EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

September 12, 2011

Bill Burt: Some Patriots number crunching for 2011

Everybody loves numbers.

They make the sports world go 'round these days.

Well, here are some numbers to decipher while chomping on your Cheerios this morning.

All of them relate to your New England Patriots, which open tonight in Miami (7 p.m. on ESPN).

If most of these come through, on the plus side for the Patriots, then this season will be super. I guarantee it.

Anyway, there are 10 of them:

Less than 1,300 for Ingram

That's less than 1,300 yards for Mark Ingram.

What do the stats of the rookie New Orleans Saints running back have to do with anything the Patriots?

The Patriots had the 28th pick overall and had an alleged need for a go-to running back — we're talking "breakaway" running back. Rather than take the top running back on most NFL "Draft Boards," the Patriots chose to take a chance or two second-tier backs in Shane Vereen (Cal) and Stevan Ridley (LSU) in the second and third rounds respectively.

If Ingram is the real deal, like the Saints think he is, and he rushes for 1,300-plus yards, the Patriots may pay for drafting from the clearance rack. Most of the best Patriots teams this past decade, including the Super Bowl winners in 2001, 2003 and 2004 had go-to backs. If Ridley or Vereen fill that role, no problem.

Anyway, anything near 1,300 yards means he is going to be very, very good.

40-plus sacks on "D"

The number is 40. When the Patriots have sacked the opposing quarterback 40 more times since the turn of the century, they have made the Super Bowl.

While it would be nicer if that number was closer to 50.

The bottom line is that this Patriots team appears to be built toward the mid-40s or even 50 with the addition of Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis on the defensive line.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington Calipari's Next Kittens
Boston Sports
NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch