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10 Keys To Beat The Patriots


JOJOTOWNSELL
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http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/14542549/blueprint-in-hand-on-how-jets-can-beat-patriots

So now it's Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie taking pot shots at Tom Brady. Enough already. Let's forget about what someone believes and concentrate on what we know. And what we know is this: Nobody has beaten New England in over two months, and nobody has intercepted Brady in the second half of the season.

And the New York Jets are among those nobodies.

They can insist that they're the team to beat or that Brady isn't the quarterback that, say, Peyton Manning is, but they know the score. No one out there is better than New England, and no quarterback is better than Tom Brady. So how does New York beat them Sunday?

Good question. I posed it to coaches who have had success over the years against New England, and what I found were people who not only gave the Jets a chance, but who gave Pittsburgh or Baltimore a shot against them, too -- provided they followed some advice. It's a set of 10 rules, and they come with a warning: They don't guarantee the upset; they just offer a chance for one.

Sounds good to me.

Rule No. 1: Run first, think later

Rewind the videotape to Super Bowl XXXVI when New England stunned heavily favored St. Louis, and tell me: What did we learn there? Uh-huh, that the Rams would have won had they remembered Marshall Faulk was in their backfield. Instead, they tried to pass their opponents into submission and failed. The Jets can't do that, or they're toast. A week ago they hammered Indianapolis in the second half of their 17-16 victory with their running backs, and take the hint, guys: Don't tinker with success. The Jets didn't the first time these two met this season, running 32 times, throwing -- or trying to throw -- 33 times and generally keeping the Patriots off balance. Result: They never trailed by more than a touchdown, wound up with 45 more yards than New England, didn't commit a turnover, converted nearly half of their third downs and had the ball five minutes longer than their opponent. Play it again, Rex.

Rule No. 2: Nail Brady to the bench

Make this Rule 1-A. Your ticket to beating New England is keeping Brady off the field. Cleveland did it this season in a 34-14 victory when the Browns controlled the ball for 38:08, and do the math, people. That puts him in play for fewer than 22 minutes, and Yahtzee! The fewer opportunities he has the greater your chance for success, and that's not exactly a revelation. "Every second he's not on the field it's a win," one head coach said. I know that sounds easy, but some teams like the quick strikes and can't resist them. I suggest that's a mistake. Bleed the Patriots with long, extended drives where you're unafraid to take check-downs -- where you're unafraid to take what New England is willing to give -- and punctuate them with points. St. Louis refused in Super Bowl XXXVI and suffered for it. Don't make the same mistake. As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Good advice.

Rule No. 3: Create confusion

Never, ever, ever let Brady see what he's witnessed before. Don't set the defenses. Move people around. Disguise coverages. Show different fronts. Bring pressure from unexpected areas. Be creative. Don't be afraid to have your inside linebacker move to the outside or your outside move in -- as long as you can shift them back into position prior to the snap. Basically, do what you can to make Brady see defenses he hasn't studied on film or experienced in games. The guy is a master of the pre-snap read, and you're in trouble the moment he knows what you're up to. "You have to hold your positions until the last second," one coach said, "so when he's dropping back that's the last time he's reading what's happening." That sounds easier than it is. It requires discipline by defenders who not only understand the game plan but are able to carry it through. Brady can't be allowed to get a fix on his opponent. Otherwise, he wins. So shake up the scheme, move defenders around and break habits. This is the fifth time Rex Ryan has taken on New England, and I guarantee Brady knows where the next blitz is coming from. So throw the changeup. "As the comfort level with each game increases," one coach said, "you better have new punches to throw. Show him the Rolodex of defenses. You're trying not to create a pattern."

Rule No. 4: Don't be afraid to consider two game plans

This one is exotic, but I like it. A couple of guys suggested that what you do the first half you don't necessarily do the second, no matter how successful you were the first two quarters. The reason: New England is superb at making adjustments on the fly, and sooner or later Brady will catch on. So keep the Patriots guessing. Just when they think they have you figured out, change the game plan -- staying one step ahead of Brady and coach Bill Belichick. It's all part of the confusion thing, and, granted, it's a reach. But you're talking about a club that hammered Rex Ryan twice by a combined score of 76-16 in Foxborough. Something has to change for New York, and maybe it's the game plan.

