In their incredible but predictable run for the Super Bowl, Tom Brady and the Patriots competed against two of the NFL's most formidable Pass-Rushing units … and the future Hall of Famer barely touched.
It is lazy to say that the book about Brady's victory should put him under pressure; that goes for every quarterback. But it is certainly important, and that the Patriots are back in the big game, indicating how the Chargers and Chiefs fare in this critical end. In the divisional and championship rounds, New England competed against groundbreaking pass-rush talents like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Justin Houston, Chris Jones and Dee Ford, allowing a combination of zero sacks and just three quarterback hits. The Chiefs and Chargers put pressure on Brady to just 1
How do the patriots in irrelevant top-tier pass-rush units represent in two direct games? ? And can they prevail against Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and a terrifying Rams front three times in a row on Sunday?
I thought the Patriots had problems with the unrelenting pressure that both the Chargers and the Chiefs could produce late in the year. Brady occasionally struggled with accurate confrontation with the upcoming passers-by this season and after putting pressure on a meager 71.2-passer rating this season – 21st in the league and a huge drop in his league-best from 96.6 from last year – per Football Focus – It seemed likely that both LA and Kansas City were in a position to cause chaos. I think I should have known that Bill Belichick had a plan to stop it all.
New England had a two-pronged strategy for dealing with these elite Pass Rushing units: Get the hell out of football and get passports from Brady's hands extremely fast. This sounds simple in the concept, but is complex in practice. Success in both areas began with the underestimated offensive line of the team, which merged into an elite unit at the right time. Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon have been awarded passport protection from left to right. For example, compared to the Chiefs, this group had a Passblock win rate of 90.5 percent per ESPN, the highest score for each team in every match throughout the year – showing a level of coordination and communication in the EU would not have been possible human noise at Arrowhead. With close goals from Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen and full back James Develin, the Pats have also opened great careers for the team's versatile running backs this season. Rookie Sony Michel and veterans James White and Rex Burkhead have been the tip of the spear for the attack against New England in the last two games, plummeting to a total of 331 yards and eight touchdowns (19459008).
Together with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, gruesome offensive coach Dante Scarnecchia has helped develop a varied, hard-to-defend running program. The Pats dug deep into their playbook during the championship round and threw everything but the kitchen sink onto the often overstretched front of the Chiefs. New England's 15-play, 80-meter opening race was the perfect microcosm because they used a variety of attacks from different groups of people to confuse and confuse their opponents. After NFL Films had described Greg Cosell on The Ross Tucker Football Podcast last week, the team's seven first-down-run concepts in this opening race went in this order: a weak iso-lead of 21 employees (two backs, one fixed end), one counter runs out of 22 employees (two back backs, two tight ends), one outside zone runs out of 22 people, one iso leader is made up of 21 employees, a zone counter runs out of 11 people (one back, one tight end), 21 people in the inner zone and 11 people in the outer zone. This is just a possession and only the first down run. Just look at the variations on how these games started. in blocking, formation, staff, running direction and even Brady's footwork.
It is mesmerizing and demonstrates the skill of the offensive linemen of the Patriots who have managed to execute a variety of high-level run games and styles. It is also a hell of a defense to prepare for this kind of multiplicity.
Of course, the run game was just part of New England's insidious plan to reduce their opponents' elite pass-rush groups. Brady also got to work on the pass attack: while the run game mainly hit the middle of the field, Brady, McDaniels and Co. made sure to weaken the boundaries of KC's defense and start with a swath of fast swing passes to her running back. Here are a few examples: Notice how Brady manipulates second-level defenders with his eyes.
In this next game Burkhead squeezed the snapshot into the slot. When linebacker Reggie Ragland reacted slowly to this movement, Brady whipped a quick pass to the wing.
The Pats also mixed in on-screen games …
… and a few fast-paced action-action throws in the middle threatening a run to suck the linebackers to the line before throwing them over their heads ,
New England emphasized the K.C. Defense in both vertical and horizontal directions. With a quick pass to Develin, who got out of the backcourt, Ragland managed to suppress the lateral speed between the sides.
