2019 Pre-Game Thread: America's Team vs. Captain America

E5 Yaz

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That's fine. Numbers tell enough of the story to give you a sense of how they're performing, respectively. I don't really need to do a deep dive on this one. I can, but we all know that the Pats' offense is struggling, and Dallas' is playing well.
If only we could know what the Patriots offense would look like if they'd played the Giants and Lions 2 of the past 3 weeks
 

EdRalphRomero

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The only way those comparisons would matter would be if the Patriots and Cowboys were both performing Hamlet
"Look they're excellent at both phases, slings and arrows. Not my job to say if that's outrageous or not. We're just going to take up arms against the sea of troubles the Cowboys consistently generate and oppose them as best we can for 60 minutes until the end and then shuffle off our mortal coils to Houston."
 

BaseballJones

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If only we could know what the Patriots offense would look like if they'd played the Giants and Lions 2 of the past 3 weeks
Cleveland has the #18 scoring defense. In their two previous games before playing New England, they gave up 63 points and 900 yards. The Pats' offense, at home, scored 20 points and gained 318 yards against them.

In years past in that situation the Pats would likely have put up 40 points.

But ok if you want to presume that the Pats' offense has been fine and Dallas' offense has been pedestrian, no worries. Have at it.
 

TFisNEXT

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You can use DVOA which adjusts for strength of schedule.

Dallas is #1 offense in DVOA and the Patriots are #12.

On defense, Dallas is #20 in DVOA and the Patriots are #1 of course.
 

DJnVa

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That's fine. Numbers tell enough of the story to give you a sense of how they're performing, respectively. I don't really need to do a deep dive on this one. I can, but we all know that the Pats' offense is struggling, and Dallas' is playing well.
And we all know the Patriots track record for about the last 20 years is that they figure shit out while the Cowboys track record is they implode when things are going well.

There doesn't need to be a constant refrain in this forum (not saying just you) to make sure every other poster knows we're not playing as well as we normally do. We all watch the games. The angst permeates just about every thread here. Hell, it does when we are playing well.
 

E5 Yaz

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And we all know the Patriots track record for about the last 20 years is that they figure shit out while the Cowboys track record is they implode when things are going well.
Do you have the stats to back that up?
 

BaseballJones

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Injuries, weather, opponents, etc.

Pats' first 5 games opponent's *current* defense passer rating against
Pit: 83.7 (#6)
Mia: 105.6 (#30)
NYJ: 94.5 (#20)
Buf: 80.0 (#4)
Was: 102.8 (#27)
AVG: 93.3 (#17.4)

Pats' last 5 games opponent's *current* defense passer rating against
NYG: 103.5 (#28)
NYJ: 94.5 (#20)
Cle: 91.0 (#19)
Bal: 79.5 (#3)
Phi: 89.6 (#15)
AVG: 91.6 (#17.0)

Brady's first 5 games: 118-187 (63.1%), 1,409 yds, 7.5 y/a, 10 td, 2 int, 99.4 rating
Brady's last 5 games: 138-215 (64.2%), 1,343 yds, 6.3 y/a, 4 td, 3 int, 82.0 rating
 

loshjott

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"Look they're excellent at both phases, slings and arrows. Not my job to say if that's outrageous or not. We're just going to take up arms against the sea of troubles the Cowboys consistently generate and oppose them as best we can for 60 minutes until the end and then shuffle off our mortal coils to Houston."
"Be. Not be. Whatever. You know I'm not on InstaGlobe or whatever it is. I'm just glad we don't have to go to Elsinore again. Last time we were there our lack of decision making killed us."
 

RedOctober3829

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Final injury reports
NE
Out-none
Doubtful-none
Questionable--Brady(elbow), Bentley, Cannon, Sanu, Dorsett, Ebner, Edelman, Chung, Harris, JMac(groin), Simon, Slater(hamstring)

Dallas
Out-Vander Esch
Questionable--Joe Thomas, Donavan Wilson, Connor Williams

Not sure how La'El Collins went from 2 DNP's to limited today but does not have an injury designation.
 

lexrageorge

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Now we know why Brady was unhappy on Sunday.

Questionable on a Friday is a concern; in the past, he's been simply listed as limited or DNP mid-week, and sometimes probable by Friday.
 

E5 Yaz

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There was story that he was in better mood as week went on. This is likely BB doing his injury report stuff.
And perhaps a little side-eye toward Pittsburgh because the Steelers are appealing their fine on not properly listing the rapist's injury
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Pats beat reporters kept saying something was suspicious about Brady moving up his Friday press conference to Wednesday. Now we know they didn’t want him answering questions about his elbow today.
 

