Patriots Statistical Analysis: Week 4

 

The Patriots followed up their Week 3 divisional loss to the Bills with a solid victory over the resurgent Raiders.  This was never going to be an easy game, given the way the Raiders were playing and the fact the team had to go across the country into hostile territory.  But give the Patriots credit, as the ultimately romped home to victory, although they did make it hard at times...

Opponent

3rd down Defensive Efficiency

Number of sacks

Defensive Passer Rating

Opponent Passing YPA

Rate of Defensive 3-and-outs

Defensive Red Zone Efficiency

T.O. Diff

Pass:Run Ratio (Pass Percentage)

@ Miami

14%(2/14)

4

93.6

8.5 (49/416)

38%(5/13)

50% (3/6)

0

69% (48:22)

San Diego

83%(10/12)

2

97.7

9.5 (40/378)

0%(0/10)

50% (2/4)

+4

62% (40:25)

@ Buffalo

36%(4/11)

0

92.6

9.2 (40/369)

42%(5/12)

75% (3/4)

-2

63% (45:26)

@ Oakland

62%(8/13)

0

79.4

8.8 (39/344)

0%(0/9)

40% (2/5)

+2

50% (30:30)

Total

48%

6

90.8

8.97 (168/1507)

22.7%

53%

+4

61% (163:103)

TARGET

37%

45 (2.8PG)

73.8

6.45

25%

42%

+16 (+1PG)

50%

Analysis

Positives:

A number of positives for the Patriots, beginning with the defensive passer rating.  The team collected two key interceptions from Jason Campbell, which swung the momentum of the game firmly towards the Patriots.  Despite allowing soft completions all day, the unit really stepped up when they had to.   Defensive red zone efficiency was another huge success for the Patriots as the unit played a classic bend-but-don't break game - if the Patriots can continue their improvement in red zone defense, then who knows...people may have to admit that Bill knows what he's doing after all!  Turnovers were back to being a positive again for this team, and the Patriots are exactly on track for their target in this category.  Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the offense restored some balance to the unit where they accomplished a perfect 50/50 split between the run and the pass, something that, if continued, will only benefit this team come January.

Negatives:

Zero sacks and only 3 quarterback hits!  That simply isn't good enough and I don't care if the unit was without Albert Haynesworth.  The line looked awfully slow getting off the snap, there just doesn't seem to be enough explosion there to consistently get home.

Also, disappointing to see that the defense couldn't force a single 3-and-out against this Raider offense, particularly because the defense was doing so well keeping Run DMC in check.  Jason Campbell was simply beating the coverage.  His YPA was also high, and this is a season long problem thus far for the Patriots - they are allowing 9 YPA to opposing quarterbacks and that is a recipe for disaster when this team will face the more elite QBs.

General Thoughts on the game...

  • 1. I'm sick and tired of our corners, particularly McCourty, playing so far off the receiver at the snap. Either they're being instructed to do so or it's their own decision but something needs to be changed to stop these receivers from gaining a free release. It just makes sense that if you have a slow, non explosive pass rush, you need to hold up the receivers some to allow the rush to get home. The free releases are going to send me to an early grave!
  • 2. Brandon Spikes -beast! In the physical sense I mean. He still has a ways to go before he's a very good all around LB but Christ he can hit. I love watching him locate the ball carrier and simply demolish him.
  • 3. Despite the offensive balance, there was still imbalance. Welker - 9 catches, Ocho - 2 catches, everyone else - 1 catch each. However, I don't think this will stay the same and it isn't something to worry about - this offense has the skills to change it up each week and if they need a more even distribution, they will get it.
  • 4. Zoltan Mesko may already be one of the best punters in the league - hugely underrated player.
  • 5. The Green Ellis - Ridley one-two punch could be a huge asset for this team come winter and the playoffs. This team simply has to use this combination as its ‘closer.' Lots of Danny Woodhead in the first half then the Law Firm and the Riddler to seal the deal when the defense has worn down.
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