Stat-Checking the Patriots' Run Production vs Giants

Earlier today, Ryan Hannable echoed the sentiment of many Patriots fans when he discussed the Patriots giving up on the run too early in yesterday’s game against the Giants. A Pats fan wrote in to Tedy Bruschi today saying essentially the same thing. I took a look at the running plays from each quarter to see how many were called and what the production was.

First Quarter: 8 running plays (including Tom Brady’s 5-yard scramble), totaling 37 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry (ypc).

Second Quarter: 6 running plays, totaling 21 yards, averaging 3.5 ypc.

Third Quarter: 6 running plays*, totaling 18 yards, averaging 3 ypc. *I counted the direct snap to Danny Woodhead here as a running play. The official score sheet does not record a direct snap as a running play.

Fourth Quarter: 5 running plays, totaling 32 yards, averaging 6.4 ypc.

Analysis: One could make the charge that the Patriots abandon the run too early. The Pats had fair success in the first quarter running BenJarvus Green-Ellis, though his lack of field time may have been due to a toe injury he has been nursing. The Giants were not very strong on defense against the run, so one would think they would try and stick with it a little longer, also helping keep the defense off the field. The ypc in the fourth quarter jumped up due to the Giants playing the pass. Also, the Patriots had a tricky run play where they direct-snapped to Danny Woodhead who then handed the ball off on an end-around to Wes Welker. In terms of a run:pass ratio for the entire game, the Pats had 24 run plays (25 if you count the Woodhead direct snap in the third quarter as I did) and 49 pass plays. The offense certainly was not balanced, which may have helped the Giants in keeping consistent pressure on Tom Brady.

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