RedOctober3829

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Pats beat reporters kept saying something was suspicious about Brady moving up his Friday press conference to Wednesday. Now we know they didn’t want him answering questions about his elbow today.
If his "elbow" issue was a real issue he would have been limited earlier in the week as well. He took a period or two off today and had to be listed as limited. I couldn't be less worried about him.
 

E5 Yaz

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Final injury reports
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Out-Vander Esch
Dang, this sounds potentially serious

espn:
Leighton Vander Esch will not play Sunday at New England because of a neck injury, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday, and it is not clear whether the linebacker will be able to play again this season.

"Leighton was having some symptoms yesterday, so we had him checked out. It was determined that he has an issue in his neck," Garrett said. "He's not gonna be available for this week's game. We don't think it's career-threatening."

Garrett said the injury has to "calm down" with rest.

Vander Esch's injury flared up in practice, which led to an MRI. Garrett said the linebacker was week-to-week.
 

Zedia

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This is annoying and kind of trollish by Kyed. He purposely added the word “injury” to his initial tweet. 99.99% of the time, these things are listed and talked about as “Brady was limited with an elbow.”
Adding “injury” gets everyone perked up.
It’s called the Injury Report. (Technically, the NFL started referring to it to the “Personnel (Injury) Report” in 2017). It’s not trolling at all.
 

Super Nomario

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Now we know why Brady was unhappy on Sunday.

Questionable on a Friday is a concern; in the past, he's been simply listed as limited or DNP mid-week, and sometimes probable by Friday.
FWIW they took Probable out of injury reports a couple years back. So Questionable is the most mild designation now.
 

axx

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Therefore, I think Shelton and Guy can have success in trying to stop Zeke.
Dunno, given how badly it went against the Ravens (and really the Browns minus the lucky turnovers) I expect the Boys to Feed Zeke early and often just to see how porous the Run D is. An early lead would be nice.
 

RedOctober3829

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Dunno, given how badly it went against the Ravens (and really the Browns minus the lucky turnovers) I expect the Boys to Feed Zeke early and often just to see how porous the Run D is. An early lead would be nice.
People need to stop basing a bad game against the Ravens as the reason why they would be bad in any other game. That is a very unique offense to prepare for and stop.
 

tims4wins

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People need to stop basing a bad game against the Ravens as the reason why they would be bad in any other game. That is a very unique offense to prepare for and stop.
True but the run D also had issues against Buffalo (22 for 135), Cleveland (22 for 159), and Washington (20 for 145). FO has the Pats run D as #13 vs. Dallas rushing offense at #3. Pats are also #24 in the league in YPC against. The run D has been mediocre. It's been very good in 4 games, very bad in 4 games, and somewhere in between in 2 games.
 

E5 Yaz

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True but the run D also had issues against Buffalo (22 for 135), Cleveland (22 for 159), and Washington (20 for 145). FO has the Pats run D as #13 vs. Dallas rushing offense at #3. Pats are also #24 in the league in YPC against. The run D has been mediocre. It's been very good in 4 games, very bad in 4 games, and somewhere in between in 2 games.
In addition, the Cowboys have a better offensive line than the Bill, Browns, Redskins and Ravens, and stoping the run is a significant worry.
 

RedOctober3829

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True but the run D also had issues against Buffalo (22 for 135), Cleveland (22 for 159), and Washington (20 for 145). FO has the Pats run D as #13 vs. Dallas rushing offense at #3. Pats are also #24 in the league in YPC against. The run D has been mediocre. It's been very good in 4 games, very bad in 4 games, and somewhere in between in 2 games.
In all 3 games you mention there was one huge run a game that skews the YPC. Against Washington, they gave up a 65 yard run. 19 carries for 80 yards besides that play and they blew them out anyways. Against Cleveland, the run D wasn't great but the 44 yard run by Chubb that ended up as a turnover again skewed the number a bit(21 for 115 still not great). Against Buffalo, Gore had a 41 yard run but other than that play they held him to 16 carries for 68 yards. Yeah, I know taking the best plays out isn't the most logical thing to do but these 3 plays skewed the overall numbers out a lot.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Does Dallas do/ Can they do a lot of RPO? That (or a mobile QB with a good RB) seems to be what the D struggles with. If this D lined up against Tom Brady/Payton Manning/ Drew Brees, I wouldn't be as concerned about the run D.
 

