X's and O's: Patriots vs Browns

Nancy Lane/Boston Herald

Here we are, week seven and the Patriots are still undefeated. The Pats crushed the Jets last week and will now probably give Sam Darnold nightmares for the rest of his life. The Pats made a few moves this week, the Pats traded for Mohamed Sanu, a wide receiver from the Falcons, and they also put Josh Gordon on the IR and rumors are that he will be cut soon. The Gordon move really shocked me because I really liked him while he was healthy last year and this year as well. The Patriots are playing the Browns and I am really liking their chances today. The Browns are only 2-4 and they are just having a hard time clicking.

The Browns play a 4-3 base defense with a Cover 2 scheme. A cover-2 scheme is where the two deep safties drop back and split the field in half. In a cover two you can have a cover-2 with man and cover-2 with a zone look as well. First we will look at cover-2 man. A cover two man will give the Browns two deep safeties and man coverage with their cornerbacks.

This type of look will allow the Pats to attack the field deep. A football field is divided into three "deep thirds" and a cover two has two safeties cover the three sections. Theoretically, there will always be an "open" third. The running back on the wheel route is a really nice option for this look. Both safeties will cover the deep receivers and the running back will likely be open when he cuts upfield. He will at least have a mismatch with the linebacker.

If the Browns come out in a cover-2 zone scheme, all of the secondary players and linebackers will drop back into their zone. The cornerbacks will likely be in a press coverage and will be using a "bump and run" technique. This defensive scheme will allow the Pats to run the ball effectively.

The Patriots will want to use motion in this set as well. It will allow Brady another chance to analyze the defense. As far as routes go, wheel routes are perfect for this coverage, a "mesh" concept will work or a smash concept will work too.

The Patriots defense has been playing absolutely incredible this year. I never seen anything like it. Last week the defense faced a young and inexperienced quarterback that had a pretty weak offensive line. I don't see why this week wouldn't have a similar out come. The Browns have a bad offensive line and Baker Mayfield is young and inexperienced against a veteran defense that is running plays that go the whole way back to Teddy Bruschi and Ty Law.

I like the Pats to win today 34-10. I think that Baker throws 2 early picks and one in the 4th quarter. I think the Pats will run a lot of hidden and delayed blitzes. Baker will panic. I think Sony gets 2 touchdowns, I think Sanu gets one in his first game with the Pats, I think Dorsett will get one, I also think that White will get one.

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