Our Defense is well.... not bad

So I previously promised a coherent posting about our defense and the statistic I thought was the best indicator of their success at their job, points allowed per drive.  I also did what I call quality drives which are drives of more than 60 yards that end in points.  I will show this with all points allowed and with a deduction for points scored off of turnovers on a team’s own side of the field.  The rational here is that if the offense turns the ball over on the 15-yard line leaving only 15 yards for a TD it is not reasonable to hold this entirely against the defense.  As such, for any scoring done off these turnovers, I deduct 3 points; it is a win for the D to only allow a FG with this field position.  If a TD is scored the other 4 points are counted against the defense.  Hope that makes sense. 


Here are the patriot stats for the drives for their games so far:


13 Drives                              24 pts                    1.85 points per drive       1.54 points per drive*  with deduction

3 quality drives (2 TDs 1 FG)                         *1 TD from turn over caused scoring



9 Drives                                                21 pts                    2.33 points per drive

3 quality drives (3 TDs)                                   No turn over caused scoring



12 Drives                              34 pts                    2.83 points per drive       1.75 points per drive*  with deduction  

4 quality drives (2 TDs 2 FG)                         *1 TD from turn over caused scoring       1 pick 6



9 Drives                                19 pts                    2.11 points per drive       1.63 points per drive*  with deduction  

3 quality drives (1 TDs 2 FG)                         *1 TD from garbage time with the pats in prevent at the end




11 Drives                              16 pts                    1.45 points per drive       1.18 points per drive*  with deduction  

3 quality drives (1 TDs 2 FG)                         *1 FG from turn over caused scoring



11 Drives                              21 pts                    1.91 points per drive       1.63 points per drive*  with deduction  

2 quality drives (2 TDs)                   *1 TD from turn over caused scoring


Totals:                   55 Drives              135 points           2.45 average points per drive

                                54 Drives              109 points           2.02 average points per drive

                                18 QD (11 TDs 7 FGs)

Teams average about 11 drives a game average.  With this the patriots are averaging 23 points not counting the times the offense puts them in a bind.  They average 27 taking into account all of the points scored.  This means there is an average 4 point swing when we turn the ball over. 

We are averaging 3 quality drives a game which again is 60+ yards with scoring.  In only 2 games we only allowed 1 quality TD drive and usually we gave up 2 and 3 long TD drives.  This is something that we need to change, I have said before the D is allowed a TD drive a game but 2-3 quality TDs is too much.  In addition, we are allowing too many TDs off our turnovers.  The offense can help here but when they do turn over the ball, it is imperative that these are FGs and not TDs. 

Overall, these are not terrible numbers and the offense has put them in some binds.  The last three games have been much better performances as we all know.  The interesting thing is that during no game has the D been responsible by my standards for more than 23 points.  Therefore, the defense has not been nearly as bad as everyone has thought.  If the offense does not give away points with turnovers then we should win every game.  If the D keeps the opposition under 24 points, the offense should be able to score more than that.


Now here are the stats for the best D in the league, the Baltimore Ravens.  The Ravens have always been the best or near the best in points per drive.  The reason they have not always been great in terms of yardage is that their offense goes 3 and out almost every drive the last decade.  So here are their numbers to compare to ours.



Steelers-              13 drives              7 pts                      1 QD (TD)                                             .45 pts per drive

Titans-                                  11 drives              26 pts                    4 QD (2 TD 2 FG)                               2.36 pts per drive

Rams-                   12 drives              7 pts                      1 QD (TD)                                             .40 pts per drive

NYJ-                       15 drives              3 pts                      0 QD      2 TDs by the Jets D          .2 pts per drive

Texans-                                12 drives              14 pts                    1 QD (TD)                                             1.17 pts per drive

Jaguars-               14 drives              12 pts                    1 QD (FG)                                            .86 pts per drive


Totals:                   77 Drives              83 points              1.08 average points per drive

                                77 Drives              69 points              .77 average points per drive

                                8 QD (5 TDs 3 FGs)


So after looking at both of these it’s clear that the Ravens D is world class.  It is really absurd the year they are having right now.  We probably never had a season that good even when we won the SBs but we do not need to in order to win. 

My threshold is 1.5 points per drive, if we can get to this we win every time.  I also want the D to only allow 1 quality TD drive a game.  The FGs do not hurt us much but the TDs keep the other team in the game when they would not be otherwise. So this has been done on two redbull nights after moving my family across town to a new house all day.  Hope its coherent and dispels the idea that this defense is crap.  There is room for improvement but if Brady was not turning the ball over their stats would be much better and these games would not be as close as they are.  Brady will not do this all year and with the offenses help with clock management they will place this D in positions to put this game away with stops or limiting the other team to field goals. 


*my attempt at a front page quality article, if it is enjoyed i will do these drive states for the games the rest of the season for them and the ravens to compare us to the best.  I will also look for a team that according to the NFL (yards allowed) is good in this category but not good in points allowed and these teams exist.  Your thoughts please and hope you enjoy this.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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