Pats' Defense 2022

Cellar-Door

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Honestly the Patriots adjusted and played pretty well after the first 3 drives. Good performance considering the opponent and that their offense did nothing
 

AB in DC

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The Bills have run 70 plays and have had the ball for 36+ minutes into the fourth quarter. Giving up only 24 is a miracle
Only because the Bills had multiple WR drops and gimpy LT. Otherwise it would have been 34 or 38 easily.

Other than the two kneeldowns, Bills had only one drive that went less than 25 yards.
(edit: and only two that didn't cross midfield)
 

BigSoxFan

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Honestly the Patriots adjusted and played pretty well after the first 3 drives. Good performance considering the opponent and that their offense did nothing
They gave the team a chance to win so they deserve credit for that. They also dropped a couple INT balls and gave up the backbreaking 95 yard TD drive (although wouldn’t have mattered) and got lucky that Diggs dropped a ball he normally catches. They also deserve credit for making a game changing play late in the 2nd. All in all, a decent performance and clearly not the problem with this team, IMO.

This is a playoff caliber defense with even an average offense. Uche’s development is exciting to me. There is something to dream on here. Biggest problem is that Judon likely ages out before the offense gets figured out.
 

Super Nomario

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The Bills scored 24 points on 8 drives where they were trying to score. That's not good. It's better than they've done vs Buffalo lately, but 3 points per drive ain't gonna win ya many games.
 

Cellar-Door

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The Bills scored 24 points on 8 drives where they were trying to score. That's not good. It's better than they've done vs Buffalo lately, but 3 points per drive ain't gonna win ya many games.
It's about what the Bills average. They're averaging 2.7 pts per drive, and there are a bunch of drives they weren't trying to score on mixed in there.
 

thestardawg

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I thought that was the best Josh Uche has looked since he was drafted. Was this just a good matchup for Uche or is he making strides? It would be huge if the team could get pressure from more than just Judon.
 

88 MVP

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I’m no expert, but I thought more than once last night that McCourty looks washed. Struggles to make tackles in space, easily beat in coverage. I’m not sure if his eventual replacement is on the roster, so another FS type is probably a priority in the draft or FA this offseason
 

BaseballJones

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Devin McCourty might be needing to retire, but you know who still looks fantastic? Matthew Slater. I know he's a special teams guy and not on the defense, but he's always around the ball, makes tackles, and can still fly. Dude is incredible.
 

Cellar-Door

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This defense is... good.

2nd in the league in pressure rate, 5th lowest NY/A passing allowed, 8th fewest YPA rushing allowed, 5th lowest % of drives on which they allow a score.
 

macal

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If Patricia is getting a lot of shit about the offense, then Steve B should be getting a lot of credit for the defense. I hardly read/hear his name mentioned anywhere. I'm just wondering what will happen to Steve when Bill hires back McDaniels next year as the DC.
 

BaseballJones

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Currently ranked #5 in points allowed and #6 in yards allowed. #3 in DSRS (pro-football-reference's metric).

#1 in hurry rate
#3 in sacks
#2 in pressure rate
#6 in opponents' passer rating
#5 in interceptions
#2 in opponents' completion percentage
#10 in opponents' Y/A
#6 in opponents' AY/A
#8 in opponents' rush yards per attempt

Yeah, this defense is pretty good. Obviously they struggle more against elite offenses. That's, uh, why those offenses are elite - they're a problem for everyone.

And the Pats' defense is doing all this without much help from the Pats' offense.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Currently ranked #5 in points allowed and #6 in yards allowed. #3 in DSRS (pro-football-reference's metric).

#1 in hurry rate
#3 in sacks
#2 in pressure rate
#6 in opponents' passer rating
#5 in interceptions
#2 in opponents' completion percentage
#10 in opponents' Y/A
#6 in opponents' AY/A
#8 in opponents' rush yards per attempt

Yeah, this defense is pretty good. Obviously they struggle more against elite offenses. That's, uh, why those offenses are elite - they're a problem for everyone.

And the Pats' defense is doing all this without much help from the Pats' offense.
Its almost as if this team's ceiling will be a function of getting anything out of the offense. A decent OL and competent game managing might make this team look a lot different.

Given the defense thus far this year, I think they could make noise - even with not-the-guy running for his life behind the No line while Patricia is calling backwards screens - if they somehow make the playoffs. I understand that's not a widely held view but I think its a possibility. But a lot has to happen first.
 

BigSoxFan

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Its almost as if this team's ceiling will be a function of getting anything out of the offense. A decent OL and competent game managing might make this team look a lot different.

