I have seen many critics say the Pats don't play enough "play action". Its obvious that they have an incomplete idea of what a "play action" entails. Some think its only a Fake hand off by the QB to a RB in the backfield. Its not. The "play action" first of all, is sold by fakes by the offensive linemen, the RB and only finally, the QB. For a pass rusher the most important is the fake by the O -lineman in front of him, faking a run. To do that the Blocker must fire out and try to drive him back as if to to open a hole. If he misses even a little, the pass rusher can dodge him and get around him to rush the passer with little to interfere. They don't do this in pass blocking as its so easy to get a pass rusher completely free. In Pass blocking, the linemen retreat and punch, retreat and punch, to delay but not stop a pass rusher, while simply buying time. So for a real pass with "play action"... Strike One. The fake by the RB forces him to run up to, or through the line without actually getting the ball. Translation: he is removed from being able to pick up the blitz or the pass rusher going for the QB. He is not in a position to help block for the passing QB... Strike Two. The faking takes time, and removes the attention of the QB from looking down field to see the WRs and the progressions. Finally, the time is compressed, since the pass rushers will be on the QB faster than normal. When I hear fans say "run play" action and "throw it deep" they are contradicting themselves. They show how much they don't understand. "Play action" lends itself to quick and short intermediate passes. Why? There is simply not enough time to wait for a deep receiver to get free on his route before the QB is sacked. Its also a play that commits to a specific receiver running a route. Why? The QB will have little time to survey the field and can probably only find and check his first ie. primary receiver. The opposite of what the Patriots dictum is; "throw to the open receiver". If you had a great receiver like Wayne or Holt, you can rely on them to get open. The Pats don't have those receivers who can always separate, and always get open. So "play action" doesn't fit the scheme or personnel; Hence you don't see the Pats run it very often, if at all. Are you surprised???