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The Patriots are hardly in uncharted waters here, the team is quite used to Bill Belichick’s staff being raided during the off-season, and this one like the others, will be handled, mainly from within as has been his modus operandi. But who fills these positions will bear watching.
The big 6’4, 325-pound lineman is versatile, a Bill Belichick staple and can play anywhere from 0-technique to a 5-technique. His ability to stop the run and collapse the pocket were big parts of the Patriots defense down the stretch.
This was a game that the front seven of Denver took charge of right off the bat and never let up, sacking Brady 4 times and being credited with 20 QB hits
For most of the season the topic of conversation in regards to the New England Patriots has centered on the performance of the offensive line. While that unit has at times deserved scrutiny, the return of Sebastian Vollmer has seemed to have stabilized the group. Overlooked has been what may be the real Achilles heel for this squad as they battle the Denver Broncos on Sunday: the team’s third down defense.
Tom Brady with both Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski in the lineup is 22-1 in his last 23 games. In those contests, Brady has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 7322 yards, 64 TDs and just 13 INTs for a passer rating of 107.
In Brady’s last 23 games with both Gronkowski and Edelman available the Patriots are 22-1. And in those games Brady has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 7322 yards with 64 TDs, 13 INTs for a passer rating of 107.
In the earlier game, the Patriots tried to stress the Broncos linebackers by putting them in coverage. It was a match-up they didn’t fully realize but with Edelman back on the field, White is a weapon that they can bring to bear.
An even bigger factor of having Edelman back is teams can’t overload on covering Rob Gronkowski and he was extremely effective on Saturday with seven catches for 83 yards and two big touchdowns
Most of the focus in the mid-west is on Andy Reid mismanaging the clock – but only a minority recognized the reality that the Patriots outplayed the Chiefs. Forget the time issues for a moment; was Reid lulled into an improper game plan based on New England’s final game(s) of the season?
Brady was sharp, completing 28 of 42 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns on the day. His numbers would have been even better had not the Patriots suffered a case of the drops especially in the first half.
Edelman is particularly effective at getting open at the line of scrimmage and allowing Brady to get the ball out quickly which helps an offensive line that is battered, bruised and has been leaky down the stretch.
Smith is the “X-factor” in both KC’s running and passing game. One thing to consider is that Bill Belichick has always been a bit passive when facing a quarterback who can run.
“I want to start off by saying I made a pretty stupid mistake this weekend,” Jones said. “Right now, my main focus is becoming the best player I can be and helping the team, and we’re focused on Kansas City.”
Thanks to the epic meltdown by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers advance in the NFL playoffs – and the New England Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs rather than Cincy in the division round of the 2015-2016 post-season.
Edelman can produce both inside and outside the numbers, he’s Tom Brady’s go-to guy in most third down situations when the need to move the chains. He brings that quick, short pass dynamic to the New England offense.
|NBC Sports Boston - Mar 2nd, 2021|
|USA TODAY - Mar 2nd, 2021|