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Hope for the Falcons: The Patriots’ No. 1 defense isn’t really No. 1


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When last we met, the topic concerned Football Outsiders’ appraisal of what would happen if the Atlanta Falcons played poorly in the Super Bowl. (Spoiler alert: They’d lose big.) Today’s offering comes courtesy of another analytical site, this one Chase Stuart’s Football Perspective. And Mr. Stuart, I’m glad to report, offers hope for the Bowl-bound Birds.

We know that the Patriots yielded the fewest points among NFL teams. But that doesn’t mean New England had the No. 1 defense. Going by yards against, it was No. 8. Using Outsiders’ DVOA (defense-adjusted value above average), Mr. Stuart notes that the Pats were No. 16 — mediocre, in sum — in that metric. He also writes:

“The Patriots faced by far the easiest schedule of any defense in the NFL. New England’s strength of schedule was -7.1%, while Tennessee was 31st at -4.2% and the Bills were 30th at -3.0%. The Patriots would be tied for eighth in DVOA if that metric was not adjusted for strength of schedule, which is why the defense falls to 16th with those adjustments.

Also: The best quarterback the Patriots faced in the regular season was Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who threw for 348 yards and administered New England’s only loss with Tom Brady starting. Mr. Stuart’s conclusion: “As far as ‘No. 1 scoring defenses’ go, this is a pretty non-threatening defense to face for the top quarterback in the NFL in 2016.”

Not trying to make anybody overconfident here. The Pats are still coached by the guy who slowed the fast-break Buffalo Bills and the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf in Super Bowls. But I don’t know that the Pats’ defense, man for man, is any better than Denver’s or Seattle’s or Arizona’s. The Falcons beat all three of those.

http://markbradley.blog.myajc.com/2017/01/29/hope-for-the-falcons-the-patriots-no-1-defense-isnt-really-no-1/

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I agree that the Pats aren't as great on D as their numbers idicate, but this article seems to swing too far the other way.  Does it account for the fact that the Pat's strength of schedule was directly influenced by their dominance over it?  (serious question, does DVOA account for that?)

Also, what does FO's metrics say about the Falcon's defense?

I know someone broke down the Falcon's quarter by quarter defense and illuminated the impact garbage time had on the D's numbers.  Has anyone done that analysis for the Pats too?  I would love to see it.

Moral of the story: the Pats D is going to be very tough, especially when you factor in experience and giving the best coach in the NFL 2 weeks to gameplan for the Falcons, but they are not the 2000 Ravens.  This should be a good game.  

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27 minutes ago, Since1990 said:

DVOA!? But, but...RandomVariable says otherwise!!!

I'm thinking that it was also him that pointed out that we lost 5 games this year. 

 

Because superbowl 42 proved the games won before the superbowl prove which team will win the actual superbowl game

 

oh wait.....:ninja:

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3 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

Your defense is not good, if they where they would not have allowed 36 passing td in 18 games, thats horrendous. You would not havr lost to philly or san diego. So in those games was it the garbage time points and yards that got you, what the pats offense is gonna do to them. Lol, pats will score all night.

What your offense did against green bay was not impressive, they where one demantional, they had no running game.  They had the worst worst worst defense in the nfl. 

I get you guys run your mouth because this is your one chance, you wont be back

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Just now, Minitaur said:
5 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

Your defense is not good, if they where they would not have allowed 36 passing td in 18 games, thats horrendous. You would not havr lost to philly or san diego. So in those games was it the garbage time points and yards that got you, what the pats offense is gonna do to them. Lol, pats will score all night.

What your offense did against green bay was not impressive, they where one demantional, they had no running game.  They had the worst worst worst defense in the nfl. 

I get you guys run your mouth because this is your one chance, you wont be back

I bet you failed reading comprehension,because you totally didn't grasp what I said.

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Just now, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

Your defense is not good, if they where they would not have allowed 36 passing td in 18 games, thats horrendous. You would not havr lost to philly or san diego. So in those games was it the garbage time points and yards that got you, what the pats offense is gonna do to them. Lol, pats will score all night.

What your offense did against green bay was not impressive, they where one demantional, they had no running game.  They had the worst worst worst defense in the nfl. 

I get you guys run your mouth because this is your one chance, you wont be back

Just season stats as usual... nothing about how they've played the last few games .  Probably can't name 3 of our defensive players without looking.  I've seen plenty of pats fans who admit they haven't been able to see our games, so I get it.  Stats are all you've got.

That's cool...the game isn't won by ignorant message board posts.

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13 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

Your defense is not good, if they where they would not have allowed 36 passing td in 18 games, thats horrendous. You would not havr lost to philly or san diego. So in those games was it the garbage time points and yards that got you, what the pats offense is gonna do to them. Lol, pats will score all night.

You obviously didn't watch any Falcons games this year!

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4 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

What are you a new falcons fan? When did you join late this season. lol, you got 50 or so posts on your team fourm, nothing you say will be taken with anything but a shrug from now on, walkon fan

Wow,the best you got???? Weak,just like the Pasties D.

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2 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

Ive seen several not including the playoff games, I didnt watch either of them. I watched the carolina game, I had heavy intrest in matt ryan and julio jones and they helped me take in 38k on dk. I watched the mnf game vs no, I watched the falcons eagles game, green bay reg season game. 

 

Lol, well if you didn't watch the playoffs or the late season games, you probably don't realize that the offense is playing even better and that the young defense is playing great too.

