Patriots

Belichick: McDaniels in-game adjustment resulted in TD vs. Texans

Belichick: McDaniels in-game adjustment resulted in TD vs. Texans

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady said recently that the Patriots have up to 1,000 designed pass plays, but they added another on Sunday against the Texans.

During his weekly "Belichick Breakdown," Patriots coach Bill Belichick highlighted one play in particular that his team didn't have drawn up going into their Week 3 matchup with Houston, crediting offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels with drawing it up during the game.

In the first quarter, on a second-and-10 play, against a Cover-4 look shown by the Texans, Chris Hogan ran a 10-yard out-route and caught Brady's pass for a first down. When it was misplayed by safety Andre Hal and Jonathan Joseph, Belichick said that McDaniels took note of the conversation the duo had immediately following the play.

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It looked to McDaniels like Hal wanted Joseph to switch onto Hogan when Hogan broke toward the sideline. That left Hal to take the other receiver on that side, Brandin Cooks, along the sideline.

"Josh McDaniels did a great job of picking this up and seeing this," Belichick said of the brief conversation between Hal and Joseph. "I think Hal was telling Joesph that the next time they do this, 'You're going to trap, I'm going over the top.' "

That gave McDaniels an opening to hit on an even bigger gain the next time they were given the same look.

Later in the game, the Patriots put Hogan in the slot again. Again, Brandin Cooks was on the outside. Again, the Texans were playing Cover-4. 

This time, as soon as Hogan broke toward the sideline, the Texans defensive backs switched. Joseph looked to trap Hogan. Hal went over the top to take care of Cooks. 

Instead of continuing his route to the boundary, Hogan broke back to the middle of the field . . . wide open. What resulted was a 47-yard touchdown.

"This is really a great coaching move by Josh and the offensive staff is to put in the out-and-go," Belichick said. "Here's Hal over the top. Here's Joseph trapping, but really nobody's on Hogan on the vertical route . . . Great job here by the players of making the adjustment because this is a play we didn't have. We put this in based on what they were doing."

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Jaguars have Ramsey's back

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Jaguars have Ramsey's back

Enough has been made of Jalen Ramsey’s bold proclamation that the Jaguars are going to win the Super Bowl despite the fact that they’re aren’t even on that stage yet.

I know it’s not how the Patriots do business but other teams do. Does it generally work? Well, no one can match the Pats sustainability but that doesn’t mean that style can’t be effective in shorter windows.

Look at the Seahawks or Ravens. Even the Giants could be boisterous. That leads me back to the Jags, who have Ramsey’s back.

“We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this,’’’ said defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

“The man has confidence in his team,” added Abry Jones, also a defensive tackle. “What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he’s saying anything that’s not true.”

“He does things very passionately,” Calais Campbell told the Rich Eisen show. “You feed off that. When you see a guy who loves the game as much as he does, you can’t help but fall into the same mentality.”

That is what makes Ramsey different from say Mike Mitchell, the Steelers safety who ran his mouth weeks ago about beating the Patriots in the AFC title game and then stood outside the Jags locker room and yapped about what a long day the visitors were in forSunday. How’s that working out for Mitchell now? He’s at home while Ramsey is about to play in his biggest game as a pro.

“He’s going to talk, but he’s going to show up,” Yannick Ngakoue said. “I just don’t like people talking all week. You talk reckless, man, and you lose. It is what it is.”

That is not an indicator to the Jags that Ramsey is looking ahead.

“He’s just happy,” noted Ngakoue. “He understands we have a giant in front of us and he’s got to pay all of his attention to this team. We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl…We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”

Of course, Ngakoue, the gifted edge rusher on that fearsome front 4, had some pointed words to the Steelers after that 45-42 win Sunday saying “real people don’t say nothing. Real people are quiet but then throw the first punch…they thought they were bullies today. We were the bullies. See you next year.”

That’s not Ramsey’s modus operandi however. He got under A.J. Green’s skin so much that the normally peaceful Bengals wideout threw punches at the Jags corner during the game and reportedly wanted more after the game. Then - and now - Jacksonville seems okay with it so long as the All-Pro corner continues to deliver the goods.

“Everybody has their own persona,” said Leonard Fournette. “Whatever motivates them. We aren’t worried about two weeks ahead of us. We aren’t worried about the Super Bowl. It’s the next game. It’s Sunday in New England.”

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Will Jaguars defense give Pats trouble?

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Will Jaguars defense give Pats trouble?

On the latest episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast, Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen discuss the Patriots advancing to their seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game, and whether or not Jacksonville's defense can give the Pats problems.