Nickolas Loza | September 5th, 2019
Tom Brady has torn apart defenses for two decades now, and he shows no signs of letting up. The past few seasons he’s been particularly deadly against teams who play zone defense and don’t deviate from it. If you give him enough looks at a specific defense, he’ll start to tear you apart. The key to having success is to give a mixture of different looks and confuse his exceptional pre-snap recognition skills. Like giving two inside linebackers freedom to drop back into coverage or to blitz. Today we’ll be diving deep into what makes Brady struggle and look human.
Making him hold onto the ball for a little longer
It’s no secret in the NFL that if a quarterback holds onto the ball for a long time they’re going to get sacked or be forced into a bad throw because they’re being pressured or being hit while throwing. This is especially prevalent with Brady. He has little to no mobility or speed to show for himself so if you can grab ahold of him you’re gonna take him down pretty much guaranteed. You can do this not by simply blitzing and hoping you’ll get to him because he’ll recognize you’re blitzing and with the complete control of the playbook that he has, he’ll most likely switch to a screen pass or something along those lines.
You have to provide confusing and complicated looks, but don’t do the same look more than three times or he’ll pick up on it. The trick to making him hold onto the ball for just a little bit longer is to provide exotic looks that force him to think on his feet, and maybe he’ll make a mistake, allowing the defense a chance at a sack or turnover.
Giving him multiple looks every game defensively and not going with one defensive unit the whole game
We all know that Brady tears apart defenses, specifically one-dimensional defenses that just play one defense the whole game, like zone for example. The key is giving him different looks at defensive packages, like giving him two inside linebackers where one will look like he’s blitzing and he drops back and the one that looked like he was dropping back ends up blitzing. It’s important not to repeat the same look multiple times in the game because he will have it figured out after the first or second time. That’s the key.
In conclusion, what defenses need to do to stop Brady and the New England Patriots this year is to confuse him, and he won’t have his old reliable target in Rob Gronkowski so he may be even more susceptible to the points I mentioned. The Denver Broncos in the 2015 AFC Championship Game did all of these things perfectly, and it managed to get them a victory. If teams realized how monochromatic their defenses are, they might find a way to stop Brady and the Patriots offense.
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