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6 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

 And we geta favorable carl cheffers, always very fair to the pats

Man, you're in here talking **** but you can't even spell.You're one of those kids who don't pay attention in class and say "well, Steve Jobs is successful and didn't need an education"

Listen to me. Go back to your high school. Apologize to your English teachers. Apologize to all of them. Apologize for not paying attention. Apologize to them for sitting through class every day and still not learning how to use the English language. Apologize to them for not learning to separate your words with a space. Apologize to them for being illiterate and being a terrible representation of the Boston school system. 

And then look in the mirror, and realize you're online -- talking sh*t to a bunch of strangers over a football game that has nothing to do with you. And then apologize to your mother for have birthing a waste of oxygen like yourself.

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I mean it's no secret the Pats defense hasn't played anyone this year except maybe Russel Wilson. Falcons defense was torched most of the season and Atlanta dropped some games when the offense wasn't perfect.

Fast-forward to now and you have a young but improved defense peaking right with this offense. This is why Atlanta took over the playoff games by half time in each game. Holding an Aaron Rodgers offense that had been on fire to 0 points for a half means something for a unit that had its share of a gauntlet of QBs this year. An opening drive TD followed by 2 quarters and 2 FGs later to the Seahawks was encouraging as well; minus the garbage time TD.

Brady will offer nothing new to the Falcons defense that they haven't faced this year and they have shown they can improve which is all that matters for a young defense. Peak at the right time to compliment the offense.

Can't say the Patriots D has played any offense close to the caliber of the Falcons, though.

Edited by slimjim
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20 minutes ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

Brady will shred the weak defense  apart, their is nothing they can do to stop him or slow him down. The patriots offense is just as good as atlantas, minus we dont have julio jones. But we have better qb, better line, great running attack with not one, but two explosive pass catching running backs. 

Any thing you throw at brady he will already have seen, you should spend this week talking about your defense vs the offense. And you dont have the defensive front that can effect brady, 

The dirty birds 17

the greatest franchise 42

I expect Atlanta's DL more as capable to generate reliable QB pressure. Advantage Falcons. You have the better QB? Not by this year's standards. Your line is not better.

Besides, they don't face each other. Falcons offense gets to show Pats D what a real offense is like. Reality check they haven't faced any powerhouse offense this year. On the other side, Patriots offense will be playing a defense that got battle tested all year vs several proven QBs and offenses. There is a reason the group improved over the season. Included in that is their similar performance to NE's D vs common opponents.

Too bad the Pats D won't have another game after the SB to "rebound". Better luck next year when you can have the personnel necessary to hang with the Falcons O. Now if Atlanta was a ball-control ground offense with 1 player like Bell and a chain moving WR; sure take that one player out you might have a chance. Sorry to burst your bubble but Ryan did set the NFL record different receivers with a TD. Julio was absent in several games either due to injury or the other team over-committing to minimize his damage directly. Of course, this is why so many weapons have shared in the scoring for Atlanta this year. The effort required to eliminated Julio with any sort of consistency still requires the rest of the defense to not be exposed while your DL alone won't generate consistent pressure. This means you will have to blitz and hope Ryan gets baited into a predictable zone read. Rookie mistakes you want to count the Falcons on making?

 

I just don't see how Kyle Shanahan's play calling goes cold and Ryan suddenly tries to force passes trying to do too much as if he lost his ability to work with how flexible this offense has been. This isn't your pitiful Patriots offense of 2007 that fizzled when it mattered in the playoffs (Randy Moss sighting anyone?) The Falcons offense is on fire. Never has a Bill Belichick defense faced a receiver averaging over 100 yards per game in the playoffs. See you Sunday! >:D

Edited by slimjim
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Just now, slimjim said:

Can't wait. Certainly haven't found enough decent non-troll posters capable of coherent discussion. :)

Either can I. I just think the Patty's defense isn't as good as everyone thinks. They've haven't faced an offense like the Falcons. The Falcons pass rush is going to be the MVP of the game.

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Yeah that's rt, bring up losses that have absolutely nothing to do with the team you see before you rt now. I hope and pray NE is as lethargic and undisciplined as your words are. Do you really think Atlanta is in the SB by accident?

The Falcons are so far removed from any of those games you brought up, that trying to make sense of your rationale is not even worth the burden of the discussion. But I will say the following as a precursor to what you're going to see on Sunday, February 5th.

You can watch film from Weeks 1-17 (pls be my guest) and I guarantee that you won't find any tangible comparisons or advantages that NE can and/or will exploit. You need to understand that this IS A DIFFERENT TEAM. Far different than ANYTHING that your beloved Pats have faced at any point this season.

Name me a single team the Pats have played this season that has the combination of offensive personnel and defensive speed the Falcons have? Take your time, I'll wait...

If you compare the two teams, the scale is tilted in ATL's favor in terms of the on-field product. ATL has more team speed and playmakers on offense than the Pats. The ONLY places where the Pats have distinct advantages are with experience and coaching. And with our HC being apart of 3 of the last 4 SBs, I'm starting to feel pretty good about the latter. So, we'll see where the experience will get you.

In closing, I admit that having a living legend at QB would give you all justified confidence that he will come through in the clutch, once again. However, the thing about living legends is they all eventually become past legends. It's the laws of physics. Can't stay on top forever.

Brady is **** good, the best to ever do it. But understand this, we don't need Matt Ryan to be the best ever, just need him to be the best on Sunday.

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3 hours ago, Gimmeshelter69rs said:

I recall the last time the patriots trailed in a game. Its been a while

And your DEF is so good, giving up 16 to BUF?  Who didn't have Sammy Watkins and L McCoy was hurting?  Plus the QB was T Taylor.  Matty Ice gonna carve your DEF up so bad, it may put Bilichick into retirement.   Either way, it is gonna put your sorry *** in retirement as well.  Have fun here because after Sunday you ain't gonna show your smelly face around here. 

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