Patriots – Bucs Another Look At Some Key Plays

During the Patriots 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, we had the opportunity to re-watch the game two times on NFL Rewind utilizing the All-22 Coaches film and had a couple of interesting plays to pull out from a Patriots perspective.

The All-22 is a great resource and allows one to see the entire field and shows where sometimes things aren’t exactly what they seem on television, where the camera follows the ball.

We’ll be posting more of these as the season progresses but for today just a few interesting tidbits.

Brandon Bolden Screen Pass: Bolden made a nice read on the open field to his right on the Patriots first play from scrimmage. QB Tom Brady made a nice fake and waited until the last second to throw Bolden the ball and allow the play to develop.

All-22 Bolden 1st qtr

Bolden had two blockers (Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins) out front in good position but there was a lot of acreage in front of him to his right which he took. If not for a nice shoestring tackle, Bolden’s 12 yard gain could have gone for a lot, lot more.

Patriots Different Looks on Defense: Through the first two games and facing mobile scrambling QBs, the Pats played a lot of nickel 4-2-5 defense. Against the Bucs they reverted to their base 4-3 defense more to utilize Brandon Spikes’ ability to stuff the run.

But on passing downs, rather than Spikes taking a seat, it was a safety (Steve Gregory) and they brought in another corner. Late in the 1st quarter in this look, they blitzed LB Jerod Mayo off the edge. Both DEs Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones cleanly beat the OL to meet at QB Josh Freeman for a big sack.all-22 Ninkovich Sack 1st Qtr


Tommy Kelly’s Impact Inside: Kelly was a nice free agent signing this spring and at the time, it was kind of under the radar but an extremely valuable one. The Patriots for years have been trying to find someone who can push the pocket from the inside and bring pressure on the QB.

Vincent Wilfork is a space eater and consistently can take on double teams in the running game, but isn’t a big pass rusher. The team jettisoned others who couldn’t do that this off-season, and they’ve been trying to fill this role for years. Albert Haynesworth failed and the team’s attempts to bring in Red Bryant and Jonathan Fanene were unsuccessful.

all -22 Kelly sack Bucs 1

All-22 Kelly Sack Bucs2

Thus far this year, Kelly has been an unqualified success. He and Wilfork have been very good at stuffing the run and Kelly is getting pressure inside. As the Patriots bring more to the table defensively, look for Kelly to be even more productive. On this particular play Kelly was able to cleanly beat his man to the inside. Chandler Jones, upright in a two-point stance gave a 3-4 look to the defense, also cleanly beat his man to the edge and met Kelly for the sack.

So far this season, the Patriots defense on 3rd/4th down pass plays is allowing 17-40 for a 42.5 percent completion rate for 181 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs along with 2 sacks for a quarterback rating of 35.5. While it is a total team effort, Kelly so far has been a big part of that.

And now for the Not-So-Good clips….

Brady Misses Wide Open TDs: On a play we’ve called attention to on Monday, on the Patriots drive early in the second quarter, Brady play fakes the Bucs safeties and attempts a pass down the left sideline to tight end Zach Sudfeld.

The Bucs were able to snuff the play out but what Brady missed was, his fake was so good, both Tampa safeties bit hard on the fake allowing both Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins to run untouched down the hashmarks. If Brady sees either one of them, it is an easy pitch and catch for a touchdown. There wasn’t a Bucs player within 5 yards of either.

All-22 Brady Sudfeld

Later in the second half, with the Patriots at 2nd and goal from the six yard line, Brady drops back to throw, the Bucs had confusion in the secondary with two players running into one another. Aaron Dobson does a slant into the post and is inexplicably all alone.

Brady did have pressure up the middle, but that is a throw he has to make and does 99 percent of the time. Instead the throw goes into the turf and some valuable points were left on the field. Brady later forced another red-zone pass into coverage for a pick in the end zone by Mark Barron.

All-22 Brady Dobson EZ INC

The Patriots had an overall good performance on Sunday against Tampa Bay but look for certain things to be improved upon as the season moves along. The hallmark of the Belichick teams is that they get better in the second half of the season.

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