4. Tackling After Catch

Think about the Patriots offense for a moment. Of course Tom Brady is the engine who runs everything. Then, that fun-loving party animal Rob Gronkowski is next up. Finally, that pesky, trash-talking Julian Edelman is the final major threat.

While they’re all dominant offensive studs in the NFL, they all have one thing in common. None of these guys go deep.

Everything New England does is run-after-catch. Brady – for how deadly he still is at age 38 – doesn’t even look past 20 yards these days. Actually, most of his stuff is 10-yards and under. What he does is survey the field and the opposition’s defense more brilliantly than anybody ever has, all while taking advantage of the top matchup and burning that poor defender who can’t keep up.

It’s just the way the NFL is these days. The rules against the defender make it impossible to cover. If deadly accurate and smart, a QB can get away with dinking and dunking all game.

Of Edelman’s 449 total receiving yards on the season, 244 of them have come after the catch. That’s more than half and ranks as No. 5 in the NFL. Gronkowski is 22nd in the league in YAC with 192 yards of a total 425.

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What these guys do is rub, pick and completely out-think you at the line of scrimmage. If the Jets defense can stick these weapons immediately after the catch, they’ll have a great shot at winning.

It’s not important to break up the pass against Brady. What matters is making the sure tackle after the completion.

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