How the Patriots engineered a 99-yard touchdown drive versus the Browns – Pats Pulpit

In 20 years with Tom Brady at the helm, the New England Patriots offense set numerous records and helped transform how the game is played today. It accomplished seemingly everything accomplishable, but despite all of its records and accolades there is one thing it never did: the un…….

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In 20 years with Tom Brady at the helm, the New England Patriots offense set numerous records and helped transform how the game is played today. It accomplished seemingly everything accomplishable, but despite all of its records and accolades there is one thing it never did: the unit never had three touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in the same game.

On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, and with rookie quarterback Mac Jones and backup Brian Hoyer leading the way, the Patriots offense did just that.

The unit had touchdown drives of 92 and 95 yards, but the king among them was a massive 99-yard rally in the second quarter. New England was up 14-7 when it began its march, and 11 plays and six minutes later managed to increase its lead by seven points.

The Patriots executed some impressive plays along the way, breaking a one-score game against a quality opponent wide open while doing so. They ended up winning with a final score of 45-7.

Let’s go back to that 99-yard touchdown series, however, and find out how the Patriots engineered it.

1-10-NE 1 (11:51) R.Stevenson up the middle to NE 6 for 5 yards (A.Walker).

Following a 58-yard punt by the Browns’ Jamie Gillan and a holding penalty against the Patriots’ Joejuan Williams, Mac Jones and company set up shop at their own 1-yard line. The initial goal of the possession was therefore to create some breathing room from the shadow of the end zone and not risk a turnover — either in the form of an interception or fumble, or in the form of a safety.

In order to accomplish that goal, the Patriots trusted their fourth-round rookie running back: Rhamondre Stevenson was given the football to move the line of scrimmage and give the team more space to work with. He succeeded, thanks in part due to the blocking and due to his hard running.

The Patriots approached the down in an 11-personnel look against the Browns’ one-deep defense with seven players on the line of scrimmage. Speaking strictly in terms of bodies used on the play, New England had one-on-ones across the board. However, backside linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (#28) and cornerback Denzel Ward (#21) were left unblocked, which in turn allowed the team to get a numbers advantage at the point of attack.

That point was between the left-side duo of guard Ted Karras (#67) and Isaiah Wynn (#76). The two combo-blocked defensive tackle Jordan Elliott (#96), who not so much opted to penetrate up the field but rather to simply obstruct any forward movement by the Patriots. This passive approach might have worked had Wynn not been able to drive him off the ball to create an opening between himself and Hunter Henry (#85).

The Patriots’ tight end, meanwhile, was blocking Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett (#95) one-on-one. He was able to stand his ground to create a whole just big enough for Stevenson (#38) to fit through.

The rookie running back did not hit it at full speed but instead took a rather patient approach. The decision was a smart one: he allowed the hole to open up front, and accelerated through to get past the line of …….

Source: https://www.patspulpit.com/2021/11/16/22785096/patriots-99-yard-touchdown-drive-browns-jones-bourne-meyers-film-analysis-nfl-week-10

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