TMQ Thread

judyb

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At what point do you start suspecting someone like him of just lying, knowing that he can correct his "mistake" later but lots of people won't see the correction and just repeat it?
 

Super Nomario

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At what point do you start suspecting someone like him of just lying, knowing that he can correct his "mistake" later but lots of people won't see the correction and just repeat it?
Lying takes effort. Laziness is much more likely when it comes to Mr. Easterbrook.
 

weeba

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He's back for a couple of weeks. Not much to say on the Pats this week, and only 1 reference to BB cheating: http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2012/story/_/id/7874622/tmq-says-skinny-guys-cornerbacks-rule-modern-nfl-draft

But most importantly, did you know comic book movies aren't real!?

When The Joker was snagged in midair at 50 mph and his momentum halted in an instant, force equals mass times acceleration means a transfer of many hundreds of pounds to Batman, who is holding the other end of the grappling line. This would rip Batman's arm out of his shoulder socket.
 

weeba

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He's back!

http://espn.go.com/e...uries-seriously

Only one NEP reference this week, surprised he didn't have a few built up


Complete the following analogy. You must answer before the 24-second clock expires. Poker is to sports as:
(a) Jonathan Vilma is to Zen instructor
(b) Danica Patrick is to wallflower
© Bill Belichick is to evil sinister mastermind
(d) Jeremy Lin is to New York Knicks
 

Turrable

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You've guessed by now that TMQ thinks "John Carter" was a good movie. The Edgar Rice Burroughs books about Mars depict multiple civilizations: "John Carter" included too many, making initial sequences hard to follow. The trailers were incoherent, and the title was a dud. Still, "John Carter" was a movie well worth seeing -- haunting and exotic. If you skipped this flick in theaters, rent it.

Maybe the reason "John Carter" went bust was the Mars Movie Curse. "Red Planet," released in 2000, was a commercial bomb despite Val Kilmer. "Mission to Mars," released the same year, did poorly. Last year's "Mars Needs Moms" lost buckets of money. "Ghosts of Mars," a 2001 John Carpenter flick, vanished so quickly even film buffs may not know the movie exists. For this summer's remake of "Total Recall," the Mars voyage -- essence of the first movie and of the Philip K. Dick book on which it was based -- was eliminated, perhaps to avoid the Mars Movie Curse. (If you haven't seen the "Total Recall" remake yet, spoiler alert: In the future, everything will be derivative.)
I haven't seen it, but wasn't it the unanimous opinion of basically everyone that John Carter sucked complete ass?
 

Dollar

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I haven't seen it, but wasn't it the unanimous opinion of basically everyone that John Carter sucked complete ass?
I haven't seen it either, but it's hard to imagine throwing Tim Riggins, Jimmy McNulty, and Walter White into a movie and having it suck. That takes skill.
 

weeba

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I got about 1/2 way through it and haven't gotten back to it. It wasn't a bad movie... it just wasn't that good. It's a fine summer popcorn flick
 

Mr. Wednesday

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I haven't seen it, but wasn't it the unanimous opinion of basically everyone that John Carter sucked complete ass?
I disagree that it sucked complete ass. I think it was an OK adaptation of very difficult source material. I can at least understand why they did most of what they did, although I dislike some of their solutions to the problems they faced.
 
M

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This week's column was mercifully brief, and contained such gems as:

Next Week: During the preseason, Tuesday Morning Quarterback uses vanilla items designed to confuse scouts from other sports columns. Beginning next week I will come at readers from all directions with unorthodox grammatical structures plus metonymy, anastrophe and polysyndeton. In the TMQ huddle: "Blast Red, 35 Wheel Polysyndeton. On two!"
I'm sure Myt1 would be proud.
 

DrewDawg

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Not too much NE stuff after week 1:

http://espn.go.com/espn/playbook/story/_/id/8363360/is-green-bay-sync-san-francisco-next-nfl-powerhouse

Stats of the Week No. 1: New England, which won its opener, has a league-best streak of nine opener victories

Sour Tactics: New England leading 28-10, the Titans faced fourth-and-goal on the Patriots' 6 with 9:20 remaining in the fourth quarter. An 18-point deficit means two touchdowns and a field goal are needed. The standard "safe" decision for the situation Tennessee faced is to kick a field goal, pulling with 15 points. But two touchdowns are still needed, and you're on the opposition 6 -- strike now while you are close!



Tennessee did the "safe" thing and never got past midfield again, losing 34-13. Had coach Mike Munchak gone for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal and his charges failed, he would have been blamed for not doing the "safe" thing. He did the "safe" thing and his players were blamed for the loss.


Flaming Thumbtacks note: Tennessee had a new quarterback on opening day for the fourth consecutive year.

Flying Elvii note: The New England defense, ranked 31st in the NFL in 2011, held Tennessee to 20 yards rushing on its home turf.
 

tims4wins

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New England seems revived, but its 134 points allowed are second worst in the league.
Hmmm, did the Pats give up 42 to Denver already?

Edit: the Pats have allowed 92 points, which is 20th in the league; it's 23 PPG is 18th in the league. FACTS!
 

weeba

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Way back in the mists of history -- a few years ago -- defense won championships. After the 2011 season, the top playoff slots went to New England and Green Bay, the league's 31st- and 32nd-ranked defenses.
True. Also true? You can get by with the 31 or 32 ranked DEF if you have the best QBs in the league
 

weeba

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Patriots Win the Game But Lose the Commercials Peyton Manning, the leading NFL television spokesman, endorses DirecTV, Sony, Gatorade, Papa John's, Buick, Oreos and other products. Tom Brady, who is Manning's peer as a star and has two more Super Bowl rings, endorses Movado, Visa, Smart Water and other products . But Manning is on the tube constantly, while Brady makes high-profile TV product pitches only occasionally.
Why is Manning viewed as the better endorser? Maybe it's his aw-shucks persona, compared to Brady's jet-set image. Maybe Manning comes out ahead owing to his flair for self-deprecating humor: Brady seems uncomfortable making fun of himself. Or maybe Brady will only endorse products he actually uses.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Or maybe Manning's a better actor than Brady. Manning was much better on SNL than Brady was, and he's scored with the goofing on his own redneck image tactic, which I like and is very effective.

What was the ad when Brady was with all his OL guys? For Visa? Hochstein had the best line in that one with his creepy "Hiiiiii" to the girl.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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And this is just crazytalk:

Sneaky Play of the Week: New England leading Denver 17-7 in the third quarter, the Patriots faced second-and-10 on the Broncos' 17. Tom Brady shouted and gestured, seeming to call a checkoff and making blocking assignments -- "52 is the mike!" was one instruction he shouted, meaning the middle linebacker. Then he barked a hard count, and Denver jumped offside. What hard-count word did Brady bark? "Warren!" Denver employs defensive tackle Ty Warren. Hearing their teammate's name made the Broncos defensive line jump.
Warren's out for the year with another torn tricep. I highly doubt that hearing Ty's name called made the Broncos jump offsides.
 

weeba

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SJH - I just posted the same in the game ball thread. "Warren" was a playcall, not a designed "bark" to get someone to go offsides.
 

weeba

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Or maybe Manning's a better actor than Brady. Manning was much better on SNL than Brady was, and he's scored with the goofing on his own redneck image tactic, which I like and is very effective.

What was the ad when Brady was with all his OL guys? For Visa? Hochstein had the best line in that one with his creepy "Hiiiiii" to the girl.
This one?
 

Shelterdog

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Brady also has to be pretty careful about his public image because he can't fuck up the Bundchen brand. She makes something like $50 million a year in endorsements based in part on her image as about the most glamorous person in the world, and you don't want to screw that up by taking on a goofy Pappa John's ad or something.
 

drleather2001

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I think it's simply that Brady is uncomfortable in front of a (video) camera, especially when he's not with teammates.

I recall back when that commercial (the one weeba posted) was filmed, that the people wanted to get Brady but he refused to do it unless some teammates were also involved.

The only other TV commercial I can recall him in is the one currently running, where he has, literally, one syllable and 1 second of screen time ("Me?") and even in that one he seems ill at ease.

I dunno, my guess is he knows he has kind of a goofy voice and seems awkward, and the SNL experience didn't really sit will with him.
 

loshjott

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I heard that Brady early on wouldn't do TV without including his teammates. Thus, the Visa "5 layers of protection" ad and another he did with 2-3 of his WRs included. It was so forgettable that I can't remember the product. That new one for Dodge is the only one I can think of (on TV) where he's by himself.
 

epraz

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He did some commercial recently (or was it a sketch?) where he played a real asshole.
 

Shelterdog

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He did some commercial recently (or was it a sketch?) where he played a real asshole.
Funny or die, I think.

The fact that he seems like he some James Spader character from an 80s movie certainly doesn't help him--he's the snotty rich kid with the fancy car from BB's Cobra Kai dojo and it's hard to see how he could change that image.
 

weeba

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Just because this is so rare these days:


Mooooooo … that's the sound the Houston Texans' logo made as the team was roped and branded by the New England Patriots on "Monday Night Football." At rodeos, the steer puts up a fight. On prime-time television, the Texans, entering the contest with the league's best record, didn't even put up a fight.




