Re: Winning Close Games...
posted at 10/17/2012 10:34 PM EDT
In response to JintsFan's comment:
In response to FrnkBnhm's comment:
It came up in another thread so I just did a little bit of research. The really change in the Patriots since the Super Bowl winning teams is the ability to win close games.
From 2001-2004 with Brady at QB, the Patriots were 25-5 (.833) in games decided by 7 points or less. That is actually better than their record of 32-9 (.780) in games decided by 8 points or more.
Starting from 2009-today the Pats are 10-12 (.454) in games decided by 7 points or less and 33-5 (.833) in games decided by 8 or more.
That is an extremely dramatic change. We can sit here and argue over whether it is Brady or the defense's fault that they cannot win those games, but the fact is they do not win them the way the once did...
two thoughts: the pats have long been built to win blow outs but their style of O and a less opportunistic D make them vulnerable when its close ie: too many 30 pt blowouts also means the team on both sides of the ball are less mentally/emotionally seasoned at holding close leads and coming from behind
also, there are some players that weren't around in 01-04 that have had a little bit of success and that those Pats teams never had to face named Eli Manning, Aaron Rogers, Ben Rothlesberger, Drew Brees (around but not the Saints Brees) even Joe Flacco
Jints, there are probably many here who will vouch for the play of the Pats in those SB winning years versus today as being more of the "full game" variety. Back then, the Pats had so many close games they had no choice but to keep up their intensity for 60 minutes. How many times they stole victory from the jaws of defeat back then, it happened a lot. Then as the offense started to become a juggernaut, generally winning by 3 or more scores into the 4th quarter, the defense would go on cruise control. Today, that "extra" gear does not seem to be in the team when games are close late and the opponent has the momentum. Let's call it the "killer instinct" as we now see other teams do it to the Pats late when it used to be the other way around.