2019 Pats Defense: What Are We Witnessing?

RedOctober3829

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Going back to the Super Bowl, the Patriots defense has not allowed a touchdown in 12 straight quarters. Here are some stats thru 2 games.

Total 1st Downs: 26
Passing YPG: 230
Rushing YPG: 37
YPC: 2.6
YPA: 4.86
PA: 3
PPG: 1.5
INT: 4
Sacks: 8
3rd Down Efficiency: 81% getting off the field(22-27)

They have a look of confidence that I haven't seen a BB defense have since the days of 03-04. There are special players at all 3 levels of the defense and the requisite role players Doing Their Job. Danny Shelton is one of those role players. He is night and day better than he was last year. Jamie Collins' presence has added a lot of athleticism to the other LB spot and made things a lot harder for teams. Gilmore is the best cover corner the Patriots have ever had under Belichick and that includes Ty Law. JC Jackson/Jason McCourty/Jon Jones are as good of a supporting cast alongside Gilmore as there is in the league. We know what Devin McCourty means. Bill (and Jerod Mayo this year) recognize what they have on this unit and have really turned up the aggressiveness really since the Minnesota game last year. He knows this group is experienced enough to handle exotic schemes and he has enough players who have been there long enough to teach young guys like Chase Winovich and Bentley where to be and slow the game down for them.

It is very early and we all know that. But, they have a chance to set a pace in a number of statistical areas that could rival the best defensive units in NFL history.
 

Rico Guapo

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For what we've seen so far this year, there's a famous quote from one Mr. Wolf, and I think it applies.

Pittsburgh seems to have a middle of the pack offense right now, Miami is a dumpster fire, let's see where things stand at week 8.
 

bankshot1

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Its not going to be until the Pats face some decent offensive teams (Browns, Eagles, Cowboys, Chiefs) that we can start with serious hyperbole about what might be a truly dominant D.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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For what we've seen so far this year, there's a famous quote from one Mr. Wolf, and I think it applies.
At first, I thought this referred to Warner Wolf's shtick when he was a WNBC nightly sports guy: "If you had the Dolphins plus 42 today, you still lost!"

Then I realized you were referring to Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. And while I will guess you were referring to "Let's not suck each other's dicks just yet", here are some other viable possibilities:

"I'm Winston Wolfe. I solve problems."
"You have a corpse in a car, minus a head. Take me to it."
"Of course, just because you are a character, doesn't mean you have character."
 

Eddie Jurak

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I don't think one can read too much into the beat down of the Dolphins.

But this is still shaping up to be one of the most talented defenses. Very deep and very talented on the edge, at LB, and especially in the secondary.

I don't know that they are as good at DT but the excellence everywhere else helps mitigate that.

The question is how they will stake up against the better offensive teams like the Chiefs.

Edit: But you have to love not just the front line talent but the depth as well. Jon Jones as 3rd CB with JC as 4th? Second round pick big CB who looked good in camp but can't even make the game day roster?

Bennett, Winovich, Simon, Calhoun, Wise, Van Noy, Collins, Hightower, Bentley, Roberts? Crazy depth at edge/LB.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I don’t like including the SB. Great defensive effort obviously but a different team with several different players. So far this year’s D looks great but I need to see more. Neither team they played looks any good on offense, particularly Miami.
 

bigq

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For what we've seen so far this year, there's a famous quote from one Mr. Wolf, and I think it applies.

Pittsburgh seems to have a middle of the pack offense right now, Miami is a dumpster fire, let's see where things stand at week 8.
I agree with this however it has been a great start and it is fun as a fan to see Belichick back in the de facto defensive coordinator role. It would be just like him to rub everyone’s noses in just how good he can be with a versatile and highly talented group at his disposal.
 

snowmanny

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I don't think one can read too much into the beat down of the Dolphins.

But this is still shaping up to be one of the most talented defenses. Very deep and very talented on the edge, at LB, and especially in the secondary.

I don't know that they are as good at DT but the excellence everywhere else helps mitigate that.

The question is how they will stake up against the better offensive teams like the Chiefs.
It's possible the only question will be how they stack up against the Chiefs. The AFC has a bit of a mid-80's Celtics/Lakers vibe.
 

moondog80

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I'm happy but the Dolphins aren't an NFL team and the Super Bowl was last year. So they've had one really good performance.
 

TheoShmeo

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It's easy to dismiss or minimize their accomplishments in 2019 based on the opposition. That comment writes itself. But the personnel and depth they have is truly extraordinary. I thought that before the Steelers game and continue to think it. Deatrich Wise being a healthy scratch today underscores it. Not that Wise is headed for Canton; he's just pretty damned good and he couldn't make the active roster for this one.
 

bob burda

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At first, I thought this referred to Warner Wolf's shtick when he was a WNBC nightly sports guy: "If you had the Dolphins plus 42 today, you still lost!"

Then I realized you were referring to Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. And while I will guess you were referring to "Let's not suck each other's dicks just yet", here are some other viable possibilities:

"I'm Winston Wolfe. I solve problems."
"You have a corpse in a car, minus a head. Take me to it."
"Of course, just because you are a character, doesn't mean you have character."
Warner Wolf, I think, was most famous for his signature "Let's go to the video tape!" when turning to highlights of key games of the day....and I actually thought that fit (as in "the proof is right there on the video, but let's wait until they see tougher competition").
 

wiffleballhero

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Until the run that starts with the Ravens, we'll be in cautiously-optimistic/ still-wait-and-see territory unless there is negative information.

