Edelman Beats the Blitz: Patriots Optimum Offense Week 2

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.

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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.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.

2 thoughts on “Edelman Beats the Blitz: Patriots Optimum Offense Week 2

  1. There’s a decent amount of concern with Brady around these parts right now. I think some of the concerns are justified, but this quote from the article is something people are too quick to overlook:
     

    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.

     
    This is something that only comes with experience, and it was probably the most important aspect of the most important play on the drive.
     
    Good stuff, Mark.

  2. This was definitely the play of the game for me. It was a reminder that Tom Brady is Tom Brady and while he might not have the touch on the deep ball and his offensive line and weapons might not be what they once were he’s still pretty damn good and he can probably lead a team to the playoffs in his 40s. Crazy to think Brady is the same age Montana was when he was traded to the Chiefs. I know times are different and Brady had far fewer injuries, but you have to wonder how many miles Brady’s body has left and how long his football intellect will compensate for lack of physical ability.

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