Given the defense thus far this year, I think they could make noise - even with not-the-guy running for his life behind the No line while Patricia is calling backwards screens - if they somehow make the playoffs. I understand that's not a widely held view but I think its a possibility. But a lot has to happen first.
If they make the playoffs, their reward would likely be a road game in Buffalo or KC. I’ve seen nothing to suggest we would be competitive in either scenario but I hope we get to find out. Playoff football is playoff football.

Counterpoint is that making the playoffs probably means they won 3 games down the stretch against some good competition so they would be coming in with some momentum.
 

Silverdude2167

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If they make the playoffs, their reward would likely be a road game in Buffalo or KC. I’ve seen nothing to suggest we would be competitive in either scenario but I hope we get to find out. Playoff football is playoff football.

Counterpoint is that making the playoffs probably means they won 3 games down the stretch against some good competition so they would be coming in with some momentum.
I don't disagree with you other than BB seems to know how to slow down KC even with his current inept offenses.

If they make the playoffs I would give them an outside shot against KC, none against Buff.
 

BaseballJones

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Three straight games the Pats have had a defensive TD.

vs. Ari - McMillan 23 yard fumble return for a touchdown to make the score 20-13 NE. Huge play in the game.
vs. LV - Dugger 16 yard interception return for a touchdown to make the score 17-10 LV. Huge play to get NE back in the game.
vs. Cin - Jones 69 yard interception return for a touchdown to make the score 22-6 Cin. Huge play to get NE back in the game.

In all three cases the Pats' offense was doing diddly squat and the defense made a huge play to get the team going. Sadly, in two of those three games, the Pats couldn't pull out a win.

I wonder what the team record is for number of games in a row with a defensive score.
 

BaseballJones

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Another good performance against a team with serious weapons in Mostert, Hill, and Waddle (Gesicki counts too, IMO). BUT....Miami's QB situation was pretty dire so take it all with a giant grain of salt.

Currently #5 in the NFL in points allowed, #8 in yards allowed, #1 in defensive expected points, #7 in rate of opposing drives ending in a turnover, #2 in rate of opposing drives ending in a score, #2 in first downs allowed, #4 in yards per play allowed, #5 in QB pressures, #1 in QB hurries, #4 in opp passer rating, #2 in sacks, #1 in interceptions, #4 in opp completion percentage, #6 in opp rush yds/att.

Pretty damned good overall.

HOWEVER.....they now go up against a good offense with a great quarterback, and let's see how Allen has done against them the past 3 seasons minus the crazy wind game:

11/1/2020 at NE - 11-18, 154 yds, 0 td, 1 int, 10 rush, 23 yds, 1 td, Bills win 24-21
12/28/2020 at Buf - 27-36, 320 yds, 4 td, 0 int, 4 rush, 35 yds, 0 td, Bills win 38-9
12/26/2021 at NE - 30-47, 314 yds, 3 td, 0 int, 12 rush, 64 yds, 0 td, Bills win 33-21 (and don't punt)
1/15/2022 at Buf - 21-25, 308 yds, 5 td, 0 int, 6 rush, 66 yds, 0 td, Bills win 47-17 (and don't punt)
12/1/2022 at NE - 22-33, 223 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 8 rush, 20 yds, 0 td, Bills win 24-10

TOTALS: 111-159 (69.8%), 1,319 yds, 8.3 y/a, 14 td, 1 int, 121.6 rating, 40 rush, 208 yds, 5.2 y/a, 1 td, Bills 166, NE 78 (avg: Bills 33.2, NE 15.6)

So no matter how good that the Pats' defense has been (ranked #7 in points allowed in 2020, #2 in points allowed in 2021, and #5 in points allowed in 2022), Josh Allen and the Bills have absolutely destroyed them the past three seasons, with the one exception being the insane weather game in Buffalo last year. Under anything even remotely resembling "normal" weather, this Bills team has absolutely shredded this Pats' defense. And right now the forecast in Buffalo for Sunday is 31 degrees, no precipitation.

Sometimes, a team just has another team's number. Needless to say, I'm extremely pessimistic about this game. :-(


Maybe we can cling to the fact that twice in the past five games (again not counting the weather game) they held Buffalo to just 24 points? Maybe the Pats' offense can score like 20 and the Pats' defense can get a defensive TD somehow again? That seems to be their only shot.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think the Pats defense has been coached masterfully this year and has some real strengths: DL, pass rush, run stopping LBs, safeties. But the lack of elite CB play will hold them back against elite teams like Buffalo because it forces them to play zone heavy and the good passing teams will just pick that apart.

In the first Buffalo game, they lose 24-10. And they had Jack (76% of defensive snaps) and Marcus (45%) Jones. And their lone touchdown was the Marcus Jones 48 yard TD reception.

Which is all to say that a win next week would be a minor miracle.
 

