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Sometimes, football isn’t about winning the chess match, or coming up with creative schemes to outwit your opponent. Sometimes, it simply comes down to one-on-one matchups — cornerback against wide receiver, lineman against pass rusher.
And in Sunday’s 30-27 victory over the Saints, the Patriots simply won more one-on-one matchups.
They didn’t do anything exotic to shut down star Saints tight end Jimmy Graham — just a lot of Cover-1 man with a deep safety. Yet Graham was held without a catch because he couldn’t fight off the constant jamming, pestering, and tight coverage by Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty.