Brady/Manning XVII

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,615
Portsmouth, NH
EEI had some ridiculous stat last night:

When NFL teams drop back to pass on 80% or more of the snaps, their W/L record is something like 6-130.

When Tom Brady drops back to pass on 80% or more of his snaps, his W/L record is 6-1.
Hate to give them credit, but EEI got it from ESPN, they were talking about it on NFL Live yesterday afternoon
.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
58,188
New York City
Got to say that's likely misleading. How many other teams do it to start the game or when they're ahead?
Obviously most teams pass over 80% of the time when they are behind because they have to move the ball, catchup, and not milk the clock. Nevertheless, does it matter that much when the numbers are .857 versus .042?
 

williams_482

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 1, 2011
391
Obviously most teams pass over 80% of the time when they are behind because they have to move the ball, catchup, and not milk the clock. Nevertheless, does it matter that much when the numbers are .857 versus .042?
I'd argue that quite a few teams would benefit from passing more frequently, and through that lens these numbers are incredibly misleading: the other teams didn't lose because they passed so much, they were forced to pass so much because they were already losing (likely very early, and/or by a significant margin).

If we look at those numbers as an indication of the patriots being better than everyone else, the huge gap in win percentages looks much more significant than it really is, but this does show that the Patriots are more willing to air it out from the start of the game all the way to the end, capable of success when they choose to do so, and far less likely to be blown out in general than the rest of the league.
 

BigJimEd

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
4,117
It matters in that the Patriots are the only team confident enough to game plan throwing almost exclusively, because Brady.
And because Belichick and McDaniels. Still plenty of coaches that feel you need balance. That they need to run even if it isn't working.
Helps a lot when you have Brady but I think most coaches even with Brady would be much closer to balance.
 

singaporesoxfan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2004
11,360
Washington, DC
It matters in that the Patriots are the only team confident enough to game plan throwing almost exclusively, because Brady.
I don't know if it's solely a confidence in Brady thing, though obviously having Brady helps. I think part of it is that many other coaches / OCs have a deep-seated belief in concepts like "you have to run to set up the pass" or "you need a balanced offense", so they feel there's a need to mix up the run/pass ratios, even when the opponents are terrible are defending the pass. By contrast, Belichick never does something just for the sake of following conventional wisdom, and has explicitly said that he keeps doing what works until it doesn't:

"If it's going well, then you don't want to change it. If the fish are biting, you don't leave fish to go catch bigger fish.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
17,804
Somewhere
I'd argue that quite a few teams would benefit from passing more frequently, and through that lens these numbers are incredibly misleading: the other teams didn't lose because they passed so much, they were forced to pass so much because they were already losing (likely very early, and/or by a significant margin).
You still need balance, in the sense that you can execute a diverse assortment of passing plays with different types of personnel on the field. Being able to create and exploit mismatches is crucial to that kind of approach. The Patriots came out crazy pass-heavy in 2002 and sucked at it.
 

FL4WL3SS

my name sucks
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
14,492
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
And because Belichick and McDaniels. Still plenty of coaches that feel you need balance. That they need to run even if it isn't working.
Helps a lot when you have Brady but I think most coaches even with Brady would be much closer to balance.
It also helps that the Patriots have designed their playbook and have the personnel to effectively make the run game obsolete. The screen passes and quick routes take the place of the running game, so even late in the game, up 2 scores when it makes sense to run, the Patriots can still throw and eat the clock. Other teams aren't as equipped to do that as the Patriots are.
 

singaporesoxfan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2004
11,360
Washington, DC
It also helps that the Patriots have designed their playbook and have the personnel to effectively make the run game obsolete. The screen passes and quick routes take the place of the running game, so even late in the game, up 2 scores when it makes sense to run, the Patriots can still throw and eat the clock. Other teams aren't as equipped to do that as the Patriots are.
I think that's true, but I would guess if you look at first halves alone, the stats would look pretty similar. Most coaches feel they have to establish the run game in their first few drives. If Belichick and McDaniels feel the opposing team is weak against the passes in the Patriots' playbook, they will attack with the pass mercilessly, as they did in the KC game and the first Jets game.

Another Belichick quote that I think encapsulates his philosophy (he's talking about defense against Denver here but I think it applies to the offense as well):

Look, just cause they know you are in something isn't the worst thing in the world. All good teams have tendencies. All good players have tendencies. That's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. It means you are doing something well. Some point it's going to come down to you have to play well, you have to do what you do well better than what they try to do against it.
http://www.patriots.com/news/2016/01/18/presser-points-bill-belichick-patriots-all-denver
 

PaulinMyrBch

Don't touch his dog food
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2003
8,316
MYRTLE BEACH!!!!
The fact that the Pats have been a game plan team for as long as I can remember and no other team really adapts that philosophy is puzzling. The days of doing what you do well are over. You have to do what the other team doesn't defend well, and keep doing it till you break them. For us that happens to play in with our best weapons, all except for Brady were acquired for that very purpose.
 

MainerInExile

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2003
4,823
Bay Area
Interestingly, I would imagine that is the plan for this game - to throw, a lot. Spread the Broncos out, make quick throws, take advantage of their not-so-deep secondary.

So if you're the Broncos, why not play a dime, even on 1st down? Dare them to make 80-year-old Steven Jackson beat you.
 

Silverdude2167

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
4,177
Amstredam
Interestingly, I would imagine that is the plan for this game - to throw, a lot. Spread the Broncos out, make quick throws, take advantage of their not-so-deep secondary.

So if you're the Broncos, why not play a dime, even on 1st down? Dare them to make 80-year-old Steven Jackson beat you.
Play zone and Brady and Edelman will eat you alive, play man and you now are relying on your 3rd, 4th and 5th corner to cover Martin, Amendola, or Gronk, with the added bonus of having a corner try to block Gronk if he lines up next to the tackle.

It may not be a bad approach, and I'm not sure how to stop this offense when they are clicking but going dime may create matchup problems in both the passing game and running game for the Defense.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
44,259
Hartford, CT
It helps that Wade Phillips is dogmatic in his approach. There is no way he has the discipline to throw a heavy dose of dime looks at the Pats, daring them to run.
 

Noah

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2001
3,184
The fact that the Pats have been a game plan team for as long as I can remember and no other team really adapts that philosophy is puzzling. The days of doing what you do well are over. You have to do what the other team doesn't defend well, and keep doing it till you break them. For us that happens to play in with our best weapons, all except for Brady were acquired for that very purpose.
Yeah, that dropback pass win% stat might be the best illustration of that I've seen. If Belichick decides passing a lot is a good game plan, that's what they do, until it doesn't work, and they adjust. That number proves that literally no other coach has ever had the thought that mostly passing will win them the game. And on the other hand, if Belichick decides running a lot is a good game plan (like against the Colts, over multiple games), that's what they do, until they're forced to adjust.

He doesn't have a "system" that he forces his players to fit into. It's amazing that it's that simple, and that really nobody else does this.
 

Just a bit outside

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 6, 2011
7,014
Monument, CO
It helps that Wade Phillips is dogmatic in his approach. There is no way he has the discipline to throw a heavy dose of dime looks at the Pats, daring them to run.
I agree that Phillips is mostly dogmatic but he did change up for Pitt game. The Broncos have played man all year and played mostly zone against Pitt.
 

dbn

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 10, 2007
7,785
La Mancha.
The Patriots have been a pass-heavy team during this period, and they've also been a very good team.

The Denver Broncos are 2-0 in Super Bowls where they rush at least 55% of the time, and 0-5 when they don't.
 

americantrotter

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2005
495
Portland
My only question about the pass heavy approach is the Run and Shoot. They tried something similar. Tried to pass at all times. Now of course they ditched tight ends, the rules were different, it was obviously not game planned by opponent, and the best proponent lost that crazy comeback game to the Bills.

