Statistically Speaking: A Look at the Decade's Offense (Pt. 2)

Note: I've decided to bring up some articles from the archive, just because of their relevance. - Richard Hill

A continuation of the initial article. There was a size-limit and I broke it. (Part 2 after the jump)

Total Passing Yards (minus yards lost by sacks)

Stat N

Year

Passing Yards

Rank

2000

3181

9

2001

3089

10

2002

3577

4

2003

3432

7

2004

3588

6

2005

4120

3

2006

3400

8

2007

4731

1

2008

3569

5

2009

4436

2

Our top 5 passing yardage seasons have resulted in 0 championships. We won a Super Bowl with our worst passing yardage season of the decade. 2 out of the top 5 seasons ended in a missed playoffs and another 2 out of 5 resulted in early exits. Our 3rd best passing season (early exit against Denver) was accompanied by our 8th worst rushing attack. Our 4th best passing in 2002 (missed playoffs to tie breaker) was with our 9th worst rushing attack. Recently, our rushing and passing has been fairly even, rank-wise.

 

Rushing Yards

Stat O

Year

Rushing Yards

Rank

2000

1390

10

2001

1793

6

2002

1508

9

2003

1607

7

2004

2134

2

2005

1512

8

2006

1969

3

2007

1849

5

2008

2278

1

2009

1921

4

In reality, our "Running Back by Committee" is a tandem of RBs with Kevin Faulk playing 3rd down and a back-up RB in case of emergency. We've had this committee ever since 2006 when we drafted Laurence Maroney. Prior, Faulk was the 2nd RB in the tandem. As shown, with the exception of 2004 when Corey Dillon was the lone back and had a monster year, our running game has done better yard wise. However, I think we have too similar backs in our tandem. Morris, Freddy and LoMo are all too similar as backs in order for our running game to be a serious threat. Around the league, more teams are having tandems (NYJ, DAL, SD, etc). What's the difference? They have a smasher (Thomas Jones, LT, etc) and a dasher (Leon Washington/Shonne Greene, Darren Sproles, etc). We don't have that back. We need a back that is different from Maroney (or whoever we choose as our back) in order to have an efficient and dangerous running game.

 

Average Yards/Offensive Pass

Stat R

Year

Average Yards/Pass Offense

Rank

2000

6.1

10

2001

6.9

6

2002

6.2

9

2003

6.8

7

2004

7.7

2

2005

7.7

2

2006

6.8

7

2007

8.3

1

2008

7.1

5

2009

7.7

2

Does utilizing Welker hurt our passing offense? Not according to the numbers. However, despite an increase in average yard/pass, our offense may be hurting. Yes, we threw for identical yards/pass as our 2004 Super Bowl year. However, prior to that, when we had a stronger running game (I will say that even though we gained fewer yards, i believe our running game was stronger. It was more trustworthy), we threw for under 7 yards a pass. Why? Recently, and it's been obvious to us as viewers, Brady zoned in on Moss and Welker. They're both good for 7+ yards every time they catch it. However, defenses realize this and covered them so they couldn't catch them. This caused Brady to throw it away. Earlier in the decade, Brady would throw the ball to the open man, regardless of who it was. We need Brady to start doing that again as Moss gets another year older, Welker may not be in top shape, Tate and Edelman develop and whoever else we bring in steps up.

 

Average Yards/Offensive Rush

Stat S

Year

Average/Rush Offense

Rank

2000

3.3

10

2001

3.8

6

2002

3.8

6

2003

3.4

8

2004

4.1

2

2005

3.4

8

2006

3.9

5

2007

4.1

2

2008

4.4

1

2009

4.1

2

What's this?! We've been averaging our top 3 rushing games the past 3 years?! And I'm trying to say that our running game was stronger earlier in the decade? I still believe that. As Brady was growing, he wasn't as much of a threat as he is now. Opposing teams tried to make Brady make plays to beat them, much like how we tried to get Flacco to beat us. They planned to stop the run, much like how they plan to stop the pass now. If we throw Corey Dillon in our running game now, we might have another Super Bowl Ring. I believe that the increase in yards/rush have a lot to do with the emergence of Brady and not to do with a super strong, but just passable, running game. Why? Because that's my opinion.

 

Average Offensive Yardage per Play

Stat V

Year

Avg Off Yardage/Play

Rank

2000

4.4

10

2001

4.9

7

2002

4.9

7

2003

4.8

9

2004

5.5

3

2005

5.5

3

2006

5.1

6

2007

6.2

1

2008

5.3

5

2009

5.9

2

Our yards gained/play has greatly increased this decade as the league has evolved into a quarterback league. I believe that our offense, during the course of the 2007 season, evolved into a "Home Run Team", meaning we banked on getting a couple of huge plays during the game in order to score. That strategy failed us this season, but I feel like we continued to try it. Three consecutive plays of 4 yards will get a first down. Our coaches seem to forget that (*cough* throwing on 3rd and 2 *cough*). I suggest reeling back our offense a little and start playing stronger football and less finesse football. Welker is strong football. Edelman is strong football. Watson is strong football. Corey Dillon was strong football. Maroney is finesse football (although he showed some flashes of power this year, followed by a couple fumbles). Moss is finesse football. Aiken is finesse football. We used to set up our finesse football by establishing our power game. Lately they've switched roles. That won't create success. We need to play stronger football.

What does all of this mean? It means what you want it to mean. I gathered these stats to try and spot any trends that we have created. We've been gaining more yards. Our offense has been performing. I still recommend strengthening our running game, but our offense isn't the problem. Trading Brady and Moss won't fix anything. Our offense has been getting better.

Here is a table of how the offensive teams average out according to these offensive statistics:

 

Offense

Year

Rank

Season Rank

Wins

2007

1.79

1

16

2009

2.57

2

10

2008

2.79

3

11

2004

3.57

4

14

2006

4.5

5

12

2005

5.07

6

10

2002

5.5

7

9

2003

5.57

8

14

2001

6.79

9

11

2000

7.14

10

                             5

We've continued to progress throughout the decade. Two Super Bowl years have come in the bottom 3 offenses of the decade (is that a good or bad thing?). Looking at wins each season, it's also good to notice that the success of our offense doesn't hold a strong relationship with our wins.  I will conclude under the belief that our issue is with the defense.

Next week: A look at our defense over the decade.

 

Feel free to throw in any ideas for other offensive stats to be looked at, as well as any defensive stats you would like looked at.

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