2. Controlling The Line On Offense

It’s often proclaimed that the best defense is a great offense. This couldn’t be more spot-on than in the NFL.

Time of possession is the king’s ultimate stat. Usually, the team who hangs onto the ball more in the game will turn out the winner.

Against a guy like Brady, this is a must.

What Belichick will try to do this Sunday is take away the Jets top weapon on offense. He’s famous for this strategy going back to his defensive coordinator days with the New York Giants. While it’s debatable who there top weapon is, most have a hunch that he’ll target Chris Ivory.

This will put pressure on New York to use Ryan Fitzpatrick more than wanted. And while he’s been efficient this season (1,177 passing yards, 9 TD, 7 INT), he’s still Ryan Fitzpatrick. This means he’ll be forced to open up the run game with the pass. Brandon Marshall will be huge this Sunday. An early barrage to Marshal and Eric Decker will force Belihick’s hand and have him walk the safety out and start to mix in seven-man boxes.

Then, and only then, will Ivory start to run wild and the offensive line start to control the game. Chan Gailey must take what the Pats defense gives him. They cannot force the issue as that’ll fall right into Belichick’s hands.

Under Rex Ryan this simplistic concept would often fall through. He preached ground-and-pound so much that his philosophy actually provided an offensive give-up. Very few offensive lines can run against a loaded box.

Bowles has already proved he’s willing to run a balanced offense (whether he has a franchise quarterback at the helm or not).

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