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The New England Patriots defense has been outstanding (1 post)

  • Profile picture of liny liny said 7 months ago:

    so far this season , especially against the pass: the unit, which leads the NFL in both scoring and yards surrendered, currently has a league-best touchdown-to-interception ratio of 4-to-19, has given up fewer net yards per attempt than any other defense (4.1) and also ranks third in the league with 37 sacks. Whoever tried to advance the football through the air has had a tough time versus the Patriots.On Sunday, however, awaits arguably their biggest challenge to date: a Dallas Cowboys offense that is ranked fourth in the league in scoring and has moved the football well via the pass, leading the league in yards (3,127) and net yards per attempts (8.3) — all while being run by a serious MVP candidate in Dak Prescott. The fourth-year quarterback is in the middle of his best season as a pro and his growth as a passer is a big reason for Dallas’ offensive success.Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also knows the challenge that Prescott presents, and he offered a scouting report on the 26-year-old during a press conference on Wednesday. Needless to say that he seems to be impressed with how the Cowboys’ versatile passer has played so far: “This guy can throw the ball, he’s very accurate, he’s got great poise in the pocket, stands in there. He can extend plays and run if he has to, but he doesn’t do much of that unless he really needs to.”“He has great patience and poise, discipline in the pocket, gets his eyes down field. He’s a very good intermediate-to-deep ball-thrower. He’s got good weapons, but he’s been super impressive. Just a great, great quarterback — sideline throws, inside throws, in-cuts, posts, over routes, flag routes Duron Harmon Jersey , you name it,” continued Belichick when breaking down one of the most prolific passers in the league this season.Through 10 games so far this year, Prescott has completed 247 of his 365 pass attempts (67.7%) for an NFL-best 3,221 yards as well as 21 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. On top of it, he has also carried the football 33 times for 193 yards and three scores. Needless to say that Pro Football Focus’ sixth-ranked quarterback has been very good and — together with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore — a big reason for Dallas’ offensive renaissance.While Prescott has always been an accurate and smart passer, it appears the Cowboys are under Moore are now more willing to trust him as the motor that runs the offense (as opposed to running back Ezekiel Elliott, for example). So far this year, this move has paid off as Prescott is on pace to set career-highs in every major passing category. This has also helped Dallas improve to 28.6 points per game up from just 21.2 points a year ago.But as Belichick pointed out, Prescott is not only a threat because of his passing abilities. While plays designed to have him carry the football are only a fraction of the Cowboys’ offensive play calls, they do still challenge the defense whenever they come up on top of the other things the unit does: “He does it all. He runs options, he runs read zones, keeps the ball in critical situations, tough guy to tackle, makes tough yards when he needs them.”“He’s really good [...] They have a few plays… the read zone plays, they have some option plays, things like that, couple moving pocket plays,” added Belichick when talking about the running abilities of the former fourth-round draft pick. “Just another thing to bother the defense, just another thing that you have to worry about and defend. Just another rock on a big pile of rocks.” So maybe all those fans and media members blasting the choice of Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft were being a little hasty in their judgment of him and New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.And maybe, just maybe, so are the folks getting ready to put Jones in the Pro Football Hall of Fame about six months and — checks notes — one start later.Still, Jones’ debut in place of Eli Manning as the Giants’ starting QB was an auspicious one Womens Tedy Bruschi Jersey , including erasing an 18-point deficit, even if the 32-31 victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday came courtesy of a botched 34-yard field goal attempt by Tampa Bay’s Matt Gay (after a questionable decision by coach Bruce Arians to purposely take a 5-yard penalty for delay of game to make the kick longer than it had to be).”Probably the story of the game will be the rookie quarterback,” New York coach Pat Shurmur said at his news conference, stating the obvious and likely relishing it. “You guys tell me: I thought he did a pretty good job, first time out. … We believed in him from the day we drafted him.”So there.Jones, who played in college at Duke, went 23 of 36 for 336 yards and zero interceptions, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and rushing for two more, including the go-ahead score on a 7-yard run on fourth down with 76 seconds left. Even inspired star running back Saquon Barkley to giddily hop off the field, keeping his injured right ankle and crutches aloft.”He keeps passing the test, in our mind. Until this afternoon, he hadn’t played in a regular-season NFL game,” Shurmur said about Jones. “Maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but he didn’t disappoint.”Jones is the first rookie since 1970 with at least 300 yards passing, two TDs through the air and another two on the ground in a game.And this silly stat was making the rounds on Twitter: Jones now is 1-0 when trailing by 18, while Manning never won once when facing such a deficit.On the other hand, Manning has a 2-0 edge in Super Bowl championships.Manning, to the surprise of no one, spent time with Jones on the sideline Sunday, offering up a congratulatory first bump after the new guy’s first scoring run.”I can’t thank him enough for his support throughout the week,” Jones said, “and today throughout the game.”Here’s what else people are talking about after the third Sunday of the NFL season:BYE , ABThe Antonio Brown saga just keeps unfolding, and unraveling, with the receiver who’s been accused of rape and trying to intimidate another woman, and who was jettisoned by three teams in 2019, declaring on Twitter that he “will not be playing in the NFL anymore.”He also typed up, then deleted, a scorched-earth rant before the day’s games kicked off, taking shots at New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, among others.Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whose team employed Brown for one game, wouldn’t respond to a reporter’s question Sunday about the receiver — days after cutting short a session with the media because he didn’t want to discuss a player who at the time was still on his team’s roster.PATRIOTS’ DSpeaking of the Patriots, their defense has done something no other team has done in the Super Bowl era: not allowed a TD to an opposing offense via a pass or run through three games.Then again, New England hasn’t exactly been facing The Greatest Show on Turf. Its opponents before beating the Luke Falk-led New York Jets 30-14 in Week 3? The Steelers, the team Brown played for last season, and the Miami Dolphins. Combined record: 0-9.The Patriots, let’s not forget, are the reigning Super Bowl champions, and they still have Belichick running the defense and Tom Brady leading the offense. They’re also not the only club to take full advantage of a weak-as-can-be schedule so far. The Bills are also 3-0, and they’ve played the Giants, the Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals, who dropped to 0-3 with Sunday’s 21-17 loss at Buffalo.Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at


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