Lessons from MNF: Pats vs Panthers Hurry-up Offense
First off, what a seriously great football game! Straight-up brawl between two teams that take a lot of pride in being tough and physical. Neither team backed down. High intensity start-to-finish. Very fun to watch.
One thing I really admire about the Pats is how they consistently think outside the box and gain small edges on their opponents. It’s cliche that “football is a game of inches”. But, it’s really true. Every inch can mean the difference between winning and losing and the Pats have captured those inches for over a decade now. And, it shows in the results. Much respect for the guys up in New England.
A perfect example of this from the Monday night game vs the Panthers was on a critical drive at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Brady completed a long pass on a play action pass to Tomkins? up the seam. Rather than celebrating, or subbing in their heavy package, the Pats sprinted to the line and snapped off a quick hitting run play as soon as the ball was set. The result was a touchdown.
Here’s a video of the sequence: Highlights Skip to 2:30.
This is so smart for a number of reasons.
1. The defense doesn’t have time to sub in their goal-line package – mismatches.
2. Players in the game may not be used to playing in goal-line situations.
3. The fast pace makes it harder for the defense to get a goal-line play called.
4. Sometimes after giving up a big play, there is a subtle emotional decrease in intensity from the opponent. Running a quick play can catch them in a letdown.
5. Conversely, you can capture the excitement of a big play and subsequent energy boost on your team.
6. Practicing this aggressive philosophy day-to-day also helps build a culture of relentless competition.
So, many good things happen when you do this.
Hopefully this article helped spark an idea or two that helps capture one of those small edges that make all the difference.
Good luck out there fellow coaches.
UPDATE: They did it again vs the Broncos on Sunday night. Result? Touchdown.