--For guys that called themselves “60-Minute Men,” the Patriots [team stats]
rarely provided that much film for opposing offenses to dissect during any given week.
Thanks to a score of lopsided victories, the Patriots didn’t have to show all their cards on defense, which means the Jacksonville Jaguars [team stats]
could end up seeing some unexpected wrinkles in tonight’s divisional playoff tilt at Gillette Stadium.
Already considered a master tactician, Patriots coach Bill Belichick
will have the added benefit of opening a defensive playbook that could afford to stay vanilla in many of the squad’s early routs.--
For a more recent example, one need only recall Jan. 7, 2006, the last time the Patriots and Jaguars met in the playoffs. The Pats led 21-3 when quarterback Byron Leftwich dropped back to throw what he thought was an open out underneath on fourth and 5. However, just as he released the ball, Asante Samuel [stats]
curled off the go route he was pretending to cover and right into a game-clinching 73-yard interception return.
The timing and choreography were like something out of John Woo movie and a play the Jags hadn’t seen all year -- the Patriots had installed it especially for that situation because they knew Leftwich’s tendencies.--