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Patriots’ red-zone perfection is an encouraging sign – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-10-26 07:28:41 –


Patriot

Here are five aspects of the New England Red Zone attack that worked against Jets.

The Patriots QB Mac Jones celebrates the touchdown with Brandon Bolden’s running back. AP

Commentary

Jets stinks.

Let’s agree with it from the beginning. Also, if there is indisputable reassurance from these first seven weeks, the Patriots may have dropped a bit, but at least they haven’t retreated to the miserable level of the jet. New England has scored 12 consecutive victories over New York, adding 41 points to the ridiculous margin of surpassing what appears to be a rival, 378-133, for the life of Streak, but at least proves that much. ..

But in the seventh week, there was one thing Jets did well.

“Give us an inch of grass, and we’ll protect it,” said coach Robert Saleh, who recently entered Sunday as the NFL’s second best in the Red Zone. Promoted the ability of line defense. Over the course of six weeks, Jets abandoned touchdowns on just 42.9% of opponents’ trips within the 20-yard line. The league average was almost 62 percent.

Conversely, in the same opening six weeks, only two attacking units across the league were worse in the red zone than Patriot. It seemed that Jet came to Foxborough and fueled the fear of keeping their hosts undefeated at home — but instead, Pat flipped the script. They made touchdowns on all six drives within 20 so the overall output of 54 points and 551 scrimmage yards could be dismissed as opposed to inferior enemies, but New England The effectiveness of the Red Zone has been overlooked or understated, given concerns that were beyond the start of the first half a dozen of Mac Jones’ careers.

“We’ve been trying to get better. There were some frustrating performances,” said David Andrews of the Patriots Center. “It was good to hurry what we did today, protect most of the quarterback and punch in the goal line a few times. It definitely feels good.”

Andrews’ team will try to bring that success to Los Angeles this week. There may be an opportunity to do so. The Chargers allow two or more (68.9%) touchdowns on three of the enemy’s Red Zone chances, ranking in the bottom half of the league by that metric. But, as Sunday suggested, performance in these key places means more than it looks on paper, so in the end, the results depend primarily on the Patriots’ execution.

There are five aspects of the Red Zone Offense that worked against Jets, which may suggest factors for success in the scoring area.

GO-TO SHORT YARDAGE RUN

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Patriots were not particularly confident in short-distance situations. They avoided some viable attempts to pick up the fourth down in the first six weeks and used it several times from the look of the Wildcat, rather than plunging Damian Harris side by side near the goal line. bottom.

But on Sunday, they had great success from the familiar set, scoring one to three times. Each started with one tailback behind Jones, then moved full-back Jacob Johnson from right to left. Quarterback. Just beyond Jones was the receiver, lined up tightly in the slot on the left.

In each of the three 1-yard touchdown runs (Harris in the first and JJ Taylor in the second half), Johnson helped seal the outer edge, and the back released and covered the inside of the left side of the line with a barrel. Andrews has partnered with security guard Ted Crow. The role of the receiver on that side cannot be underestimated. The first two will be credited to N’Keal Harry, and then to Gunner Olszewski, who hurdles Pats across the 50-point plateau.

“We spent a lot of time on the goal line, the short yard, and sometimes we don’t get those opportunities. As an aggressive lineman, and as a running back, you hit it I like it, “said Andrews. “What we want is an aggressive line.”

The elements were similar in Harris’ other runs. On top of that, Johnson was still in motion, but then he put himself behind the quarterback. He acted as a lead blocker because the snap came from 3 instead of 1. Again, Harry held his block out of the slot. And again Harris thrust it to the left.

It may have been identified by Josh McDaniels as a weakness of Jets. Jets lacked a solid linebacker, CJ Moseley, and could have been a game plan-specific formation. It wasn’t exotic, but Pats’ ability to do it and do it repeatedly should at least give some confidence that it will be a credible strength in the event of a similar situation later.

Big play to get a position

In the first five games, the Patriots recorded only two touchdowns from inside their opponent’s five (and only one field goal from there, which was the fifth against Houston. Was the winner of the week). A few weeks later, they scored within 5 to 7 times. Among them, a week ago, he scored five times against Jet and twice against cowboys.

Combined with the fact that half of Nick Folk’s 16 field goals were less than 35 yards, it suggests that many of the Patriots’ Red Zone possessions were closer to 20 than the goal line.

With Sunday’s victory, the Patriots completed a 46-yard and 28-yard pass to reach 1 of the Jets. An additional 22 yards throw brought the ball to 3, and a 32 yard Harris run was set up first. And the goal from 7. Of the ten longest gains of the putt of the day, four set them up in a goal-to-go situation and the other placed the ball directly in the end zone.

In effect, Pat spent most of the afternoon skipping the area of ​​the field where many of the drives had died. Even if your scoresheet shows 5 TDs under 3 yards, call it a by-product of connecting in some big play in the end.

efficiency

Another striking fact about the Patriots’ Red Zone performance on Sunday, and another proof of the big chunk that put them in place, is that the attack only performed Jets’ 20 to 13 official plays. That’s it (the 14th time wasn’t counted. Jakobi Meyers was a victim of pass interference.)

This is amazing efficiency, with over 46% of snaps scoring. And it’s not as if they had a hard time in other down situations. Only two times in the Red Zone turned down third, one was canceled by Myers’ interference and Brandon Bolden won a 15-yard swing pass for a touchdown.

McDaniels has shown a tendency to call trick play and try to cause confusion among the defenses this season, but this week they didn’t have to go deep into the bag to find the paydart.

Shotgun passing

The match was still balanced before the half, so Bill Belichick tried to take advantage of the last 1:15 of the second quarter instead of breaking satisfactorily with a 24-7 lead, rookie quarterback. Showed some trust in. Jones appeared to be the leader in commanding the attack throughout the series, spending much of it on shotguns and staying there even after the series moved to the red area.

Starting at 17, on the pass to Bolden, Jones took all five snaps from the shotgun and finished the drive. They threw it and ran effectively from there. They used the set first and scored from the set that still had a timeout in 31 seconds. They could have brought Justin Herron as an additional tackle and tried to stuff it as they had already done in Harris, and will do it a few more times in the second half. Instead, they left Jones behind, chipped the block with Harris, and QB popped a pass across the line to diving hunter Henry.

Hunter henry

John Nusmith’s greatest contribution came when the Patriots were able to bring the ball to space, but Henry has been putt from the tight end since Rob Gronkowski retired in October. Provided the missing Red Zone threat. The team has spent a great deal of time in free agent positions.

Henry’s dive, juggling catch behind the end zone on Sunday gave a touchdown in four consecutive contests, with each quartet originating from within 20 of his opponents. He also made one of the big catches to set the rush score. Established trust with his quarterback, which has been passed down to his coach. On Monday, Bill Belichick enthusiastically praised Henry’s intelligence, his ability to manipulate defenses, and his perception in the field.

“He’s doing a lot of small things, subtle things, really, really well. As I said, he’s a really good addition to our team and gives us a lot of variety. He did, “said the coach. “He really stepped up and gave us a lot of production in that position.”

From the beginning of Henry’s four touchdown catches, the Patriots recorded 12 touchdowns on 16 red zone trips, including a drive in Houston where Harris failed at the goal line. ). Until then, it was 2 to 8. The timing of Henry’s production in that part of the field and the improvement in offense proficiency are no coincidence.



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