Rule No. 5 -- Be patient

As I said, don't be afraid to take the check-downs. If the Patriots give you the screen, take it. If they give you the short sideline pattern, take it. Don't be greedy. I don't mean to pick on the 2001 Rams, but they were so determined to pass on New England in Super Bowl XXXVI that when they were in, say, third-and-short situations the Patriots practically dared them to run. The Rams passed, and take that anyway you want. It all comes out the same. They lost, and there's a lesson there. But patience can work on both sides of the ball, and one defensive coordinator I trust suggested Ryan be careful how and when he blitzes Brady. "You can bring a lot of blitz combinations," he said, "but you better have the patience to disguise it." If you don't, be prepared for Brady to audible out of the call and throw a quick hitch or bubble screen to his favorite receiver, Wes Welker -- usually with success.

Rule No. 6: Don't put the game on Mark Sanchez's shoulders

For some reason the Jets tried this the last time these two met, and Mark Sanchez was more than overwhelmed; he was downright horrible. But that can happen, and it happened both times he's been in Foxborough, with Sanchez completing 46 percent of his passes for one touchdown, seven interceptions and a passer rating of 30.4. Oh, yeah, he's 0-for-2, too. That doesn't mean he spends the afternoon practicing handoffs to Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. Nope, it means you make the run set up the pass, and when you pass you move Sanchez around. My guess is that the Patriots would like nothing better than to have him try to beat them reading coverages from the pocket, but this just in: It won't work. The guy's mobile, so move him around and move the pocket with him. That way you spread out the New England defense and make it move. And when you face a 3-4 defense with big linebackers I want them moving in space.

Rule No. 7: Minimize mistakes

Nobody is better at minimizing their mistakes. New England had an NFL-low 10 turnovers this season and failed to commit one in a league-record seven straight starts. Plus, it set a team record with a turnover differential of plus-28. Bottom line: The Patriots know they won't beat themselves, which means don't expect their mistakes to determine the outcome as they did for Kansas City in its playoff opener. The Chiefs had 14 turnovers this season. They had five vs. Baltimore. Big difference: Kansas City hadn't been to the playoffs since 2006 and hasn't won a playoff game in its last seven tries. And New England? Not only are the Pats experienced in January, nobody is more experienced -- or more reliable -- than Brady, 14-4 in the postseason and 3-1 in Super Bowls. When the Patriots lost to the Jets earlier this season he had two interceptions. He had two more the rest of the year. Draw your own conclusions. The Jets must be careful here. There are no freebies when you play New England. It's no coincidence that when the Jets beat these guys this season they committed no turnovers. An encore performance gives them a chance.

Rule No. 8: Shake up the New England secondary

Every playoff team has a hole, and the hole in New England is its pass defense. It's young, it's improving, but it leaks. The Patriots ranked 30th against the pass, which isn't good, but the more significant number is where they ranked in points allowed -- and that was eighth, which is good. So the Patriots give up plays, but not enough to hurt themselves. So try to hurt them. They're young and not all that experienced in their secondary, right? So create confusion there through pre-snap shifts and motion that can cause last-minute communication problems. Look, we all know the Patriots' success revolves around their system, but that system has built-in rules, or checks, that players follow. The faster you play on offense, the more confusion you can create. New England's defensive backs want to make sure they get their signals straight, but the more the rules for playing within their scheme must be checked the greater the likelihood of a communication breakdown. And that's where you might find an opening.

Rule No. 9: Expect the counterpunch

Rarely is New England caught so off-guard that it lacks an in-game response. I saw it happen once, and that was the 2008 blowout by Miami when the Dolphins sprung the Wildcat on it. Otherwise, these guys make adjustments better than anyone out there. We all know the Jets have the cornerbacks to play man-coverage on New England's wideouts. What we don't know is how New England will counter attack. Me? I'd look for the Patriots to stack receivers to either side. That would force defenders to make a choice -- either stay locked in single coverage and risk getting picked or switch to a combination coverage where one defensive back takes the inside receiver and the other takes the outside. Sounds simple, only I've seen New England shred opponents by sending both receivers inside or both outside -- which, of course, forces defenses to counter the move. But that's not all. The Patriots love the no-huddle offense, too, and look for it if Brady and the offense struggle early. It doesn't matter if the ball is snapped immediately or if Brady and his teammates stand around while a play is sent in. The object is the same: Slow down the defense and hold it in check. "That's the edge New England has," said a coach. "The offense is such a well-oiled machine. They run it well and can plug people into it because the scheme has longevity, and there's a lot of experience in it. Plus, Brady has the patience to take what you give him. And that's different than a lot of guys. If teams say we're not going to let the receiver beat us, they go to the tight end. It's not about style points. They don't care. If Danny Woodhead is the answer he's the answer. The whole philosophy is to do what you have to do to win the game that day. "

