For an interesting read, check out this statistical analysis by the Football Insiders (Insider) on why the Patriots aren’t the same team without Randy Moss.
Among the points made in the piece:
* Tom Brady’s completion percentage, yards per attempt and touchdowns are all way down without Moss. See the chart below:
* Before the Moss trade, Brady completed 75.5 percent of his short passes for 7.6 yards per attempt, compared to 60.3 percent and 5.6 yards per pass after the deal.
* The tight ends have also suffered. Before the trade, Patriots tight ends caught 86 percent of balls thrown their way. Since the trade, that percentage has dropped to 58.
* Wes Welker has taken a hit without Moss as well. Check out the chart below:
Note the right-hand column of that table. "DYAR" stands for Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement, and the fact that this number is negative indicates that Welker is actually playing worse than your typical unemployed wideout right now.
* The author, Vince Verhei, comes to the following conclusion: “The numbers all clearly show what's happening: No longer scared by the deep threat of Moss, opposing defenses are dedicating their resources to rushing the passer and covering the short zones. They'll live with the occasional big play to Deion Branch or Brandon Tate if it means they can dominate Welker and the tight ends like this.”
What do you think of this analysis? Is the Patriots offense struggling because Moss is gone, as these numbers seem to indicate? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.