FOXBORO - Every Friday, Phil Perry and Mike Giardi will take your Patriots questions on Twitter and answer them as a joint mailbag -- or Friday Bag, as they call it.
Got questions? Tweet the guys using the hashtag #FridayBag. But for now, give the latest edition of the Bag a read.
Hypothetically could I donate my right hand to the patriots!? #notabradyquestion— Casey (@hacksaw7415) January 19, 2018
MG: Hopefully that’s not needed, Casey, but I will pass it on.
Is pineapple an acceptable pizza topping?— Mike (@truthaboutmike) January 19, 2018
MG: BIG GAME! Sure. Why the hell not?
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard? I mean....it's not like he's shaving out there in the jungle. What's up with that?— Allie Mac Kay (@alliemackay) January 18, 2018
MG: Allie, this is a question that’s I’ve been pondering for years, or at least months . . . ok, for about 3 minutes. Tarzan has either a) been duping us all this time and actually has a job, drives an BMW and has a colonial with 2 1/2 baths or b) he’s a baby face who never hit puberty.
Who do they match up on Gronk? Double him with CB and safety? Bouye? Ramsey?— Mike Procopio (@mikeprocopio) January 18, 2018
MG: Mikey! Here’s a quite from Todd Wash, Jags DC, when asked about Ramsey possibly covering Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Sunday: “I think the last thing you can do is to go into a game like this and you try and reinvent the wheel . . . Jalen is a good corner and he plays against wide receivers . . . "
So either he’s telling the truth or he doesn’t want to reveal a wrinkle. My opinion: Why waste Ramsey outside the entire game? Brady’s at his best attacking inside the numbers and even more to the point, inside the hashes. At the very least, I’d deploy Ramsey on Gronk in the red area and make Tommy boy look elsewhere.
Who replaces Johnathan Jones on special teams and defense and what was the extent of his injury? He is a monster on punt coverage. #FridayBag— Rich Powell (@cultmojo) January 18, 2018
MG: Yeah, tough injury. Jon Jones has been terrific on special teams for two years, a likely heir apparent to Matt Slater as that guy who ends up being in the Pro Bowl every year. Love almost every bit of what he brings. Would say Jonathan Bademosi will be active this week and move into that role.
Am I right thinking the RB’s will be a big part of the passing game early on to set up more shots downfield as the DBs begin to creep up more on the line?— Franz Sizzlechest (@ExSubMech) January 18, 2018
MG: Sizzle, for sure. We’ve done a lot of X’s and O’s on this one and one area where the Jags have been especially vulnerable is under the linebackers. That means running backs, that means shorter crossing patterns and that means combo platters designed to force these LBs to make a decision. Telvin Smith was targeted 13 times last weekend (according to Pro Football Focus) and surrendered 12 catches. A healthy Brady feasts on this.
What's the best and worst defensive matchup the Patriots will face Sunday? #fridaybag— Dave Green (@DavidMGreen) January 18, 2018
MG: Goose making his #FridayBag debut. Welcome. Best matchup is Matt Patricia and his big brains versus Blake Bortles. If that kid thinks he’s going to be looking at the same thing very often, I got a bridge to sell him. Worst matchup is T.J. Yeldon on the linebackers. We’ve spent a ton of time talking about Leonard Fournette and what he brings if he’s healthy but Yeldon is both strong, shifty and can catch. With a skittish QB, Yeldon could be heavily involved.
If Pats win another SB, what's the chance Brady retires? #LastMinuteBag— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) January 19, 2018
PP: JP, checking in from the District! I'd say the chances are minimal. I would do it. You might do it. Go out on top and all that. But you and I haven't been saying for years that we're planing to work into our mid-40s. And we don't have post-retirement business plans that kind of hinge on our ability to work into our mid-40s. We also aren't about to be named MVP...of anything. We'll see, but I would be very surprised if this ends up being Brady's last season.
In the absolute worst case scenario Brady can’t go, who is the emergency backup to Hoyer? Edelman had some experience but obviously he isn’t around. So who’s the guy?— MTN (@Lighthouse7MTN) January 19, 2018
PP: Good question, Michael. Also a scary one for Patriots fans, I'd think. If the unexpected happens and Brady can't take the field, I think you'd have some packages in place for Chris Hogan or Jacob Hollister just in case something happened to Brian Hoyer. Hogan is arguably one of the most versatile athletes on the team, and he threw a pass (left-handed) at MetLife last year. Hollister was a walk-on quarterback at the University of Nevada. When he transferred to Arizona Western Community College, he made the transition to tight end.
If the patriots run two receiver sets vs the jags, which two receivers do they use?— Trevor Williams (@Clevertrevv) January 19, 2018
Likelihood we see an increase in James Develin snaps?— VonWilhelm (@wreynaga) January 19, 2018
Do you see the Patriots utilizing more two TE sets with Allen and Gronk to keep Brady upright against this defense? Or does Develin get more?— Pat Nestor (@Rotsen1230) January 19, 2018
PP: To me, all of these questions are related, so let's smash them all together. I do believe the Patriots will show plenty of "21" and "12" personnel in this game. That means either a) two receivers, two backs and one tight end, or b) two receivers, one back and two tight ends. In that scenario, the receivers would be -- in my opinion -- some combination of Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola. I'd use the Cooks-Amendola combination most frequently unless it seems like Hogan has completely shaken the rust from his long regular-season absence. The reason it would be a good idea to use theses heavier formations -- as opposed to "11" personnel with three wideouts -- is that it attacks the Jaguars with their weaker coverage people on the field. If the Patriots deploy, say, James Develin, Dion Lewis and Rob Gronkowski in the same look, Jacksonville would likely have to respond by putting run-stuffing linebacker Paul Posluszny on the field. If the Patriots can manipulate the coverage to get any non-Develin weapon on Posluszny, that's a mismatch they can exploit. We go into further detail on how the Patriots can exploit the Jaguars' base defense -- which has struggled in coverage this season -- here.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE
The injury report for Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Jaguars:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
QB Tom Brady (right hand)
DL Alan Branch (knee)
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
RB Mike Gillislee (knee)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (knee)
FS Tashaun Gipson (foot)
QB Blake Bortles (right wrist)
SS Barry Church (shoulder)
RB Leonard Fournette (ankle)
DT Malik Jackson (ankle)
OL Patrick Omameh (illness)
LB Paul Posluszny (abdomen)