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Old 12-04-2012   #74
CloakNNNdagger
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Default Re: Bring on New England

Some interesting factoids going into this game.

Quote:
New England Patriots

I donít often include post-game quotes in my analysis, but this one from Bill Belichick really stood out to me. ďItís always good to win. Itís not about the stats, itís about wins.Ē Thatís the core of the Patriots philosophy. With 12 straight winning seasons and nine division titles in the last 10 years, itís clearly been proven right. And this win over Miami was the epitome of that thought process.

No team in the league is more willing to change their offensive approach depending on the opponent. Last week against the Jets, the Patriots had 39 rushes and only 18 completed passes. This week against Miamiís strong run defense, they spent the game throwing very efficient dinks and dunks. Other weeks, itís all about the downfield passing game. Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels live by the cliche ďtake what the defense gives you.Ē

This defense is clearly getting better. The pass rush was there all day. The linebackers did an excellent job stuffing the run and the secondary didnít allow many open receivers. And the playmakers were making plays Ė Brandon Spikes, Aquib Talib, Jerod Mayo, Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich all stepped up. But as the defense has become Super Bowl worthy, there are offensive concerns now Ė particularly up front. OL Dan Connolly got hurt here and the line didnít get much push up front against a quality defensive front.

Brady took four sacks after only one in his previous four games. A good pass rush is kryptonite for New Englandís offense. Bradyís sacks were the primary reason why New Englandís extended streak of OVERS Ė nine in a row dating back to Week 3 Ė finally ended.

The last team to return to the Super Bowl the year after a loss was 1993 Buffalo Bills (and the Ď92 Bills, and the Ď91 Bills). It doesnít happen very often. In fact the only NFL team to reach back-to-back Super Bowls in the last 14 years was the non-spread covering Patriots from Ď03 and Ď04.
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