In response to PatsEng's comment:
In response to rkarp's comment:
Usually I agree with Bedard and find him very accurate with his analysis. He also has a way of explaining the situation that is easy to grasp.
That being said, in this instance, I disagree with him. I thought the defensive game plan was to NOT pressure Sanchez. Play 4 on the line with primary responsability against the run lanes. This would allow the Pats to flood each zone using 8 defenders, making Sanchez check down to his 3 or 4th option. The checkdown would cause mistakes/turn overs, which is usually Sanchez's m-o.
This worked on occasion, Dennards int, Nink's sack to end the game, both clearly mistakes on Sanchez, but in hind sight Sanchez played very well, finding Kerley time and time again.
I see the comments regarding sending more pressure, but who? Mayo and Spikes are better run stuffers than pass rushers. Hightower can get to the QB, but that is not his strength. And he is hobbled. Chung is out, Gregory is out. I understand everyone wants more pressure by sending more guys at the QB, but who do you send that can get to the QB?
Couple things I'm not sure I agree with rkarp. With regards to the Dennard int, yes Sanchez blew it big time but on that play the S was beat badly and Dennard had to come back under the play. Obviously it wasn't game planned that way and we just got incrediably lucky that A) Sanchez threw a lollipop and B) Dennard was paying attention and ren back into the play otherwise no one was in position to make a play on the ball. It's hard to say you designed around Sanchez doing what Sanchez does when your players aren't even in the right position to begin with
As for the pressure I would send any of the LB's and mix it up. Mayo isn't a great cover LB, Hightower hasn't been great either and Spikes you might as well plant a parking meter in the middle of the field would do just about as much good. Losing any one of those guys in coverage to send an extra rusher either off the bat or a delayed rush isn't going to break the coverage unit down any quicker then it already is. I'd send 4-5 on every play with 1 LB in the box as a reserve spy role to watch the lanes, 1 in coverage with 4 DB's, and 1 rushing either a gap rush or lined up on the outside. Either way, do you honestly believe given the Pats have essentially been doing what you suggest that sending an extra rusher who is average to sub-average in coverage anyways is really going to hurt this D?
"nd Spikes you might as well plant a parking meter in the middle of the field would do just about as much good. Losing any one of those guys in coverage to send an extra rusher either off the bat or a delayed rush isn't going to break the coverage unit down any quicker then it already is"
funny as hell and i agree with your poiint