FanPost

The D is fine

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:

 

Dolphins-

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

 

Chargers-

9 Drives                                                21 pts                    2.33 points per drive

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

 

Bills-

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

 

Raiders-

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

 

 

Cowboys-

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

 

Jets-

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. 

 

OK so since this post…

Steelers-

9 Drives                                                23 pts                    2.56 points per drive

5 quality drives (2 TDs 3FGs)                        No turn over caused scoring

 

Giants-

12 Drives                              24 pts                    2.00 points per drive       1.75 points per drive* with deduction   

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

 

Jets II-

12 Drives                              15 pts                    1.25 points per drive

2 quality drives (2 TDs)                                   No turn over caused scoring

 

And for the Ravens

Cardinals              11 drives              14 pts                    1 QD (FG) (2TD off TO)                   1.27 pts per drive

Steelers-              8 drives                                20 pts                    1 QD (TD)                                             2.5 pts per drive

Seahawks-          12 drives              22 pts                    1 QD (TD) (4 FG off TO)                  .58 pts per drive

 

So what this shows is that we are still not as good as the Ravens D BUT we are getting better and getting closer in the most important stat, points per drive.  Also we are still giving up 2 quality drives per game, if we can limit this to 1 we will win every game.  Also we were under 2 points per drive for the last two game.  We did well in both games on D, the D will be blamed for the DAL loss but they did not allow a lot of points the scoring drives just came late in the game.

Considering we were playing the back-ups for our back-ups this is very impressive.  We schemed very well and tackled well as well.  I have said all seasons that the D is not the problem and hasn’t been in our recent post season futility.  Our D needs to get healthy and continue to get better.  They are currently good and still have plenty to get better at.  This is encouraging to say the lease.  It has been the offense in the playoffs and in recent games that has been the hindrance to this team.

On the offense the versatility was key here.  For the first time in a few weeks they ran enough out of the 2 TE sets and this forced the Jets to treat Hernandez like a TE.  As such Brady went no huddle to take advantage of this.  The no huddle also forced the Jets into a base D and this left Revis on the outside so the Pats often sent Branch or the RB out there to basically occupy Revis and play 10-10.  We can do this with our worst receiver being the one sitting out of the play on Revis Island.  Great coaching here, more of this with a possible deep threat would be unstoppable.

 

That’s all for now its late and I’m tired but again as I have said all year the D is just fine.

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

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