The New England defense exceeded expectations in its 42-14 blowout, using a college-style "50 front" to frustrate Houston stretch plays on expected run downs, then rushing five on expected passing downs. Teams that face Houston will study film of how the Flying Elvii shut the Texans down, forcing them to play from behind, which Houston isn't built to do. Holding the ball -- New England recorded 27 first downs -- also kept the Moo Cows' offense on the sidelines, causing the Texans to press when they did have possession.

Which brings us to the New England offense.

In 2007, the Patriots set the NFL's single-season scoring record, averaging 37 points per game. This year's New England offense is nearly as good, averaging 36 points per game. By some measures this year's Patriots are superior -- plus-24 for turnovers versus plus-16 in 2007, 28 first downs per game versus 25 per in 2007. The 2007 New England offense featured quick-strike deep passes; the 2012 iteration is seventh in the NFL in rushing, and therefore controls the ball better. New England is on pace for 444 first downs. The current record, set by New Orleans in 2011, is 411.


Right now, the New England offense rules the NFL. Yet it starts more undrafted free agents (Wes Welker, Ryan Wendell, Danny Woodhead) than first-round choices (Nate Solder, Logan Mankins). The quarterback is a sixth-round selection who ousted the first overall choice in the draft. Against Houston, the Patriots got long touchdown catches from two players shown the door by the rest of the league (Brandon Lloyd, cut by four teams; Donte' Stallworth, cut by five teams). How does the New England offense do it?



The starting point is offensive line play. The Patriots throw a lot, yet have allowed just 20 sacks, fourth-best in the league. In an NFL in which firing assistant coaches is a New Year's Day tradition, Dante Scarnecchia has been the Pats' offensive line coach since Bill Belichick arrived.

Watch Patriots line film, and what you won't see is an offensive lineman standing around doing nothing. On almost any NFL snap, even on good teams, there's at least one offensive lineman who brushed his man then just stood there looking at the play. When an offensive lineman stands watching the play, that team's offense is functioning 10-on-11. New England offensive linemen never stand around doing nothing. New England always plays 11-on-11.


From many years of staring at the New England offense, your columnist is convinced this is its most fundamental advantage. Everybody runs slants, curls and hitches like the Patriots do; many teams have sophisticated, accurate quarterbacks like Tom Brady; alone in the NFL, the New England Patriots have offensive linemen who never stand around doing nothing. This is an edge any team could seek. Only the Patriots have attained it.


Next, Brady has a near-perfect three-second mental clock. At three seconds, the ball is either gone or he rolls into the flat. Back in the 1980s, when Dan Marino was renowned for his three-second release, the quick release was seen as his personal gift: conventional tactics were for a quarterback to stand in the pocket till someone got open or he got sacked. "Standing in" was seen as proof of quarterback manhood. Marino showed that the quick release is the smarter way -- just get rid of the ball to the first guy who's open, or get rid of the ball, period. Many NFL teams now use the quick release. The Patriots employ it to near-perfection. Close your eyes when New England snaps. Count "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three" and then open your eyes  and the ball will already be out of Brady's hand.


In the 2007 offense, New England was at the bow wave of the fast-snap no-huddle, which today is used by many NFL and NCAA teams.This year's iteration is at the bow wave of the fad to using two tight ends with basketball-style athletic ability, a fad Belichick began. Many coaches, at least back to Hank Stram, have known that covering the tight end, especially a tall tight end, is a weakness of any football defense. Many teams have gone double-tight in rushing situations. New England's innovation is to go double-tight in passing situations, presenting the defense with two unusually big receivers who are athletic. Rather than use the tight end as a blocker who once in a while grabs a short turn-in, Belichick uses the tight end as a primary receiver.


Aaron Hernandez's first touchdown catch against Houston seemed almost effortless -- he lined up as a fullback then ran a simple flare in front of a linebacker. Most teams send a tight end deep once or twice a game; the Patriots send Hernandez or Rob Gronkowski deep a dozen times a game. Since Belichick drafted Gronkowski and Hernandez in April 2010, this combo has caught 54 touchdown passes. New Orleans, the NFL's second best in tight end use, has 26 tight end touchdown receptions in the same period. Most NFL head coaches obsess over glamor positions such as running back. Belichick obsesses over offensive linemen and tight ends, resulting in the league's best offense.

