Optimum Offense: Offensive Play of the Week

Patriots Offensive Play of the Week – Cincinnati

The New England Patriots silenced pundits, prognosticators, and their critics with a convincing 43-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. Tom Brady and the Patriot offense returned to form with an impressive display in both the passing game and on the ground. Following a missed field goal by Mike Nugent, the Patriots’ offense began their second drive of the game on their own 42-yard line and six plays later Tim Wright was in the end zone for the first time as a Patriot on this, our Offensive Play of the Week.

What stands out about this play is the creative use of personnel to create a favorable matchup in combination with timely utilization of play-action. New England breaks the huddle with 13 personnel. The offense has seven players on the line with one tight end to each side, Tim Wright to the left and Rob Gronkowski to the right. The Bengals counter with their base 4-3 defense showing Cover 1 in the secondary. A third tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui, comes in motion from right to left; and watch what this does to the defense:

The motion to the left extends the width of the cornerback’s coverage to that side of the field, creating a throwing lane for Brady to find Wright on the seam route. The quarterback fakes the dive play to Stevan Ridley and the simulated run draws in the strong-side linebacker, Emmanuel Lamur. Between the fake and the motion, Wright has a big window to occupy and Brady finds his tight end for a 17-yard touchdown.

On Sunday night the Patriots offense found the right mixture of running and passing plays, keeping the Cincinnati defense on its heels throughout the game. This was a statement from Brady and his teammates, and the rest of the league learned tonight that you count New England out at your own peril.

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.

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