Was that just implemented poorly or the wrong era to try it?
 

pokey_reese

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
16,119
Boston, MA
The Pit-Den and KC-NE games were eerily similar in some ways. In both cases the road team piled up more yards and still lost, primarily because the home team won the turnover battle 1-0 at a key point to win by a touchdown, with a bend-but-don't-break defense forcing the opponent to settle for FGs. The flow of the game was obviously different, as the Pats never trailed, and the distribution of offense/defense was flipped (Denver's defense held a better offense to fewer points, while the Pats offense scored more against a better defense), but it seems to set up a pretty good match for this weekend (Denver is 5th in weighted DVOA, Pats 7th, with the Den home field advantage hopefully offset by the Pats increased health not fully accounted for in DVOA yet).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
18,729
Maine
My only question about the pass heavy approach is the Run and Shoot. They tried something similar. Tried to pass at all times. Now of course they ditched tight ends, the rules were different, it was obviously not game planned by opponent, and the best proponent lost that crazy comeback game to the Bills.

Was that just implemented poorly or the wrong era to try it?
Utilizing a 4-WR set, the Run and Shoot as the old Oilers ran it lacked a short/intermediate attack, which made it susceptible to short drives timewise. What the Patriots do, in spirit at least, is actually a variant of the Run and Shoot. The Run and Shoot was predicated on receivers reading the defense and adjusting their routes. The Patriot passing game has long been along those same lines, where each receiver might go to the line with 2-3 possible routes and they decide which one to run based on the coverage they see. It relies a lot on Brady and the receivers being in sync with one another as far as reading things properly.
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
10,966
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
My only question about the pass heavy approach is the Run and Shoot. They tried something similar. Tried to pass at all times. Now of course they ditched tight ends, the rules were different, it was obviously not game planned by opponent, and the best proponent lost that crazy comeback game to the Bills.

Was that just implemented poorly or the wrong era to try it?
I know this sounds extremely simplistic, but Tom Brady is likely the difference. I don't think there are more than a handful of QBs a coach, even Belichick, would be comfortable giving the ball to 50+ times against a top tier defense. And Brady tops that list considering his patience, play making ability and the way he limits turnovers.
 

Don Buddin's GS

Member
SoSH Member
Ron Borges goes "Full Cafardo" over stats in football:

Statistics, I’ve long felt, are like hostages. You can make them say whatever you want.

We are reminded of this today as we’re being inundated with numbers. Coincidentally, all those numbers seem to conclude to those offering them up that the Denver Broncos are wasting their time showing up at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday.


http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/ron_borges/2016/01/borges_players_not_stat_geeks_will_decide_afc_title
 

H78

Fists of Millennial Fury!
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2009
4,613
I was just coming to post this. It's surprisingly great.

I've found ESPN.com to be a very interesting as of late. They seem to be criticizing the NFL more and now with this article (front and center going into the AFCCG) they even seem to be coming out and admitting Deflategate was a bunch of garbage and that people need to appreciate TB12 for what he's done and who he is as a person. I found this part particularly interesting. It's not buried deep in the story; it's only a few paragraphs in:

We are, of this week, one year removed from the strange Kabuki theater that was Deflategate. That the case is still pending seems somewhat improbable, but it's true. (The NFL's appeal of Brady's four-game suspension getting overturned in federal court is scheduled for March 3.) What is clear, looking back, is not so much Brady's definitive guilt or innocence but rather how much smaller this controversy likely would have been if it hadn't involved Brady. (The Vikings and Panthers, for instance, were both issued warnings for using sideline heaters to warm footballs on a cold day just a month and a half before the AFC Championship Game.) The error-filled media leaks; the pearl-clutching concern about the integrity of the game; an investigation that seemed determined to find guilt as much as facts; a comedy of circumstance interwoven with league politics; all of it is surreal, in retrospect.
If you believe that the NFL and the media tried to break him -- and you can bet plenty of people believe these things, and not just those who reside in New England and practice their shirtless Rob Gronkowski spikes in front of the mirror -- you can't help but feel a sense of satisfaction that he is still standing, determined as ever.
Methinks ESPN and the NFL had some kind of falling out over the last several months or ESPN is at least aware of how badly they covered DG and are now trying to make peace with it. My hunch is they know they were used by the NFL during DG to push a certain agenda and they're angrily starting to wipe the egg off their face.
 
Mar 26, 2014
70
Methinks ESPN and the NFL had some kind of falling out over the last several months or ESPN is at least aware of how badly they covered DG and are now trying to make peace with it. My hunch is they know they were used by the NFL during DG to push a certain agenda and they're angrily starting to wipe the egg off their face.
ESPN just recently dropped out of the Thursday Night Football bidding. Perhaps they don't feel they have anything to lose now, or perhaps they're trying to make a point that they can shape perception and the NFL should consider that relationship when they play hardball with ESPN.

Everyone always talks about how the media needs the NFL and therefore bow down to them to keep them happy. If we're lucky ESPN might decide to challenge their perceived status as the NFL's bitch.
 

Don Buddin's GS

Member
SoSH Member
ESPN just recently dropped out of the Thursday Night Football bidding.
Gee, does this mean The WWL will no longer lead off "Sports Center" with a meaningless NFL story in the middle of baseball season in July? That always pissed me off because you knew it was the lead not because it was newsworthy but because ESPN was kissing some NFL butt.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
58,188
New York City
ESPN is cutting costs, which includes paying outrageous fees to the NFL.

But it is interesting that their NFL coverage has been a lot more balanced in the past few months, especially that Brady column from yesterday. That was amazing piece of journalism without hyperbole or fluff. It was one of the most real columns I've read on ESPN in years.

Maybe ESPN has realized how bad they have looked to the world with their biased coverage and focus on hot takez. Because I personally know scores of people who think ESPN is a total joke and these are the same people who watched 6 episodes of Sportscenter every day in the 90's. ESPN has been a joke, a terrible network with terrible analysis, for years.
 

soxhop411

news aggravator
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
44,087
“@AdamSchefter: Broncos EVP/GM John Elway said on ESPN’s NFL Insiders that CB Chris Harris and his shoulder injury will be ”game-time decision“ for Sunday.”
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
28,451
I wonder if Manning is still pissed that Brady said he only had 2 good seasons left.

Because he ended up not having any.
 

Hendu for Kutch

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2006
6,799
Nashua, NH
“@AdamSchefter: Broncos EVP/GM John Elway said on ESPN’s NFL Insiders that CB Chris Harris and his shoulder injury will be ”game-time decision“ for Sunday.”
Boy, you'd think with his availability hanging by a thread like this they'd give him some time off in practice, maybe limit his participation a bit. #bsinjuryreportgate
 

Don Buddin's GS

Member
SoSH Member
Will Leitch from Sports on Earth on the Brady/Manning matchup:

"The question remains as pressing as it always has: Who's better? The two men are so different, with their careers so intertwined, with changing circumstances and changing stakes (and even at one point, changing teams), that the answer itself has changed, with the momentum of each quarterback ebbing and flowing over two decades. Five years ago, it would have seemed obvious that the answer was Manning. Now, to many, it's the opposite."

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/162468916/tom-brady-and-peyton-manning-face-off-again
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
50,951
Will Leitch from Sports on Earth on the Brady/Manning matchup:

"The question remains as pressing as it always has: Who's better? The two men are so different, with their careers so intertwined, with changing circumstances and changing stakes (and even at one point, changing teams), that the answer itself has changed, with the momentum of each quarterback ebbing and flowing over two decades. Five years ago, it would have seemed obvious that the answer was Manning. Now, to many, it's the opposite."

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/162468916/tom-brady-and-peyton-manning-face-off-again
Not really. Five years ago, Brady had 3 rings and the all-time single season TD record and Manning was about to miss an entire year.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
58,587
Will Leitch from Sports on Earth on the Brady/Manning matchup:

"The question remains as pressing as it always has: Who's better? The two men are so different, with their careers so intertwined, with changing circumstances and changing stakes (and even at one point, changing teams), that the answer itself has changed, with the momentum of each quarterback ebbing and flowing over two decades. Five years ago, it would have seemed obvious that the answer was Manning. Now, to many, it's the opposite."

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/162468916/tom-brady-and-peyton-manning-face-off-again
When did Brady's momentum ebb? When he was injured for a year?
 

soxhop411

news aggravator
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
44,087
“@mikefreemanNFL: Bruschi: Don’t be surprised if Pats defenders tackle low on Broncos receivers if done to Gronk.”
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
50,951
“@mikefreemanNFL: Bruschi: Don’t be surprised if Pats defenders tackle low on Broncos receivers if done to Gronk.”
But if that's the "only way" to tackle guys, wouldn't they be doing it anyway?