Can Ravens' stout D check Patriots' dynamic offense?
» Huddle, Brady under center (15 run, 5 pass): The 15 runs produced 50 yards and were predominantly used at the start of series. The five passes yielded three completions for 34 yards and a touchdown. Nate Solder reported tackle-eligible for one pass play as an extra blocker, and it resulted in a touchdown.
» Huddle, Brady in shotgun (2 run, 8 pass): The two runs produced just eight yards, but this aspect of their offense has been used more extensively in past games. Because of that, Lewis can't make a pass-defense check every time. Brady completed seven of his eight passes for 79 yards.
» No huddle, Brady under center (11 run, 3 pass): The Patriots really stressed the Broncos with this package by putting Aaron Hernandez in the backfield as a running back and handing him the ball four times for 56 yards. Belichick knows this package creates significant matchup problems for any defense, and if the Ravens make a run check to Hernandez in the backfield, expect Brady to drop back and get Hernandez out on Lewis.
» No huddle, Brady in shotgun (1 run, 19 pass): This is the most dangerous package the Patriots present right now. Lewis may know it is a passing set, but he also is going to watch a cut-up of this package that's going to have 12 completions for 154 yards and four touchdowns. Pretty imposing stuff.
If you look at the Patriots' offense in a simpler form, grouping all the shotgun snaps together, you get a big pass tip: 3 run, 27 pass. Ironically, that may be exactly what Belichick and Brady want you to think. Thus, look for early run plays from shotgun!
Likewise, the Pats have been run-dominant with Brady under center (26 run, 8 pass), so get ready for Brady to break that run tendency with early passes from these sets.