Rule No. 10: This isn't Indianapolis

The Jets proved something by going to Indianapolis and beating a quarterback who was 5-1 against Ryan, losing only when he and his starters were pulled in the second half. So they feel good about themselves, and they should. But this isn't Peyton Manning, and these aren't the Colts. This is Tom Brady, the slam-dunk MVP and a quarterback who is 8-1 in the playoffs at home, and this is a Patriots club that won 14 playoff games the past decade, tying the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s for the league record. "Indianapolis runs consistent formations, and Manning gathers information as they run it," a coach said, "and he's great at that. But New England will change its personnel, which means there's more variety in the way they attack you. They run the same concepts, but they might do it out of a different personnel group or different look. Everybody knows how to run the concept. Now they've built the concept in a way to put pressure on you." Make no mistake, the pressure is on Rex Ryan and his Jets. They're 8-point underdogs, not just because Ryan hasn't won in Foxborough before but because the Patriots have. A lot.

Rule number 4 sticks out to me as something that could be very effective on Sunday

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I think the biggies are missing:

Protect the ball; create turnovers.

New England only lost the turnover battle three times this season. New England only failed to win in regulations three times this year. The same three games. Two they lost, one they won in OT.

NE leads the league in the turnover battle and that more than anything else is the reason for this seasons success.

Edited by GodWearsAGrayHoodie
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http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/14542549/blueprint-in-hand-on-how-jets-can-beat-patriots

So now it's Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie taking pot shots at Tom Brady. Enough already. Let's forget about what someone believes and concentrate on what we know. And what we know is this: Nobody has beaten New England in over two months, and nobody has intercepted Brady in the second half of the season.

And the New York Jets are among those nobodies.

They can insist that they're the team to beat or that Brady isn't the quarterback that, say, Peyton Manning is, but they know the score. No one out there is better than New England, and no quarterback is better than Tom Brady. So how does New York beat them Sunday?

Good question. I posed it to coaches who have had success over the years against New England, and what I found were people who not only gave the Jets a chance, but who gave Pittsburgh or Baltimore a shot against them, too -- provided they followed some advice. It's a set of 10 rules, and they come with a warning: They don't guarantee the upset; they just offer a chance for one.

Sounds good to me.

Rule No. 1: Run first, think later

Rewind the videotape to Super Bowl XXXVI when New England stunned heavily favored St. Louis, and tell me: What did we learn there? Uh-huh, that the Rams would have won had they remembered Marshall Faulk was in their backfield. Instead, they tried to pass their opponents into submission and failed. The Jets can't do that, or they're toast. A week ago they hammered Indianapolis in the second half of their 17-16 victory with their running backs, and take the hint, guys: Don't tinker with success. The Jets didn't the first time these two met this season, running 32 times, throwing -- or trying to throw -- 33 times and generally keeping the Patriots off balance. Result: They never trailed by more than a touchdown, wound up with 45 more yards than New England, didn't commit a turnover, converted nearly half of their third downs and had the ball five minutes longer than their opponent. Play it again, Rex.

Rule No. 2: Nail Brady to the bench

Make this Rule 1-A. Your ticket to beating New England is keeping Brady off the field. Cleveland did it this season in a 34-14 victory when the Browns controlled the ball for 38:08, and do the math, people. That puts him in play for fewer than 22 minutes, and Yahtzee! The fewer opportunities he has the greater your chance for success, and that's not exactly a revelation. "Every second he's not on the field it's a win," one head coach said. I know that sounds easy, but some teams like the quick strikes and can't resist them. I suggest that's a mistake. Bleed the Patriots with long, extended drives where you're unafraid to take check-downs -- where you're unafraid to take what New England is willing to give -- and punctuate them with points. St. Louis refused in Super Bowl XXXVI and suffered for it. Don't make the same mistake. As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Good advice.

