The New England Patriots are coming off a tough loss to Deshaun Watson and the Texans, and things won't get any easier in Week 12.
Next up is a matchup against another dual-threat quarterback in Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. In his second season, Murray has made defenses look silly both through the air and on the ground. Through 10 games, the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year has 2,644 passing yards for 19 touchdowns and 619 rushing yards for 10 touchdowns.
So how will the Patriots defense keep Murray from torching them on Sunday? Does head coach Bill Belichick have a plan up his sleeve? Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and Matt Cassel discuss on a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast.
"Bill knows how to defend these shorter quarterbacks," Curran said. "I go back to Doug Flutie because Belichick did have great success against him. When he did, it was because of a concept that he used to talk about as 'making him throw out of a barrel.' You wall him off the same way you do with Russell Wilson, you make it so it's difficult for him to see downfield."
Cassel added to Curran's point by mentioning the importance of the defensive line playing well in order to have any success against Murray.
"It'll be an interesting matchup because I don't think you can say a guy like Kyler Murray's going to come out and play like Deshaun Watson did last week even with all the weapons they have," Cassel said. "The one thing this offense does a really good job of is getting the ball out quick. ... [The Patriots] have to get push in the interior part of the defensive line. That's going to be what they preach. They're going to get their hands up, you're going to try and make it hard for him to see."
While the Patriots' gameplan for containing Murray is pretty straightforward, Perry expressed doubt when it comes to New England being able to limit the second-year QB on Sunday. Especially after what Watson just did to the Pats defense.
"I look at this and again, it just comes back to how good of an athlete Kyler Murray is and how good of an athlete Deshaun Watson was, because there were plays where they started to collapse that pocket around Deshaun Watson the way they wanted to," Perry said. "But he's so athletic, and Kyler Murray is so athletic and he's so much smaller than Deshaun Watson, I just envision him Pac-Man style weaving his way in and out of these defenders to find these openings.
"It's great to have that crush rush plan and to try to collapse that pocket around someone, but unless you can close off every two-foot by two-foot area of open space -- which you really can't do -- he's going to have a way to leak out and escape."
Also discussed on the new episode: Does Kyler Murray compare to Doug Flutie? Is the era of the pocket passer over? And Matt Cassel breaks down why Tom Brady is struggling.