When the New England Patriots have a win in hand, Bill Belichick apparently starts focusing on other things, like throwing off future opponents.
Tony Romo, who has impressed in his debut as a colour analyst for CBS, explained on Sunday that during the Patriots’ Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints, Belichick made a call that likely served no other purpose than to make scouting tougher for future opponents.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots had a seemingly insurmountable 12-point lead with five minutes to go as the Saints closed in on a score with the ball on the four-year line. As the Saints came to the line, the Patriots crowded the line five defenders and indicated that they were going to blitz.
As Romo noted, the Patriots often will show this package, then drop two defenders back into coverage instead of rushing all five. However, this time around, they sent all five defenders at Drew Brees; it was unsuccessful, as he threw a touchdown to tight end Coby Fleener.
The play had another benefit, though, as Romo explained.
“Belichick says, ‘Hey, we’ve won this game, we’re fine. I’m gonna rush all five,'” Romo said. “You know why? Because analytics.
“When [opponents] go through [film] next week, they’re going to want to say, ‘What percentage do they play man and rush five?’,” Romo said. “[Belichick] just added to that number right there by blitzing five guys and showing the people, hey, 50% of the time he does this. You never get a beat on what he’s gonna do.”
Watch the play below:
The Patriots take on the Texans next week. As Romo said, the Texans will have an even tougher time figuring out what the Patriots will do when they line five men up like that, because Belichick changed the odds just for the sake of it.
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