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Blueprint for Patriots: Execution Was Key

The Jets got plenty of deserved praise for their scheme against the Patriots in the Playoffs. A scheme is only as good as the way its players perform, though. The Jets simply could not have executed much better in that game than they did.

On any given passing play, the defense might have to account for five receivers. If the offense hits .200 and gets 1 of 5 open, it could result in a positive play. The Jets clogged Tom Brady’s throwing lanes with stifling coverage all day. The coverage held long enough for pass rushers to eventually get to Brady on plays where initial pressure was limited. To their credit, Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace consistently fought through traffic without other blitzers to occupy linemen and got to Brady. Had they not eventually gotten there, somebody might have gotten open on many plays for big gains.

It truly was a team effort. Had any pass rusher or coverage guy failed on a given play, the Jets might not have won. Everybody played great, though. Unlike most other teams, the Jets had the talent to execute like that and match up with the Pats. Put most other teams in that scheme, and the guys would not be good enough to win battles to the degree Gang Green did.

Once again, we have something that the Jets can take heart in but may not be applicable to other teams.