And She Said
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|Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:44 am
Nowhere was that clearer than the second
quarter, when the Patriots appeared to go three-and-out deep in their own territory after http://www.officialislandershop.com/authentic-2-nick-leddy-jersey.html a strong third-down bull rush from Derrick Morgan got in Brady's face and forced an early throw to a covered James White. The Titans' defense marched off the field, only to be brought back on after a neutral zone infraction on the ensuing punt attempt gave the Patriots a first down. Tennessee pressured Brady only once more on the ensuing 14 plays of the drive, with Brian Orakpo forcing a red zone incompletion before Brady threw a touchdown pass on the next play. Chris Hogan scored to put the Patriots up 21-7, and the Titans never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
This is not a new story. Look through New England's playoff losses and the pressure trend is clear. The Giants' front four ate the Patriots up in 2007 and 2011. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware dominated as part of a 17-knockdown day in 2015. The Jets sacked Brady five times in 2010. An early Terrell Suggs strip-sack gave the Ravens a 14-point lead in 2009. Even in their Super Bowl wins, pressure has defined the game. The Pats launched their comeback against Seattle after Cliff Avril left with a concussion. Last Derek Roy Authentic Jersey year, Grady Jarrett and the Falcons' pass rush shut down the Patriots before Authentic A.J. Klein Jersey they collapsed under a near-record 93 snaps and failed to bother Brady in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Quite frankly, if you're an AFC team, your first priority after finding a quarterback needs to be developing a deep, effective pass rush, because you're going to have to go through the Patriots if you want to make the Super Bowl. You can't afford to settle for a decent unit and even just one superstar, because we saw Khalil Mack and Von Miller talk about wanting to produce 30-sack seasons before the year, only to combine for 20.5 sacks on defenses that each took a step backward.
ll of this makes New England's opponents on Sunday even more fascinating. The Jaguars finished the season second in pressure rate (33.3 percent) despite blitzing just 17.8 percent of the time, the lowest rate in football. Getting pressure with their front four is how the Giants beat the Patriots twice, and the Jaguars have the horses to ruin Brady's day without needing to send a fifth man after the opposing quarterback. With A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, the Jags also have a pair of cornerbacks who can line up anywhere on defense and hold their own in man coverage.
Naturally, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels will adapt their game plan, something they do as well as anyone in football. They won't have as many of the unexpected wrinkles as they did Saturday, when they fooled the Titans by playing off their own season-long tendencies and threw a shovel pass to White for a touchdown and blocked up Tennessee's cross-dog blitz near the goal Courtney Upshaw Authentic Jersey line for another easy score.
Instead, they might totally transform the playbook. The Patriots could follow their philosophy against the Andrew Luck-led Colts teams and go bigger while leaning heavily on the run against a Jacksonville run defense that ranked 26th by DVOA. Maybe they'll avoid the cornerbacks and focus on Gronk, White and Dion http://www.authenticoilersshoponline.com/authentic-7-paul-coffey-jersey.html Lewis, trusting that they're better than Myles Jack, Telvin Smith and Jacksonville's safeties. Maybe they'll go back to the no-huddle that flummoxed Tennessee and try to tucker out Jacksonville's front four. We know Belichick will have a plan, and we know Brady is capable of executing it. What matters is whether the opposing defense manages to disrupt the league's longest-running symphony.
As we evaluate Bortles and other quarterbacks, we have to remember that developing passers don't have the same growth curve and don't have static levels of talent. It's so tempting and simple to put signal-callers on the pass/fail system, where they're either no-doubt franchise quarterbacks or passers who don't have a prayer of ever winning a Super Bowl. There are a few guys who are going to be the best player on the field every week and a whole bunch of quarterbacks who should inspire no hope, but the vast majority of them are somewhere in the middle, and the combination of context and sheer variance changes how they look from week to week or season to season.
A bunch of those guys -- Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and end-of-career Peyton Manning come to mind -- have won Super Bowls in recent years. In many cases, they just got hot at the right time. Flacco threw 11 touchdowns without an interception over a four-game stretch during the 2012 postseason and hasn't posted a single four-game run with 11 touchdowns or zero interceptions in 71 ensuing tries. Eli went 8-0 during his two Super Bowl runs and hasn't won a playoff game otherwise. The phrase "This quarterback is good enough to win a Super Bowl" should be launched into outer space like a bad pass. Three or four great games might be enough, and you might not see them coming.
It's easy to look at Bortles and Andre Iguodala Jersey assume he'll turn into a pumpkin against the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday, and indeed, he very well might. It's also fair to remember that Flacco has twice won in the postseason in Foxborough, and might have four wins with slightly better luck. Mark Sanchez won a playoff game in New England. Their respective defenses deserved a huge amount of credit for those wins, but what do you think Bortles is bringing with him to town next weekend?Pederson stuck with what worked, even calling the same play (or plays that at least looked similar) twice in a row on multiple occasions. He would have http://www.officialjazzshoponline.com/Jonas_Jerebko_Jersey had more success with a better quarterback, given that the bomb Pederson dialed up on the very first play from scrimmage would have gone for a touchdown with a quarterback who either had a better arm or didn't lose his footing. Foles' duck resulted in a long pass interference call that the Eagles wasted on a subsequent Jay Ajayi fumble, but the right idea was there from a schematic perspective.
As teams with a bye should, the Eagles also mixed in things the Falcons hadn't seen before -- or, at the very least, since high school. After getting the speedy, young Falcons to flow to the play side, Pederson dialed up something out of the single-wing to get Nelson Agholor free on a counter http://www.chiefsofficialsauthentic.com/CHIEFS-LAURENT-DUVERNAYTARDIF-JERSEY for a crucial 23-yard run on third-and-3. As underdogs, they played like a team that needed to take risks, going for it on fourth-and-1 at the end of the same drive and scoring their only touchdown on a LeGarrette Blount plunge.