The Patriots change looks both between games and during games. Against Houston, sometimes New England went fast-snap no-huddle, sometimes huddled up and featured the run. In the third quarter, the Texans grew desperate and began to play press corners with a blitz; Brady responded by throwing deep, for a 63-yard touchdown that made the game a rout.

The New England offense is so confident and proficient that often the primary receiver isn't covered by anyone. Against the Jets on Thanksgiving, no one covered Welker -- one of football's all-time most productive receivers -- at the goal line. Against Houston, no one covered Hernandez at the goal line. The football gods are smiling on this offense.


Will they smile in the playoffs? Belichick won his three Super Bowl rings with balanced teams heavy on defense; his high-scoring offenses of 2007 and 2011 lost the ultimate game. Many high-scoring offenses -- the Oregon Ducks in 2010, the 2005 Colts, the Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills -- are unstoppable in the regular season when defenses are giving 90 percent, then cool off in the postseason, when defenses give 100 percent. We'll see if the Patriots' attack is once again unstoppable during the regular season, then declines in January.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Yet it starts more undrafted free agents (Wes Welker, Ryan Wendell, Danny Woodhead) than first-round choices (Nate Solder, Logan Mankins).
He just can't get through anything without some completely intellectually dishonest point popping up, can he? I know he doesn't think Woodhead is a starter. Would his point have less merit if he just told the truth and said "as many"?

many teams have sophisticated, accurate quarterbacks like Tom Brady;

Oh, that's it...QBs like Brady are a dime a dozen, but no team has thought to have their OL play to the whistle. Genius!
 

weeba

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I missed this part too on first read. I had written game over in my notebook far earlier than the 3rd quarter.

As for the Moo Cows -- they trailed 21-0 in the third quarter and punted on fourth-and-1. TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.
 

kenneycb

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I don't think he was but I'm sure Belichick doesn't really care if the guy playing the first series is the one who actually gets up on the jumbotron for 5 seconds during pregame.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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Does anyone else get annoyed when people still insist on labeling Starters in the NFL? With all the sub packages on offense and defense the line of starter vs. non-starter is beyond blurry. Can't we all just agree to call is Contributors and Non-contributors?

E.g. Woodhead is a valuable contributor to the Patriots. Pat Chung is an overrated non-contributor stapled to the bench.
 

Shelterdog

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He just can't get through anything without some completely intellectually dishonest point popping up, can he? I know he doesn't think Woodhead is a starter. Would his point have less merit if he just told the truth and said "as many"?

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Oh, that's it...QBs like Brady are a dime a dozen, but no team has thought to have their OL play to the whistle. Genius!
If he actually did research he'd see that Connolly was undrafted so he wouldn't even have to pretend that Woody is a starter to prove his idiotic point about the awesomeness of undrafted players. (Why would it be surpising that only a small percentage of the NFL's 1696 active players are first round picks--even if every single NFL first round pick plays ten years they'd still only be 20% of the league).

Seeing that Ridley is a thousand yard back it's a pretty glaring error.
.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Woodhead was also listed on ESPN's graphic of the starting lineup. I remember because I thought it was odd that they'd list two RB and one TE when the Pats almost always line up with one back and two TE (or one TE and three WR). Fairly certain that Woodhead was not on the field for the first few plays of their opening drive. He might have come on for the first 3rd down.

I don't really think those "starter" graphics mean a whole hell of a lot as far as when the players hit the field. Usually the defense listed is the base defense (4 lineman, 3 linebackers, 4 defensive backs), even if the team starts in a nickel or dime package.
 

loshjott

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I dunno, I'm not going to nit pick and instead enjoy that analysis.

He has the ultimate love/hate feelings toward Belichick.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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I dunno, I'm not going to nit pick and instead enjoy that analysis.

He has the ultimate love/hate feelings toward Belichick.
How can you enjoy analysis that says there are plenty of QBs like Tom Brady but only one offensive line in the league that tries real hard? I don't think it's nitpicking to point out that it's completely fucking asinine. If he wanted to say it was admirable, fine. But he says this:

New England offensive linemen never stand around doing nothing. New England always plays 11-on-11.

From many years of staring at the New England offense, your columnist is convinced this is its most fundamental advantage. Everybody runs slants, curls and hitches like the Patriots do; many teams have sophisticated, accurate quarterbacks like Tom Brady; alone in the NFL, the New England Patriots have offensive linemen who never stand around doing nothing. This is an edge any team could seek. Only the Patriots have attained it.


Asinine.
 

Ralphwiggum

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How about his assertion that the reason high powered offenses get shut down during the post-season is that defenses give 100% during the post-season but only give 90% during the regular season?

