Re: State of balance.
posted at 11/27/2012 1:40 PM EST
In response to BabeParilli's comment:
In response to zbellino's comment:
If you can't see the difference in how teams play NE between this year and last you are daft.
Benny never threatened or concerned any defense NE ever presented him too. And he could never exploit the same seams that were there that Ridley and co explode into.
The addition of Lloyd, who draws attention at the edge, and Ridley who can actually take advantage of running behind these WR/TEs full time has made the offense more diverse.
In the end, though, the team record is the same. The offensive scoring (minus defensive and special teams scores) is the same.
The benefit will be when NE matches up against teams that can control the middle of the field well, like the Giants, et al. So you can't really see the difference the added versatility makes.
Btw, Brady throws more TDs on play action every single season of his career. It's how this offense is structured. That stat is no big change at all.
Most importantly, because the whole argument was structured around the "defense" being better off because they ran more ... the defense is actually worse at this point than it was last season.
All in all, a nominal total impact. But one that might be felt depending on who NE draws down the road.
Always excellent insights Z. Hard to find anybody around here that understands the game as well as you do.
With Ridley our run game is clearly a greater threat than it was with Benny. And that helps everything. But still, when the running is tough, we melt in the face of it. The consistency is still not there and when it's not, Brady has to carry the load. Against tough defenses that can focus on the pass because they have neutered the run, it is a tough chore even for him. If Lloyd were more of a consistent threat and/or we had another guy wide to be a threat, I think that would greatly help when we get in that predicament on offense.
But then, when the going is tough having a tough as nails D can keep it safe. You're right again, our DPR is considerably worse than last season. The run D has been generally good, though has faltered a bit in recent games.
If we can run when the going is tough and play pass D at the endgame we could win it all with relative ease. But those two important requirements have yet to be confirmed as likely.
The run "D" has looked good in recent years because they score so often. No one runs the football, or really tries to, against New England unless they are sure that their defense can slow the Patriots down.
I too worry a little bit, because you are right ... when they NEED to run the football it's still spotty. It's better than last season though. I think they had one clock killing drive all last season, and that was out of the spread, with Woodhead running draws.