Patriots

Why blitzing Patriots QB Tom Brady might actually be good idea for Eagles

Why blitzing Patriots QB Tom Brady might actually be good idea for Eagles

The best way to beat New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is make his life miserable in the pocket.

Dialing up a quality pass rush is easier said than done, though, especially against a quarterback like Brady who moves around in the pocket quite well despite a lack of elite athleticism.

Blitzing often works in the Patriots' favor because Brady is very good at getting rid of the ball quickly. Opposing defenses enjoyed very little success blitzing against the Patriots through the first five weeks of this season, but the last four games have been a different story.

NFL Media's Mike Giardi put together a breakdown of how well Brady has performed against the blitz in 2019, and recent results are not encouraging for New England ahead of Sunday's Week 11 matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles pass rush grades as the seventh-best in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Philadelphia's 24 sacks rank 16th, but there's more to a successful pass rush than sacks. 

The Patriots offensive line didn't play great in the Week 9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, giving up two sacks and allowing Brady to be hit 10 times. Marshall Newhouse has struggled at left tackle in place of Isaiah Wynn, and injuries to other positions along the o-line have really tested the team's depth.

If the Eagles decide to bring extra pressure Sunday, it better be effective. Philly's pass coverage ranks 20th in the league, per Pro Football Focus' grades, and its secondary lacks a shutdown corner capable of taking away the opponent's best wide receiver. If the Patriots do a good job picking up the blitz, Brady should have several wide receivers with favorable matchups to target, most notably Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu.

Will Pats use Super Bowl LII loss as motivation Sunday? Kyle Van Noy explains>>>

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That 617 Life Podcast: Who made who? Bill Belichick or Tom Brady

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Who made who? Bill Belichick or Tom Brady

The people's court is now in session. The topic of debate: Who made who, Bill Belichick or Tom Brady?

The two New England Patriots greats will always be inextricably linked for the success they've had in creating the Patriots dynasty. Together, the duo has won six Super Bowl titles and has overseen the most dominant two-decade stretch in NFL history.

Still, the question of who is chiefly responsible for the team's success has long been a debate among the New England faithful. And this week, Shanda, Cerrone, and Leroy take a deeper dive into the case for both sides on the latest episode of "That 617 Life Podcast".

Cerrone kicks off the "trial" by defending Brady, arguing that his on-field play and his arrival to the team snapped the Patriots out of the funk that they were in for most of the early part of their franchise's existence.

[The Patriots] were the team that nobody wanted to use in TecmoBowl. Now, for everybody in America, you're cheating if you use Tom Brady in Madden.

Furthermore, from Cerrone:

There's teams in the NFL over the past 20 years that still haven't defeated Tom Brady. Still, over 20 seasons. There are organizations and fan bases that still have not seen a victory in front of Tom Brady.

As for the case for Belichick, Leroy laid out a simple case for Belichick and called him "possibly the greatest coach in sports history."

Hear more of the trial and thoughts on the latest Boston sports stories on the latest episode of the "That 617 Life Podcast", which drops every Friday as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

CURRAN: Are we watching Brady's final day with the Patriots?>>>

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Report: Patriots expected to re-sign Nick Folk on Saturday

Report: Patriots expected to re-sign Nick Folk on Saturday

It's no longer a mystery who will kick for the New England Patriots vs. the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The Patriots are expected to officially re-sign Nick Folk on Saturday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Folk was released by the team and replaced with Kai Forbath prior to last week's game vs. the Houston Texans after undergoing an appendectomy.

In three games with the Patriots this season, Folk has made seven of nine field goals and all three extra-point attempts. 

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