Rule No. 3: Create confusion

Never, ever, ever let Brady see what he's witnessed before. Don't set the defenses. Move people around. Disguise coverages. Show different fronts. Bring pressure from unexpected areas. Be creative. Don't be afraid to have your inside linebacker move to the outside or your outside move in -- as long as you can shift them back into position prior to the snap. Basically, do what you can to make Brady see defenses he hasn't studied on film or experienced in games. The guy is a master of the pre-snap read, and you're in trouble the moment he knows what you're up to. "You have to hold your positions until the last second," one coach said, "so when he's dropping back that's the last time he's reading what's happening." That sounds easier than it is. It requires discipline by defenders who not only understand the game plan but are able to carry it through. Brady can't be allowed to get a fix on his opponent. Otherwise, he wins. So shake up the scheme, move defenders around and break habits. This is the fifth time Rex Ryan has taken on New England, and I guarantee Brady knows where the next blitz is coming from. So throw the changeup. "As the comfort level with each game increases," one coach said, "you better have new punches to throw. Show him the Rolodex of defenses. You're trying not to create a pattern."

Rule No. 4: Don't be afraid to consider two game plans

This one is exotic, but I like it. A couple of guys suggested that what you do the first half you don't necessarily do the second, no matter how successful you were the first two quarters. The reason: New England is superb at making adjustments on the fly, and sooner or later Brady will catch on. So keep the Patriots guessing. Just when they think they have you figured out, change the game plan -- staying one step ahead of Brady and coach Bill Belichick. It's all part of the confusion thing, and, granted, it's a reach. But you're talking about a club that hammered Rex Ryan twice by a combined score of 76-16 in Foxborough. Something has to change for New York, and maybe it's the game plan.

Rule No. 5 -- Be patient

As I said, don't be afraid to take the check-downs. If the Patriots give you the screen, take it. If they give you the short sideline pattern, take it. Don't be greedy. I don't mean to pick on the 2001 Rams, but they were so determined to pass on New England in Super Bowl XXXVI that when they were in, say, third-and-short situations the Patriots practically dared them to run. The Rams passed, and take that anyway you want. It all comes out the same. They lost, and there's a lesson there. But patience can work on both sides of the ball, and one defensive coordinator I trust suggested Ryan be careful how and when he blitzes Brady. "You can bring a lot of blitz combinations," he said, "but you better have the patience to disguise it." If you don't, be prepared for Brady to audible out of the call and throw a quick hitch or bubble screen to his favorite receiver, Wes Welker -- usually with success.

Rule No. 6: Don't put the game on Mark Sanchez's shoulders

For some reason the Jets tried this the last time these two met, and Mark Sanchez was more than overwhelmed; he was downright horrible. But that can happen, and it happened both times he's been in Foxborough, with Sanchez completing 46 percent of his passes for one touchdown, seven interceptions and a passer rating of 30.4. Oh, yeah, he's 0-for-2, too. That doesn't mean he spends the afternoon practicing handoffs to Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. Nope, it means you make the run set up the pass, and when you pass you move Sanchez around. My guess is that the Patriots would like nothing better than to have him try to beat them reading coverages from the pocket, but this just in: It won't work. The guy's mobile, so move him around and move the pocket with him. That way you spread out the New England defense and make it move. And when you face a 3-4 defense with big linebackers I want them moving in space.

Rule No. 7: Minimize mistakes

Nobody is better at minimizing their mistakes. New England had an NFL-low 10 turnovers this season and failed to commit one in a league-record seven straight starts. Plus, it set a team record with a turnover differential of plus-28. Bottom line: The Patriots know they won't beat themselves, which means don't expect their mistakes to determine the outcome as they did for Kansas City in its playoff opener. The Chiefs had 14 turnovers this season. They had five vs. Baltimore. Big difference: Kansas City hadn't been to the playoffs since 2006 and hasn't won a playoff game in its last seven tries. And New England? Not only are the Pats experienced in January, nobody is more experienced -- or more reliable -- than Brady, 14-4 in the postseason and 3-1 in Super Bowls. When the Patriots lost to the Jets earlier this season he had two interceptions. He had two more the rest of the year. Draw your own conclusions. The Jets must be careful here. There are no freebies when you play New England. It's no coincidence that when the Jets beat these guys this season they committed no turnovers. An encore performance gives them a chance.

