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Last week , the New England Patriots defense faced one of the brightest young stars i
06.12.2018, 06:44
Beitrag: #1
Last week , the New England Patriots defense faced one of the brightest young stars i
While their upcoming week seven opponent – the Chicago Bears – do not have a quarterback with quite the same tremendous credentials this season as the Chiefs’ MVP candidate, Mitchell Trubisky is still a passer capable of doing plenty of damage with his right arm and his legs.What stands out in particular when it comes to Trubisky is his ability to accurately challenge the deep parts of the field. “I think one thing he does really well, he throws a great deep ball,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said earlier this week. “I think they design some good plays and I think he does a good job of seeing that and understanding where a safety is or where this guy is – ‘If I can just get him to look one way, I’ll open it wide up.’”“He does a really good job of finding receivers down the field,” added New England’s de-facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores. His unit has generally fared well when it comes to stopping the big play this season, but showed some obvious weaknesses against Mahomes and the Chiefs last week. “It will be a challenge for us – you know, a guy who can scramble like this and extend plays, and then at the same time, find receivers down the field and put the ball on them pretty accurately.”This ability allowed the Bears to regularly challenge teams deep through their first five games of the season. Overall, the team therefore registered 18 pass plays of more than 20 yards – six of which resulting in touchdown, while only one deep attempt was intercepted. Let’s take a look at two of those plays to find out what makes Chicago’s deep passing game so dangerous and productive.2-10-CHI 33 (10:31) (Shotgun) M.Trubisky pass deep right to A.Robinson II to ARZ 28 for 39 yards (T.Boston).Down 14-3 during their week three game against the Arizona Cardinals Matthew Slater Color Rush Jersey , the Bears were able to create some much-needed offensive momentum on a deep pass to wide receiver Allen Robinson II. The play starts with Chicago having an 11-personnel group on the field with a trips formation to the offensive left, one running back offset in the backfield, and Robinson (#12) as the single pass catcher on the weak side:NFL Game PassTrubisky’s initial target on the play appears to be tight end Trey Burton (#80), who runs an in-crossing pattern from the three-man bunch. However, the Cardinals flood the underneath zones well in their cover 3 scheme which forces the young passer to go through is reads and look for Robinson. The former second-round pick was chipped at the line of scrimmage but able to get open down the field on an out-and-go combination:NFL Game PassThe play in itself is not spectacularly designed or particularly badly defended by Arizona – even though the deep-field cornerback Jamar Taylor (#28) could have been less aggressive on the out-route – but it shows a lot of the traits that make Trubisky a dangerous deep passer. Facing a four-man rush that is picked up well by the line, the second-year man remains calm despite his initial reads not being open.Instead of panicking, Trubisky simply works to the other side of the formation – to Robinson – and re-sets his feet to bring himself in a position to deliver a pin-point throw. His mechanics stay sharp throughout the process, which allows him to put the pass right in the bucket for a 39-yard gain:NFL Game Pass2-7-CHI 28 (15:00) (Shotgun) M.Trubisky pass short middle to T.Cohen to MIA 22 for 50 yards (R.Jones).As Brian Flores mentioned during the aforementioned conference call, Trubisky also is a dangerous passer when moving off the spot. However, he was rarely moved noticeably off the spot on his 18 deep pass attempts this season which speaks for his patience in the pocket but also for the protection he enjoyed. A fourth quarter play from last week against the Miami Dolphins shows just how much damage Trubisky can do when given the time.Chicago approached the second down with its preferred offensive package – 11 personnel – aligned in a 1x3 formation:NFL Game PassMiami counters with a cover 1 look with deep safety Reshad Jones (#20) shaded slightly to the defensive right. At the snap, Trubisky is able to freeze the defensive back by initially looking towards wide receiver Anthony Miller (#17) on his crossing route from the right side slot. With Jones left in a vacuum, the Bears’ quarterback feels comfortable in the one-on-one matchup between running back Tarik Cohen (#29) and cornerback Torry McTyer (#24) down the offensive left sideline.NFL Game PassWhat helps Trubisky was the offensive line holding up well to give the passer enough time to make a play on the longer-developing concept. This Ryan Allen Jersey , in turn, made it possible for the second-year man to step into the throw and deliver a high-arcing pass to his running back for a gain of 50 yards – another big play for the Bears offense and their young quarterback that was well executed by all players involved:NFL Game