AFC North (at .500 as a division) and the NFC North (2 games under .500).
Even against a goodly amount of bunnies, how does an 8-6 team get such impressive stats? One way, if your team cares more about yardage stats than winning, is for your offense to throw bombs when you're in the lead in the fourth quarter and run up the middle when you're losing. This strategy bribes the players with good-looking stats. On defense, guard against the short run when you're winning and guard against the long bomb when you're losing. The Patriots do everything exactly the opposite, playing prevent offense and defense. The Pats typically get way ahead, then coast into a gentle win.
Next, the Patriots play prevent every single time that the opponents are between their own 5 and the Patriots 40. The Pats don't want to give up net points, where San Diego tries not to give up yardage.
Most important, the Patriots haven't turned over the football in six games, and while they have given up a lot of yards they also have pick-sixed a bunch of times. The Patriots are now +20 in turnovers. This stats isn't reflected in offensive yardage or in defensive yardage.