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Redskins-Patriots film review: Defense
• The Patriots averaged 4.29 yards per carry on their 17 designed runs, but 25 yards came on two carries. Take those away and the Redskins held New England to 3 yards per carry, so the defensive line was OK. Teams aren’t going to sell out against the run when they play the Patriots. Run defense against them is about rallying to the ball and getting off blocks, which the Redskins did well enough.
• Rookie SS DeJon Gomes had mixed results in his second career start. Getting dragged by TE Rob Gronkowski and failing to complete the tackle was embarrassing. Gronkowski beat Gomes for a touchdown on the next play, but the coverage wasn’t bad. Gronkowski got an inside release, but Gomes undercut the throw in time; QB Tom Brady just put it in a perfect spot to capitalize on Gronkowski’s 6-inch height advantage.
We were discussing in the press box on Sunday how Gomes had yet to demonstrate much power. Shortly thereafter, he blew up Gronkowski on a throw into the end zone. Gomes probably was lucky not to have been flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit, but he separated Gronkowski from the ball and sent him flying backward to the ground.
We never got clarification about why Oshiomogho Atogwe replaced him for the final two series. Endurance has been an issue for Gomes this season. The matter is worth pursuing this week.
• The Redskins rushed four or fewer defenders on 26 of 40 dropbacks. They rushed five defenders 12 times and six defenders twice.
Against four or fewer rushers, QB Tom Brady was 13-of-24 for 101 yards, a touchdown and an interception; a passer rating of 61.3.
Against five rushers, Brady was 7-of-11 for 170 yards, a touchdown and a sack; a passer rating of 137.5.
Against six rushers, Brady was 2-of-2 for 86 yards an a touchdown; a perfect rating of 158.3.
• By my count, ILB London Fletcher rushed the quarterback on 11 of 40 dropbacks. I don’t have data from other games, but that seems like a lot. Clearly the Redskins wanted to try to generate pressure by confusing New England’s line. They ran games up front with mixed success. Their only sack came on a stunt with DLs Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield, and Fletcher hit QB Tom Brady to force an incompletion on another. The Patriots‘ line picked them up more cleanly as the game progressed, though.
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About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
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