PassWhat makes the Bears’ deep passing game – as illustrated by those two plays – so dangerous is the team’s ability to keep its quarterback well protected, and Trubisky’s vision and sound technique on the throws. For New England, it will therefore be imperative to get pressure on the passer and to be physical with his targets at the point of attack to disrupt the timing of plays. Trubisky, when given the time and seeing an opening to exploit, is able to make all the throws.New England should also take a similar defensive approach as it did with the aforementioned Patrick Mahomes: trying to confuse the young quarterback before the snap in order to test his decision making and potentially force him into errant throws. Against Kansas City, this worked well – at least initially – as the Chiefs turned the football over twice in the first half. A similar result would go a long way to help the Patriots leave Chicago victoriously. Over the last three seasons, Dion Lewis turned from an undersized, oft-injured player into one of the NFL’s more electrifying running backs. His rise to stardom happened as part of the New England Patriots — the team that took a shot at Lewis in 2015, and the one he left as an unrestricted free agent earlier this offseason. Today, Lewis will meet his old team again when the Patriots come to town to visit the Tennessee Titans.And if the first nine weeks of the season are any indication, New England will see plenty of the running back. “Dion Lewis has taken over as the feature back for the Titans Danny Shelton Jersey Black Friday ,” Jimmy Morris said about him when asked what to expect of a Tennessee offense that has been inconsistent so far this season. Jimmy, who follows the Titans as editor-in-chief for our sister site Music City Miracles, pointed out that a lot of Lewis will likely be in the cards.“He has over 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the last two games,” Jimmy said about the former Patriot who is first on his team in touches (125) and yards from scrimmage (598) and is also tied for the team-lead in total touchdowns (2). “He is the biggest edge the Titans offense will have in this game. He will get the ball early and often in this game. [...] Matt LaFleur will see the mismatch he has against the Patriots linebackers.”As he was the last three year in New England, Lewis is a productive player both in the running game and as part of the Titans’ aerial attack: he is the team’s top back in terms of rushing attempts (92) and yards on the ground (339), and also regularly hears his name called in the passing game: the shifty back is second on the team with 33 receptions and 259 receiving yards. Safe to say that the Patriots need to be ready to limit his impact.If New England’s defense is indeed able to slow down the Titans’ best weapon — a big if considering that the unit has been inconsistent when it comes to doing that against pass-catching backs — other players will have to step up. And according to Jimmy, the wide receiver that leads the team with 36 catches for 451 yards appears to be the front runner to do just that: “The guy that will need to step up is Corey Davis.”“He had two touchdown catches in the playoff game last January, so we know the upside that he has, but he has been largely inconsistent to this point,” Jimmy said about Davis. “The Titans spent the 5th overall pick in the 2017 draft on Davis expecting him to be a game changer. He has shown that at times, like when he had nine catches for 161 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles in week four.”“They will need a big performance from him if they are going to win this game,” Jimmy continued about the second-year wideout. It will not be easy for Davis , however, as he will likely be matched up against Stephon Gilmore. On paper, this matchup favors New England as the team’s number one cornerback is playing at a Pro Bowl level and has successfully shut down wideouts all year long.Another player needed to perform at his peak is therefore the man needed to spread the football around: quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Titans reporter is confident that this is what will happen and that Mariota will rise up to the challenge. “I think you will see Marcus Mariota at the top of his game for the first time all year, “Jimmy said about the four-year veteran who is completing a career-high 67% of his passes.“He got off to a slow start this year after damaging a nerve in his elbow in week one,” Jimmy continued about Mariota, who has thrown for 1,270 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions so far this season — all while also carrying the football 41 times for 217 yards and a pair of scores. “He didn’t full regain feeling in his hand until this past week. Now that he is healthy and the Titans have had more time learning the new offense, they seem to be rounding into form.”Whether or not the development is at a point where Mariota and the Titans can hang with New England remains to be seen. But even though the unit is ranked as the 29th best in scoring, it still poses a major challenge in the form of one productive former Patriot.
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