It is entirely plausible that the Pats don't play enough high pressure defensive drives to really know much more than we already know -- that they are really, really good on a really good team.
 

54thMA

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I understand dismissing todays game as the Dolphins are horrendous, but historically this team has given the Patriots fits in Miami, prior today's game they had lost 5 of their last 6 games down there. In years past, Fitzpatrick would have found his groove and flung the ball all over the place making key third downs, keeping drives alive and the defense would have had problems getting off the field on third down.

That was a dismantling, an epic beat down, they throttled that pain in the ass of a team today.
 

BaseballJones

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Remember back in 2017 how the Patriots' defense got off to one of the worst starts in NFL history? Yeah, well, this year so far...quite a different story.

2017 - First 4 games:
- 32.0 ppg
- 456.8 ypg
- 24.3 1st downs per game
- 1.3 turnovers per game

2019 - First 2 games:
- 1.5 ppg
- 246.0 ypg
- 13.0 1st downs per game
- 2.5 turnovers per game

Yes obviously it's early. But since the question was asked as to what we're seeing so far......
 

BigSoxFan

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Remember back in 2017 how the Patriots' defense got off to one of the worst starts in NFL history? Yeah, well, this year so far...quite a different story.

2017 - First 4 games:
- 32.0 ppg
- 456.8 ypg
- 24.3 1st downs per game
- 1.3 turnovers per game

2019 - First 2 games:
- 1.5 ppg
- 246.0 ypg
- 13.0 1st downs per game
- 2.5 turnovers per game

Yes obviously it's early. But since the question was asked as to what we're seeing so far......
It really is amazing to see how they’ve transformed into one of the better units in such a short period of time.

Gilmore is really challenging Harrison for best FA acquisition of the Belichick era.
 

bankshot1

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The Pats D started to toughen up after the bye week last year, and they were pretty hard to score on. Even in the AFCCG, they throttled the Chiefs for the first 3 qtrs, until all hell broke loose in the 4th qtr. And even then the Chiefs got gifted a TD on bullshit penalties and no-calls.

Their D is legit very good. But today wasn't the litmus test.
 

Ed Hillel

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I don’t think there is one below average player in like the top 18 players on D, which includes a handful of very good to great players and probably the best cornerback in football. It’s insane.
 

slamminsammya

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Sure the Dolphins are bad, but if memory serves the defenses from 08 to 13 that seemed to perpetually suck would struggle against even very bad offenses.
 

Saints Rest

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I don’t think there is one below average player in like the top 18 players on D, which includes a handful of very good to great players and probably the best cornerback in football. It’s insane.
It drove me crazy when Collinsworth kept trying to compliment the D by saying they didn’t have a single player who was a standout. Gilmore is, at the very least.
 

BigSoxFan

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Told you Gilmore is our worst corner. I’d be curious to see where JC graded out because I feel like he’s been good too.

I think it’s amazing how well the McCourty move worked out. Many of us thought he would be a camp casualty and all he does is earn a starting job and then makes the signature play in a SB win. Now I’m just annoyed Bill didn’t figure out a way to get him sooner.

And that Jones contract extension is looking like a steal.
 

streeter88

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How did the rest end?
According to Pro Football Reference, here are the stats summarised in a table. Not quite consistent with what Lazar said, but Pro Football Reference data.

Edit: inconsistency could be how I categorized 3 and out as 3 plays with <10 yards gained. Didn’t check every drive to see whether it truly was a 3 and out.

25997
 
Last edited:

Reverend

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According to Pro Football Reference, here are the stats summarised in a table. Not quite consistent with what Lazar said, but Pro Football Reference data.

Edit: inconsistency could be how I categorized 3 and out as 3 plays with <10 yards gained. Didn’t check every drive to see whether it truly was a 3 and out.

View attachment 25997
What’s the difference between a three and out and a punt? I feel like I must be missing something obvious.
 

streeter88

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I added one more column, >30 Yard Drives, and you can see them by outcome. Only one ended in points (FG by Pitt), 2 ended in interceptions (1 vs Pitt and 1 vs Miami), and there was one eventual punt and and end of game (Pitt trying desperately to break up the shutout). Pitt also had 2 drives of exactly 30 yards in the 3rd quarter -- the first started on the 25 and ended in a punt, and the second also from the 25 ended in a turnover on downs.

So, some serious domination thus far.

25998
 

Jimbodandy

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Told you Gilmore is our worst corner. I’d be curious to see where JC graded out because I feel like he’s been good too.

I think it’s amazing how well the McCourty move worked out. Many of us thought he would be a camp casualty and all he does is earn a starting job and then makes the signature play in a SB win. Now I’m just annoyed Bill didn’t figure out a way to get him sooner.

And that Jones contract extension is looking like a steal.
I don't think that we have enough snaps this year to draw rock solid conclusions, but it seems like we have at least seven and maybe eight starters in the secondary.

Gilmore, both Mccourtys, Jackson, Chung, Jones, and Harmon. And maybe Williams.

A few a certainly playing fantastic ball, but the depth is also absurd.