Patriots new-look offense is diverse, methodical

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Cam Newton made his New England debut in a new-look offense designed to suit his skills. He ran the ball 15 times, a number that coach Bill Belichick has downplayed by attributing the output to option runs that sometimes get kept by the quarterback, and that sometimes get handed off.

Here’s the reality: Seven of Cam’s carries were designed runs; only six came via an option play. (Cam’s longest run of the day happened on a scramble. He also took a knee for his final carry of the day.)

On six occasions, Newton handed the ball off on an option play. Once, he pitched the ball from an option look.

So that’s seven designed runs, six option runs, and seven situations in which he opted to get the ball to the tailback.

On Sunday night against the Seahawks, the question becomes whether the Patriots will use the quarterback option more or less than the 13 times it was used on Sunday against Miami. Also, will Newton have more, less, or the same number of designed runs?

He stayed out of harm’s way for the most part when running, with the most intense contact coming on New England’s final touchdown drive, as Newton tried to convert a third and six and then a fourth and one.

The use of the option play often kept defenders close to the line, opening up underneath zones for short-to-medium throws that can help keep the chains moving. Once, the Dolphins seemed to anticipate another option play, but Newton handed the ball to receiver Julian Edelman on a jet sweep. Edelman picked up 23 yards after sprinting past the Miami defenders (and as one of them in particular — safety Eric Rowe — seemed to be lollygagging to the ball).

The new offense ended up looking very diverse, and being extremely methodical. The Patriots outplayed the Dolphins by more than the 21-11 final score would suggest, fueled by 217 total rushing yards. But for a fumble through the end zone, the Patriots would have had another touchdown, pushing their score to 28 points.

With Russell Wilson looming, the Patriots may need 28 or more to prevail on Sunday night.

21 responses to “Patriots new-look offense is diverse, methodical

  1. I am a little sad this match up is happening so early in the season when both teams are still working to find their footing to some extent. But – it is going to be a great game and I look forward to watching it.

  2. “But for a fumble through the end zone, the Patriots would have had another touchdown, pushing their score to 28 points“

    But for Fitzpatricks 3 INTs, including one that should’ve been DPI in the endzone, would their offense have ran for so many yards and scored so many points?

  3. They’ll keep switching things up, as they have more time to work together. If you think you have it figured out, you’ll get yourself in trouble. One of the advantages of having a defensive guy as your head coach is he knows what the opposing D-Coordinator is thinking. So a lot of the looks that resulted in a run play last week, will probably become play action passes this week. I’m in first place after one week of Fantasy Football, so I’m feeling pretty smart. Lol.

  4. After 20 or so seasons of blowing up The Greatest Show on Turf, going 11-5 with Brady out for the season, and making Jonas Gray a 200 yard rusher, maybe it’s time to stop counting out Bill Belichick?

    Like him or not, the guy seems to know his football.

  5. Seahawks have the advantage. They are 5-1 vs Cam. They know him well. After seeing the film they will stack the box and use Bobby Wagner as a spy. Same way they would play the play the panthers. Russell doesn’t turn the ball over. I don’t think The patriots can score with Seattle. Seahawks 30 – Patriots 17.

  6. One thing is for sure. The offense will not look like it did in week one. The Pats offense is like a chameleon.

  7. schmamps says:
    September 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm
    After 20 or so seasons of blowing up The Greatest Show on Turf, going 11-5 with Brady out for the season, and making Jonas Gray a 200 yard rusher, maybe it’s time to stop counting out Bill Belichick?

    Like him or not, the guy seems to know his football.

    —————————————–

    I don’t think anyone can disagree with any honesty.

    The “counting out” of Bill Belichick can be attributed to wishful thinking.

  8. This will be a huge test for the Patriots. On top of playing a really tough Seahawks team that has a lot of continuity from last year, it’s a night game on the west coast.

    I feel pretty good about the Patriots defense. We’ll see if the offense can take it up a notch or two, because they’ll have to score in the 30s or even 40s to win.

  9. “But for a fumble through the end zone, the Patriots would have had another touchdown, pushing their score to 28 points.”

    Edelman also had an uncharacteristic early drop of a 20-25 yard dart from Newton that was right on the money. If he’d made that catch there would likely have been another early score to open things up a little more, even if it was just a field goal.

  10. They played the dophins.wake up
    By the way the 11 and 5 record was after an undefeated season and everyone back

  11. The strangest Patriots game I ever watched. Something about this team screams unsustainable to me.

    Will take some getting used to on my part.

  12. They’ve got a few games coming up that definitely aren’t against the mid-rebuild Dolphins. We’ll see how they look next month.

  13. covidiots says:
    September 16, 2020 at 1:46 pm
    “But for a fumble through the end zone, the Patriots would have had another touchdown, pushing their score to 28 points.”

    Edelman also had an uncharacteristic early drop of a 20-25 yard dart from Newton that was right on the money. If he’d made that catch there would likely have been another early score to open things up a little more, even if it was just a field goal.

    ——————

    You can play that scenario in every game.

  14. “You can play that scenario in every game.”

    True enough. As Belichick has been known to say, “if wishes and buts were candy and nuts”

  15. Slow down seabiscuit, they played the dolphins. Wait until they put up 13 points and everyone’s gonna be clamoring for stink em.

  16. As someone said up at the top, it’s too bad this game is so early in the season while teams are still figuring things out. Belichick usually uses the first 3-4 weeks to figure out personnel groupings, who will play in certain situations, etc., but this is only going to be exacerbated by the limited camp and addition of Newton and the revamped LBs. Early season Patriots wins often come from out-scheming the opponent (see Dolphins) rather than just being dominant, and they won’t dictate the game plan against Pete the way they did against Miami. It’ll be interesting to see what they do and if they continue to go run-heavy to keep Wilson off the field or if they’re ready to reveal another layer of that offense.

  17. Maybe it was *only* the dolphins bit they got a few recent Pats on defense and their coach was with NE for 10 years.

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