And they brought Cordarrelle Patterson into the attack. first with a jet sweep, then with a swing pass from the back field.
Most of these games – swing passes, screens, sweeps – were simple "compulsions" to use the aggressiveness of the chiefs to face Brady (or the run). The Patriots, however, relied on numerous man and zone beater concepts to move the ball down in the field as well. Brady often knew who would be open to determine the cover mechanisms before the ball was torn and allowed him to quickly retrieve the ball to efficiently hit positive yards.
In this third game, the Pats are handing things over to Julian Edelman in a tight slot on the left. Brady sent Edelman through the lineup and when the defender followed, he signaled the men's coverage of the chiefs. Knowing that Gronkowski (to the right of the wing) was going to take his defender aside was an easy read for Brady, who was beating the stick on a fast route with his playmaker receiver.
Gronk was also a big part of the plan. He saw eleven goals for the season, scoring six passes for 79 yards – easily his best performance in over a month. In this second-quarter game he was Brady's reliable sell-out option. Brady sent Burkhead into the wing before the bang, and as the corner ran back he signaled that the Chiefs were probably in a zone. Allen ran up a vertical line from the right side of the line, Develin rushed to the left and Gronk pulled a short pull over the formation.
When the middle linebacker focused on Allen, Brady quickly saw that Gronk was the place for him. Easy money.
Brady found Gronkowski again in the fourth quarter, this time against obvious men reporting. After Allen, Edelman and Burkhead moved over the formation charge, they all ran with clear numbers, hoping to draw all the defenders on this side of the ball deep into the field. Gronk just ran into a crossroads with a defender in the coverage.
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens stayed with Burkhead shortly before he realized the pass was to Gronk, but he snapped too late. Gronk hit Hitchens around the corner, avoided the tackle and got a few yards more.
The ability to use movement to first identify the cover and then attack it also proved useful in the extension. Brady converted three consecutive consecutive games of 3 and 10 to bring New England forward and score the game's touchdown – but for most of the first four quarters, the team did not need that kind of heroism. Brady met some important chunk tunes, but by and large the Patriots were content to just settle on the field and separate drives of 15 games, 11 games, nine games, 10 games and 13 games.
Dominant run play and Brady's mastery of cover allowed the Patriots to remain in manageable third-down situations (averaging 5.32 yards to finish third, the lowest rank among teams in the series) Championship round and 13 19), control the ball (they ran 94 games, most in a playoff game since the 1986 season), and bleed the clock (they had the ball for more than 43 minutes, more than twice the Chiefs) , Most important, however, was the ability of the Patriots to uphold Brady. The Chiefs had never come very close to the 41-year-old caller. They just did not have time. The combination of Brady's lightning-fast processing capabilities and McDaniel's brilliant planning meant that the ball almost always came before K.C. could break the line. After Brady averaged a 2.33-second lap-low to beat the Chargers, Brady scored 2.51 seconds per throw for the fastest release in the championship round.
This fast game will be used in Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots traded with the Chargers and Chiefs 'pass-rush units, but New England has stood up against the Rams' unique pass-rush front. With a pair of indoor playmakers in Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, L. A. regularly destroyed opposites this year. And on paper they see ready to do what the Chargers and Chiefs could not. LA posted a league-best 16.6% print rate from the inside this year, a strength that could be the key to solving New England's bullet-proof off-season strategy: Brady's -passion against edge pressure this year including The playoffs are a staggering 118.7, but when exposed to internal pressure, the value drops to 63.1.
The New Englanders got the weapons, the tactics and the quarterback they needed to fight the best Rams interior-to-noise duo. It may mix new games and vary the use of staff to try to keep LA on the heels, but I assume that the game plan will not change drastically: The Pats will try to tear the Rams in the neck and Brady will try to enjoy games that get the ball out of his hands in two and a half seconds or less. We'll find out if that's enough time to keep Suh and Donald in check.