His analysis is shit when he's criticizing the Pats, there is no reason to think it is any better when he's praising the Pats.
 

dcmissle

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How about his assertion that the reason high powered offenses get shut down during the post-season is that defenses give 100% during the post-season but only give 90% during the regular season?

His analysis is shit when he's criticizing the Pats, there is no reason to think it is any better when he's praising the Pats.
Everyone tends to be more focused when a blindfold and cigarette are lying on a table nearby, but I think the more obvious explanation is that the defenses your team encounters in the playoffs are just better than what you see overall in the regular season. It's no accident, in my view, that the Giants held the Pats to 14 and 17 points in their two SB matchups.

I'm just happy that he's made a couple of generally correct points in this most recent column, even if the supporting data are errant.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Everyone tends to be more focused when a blindfold and cigarette are lying on a table nearby, but I think the more obvious explanation is that the defenses your team encounters in the playoffs are just better than what you see overall in the regular season. It's no accident, in my view, that the Giants held the Pats to 14 and 17 points in their two SB matchups.

I'm just happy that he's made a couple of generally correct points in this most recent column, even if the supporting data are errant.
Sure but why wouldn't this apply equally to the guys on offense?

I agree with your second point that generally speaking you are going up against better defenses in the playoffs, but I'm not sure that explains it fully. Of course if you really wanted to understand why high powered offenses get shut down in the playoffs (if that is even true, citing a couple of examples doesn't make it true) you could study the issue and try to come up with some reasons why it is happening instead of just pulling something out of your ass, but that's not Easterbrook's style.
 

Shelterdog

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How about his assertion that the reason high powered offenses get shut down during the post-season is that defenses give 100% during the post-season but only give 90% during the regular season?
You could get a good way of the answer empirically--find the average points scored by teams against top ten, middle 12, and bottom ten defenses during the regular season and then compare that to what happens in the post season. I suspect scoring doesn't drop much in the playoffs, it's just that you're playing better teams.

Like last year's Pats scored 20 in the regular season and 17 in the superbowl against the Giants, 45 in the playoffs and 41 in the regular season against the Broncos, and 23 against the Ravens--which isn't all that different from what they did against a comparable Steelers team in the regular season (17).
 

dcmissle

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Sure but why wouldn't this apply equally to the guys on offense?

I agree with your second point that generally speaking you are going up against better defenses in the playoffs, but I'm not sure that explains it fully. Of course if you really wanted to understand why high powered offenses get shut down in the playoffs (if that is even true, citing a couple of examples doesn't make it true) you could study the issue and try to come up with some reasons why it is happening instead of just pulling something out of your ass, but that's not Easterbrook's style.
I'm sure it does.

I think his general point is that there have been more than a few teams with "unstoppable" offenses in the regular season that find much tougher sledding in the playoffs, and I think he's right. BB as D-Coordinator of the NYG laid waste to one of those unstoppable offenses in the SB. To attribute that to defenses not trying quite as hard in the regular season is, I think we all agree, silly.

The sample size may not satisfy you, but for the 2007 Pats there was a 15 point-per-game dropoff between the regular season and the postseason (37 to 22). And the Pats were held to fewer than 30 points PPG in 4 of 16 regular season games, but in 2 of the 3 playoff games.

Pretty much the same for 2011, though less pronounced -- 32 PPG in the regular season vs 28 in the 3 post-season games (they scored 45 vs Denver), and, again, they were held to less than 30 in only 4 of the 16 regular season games, but 2 of three times in the playoffs.

Look at the opponents and the scores those years, and it's pretty much common sense -- you spend a good part of the regular season whaling on teams that end up watching playoff football on TV with the rest of us. The defenses of playoff teams are better; that's part of the reason those teams are in the playoffs.

This is a very fair point to make with regard to the Pats -- though casting it as to whether the "football gods" (his favorite Spygate explanation -- we're cursed) will smile is more foolishness. The Pats probably will have to win at least one game this post-season in which the winning score is in the mid-to-low 20s; the offense is just not going to be able to roll everyone. Is the rest of the team up to it?
 

DrewDawg

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The sample size may not satisfy you, but for the 2007 Pats there was a 15 point-per-game dropoff between the regular season and the postseason (37 to 22). And the Pats were held to fewer than 30 points PPG in 4 of 16 regular season games, but in 2 of the 3 playoff games.
But was that because it was the playoffs or a general weakening of the Pats offense for some reason? Of the 4 regular season games under 30, three of them were in the last 5 games of the season and of the 5 teams we played twice (Fins, Jets, Bills, Chargers, Giants) we scored fewer points in the second game against all of them except Buffalo.