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A statistical comparison of 2011 and 2012 Patriots through eight games

10.29.12 at 11:00 pm ET
By

Tom Brady and Wes Welker. (AP)

On the heels of this posting late last week that compared the 2011 and 2012 Patriots through seven games, we’ve decided to make this a semi-regular feature. With that in mind, here are a few statistical comparisons between last year’s team and this year’s team through eight games.

PASSING GAME

•Brady through eight games in 2011: 212-for-321 for 2,703 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
•Brady through seven games in 2012: 209-for-320 for 2,408 yards, with 16 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

•Welker through eight games in 2011: 66 catches on 93 targets for 960 yards and 6 TDs.
•Welker through eight games in 2012: 60 catches for 83 targets for 736 yards and 2 TDs.

•Gronkowski through eight games in 2011: 44 catches on 62 targets for 596 yards and 6 TDs.
•Gronkowski through eight games in 2012: 43 catches on 64 targets for 580 yards and 7 TDs.

•Hernandez through 8 games in 2011 (6 games because of injury): 33 catches on 50 targets for 333 yards and 5 TDs.
•Hernandez through 8 games in 2012 (3-plus games because of injury): 17 catches on 24 targets for 143 yards and 2 TDs.

Targets by position through eight games in 2011:
Running back: 24 catches on 32 targets (75 percent).
Tight end: 77 catches on 112 targets (69 percent).
Wide receiver: 111 catches on 176 targets (63 percent).
Other: 0 catches on 1 target (0 percent)_.

Targets by position through eight games in 2012:
Wide receiver: 115 catches on 183 targets.
Tight end: 65 catches on 98 targets.
Running back: 30 catches on 38 targets.

RUNNING GAME

•Running game through eight games in 2011: 199 rushes on 893 rushing yards for an average of 4.5 yards per carry and 6 TDs.
•Running game through eight games in 2012: 276 rushes on 1,197 rushing yards for 4.3 yards per carry and 12 TDs.

DEFENSE

Though the first eight games of the 2012 season, the Patriots have allowed fewer total yards, fewer passing yards and fewer rushing yards than they did in 2011.

•Defense through eight games in 2011: 3330 total yards allowed (2512 passing yards, 818 rushing yards). That’s an average of 416.25 yards per game allowed (314 average passing yards, 102.25 average rushing yards).

•Defense, 2012: 2958 total yards allowed (2249 passing yards, 709 rushing yards). That’s an average of 369.75 yards per game allowed (281 average passing yards, 88,6 rushing yards).

They’ve also allowed fewer points, and have had a great average point differential between this year and last year.

•Through eight games in 2011, the Patriots had allowed 184 points, an average of 23 points per game. (By way of comparison, through the same stretch, the New England offense had scored 222 points, an average of 27.75 points per game.)

•Through seven games in 2012, the Patriots have allowed 170 points, an average of 21.25 points per game. (By way of comparison, through the same stretch, the New England offense has scored 262 points, an average of 32.75 points per game).

Here are a couple of other defensive comparisons:

•Pass pressure through eight games in 2011: 15 sacks, 40 quarterback hits.
•Pass pressure through eight games in 2012: 17 sacks, 30 quarterback hits.

•Pass defense through eight games in 2011: 10 interceptions, 27 passes defensed.
•Pass defense through eight games in 2012: 9 interceptions, 38 passes defensed.

PENALTIES

When it comes to accepted penalties, the Patriots have seen improvement through eight games, with four fewer penalties and 77 less penalty yards than last season:

•Penalties through eight games in 2011: 52 penalties, 471 yards.
•Penalties through eight games in 2012: 48 penalties, 394 yards.

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