View Full Version : Then and now.

01-17-2015, 04:43 PM
One year ago, the Pats were in AFC Championship #3 in a row. The pundits were calling out the WR corps as the weakness of the team. This year, in #4 in a row, such talk is muted. But is it true? Let's compare.

Last year, our top 5 was: Edelman, Amendola, Dobson, KT, Boyce.
This year, it's Edelman, Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Brian Tyms, and you can call Boyce 5.

Note that as Gronk is a TE, he is not part of this comparison!

How do they compare?

Well, we can compare each guy last year to his equivalent this season:

Edelman compares to himself. Last year he played 16 games, had 105 catches for 1056 yards and 6 TD. This year he played in 14 games and had 92 for 972 and 4 TD. Basically, Minitron was Minitron both years.

Danny had 54 for 633 and 2 TDs last year. This year he has 27 for 200. Danny's had much less impact and Gronk basically stole his touches (and lets not forget LaFell has a propensity for PI on long Amendola catches). Last years Danny was better.

Dobson's role last year has been taken by Lafell this year. Dobson had 37 for 519 and 4 TD last year. LaFell has 74 for 953 and 7 TD. LaFell clearly is a production upgrade and it gets worse as you'll see. The move to LaFell was an upgrade as far as we can tell. However, since Dobson played very little, we don't know how he would have developed.

KT's role was taken by Tyms. Last year, KT had 37 for 466 and 4 TD. This year Tyms has 5 for 82 and 1 TD.

Two things from this: First, KT had 6 for 52 in 2 games with the Pats. He also added 15 for 209 for Oakland. So, KT's total is 21 for 261, blowing Tyms out of the water. The move to Tyms was a downgrade. To be honest, I was shocked Tyms had 5 catches. I'd guessed two before I looked it up.

Secondly, LaFell has taken the targets of both KT and Dobson! That's impressive.

Finally, Boyce had 9 for 121 last year, and nothing this season. He was mostly on the practice squad.

So, Julian's been great over 2 years. Danny's regressed but is solid on special teams. LaFell has been outstanding, even given his slow, terrible start, and we've gotten very little out of WR4. Next year, if we give Tyms snaps to Dobson (or Tim Wright), we could be even more dangerous

Andy Freeland
01-17-2015, 05:34 PM
I don't know that it's a great WR corps but it certainly isn't the weakness it was last year and part of the Patriots formula is being able to succeed without HOF caliber WRs (except during the Moss/Welker days when obviously they had HOF caliber WRs).

They signed Amendola last year to replace Welker, Edelman took that role instead and has flourished. He's not quite Welker in his prime but he's better than Welker right now. Amendola is a decent player and had some good games at the end of the year with Edelman hurt. He's redundant but it's nice to have an option if Edelman were to get hurt again.

You can't underestimate the value of LaFell, he's been huge. Career-highs across the board and he really didn't become a big part of the offense until week 4. He's much better than any #2 receiver they had last year.

You didn't include Gronkowski in yours but I will. Last year was a lost season. I thought there was a chance he'd never be the same again, he's always been injury prone going back to college. He was back to being the best TE in football this year and one of the biggest weapons at any position. How do you cover him? Having Gronk and Edelman in the middle of the field really opens up the outside for the speed guys and the flat for Vereen.

No question, the Patriots are much better at receiver than they were last year.