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 and their DC, Jim Schwartz, love to dial up pressure. Believe it or not, Tom Brady and the #Patriots have struggled vs. the blitz of late. An area to watch Sunday. pic.twitter.com/yurSVudxy6— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) November 13, 2019
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.
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