How the Patriots handled the Wildcat and the Pistol

By our count, the Dolphins ran 11 plays out of the Wildcat for eight yards and six plays for 59 yards out of the Pistol formation. The Dolphins used both formation extensively on both of their touchdown drives, but the Patriots stifled both by the fourth quarter.

The reasons for the improvement stemmed from adjustments and execution. Asked why they got better against the plays from those formations as they game went along, safety Brandon McGowan said, simply, “Tackle.”

But the Patriots also began to bring McGowan down toward the line against the Pistol, the formation when a running back lined up directly behind White in the shotgun. He would line up on the side of the fullback, giving the Patriots an extra body to stop the run.


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