E5 Yaz

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Yeah, I know taking the best plays out isn't the most logical thing to do but these 3 plays skewed the overall numbers out a lot.
And as you well know, that doesn't matter ... they still gave up the yardage. What those huge plays mean is that, in each case, the run defense broke down so completely that it got gashed ... which sort of strengthens the point that it's a concern
 

nothumb

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In all 3 games you mention there was one huge run a game that skews the YPC. Against Washington, they gave up a 65 yard run. 19 carries for 80 yards besides that play and they blew them out anyways. Against Cleveland, the run D wasn't great but the 44 yard run by Chubb that ended up as a turnover again skewed the number a bit(21 for 115 still not great). Against Buffalo, Gore had a 41 yard run but other than that play they held him to 16 carries for 68 yards. Yeah, I know taking the best plays out isn't the most logical thing to do but these 3 plays skewed the overall numbers out a lot.
Some of this is game-plan related too. I expect the Pats to crowd the line and make Dak read pressures & coverages all day. On offense, I'm predicting a big Burkhead game with a lot of 21 personnel. Cowboys thin at LB and Rex is more of a two-way back than White. Playing fast out of a heavier personnel grouping, they will get the run going and then the play action game will follow. I think we'll see this game get away from the Cowboys so long as the Pats take care of the ball. Red zone execution may be a concern though.

I'll say Pats pull away in the 3rd quarter and win 29-13, with one TD coming from D or ST.
 

RedOctober3829

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And as you well know, that doesn't matter ... they still gave up the yardage. What those huge plays mean is that, in each case, the run defense broke down so completely that it got gashed ... which sort of strengthens the point that it's a concern
It does matter in terms of they are not as bad as the numbers indicate because a good amount of the damage comes in situations where they were giving the other team the running game because they are up by so much. Against Washington the 65 yard run was on a reverse. Also in the 2nd half when the game was out of hand the Patriots were in lighter fronts not worrying about the run. The Redskins ran out of the shotgun on a number of drives and rushed for 40 yards when the game was over.

Against Cleveland, after the 44 yard run/turnover the Browns started to rip off big runs when they were down 17-0. After it was 17-0, Chubb ripped off runs of 16, 12, 6, 7, 4, 5, and 12 and in those couple drives the score got to be 17-10. After the game was 17-10 at 8:37 in the 3rd quarter, they gave up 5 rushes for 27 yards and 18 of that 27 was a scramble by Mayfield on a 2nd and 19.

Not trying to make excuses, but the circumstances of the game mean something when analyzing this kind of stuff.
 

Super Nomario

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It does matter in terms of they are not as bad as the numbers indicate because a good amount of the damage comes in situations where they were giving the other team the running game because they are up by so much. Against Washington the 65 yard run was on a reverse. Also in the 2nd half when the game was out of hand the Patriots were in lighter fronts not worrying about the run. The Redskins ran out of the shotgun on a number of drives and rushed for 40 yards when the game was over.

Against Cleveland, after the 44 yard run/turnover the Browns started to rip off big runs when they were down 17-0. After it was 17-0, Chubb ripped off runs of 16, 12, 6, 7, 4, 5, and 12 and in those couple drives the score got to be 17-10. After the game was 17-10 at 8:37 in the 3rd quarter, they gave up 5 rushes for 27 yards and 18 of that 27 was a scramble by Mayfield on a 2nd and 19.

Not trying to make excuses, but the circumstances of the game mean something when analyzing this kind of stuff.
The run D was bad last year, too, though: 4.9 YPC, 29th in the NFL, and in 2017 (4.7 YPC, 31st). They're 24th with 4.6 YPC against this year. It's not just a one game / handful of plays thing.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think the way in which the stats may be a little misleading is this: their default posture is to deny you longer passes and make you win with running and shorter passes (e.g. longer drives). if you show you will run a lot, they will adjust--even against Baltimore. So those run defense numbers are a blend of strategy and capability. That said, I do not think they have a great run defense even when they are playing to stop the run...but it also is materially better than those number show.

This is all part of why they focus on ppg against, not yards.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don’t really see how they are going to score enough to win this game with two significant WRs out. Edelman, Harry, Meyers plus White maybe gets it done against a lesser opponent but this seems way too tall an order for this game.

Also, I hope Edelman fair catches every punt.
 

tims4wins

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Take out those 3 runs that RO mentions: 65, 44, 41. 3 carries for 150 yards. Then the run D has allowed 207 carries for 823 yards, or 3.98 yards per carry. That would be a ~ top 10 rush D.

But just in those 3 games, if you take out those 3 carries, they still allowed 61 carries for 289 yards, 4.74 YPC. That would put them somewhere around 25th or 26th in the league. So the run D was pretty bad in these games even excluding these runs.

Basically what I am trying to say is we don't really know how good/bad the run D is, given that they did great in a few games, ok in a few games, and awful in a few games. Tomorrow should be a good test.