New Patriots CB Bradley Fletcher: Hitting the Reset Button

Bradley Fletcher, the newest member of the New England Patriots, arrives after a rough 2014 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, after losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner the Patriots saw enough to offer Fletcher a one-year contract with a maximum value of $2.5M. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), no cornerback surrendered more yards in…

Explaining Kickoff Coverage: The Importance of Safeties

Chuck Zodda enjoys candlelit return blocks, long runbacks on punts, and the sweet smell of gunners making tackles. When not busy romanticizing the virtues of punters as multi-talented players, he spends his time on the oft-overlooked aspects of special teams. Kickoff coverage units seem relatively straightforward to build: Find 10 men with little regard for…

Depth Off The Edge: Patriots DE‒OLB Jabaal Sheard

As the New England Patriots adapt to life without cornerback Darrelle Revis, the team landed its first significant addition of the offseason by signing free agent edge rusher Jabaal Sheard. In an attempt to bolster their perimeter pass rush options out of multiple fronts, the Patriots inked the soon-to-be 26-year-old outside linebacker / defensive end to…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: The Bobby Wagner Interception

Before the New England Patriots emerged victorious in Super Bowl XLIX, Seattle claimed a double-digit lead midway through the third quarter. A critical Patriots turnover on a Bobby Wagner interception set up the Seahawks’ scoring drive. Mark Schofield breaks down the play by the Seattle linebacker, one of the major turning points of this epic…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: The Patriots Second TD Drive

Tom Brady secured the MVP trophy for Super Bowl XLIX with a masterful passing performance against the Seattle Seahawks, but he was one of many candidates. Julian Edelman caught nine passes for 109 yards and a score before Malcolm Butler turned in one of history’s greatest goal-line plays. And Shane Vereen’s overlooked 11-catch night was…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Jon Ryan vs Julian Edelman, Part 2

In Part 1, Chuck Zodda broke down the first half of Super Bowl XLIX and the special teams battle pitting Jon Ryan vs Julian Edelman. After being captivated by Katy Perry’s halftime extravaganza, Chuck went back to the film room to examine whether the Seattle Seahawks punt unit could once again stop Edelman and the…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Jon Ryan vs Julian Edelman, Part 1

The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots both feature talented special teams performers. In the wake of Super Bowl XLIX, Chuck Zodda revisits concepts from his special teams previews, and looks at the battle between punter and returner — Jon Ryan vs Julian Edelman — that ensued in Arizona. You may now resume regular breathing.…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Stopping the Read Option

The New England Patriots added another Vince Lombardi Trophy to their collection, thanks to Tom Brady’s near-perfect fourth quarter and Malcolm Butler’s improbable interception. In a game often decided by mere inches, less heralded plays can be just as important. In Super Bowl XLIX, stopping the read option proved crucial in the Patriots’ victory over…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: The Dont’a Hightower Tackle

Malcolm Butler’s interception has been examined from every angle; as the play that sealed the victory in Super Bowl XLIX for the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks, it got the attention it deserved. However, Butler was in position to make that play because of an extraordinary effort by Dont’a Hightower on the penultimate…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Patriots Pass Defense, Before The Pick

The New England Patriots pass defense had an up-and-down game in Super Bowl XLIX. The Seattle Seahawks failed to complete a pass until late in the second quarter, but eventually proved efficient with their air attack, gaining more than 20 yards per completion before the Patriots stood firm to earn the victory ‒ including the…

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Drive One ‒ Finding Tharold Simon

On the New England Patriots’ third drive of Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks, the Patriots made finding Tharold Simon their priority. With Simon replacing the injured starter, Tom Brady and his receivers went right down the field for their first points of the game by picking on the backup. The Patriots open the drive on…