Monday, November 19, 2007

Patriots Monday


  • Going to the theatre and going to a sporting event are different experiences. You go to a theater, frequently, and see a work that you already know. You aren't there to learn how it ends, but to appreciate the performances, to see what the artist on stage will come up with on that particular event. You go to a sporting event driven by the thrill of competition - two groups put their best out on the field to determine who walks off the field victorious.

    The 2007 Patriots experience has been more of a theatrical performance more often than not. There's only been one game where there was sporting competition in the 4th quarter. The rest of the time, you're watching to see what the artists are going to do. And how they're going to do it. The game last night was decided before the first quarter was open, but you couldn't turn away. The Patriots are like a how-to demonstration right now. "This is how you pass block. This is how you run a passing play. This is how you approach third down. This is how you step up in the pocket. This is how you beat coverage." It is artistry.

    It has been unbelievable to watch.

    UPDATE: "This isn't an average NFL team blowing out another NFL team. This is one of the great teams of all time, doing work, and it's a pleasure to watch."
    - Michael Holley, WEEI

    Couldn't agree more.


  • And it should be savored and enjoyed. We're seeing something that has never been seen before, and is unlikely to be seen again. I certainly don't expect to see it again in my lifetime. These are the good old days.


  • This may be the first time this has ever been said about a 56-10 game: It was not as close as the final score indicated.

    Seriously.

    The Patriots scored their last offensive touchdown with over 14 minutes remaining. Brady came out of the game. Their last two offensive drives, both of the drives that Brady played in the second half, took 12 and half minutes, and 22 plays in covering 158 yards. They were killing the clock on the first drive of the second half. There is no way to look at that game and not think that the Patriots could easily have scored 70 had they chosen to.

    And Buffalo's lone touchdown came as a result of a fluke/breakdown/scramble third-down conversion, followed by a badly underthrown ball against perfect coverage. A good pass is picked off, but the pass to Parrish was short, and Hobbs wasn't able to react quickly enough to it.

    The final differential was 46 - it could have been worse. Much worse.


  • Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, the teams with the second and third best point differentials in the NFL, have outscored their opposition by a combined 243 points (124 for the Steelers, 119 for the Colts). The Patriots have outscored theirs by 254.


  • The 1985 Chicago Bears, considered by many to be the greatest team of the Super Bowl era, outscored their opposition by 258 points over 16 games. The Patriots, again, have outscored theirs by 254 over 10.


  • The NFL record for points in a season is 556, set by the 1998 Minnesota Vikings. The Patriots are currently on a pace to score 658 points and break it by 102, over 18%.

    Read that again.

    The NFL's been in business for a long time. When the Vikings set that record, they broke the old record, held by the 1983 Redskins, by 15, a little less than 1 point per game. The Patriots are outscoring the 1998 Vikings by over 6 points per game.


  • Record watch:


    Patriot (and Brady) Record Chase
    TD passesPoints (team)TDs (team)PPG (team)RatingComp %

    Record495567038.8121.1070.55

    Current384115441.1133.9773.96

    Need1214617211

    Average224.332.8335.17


    49 TD passes - Peyton Manning, 2004
    556 points - 1998 Minnesota Vikings
    70 Touchdowns - 1984 Miami Dolphins
    38.8 PPG - 1950 Rams
    121.1 passer rating - Peyton Manning, 2004
    70.55 % completion - Ken Anderson, 1982

    Some of those (TD passes, points, touchdowns) seem inevitable at this point. The team has to continue performing, but something dramatic and drastic would have have to happen for those records not to fall. Assuming that Brady throws another 150-250 passes, he needs to complete 64%-67% of them to take the completion percentage record. The passer rating is a little bit tougher to project, but he's got some room to perform worse than he has so far and still take it.


  • Serious question - what kind of a spread would be required to get you to bet on the Eagles next Sunday night?

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