Rule No. 8: Shake up the New England secondary

Every playoff team has a hole, and the hole in New England is its pass defense. It's young, it's improving, but it leaks. The Patriots ranked 30th against the pass, which isn't good, but the more significant number is where they ranked in points allowed -- and that was eighth, which is good. So the Patriots give up plays, but not enough to hurt themselves. So try to hurt them. They're young and not all that experienced in their secondary, right? So create confusion there through pre-snap shifts and motion that can cause last-minute communication problems. Look, we all know the Patriots' success revolves around their system, but that system has built-in rules, or checks, that players follow. The faster you play on offense, the more confusion you can create. New England's defensive backs want to make sure they get their signals straight, but the more the rules for playing within their scheme must be checked the greater the likelihood of a communication breakdown. And that's where you might find an opening.

Rule No. 9: Expect the counterpunch

Rarely is New England caught so off-guard that it lacks an in-game response. I saw it happen once, and that was the 2008 blowout by Miami when the Dolphins sprung the Wildcat on it. Otherwise, these guys make adjustments better than anyone out there. We all know the Jets have the cornerbacks to play man-coverage on New England's wideouts. What we don't know is how New England will counter attack. Me? I'd look for the Patriots to stack receivers to either side. That would force defenders to make a choice -- either stay locked in single coverage and risk getting picked or switch to a combination coverage where one defensive back takes the inside receiver and the other takes the outside. Sounds simple, only I've seen New England shred opponents by sending both receivers inside or both outside -- which, of course, forces defenses to counter the move. But that's not all. The Patriots love the no-huddle offense, too, and look for it if Brady and the offense struggle early. It doesn't matter if the ball is snapped immediately or if Brady and his teammates stand around while a play is sent in. The object is the same: Slow down the defense and hold it in check. "That's the edge New England has," said a coach. "The offense is such a well-oiled machine. They run it well and can plug people into it because the scheme has longevity, and there's a lot of experience in it. Plus, Brady has the patience to take what you give him. And that's different than a lot of guys. If teams say we're not going to let the receiver beat us, they go to the tight end. It's not about style points. They don't care. If Danny Woodhead is the answer he's the answer. The whole philosophy is to do what you have to do to win the game that day. "

Rule No. 10: This isn't Indianapolis

The Jets proved something by going to Indianapolis and beating a quarterback who was 5-1 against Ryan, losing only when he and his starters were pulled in the second half. So they feel good about themselves, and they should. But this isn't Peyton Manning, and these aren't the Colts. This is Tom Brady, the slam-dunk MVP and a quarterback who is 8-1 in the playoffs at home, and this is a Patriots club that won 14 playoff games the past decade, tying the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s for the league record. "Indianapolis runs consistent formations, and Manning gathers information as they run it," a coach said, "and he's great at that. But New England will change its personnel, which means there's more variety in the way they attack you. They run the same concepts, but they might do it out of a different personnel group or different look. Everybody knows how to run the concept. Now they've built the concept in a way to put pressure on you." Make no mistake, the pressure is on Rex Ryan and his Jets. They're 8-point underdogs, not just because Ryan hasn't won in Foxborough before but because the Patriots have. A lot.

Rule number 4 sticks out to me as something that could be very effective on Sunday

I would agree that this is actually pretty good stuff. Only problem is, this is only on paper. Good luck trying to accomplish all this on the field against the greatest football mind in the history of the NFL (The Hoodie). Another thing, all this talk about how good the jets are for beating the colts is simply wishful thinking. The colts are absolutely DECIMATED with injuries, you beat a team who is playing at about 50%.

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I still stand that this postseason is all about 1. The DB collection with Revis/Cromartie leading the way...Kyle Wilson's played better, and we got the best seasons in the middling careers of guys like Coleman...plus Pool has and has to step up...2. Mark Sanchez's ability to put up points, especially in critical spots.

By "all about" I mean "slightly more significant than getting good run D, running the ball well, QB confusion through the front 7, and strong special teams play."

Edited by SenorGato
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It's an okay read, but it would be a whole lot better with out all the references to a super game 10 years ago that the Pats actually won. How many guys from that team are still around? Troy Brown was a young stud in that game. The 2001 Pats won with timely O and D and an unsure young QB learning the ropes. The 2010 Pats are a 500+ point offensive juggernaut with a surefire HOF under center.

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It's an okay read, but it would be a whole lot better with out all the references to a super game 10 years ago that the Pats actually won. How many guys from that team are still around?

Brady, Matt Light and Kevin Faulk - Faulk is on IR, but hes still Captain acting as position coach mentoring the young RBs.

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