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How The Patriots Defense Can Neutralize The Rams Offense

by admin on Friday, January 25th, 2019

trey flowers new england patriots Ahead of Super Bowl LIII, the New England Patriots are focusing on finding ways to neutralize the Rams’ high-powered offense that relies on an explosive ground game led by running backs Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson.

But what weapons have the Patriots used on defense to reach their third Super Bowl in a row, and what can they do on February 3 to keep the Rams out of their end zone?

This postseason they already dispatched the Los Angeles Chargers, a team with similar offensive traits. To do that they stalled a running attack that averaged 117.1 rushing yards per game (and featured Melvin Gordon, Justin Jackson, and Austin Ekeler) to a paltry 19 rushing yards in the divisional round.

To counter the threat that Jared Goff poses the Patriots hope to use a heavy dose of pass rush. One aspect of the game that was a concern at times this season, the Patriots pass rush came alive against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game to sack Patrick Mahomes, one of the best-protected quarterbacks in the league, four times and hold the potent Chiefs’ offense scoreless in the first half.

Although the Patriots lack a superstar in their pass rush, in the style of Aaron Donald, they benefit from having a very active line that can use a myriad of blitzing schemes and has proven to be quite versatile as it can adapt to whatever they need to exploit the weakness of their opponents.

That versatility is why the Patriots have managed to blitz on 57.7 percent of the third-down dropbacks they’ve faced since week 11, which ranks top in the league in that span, including the playoffs.

More important is the fact that the play of Patriots defense this postseason has stepped up a notch as it’s held big-time receivers Keenan Allen and Tyreek Hill to three combined receptions. It will be interesting if the Patriots can keep that trend going against Brandin Cooks and the rest of the Rams wideouts.

If the Patriots defense can continue to do all this they will make things a lot easier for their offense and lead the way to a new Super Bowl victory.



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