BaseballJones

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One of the problems that Buffalo presents you - especially in a playoff type game where they may pull out all the stops - is that one of their best weapons is Josh Allen running with the ball. Playing man in the secondary is a very bad way to defend Allen running, so it kind of forces you to play zone. But you're right - guys like Diggs and Davis and Knox will find the holes and Allen will slice the zone apart. Very much a pick-your-poison. But if they play man, especially with Jack Jones (and maybe Jonathan Jones) out, it means lots and lots of Myles Bryant in man coverage against the Bills. And THAT is a recipe for getting absolutely torched.

Yes, it will take a minor miracle to win on Sunday.
 

Toe Nash

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I don't have much hope for Sunday but one area it feels like (looking up no stats) they have improved since last year is covering RBs and TEs, as Bentley and Tavai have been decent and Dugger / Phillips / Peppers are strong tacklers. Knox and Singletary really killed them last year and Hightower and Van Noy were so slow.

That said, Judon and Uche have not exactly improved at keeping containment on mobile QBs and James Cook had his best receiving day this year against us, nor do I see the offense improving much. I think the game will look similar to the last one unfortunately.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't have much hope for Sunday but one area it feels like (looking up no stats) they have improved since last year is covering RBs and TEs, as Bentley and Tavai have been decent and Dugger / Phillips / Peppers are strong tacklers. Knox and Singletary really killed them last year and Hightower and Van Noy were so slow.

That said, Judon and Uche have not exactly improved at keeping containment on mobile QBs and James Cook had his best receiving day this year against us, nor do I see the offense improving much. I think the game will look similar to the last one unfortunately.
I agree. I think it's possible that the Pats keep Buffalo under 30 and kind of "in range", but the offense will struggle to do anything, so the final score will be a fairly comfortable Buffalo win. :-(
 

macal

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That said, Judon and Uche have not exactly improved at keeping containment on mobile QBs and James Cook had his best receiving day this year against us, nor do I see the offense improving much. I think the game will look similar to the last one unfortunately.
I may be wrong, but did Judon not do a decent job of containing Allen earlier this season? Were there not complaints that Judon did not get any penetration and pressure, until it was pointed out that his job in that game was to contain, rather than rush/pressure? Allen had 8 carries for 20 yards in that game. Maybe that was by design by the Bills, to reduce his workload, but it does suggest that the Pats did a good job containing him in that game.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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I don't have much hope for Sunday but one area it feels like (looking up no stats) they have improved since last year is covering RBs and TEs, as Bentley and Tavai have been decent and Dugger / Phillips / Peppers are strong tacklers. Knox and Singletary really killed them last year and Hightower and Van Noy were so slow.

That said, Judon and Uche have not exactly improved at keeping containment on mobile QBs and James Cook had his best receiving day this year against us, nor do I see the offense improving much. I think the game will look similar to the last one unfortunately.
I think both the O and D will have to take more risks this game than last. The game plan last time seems designed to keep things respectable but gave the Pats very little chance to win. So I’d guess either a close Pats win predicated on turnovers/mistakes, or a Bills blowout.
 

BaseballJones

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I may be wrong, but did Judon not do a decent job of containing Allen earlier this season? Were there not complaints that Judon did not get any penetration and pressure, until it was pointed out that his job in that game was to contain, rather than rush/pressure? Allen had 8 carries for 20 yards in that game. Maybe that was by design by the Bills, to reduce his workload, but it does suggest that the Pats did a good job containing him in that game.
Allen has averaged 7.7 rushes per game this year, so 8 is right about at his average, so no the Bills weren't reducing his workload in that game. I agree that the Pats did a good job containing him, and honestly, holding them to 24 points was a pretty good effort, especially because (as is so often the case this year) they got next to no help from their own offense.

Now, NE didn't have Dugger in that game, and he could be HUGE in this upcoming game. He's a strong, fast, physical playmaker, and New England needs him on the field on Sunday.
 

BaseballJones

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https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35361213/nfl-all-pro-team-2022-best-players-every-position-patrick-mahomes-nick-bosa-justin-jefferson

That article lists Sauce Gardner as a first team all-pro.

Here are his stats: 74 targets, 41 completions, 55.4%, 397 yards, 5.4 yds/tgt, 1 td, 2 int, 63.9 rating

Now here are Jack Jones' stats: 37 targets, 20 completions, 54.1%, 357 yards, 9.6 yds/tgt, 0 td, 2 int, 64.8 rating

Gardner has played a lot more snaps, which is probably why he is more in people's minds - that plus being a top 5 pick while Jones was a 4th round pick. But statistically, the two are very close (edge to Gardner on yds/target, and edge to Jones on TD allowed, but otherwise almost identical). The point being, sure, give Gardner the accolades, but we know that Jack Jones is essentially just as good a player.
 

macal

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Allen has averaged 7.7 rushes per game this year, so 8 is right about at his average, so no the Bills weren't reducing his workload in that game. I agree that the Pats did a good job containing him, and honestly, holding them to 24 points was a pretty good effort, especially because (as is so often the case this year) they got next to no help from their own offense.

