Who Can Stop Brady?

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Can anyone stop Brady and the Pats offense? Who has the best chance at stopping the perfect season? The AFC's best friend in the playoffs this year could be Mother Nature. That's right, the weather could be the equalizer in creating a low scoring affair that would neutralize the passing game of the Pats and force New England into a more ball control field position type of a game. One big play could be the difference in a game.

The weather and one big play could be the difference for what many teams would need to defeat the Pats. The teams with the best shot are the Colts and Jags. Addai and Jones-Drew have big play potential in a sloppy game. Playing the Chargers could allow the Pats to become one more step closer to perfection. The Jags defense and tough running game could pose a big challenge for Brady, but appear to be a one dimensional offense and could find themselves down early with a Brady to Moss connection. Likewise the Colts arial assault and Addai ground game could keep the game interesting, but the Colts defense could be on their heels the entire game with the Pats passing attack. Clear blue skies could be all the Pats need to punch a return ticket to the Super Bowl.

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I don't see the weather being a major factor for Brady unless it's super-windy, like when they played the Jets in week 15 this year. High wind really limits the passing game, especially the medium-to-long passes, but Brady is able to throw accurately and play well in rain and snow. If the ball gets too wet he'll switch to a gloved throwing hand, and still be deadly accurate.

In fact, snow can actually work in favor of the passing attack. DB's don't want to risk slipping down and giving up a big play so they tend to play a little further off the receivers, thus opening up the short passing game to great effect. Remember the snow bowl game against the Raiders in the playoffs in '01-'02? With several inches of snow creating a slippery field, Brady and the offense really worked the short passing routes to come back in that game. Nearly every pass they threw in the 4th quarter and OT in that game was a screen, flat, or short button-hook route and the Raiders were powerless to stop it.

Maroney has equal big-play ability for the Pats as Jones-Drew and Addai do for their teams. Maroney just doesn't get as many touches because the Pats like to throw the ball so much. But I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him bust a long run at some point in the playoffs.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the forecast for Foxboro this Saturday is mostly sunny, high of 45, 20% chance of precip. In other words, perfect football weather.

If it's Colts-Pats again in the AFC Championship Game, which it really should be, it will almost certainly be another barn-burner that comes down to the final possession.

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    This page contains a single entry by The Sports Freak published on January 10, 2008 11:15 PM.

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