Another day, another team who helps the Patriots.
Doug Marrone is the latest dolt of a coach to think that 14 whole points was good enough. He thought 14 points was high enough, so it was safe to play prevent defense and three-and-out offense. He thought the refs would call at least one, just one, penalty on New England’s offense or defense. He thought wrong.
I’m embarrassed that I praised Marrone’s intelligence yesterday. Embarrassed that this guy was coached by Don Shula and then went out and made sooooo many mistakes.
Remember right before halftime? The Jags had an opportunity to run the clock down to the two-minute warning and more than likely go into halftime leading 14-3. Instead, Marrone chose to punt it with 2:20 or so left, giving Brady a free play BEFORE the two-minute warning. Either a horrible coaching decision or a game-changing error on Marrone’s part. Either way, it’s inexcusable.
In the second half, the Patriots sold out their entire defense to stop the first-down runs that Jacksonville had used effectively earlier. They did a good job too. The runs that were gaining 6 or 7 yards in the first half were suddenly gaining 2 or 3. We all saw it, except Doug Marrone. He stubbornly kept calling runs up the middle, causing three-and-out after three-and-out.
My readers know my mantra. If something is working, keep doing it over and over and over again until the opponent stops it. Guess what? The Patriots stopped it. Time for a pitchout, sweep, play action, anything. Anything except the stubborn runs into the heart of the defense.
Yes, the Jags managed to get a couple more field goals, but at the same time, the Patriots were getting touchdown. This was due to Marrone sitting back into a hybrid prevent defense that favors Tom Brady. “Let’s not rush him. Let’s cover all the receivers instead.” Never works, Doug. Never works.
Didn’t you study the Dolphins game film? Rush Brady with all you have and watch the results. He’ll throw too early. He’ll miss his marks. He’ll start to turn on his offensive linemen, and THEN you know you got into his head. You could have all of that, but instead you decided to cover Danny Amendola with linebackers.
The Jags defense was not inept. They held NE to several three-and-outs themselves. But while they were doing that, they were killing the Jags on field position. NE started pretty much every second-half drive around their 40. Even when the Jags forced a punt, they kept starting their drives on their own 10. NE was patient in that scenario, and it paid off.
The play of the game was early in the 4th with NE down 10 and facing a 3rd and 18 from deep in their own territory. 3rd and 18. You KNOW Brady will not run it. You KNOW they won’t hand off. Too far to go. You KNOW they won’t throw to Gronk’s backup. That leaves two and only two options: Crooks streaking down the sideline for a long pass, the only pattern he ever runs. Or else Amendola cutting across. Two options only. Run a blitz and make Brady throw it early. Simple.
Instead, the Jags double covered the substitute tight end, and dropped everyone else back into zone. They rushed 3 men. Danny Amendola must have been laughing his ass off at Marrone as he ran the 20-yard route, which ended with an easy first down. Great defense Jags. Great game plan, Marrone. 3rd and 18 and your alleged #1 pass offense blew the game. Prevent defense at its finest.
And now we are all Eagle fans for a few weeks. Let’s go, Ajayi! Let’s do it, Pederson!