Now, NE didn't have Dugger in that game, and he could be HUGE in this upcoming game. He's a strong, fast, physical playmaker, and New England needs him on the field on Sunday.
He is also averaging around 6.5 yds per carry for the season, versus 2.5 yds in last game, so they definitely did a good job. Agree that Dugger will be important. They need someone that can at least slow Allen down, if not outright stop him, before he turns a 5 yard gain into a 20 yard gain.
 

Cellar-Door

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https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35361213/nfl-all-pro-team-2022-best-players-every-position-patrick-mahomes-nick-bosa-justin-jefferson

That article lists Sauce Gardner as a first team all-pro.

Here are his stats: 74 targets, 41 completions, 55.4%, 397 yards, 5.4 yds/tgt, 1 td, 2 int, 63.9 rating

Now here are Jack Jones' stats: 37 targets, 20 completions, 54.1%, 357 yards, 9.6 yds/tgt, 0 td, 2 int, 64.8 rating

Gardner has played a lot more snaps, which is probably why he is more in people's minds - that plus being a top 5 pick while Jones was a 4th round pick. But statistically, the two are very close (edge to Gardner on yds/target, and edge to Jones on TD allowed, but otherwise almost identical). The point being, sure, give Gardner the accolades, but we know that Jack Jones is essentially just as good a player.
Jones has been great, but I will say, holding up at the same level of production against twice as many targets is really hard, and the massive gap in yards per target is impressive. Jones is good, Gardner is clearly better.
 

rodderick

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Jones has been great, but I will say, holding up at the same level of production against twice as many targets is really hard, and the massive gap in yards per target is impressive. Jones is good, Gardner is clearly better.
Not to mention the disparity in responsibility between Sauce and Jones. How many number one receivers is Jones asked to cover?
 

chilidawg

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Not to mention the disparity in responsibility between Sauce and Jones. How many number one receivers is Jones asked to cover?
Barnwell (who has Sauce as one of 3 1st team all pro cornerbacks) says that Gardner is a one side of the field guy and doesn't follow the #1.

Judon gets a nod as a first team guy, and Marcus Jones is the first team returner. Onwenu gets second team recognition.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35361213/nfl-all-pro-team-2022-best-players-every-position-patrick-mahomes-nick-bosa-justin-jefferson
 

Toe Nash

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BaseballJones

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https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35361213/nfl-all-pro-team-2022-best-players-every-position-patrick-mahomes-nick-bosa-justin-jefferson

That article lists Sauce Gardner as a first team all-pro.

Here are his stats: 74 targets, 41 completions, 55.4%, 397 yards, 5.4 yds/tgt, 1 td, 2 int, 63.9 rating

Now here are Jack Jones' stats: 37 targets, 20 completions, 54.1%, 357 yards, 9.6 yds/tgt, 0 td, 2 int, 64.8 rating

Gardner has played a lot more snaps, which is probably why he is more in people's minds - that plus being a top 5 pick while Jones was a 4th round pick. But statistically, the two are very close (edge to Gardner on yds/target, and edge to Jones on TD allowed, but otherwise almost identical). The point being, sure, give Gardner the accolades, but we know that Jack Jones is essentially just as good a player.
As good as Sauce has been, this was JC Jackson last year (who didn't even make first team all-pro):

Gardner (2022): 74 targets, 41 completions, 55.4%, 397 yards, 5.4 yds/tgt, 1 td, 2 int, 63.9 rating
Jackson (2021): 108 targets, 52 completions, 49.1%, 658 yards, 6.2 yds/tgt, 3 td, 8 int, 46.8 rating
 

Eddie Jurak

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One of the problems that Buffalo presents you - especially in a playoff type game where they may pull out all the stops - is that one of their best weapons is Josh Allen running with the ball. Playing man in the secondary is a very bad way to defend Allen running, so it kind of forces you to play zone. But you're right - guys like Diggs and Davis and Knox will find the holes and Allen will slice the zone apart. Very much a pick-your-poison. But if they play man, especially with Jack Jones (and maybe Jonathan Jones) out, it means lots and lots of Myles Bryant in man coverage against the Bills. And THAT is a recipe for getting absolutely torched.

Yes, it will take a minor miracle to win on Sunday.
Lazar in his recap pointed out that Bryant was a good zone player who struggled in man. Not great. Hopefully we will at least have Marcus back.