New England Patriots Week 8: Behind the Stats


The New England Patriots had a strong showing in the most important statistic, as they ripped up the St. Louis Rams 45-7 on Sunday. But there’s more to the story than the scoreboard, so it’s time to take a look at how the Patriots did as far as the advanced statistics go. Here are some random notes and thoughts from the box score that stuck out to me.

1. Shane Vereen only averaged 3.1 yards per carry, but he played better than the statistics indicate. A negative seven yard run skews the average, as well as his crucial one-yard punch-in to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead over the Rams. He had a successful play 62.5% of the time per success rate, as he had a big 17-yard catch on third-and-long, as well as a 14-yard run off to the right. Even though the yards per carry average was underwhelming, Vereen played pretty well.


2. In my opinion, Sebastian Vollmer has been the best player on the New England Patriots this season and showed it again Sunday. Not only did he help shut down the Rams dominant DE duo, but he was also his typical excellent self in run blocking. The Patriots had 105 rushing yards on ten carries when running it to the right, and it was just that type of day for Vollmer.

3. Tom Brady had a 24.8 EPA and Rob Gronkowski had an 11.8 EPA, which means that both stars combined for about 36.6 points added in this game. That’s insane, and those were two of the best performances at the position this season. Brady averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, did not throw a pick, and he had a 98.4 TQBR. Insane.

4. The Patriot scored on 70% of their drives and averaged 7.2 yards per play and averaged 6.6 plays per drive. That’s about 47.5 yards per drive, which is also a great number.

5. Brady was 8-10 when throwing medium and short passes towards the middle of the field and was 11-16 when throwing it to the left.

6. But not all was good. Despite scoring only seven points as a team, Sam Bradford had a 73.3 completion percentage and was a deadly 7-9 on throws to the right side of the field. He was also 5-7 up the middle (including the TD to Chris Givens) and 12-16 when throwing it towards the left side of the field.

7. The Rams averaged just three yards per carry (eight for 24) when rushing up the middle, and this once again shows the power of the Patriots interior. Just some incredible run defense right there.

8. Sterling Moore recorded five tackles in coverage and was responsible for two big catches from Brandon Gibson and Brian Quick. The Patriots were only burned three times, but the secondary also allowed Bradford to go 3-4 when throwing the deep ball. The good news is that they covered well enough so that Bradford could only take four shots in the first place.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.