Patriots more efficient than ever

The players around him may have changed but Tom Brady is as effecient as ever. Andrew Weber/US Presswire

It shouldn't be surprising that the 2007 New England Patriots put up the highest offensive efficiency totals in the history of Football Outsiders' metrics. The 16-0 regular-season team had record-setters in single season touchdown passes (Tom Brady, with 50), touchdowns caught (Randy Moss, with 23) and was especially effective in the first 12 weeks of the season. In those first 12 weeks, the Pats were 54.5 percent better than the average NFL offense, outscoring their opponents by an average of 40.2 to 16.8 points per game. That 2007 team fell back to earth, or at least went from superhuman to merely excellent, in Weeks 13-17. Its offensive DVOA dropped to 28.9 percent and its average margin of victory was 29.4 to 17.8.

The 2007 Patriots saw their season end in a surprise Super Bowl loss, but the route back to reality started well before that. The early part of that season featured a virtually unrepeatable pattern of shotgun spreads, deep routes to Moss, receiver screens to Wes Welker and limited access to any sort of running game. Though it was portable (the Pats actually had a higher offensive DVOA on the road than at home that season), it wasn't sustainable.