Each week, Mark Schofield reviews the film to find the New England Patriots Optimum Offense Play of the Week. Against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 it was Tom Brady’s touchdown pass to Julian Edelman in the 2nd quarter.
Following Darrelle Revis’s first interception of the 2014 season, New England began an 8-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in this week’s Offensive Play of the Week. On first down from just inside the Viking 10-yard line, the Patriots came out with Tom Brady under center using 12 personnel. Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson were in a slot formation to the left side of the field. The Vikings countered with their base 4-3 package. Prior to the snap, Minnesota showed an all-out blitz, with all three linebackers and a defensive back cheating up towards the line of scrimmage. They sent eight defenders on the snap, and dropped three defensive backs playing Cover 0.
Here is where Brady’s experience becomes apparent. He recognizes the blitz alignment and audibles at the line, then adjusts himself into the shotgun and changes the mode of protection. When the ball is snapped, New England uses a max protection pass-blocking scheme, as tight end Michael Hoomanawanui and running back Brandon Bolden both stay in to block on the play. Only the receivers are sent on pass routes and the Patriots run a simple in-out combination. The outside receiver, Dobson, runs a short slant over the middle, while the inside receiver, Edelman, runs a corner route to the back left corner of the end zone after cutting across over the top of Dobson.
1st and Goal at the Minnesota 9-yard line
The protection holds and Brady is able to find his receiver open for a touchdown and our Patriots Optimum Offense Play of the Week. This illustrates excellent recognition and adjustment from the quarterback position, and great route design to work Edelman free for the score.
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