Lessons of an impossible QB final four in 2017 NFL playoffs

Lessons of an impossible QB final four in 2017 NFL playoffs

Postautor: lucky » 17 sty 2018, o 03:40

Brady. Bortles. Foles. Keenum. If you had those guys in your quarterback final four before the season, congratulations on successfully traveling back in time to this entertainingly weird season of football. This was the weekend when a quarterback crop with four former league MVPs and/or future Hall of Famers could have knocked four neophytes out of the water, but the passers with the combined career playoff record of 49-27 lost three of four to the quarterbacks who came into the divisional round with one playoff start before this year.
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It's too simplistic to use those three wins as the basis for a trend piece on how the league has changed. Two of those wins came down to the final play. If Julio Jones doesn't slip and Marcus Williams doesn't duck, the story might be about how veteran quarterbacks and experience are what wins close games in the postseason.
Instead, the reality is that we ended up with three games that were each close enough to be decided or put out of reach by one play. That in itself is the story of 2017, even if it won't be the story of 2018 and beyond. There are lessons to be learned from each of the quarterbacks who have made it to the final four, even if we couldn't possibly have predicted their rise before this season started. et's run through those lessons and talk about what happened during the divisional round, starting with the story you already knew:
The story is true for everyone, but it holds especially true for teams facing one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL: If you don't get pass pressure on Brady, you simply aren't going to win. The Titans weren't able to sack Brady once on 53 pass attempts Saturday night, and they were quickly dispatched by the Super Bowl favorites. Since the 2007 season, when the Giants handed Brady his most notable playoff loss with a five-sack performance in Super Bowl XLII, teams that haven't been able to manufacture a pass rush against Brady have withered:
Nowhere was that clearer than the second quarter, when the Patriots appeared to go three-and-out deep in their own territory after a strong third-down bull rush from Derrick Morgan Authentic Pavel Bure Jersey got in Brady's face and forced an early throw to a covered James White. The Titans' defense marched off the field, only to be brought back on after a neutral zone infraction on the ensuing punt attempt gave the Patriots a first down. Tennessee pressured Brady only once more on the ensuing 14 plays of the drive, with Brian Orakpo forcing a red zone incompletion before Brady threw a touchdown pass on the next play. Chris Hogan scored to put the Patriots up 21-7, and the Titans never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
This is not a new story. Look through New England's playoff losses and the pressure trend is clear. The Giants' front four ate the Patriots up in 2007 and 2011. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware dominated as part of a 17-knockdown day in 2015. The Jets sacked Brady five times in 2010. An early Terrell Suggs strip-sack gave the Ravens a 14-point lead in 2009. Even in their Super Bowl wins, pressure has defined the game. The Pats launched their comeback against Seattle after Cliff Avril left with a concussion. Last year, Grady Jarrett and the Falcons' pass rush shut down the Patriots before they collapsed under a near-record 93 snaps and failed to bother Brady in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Quite frankly, if you're an AFC team, your first priority after finding a quarterback needs to be developing a deep, effective pass rush, because you're going to have to go through the Patriots if you want to make the Super Bowl. You can't afford to settle for a decent unit and even just one superstar, because we saw Khalil Mack and Von Miller talk about wanting to produce 30-sack seasons before the year, only to combine for 20.5 sacks on defenses that each took a step backward.
I can't even really fault the Titans, although it was clear what they had wasn't enough. Jurrell Casey didn't influence the game on the interior. Morgan and Orakpo are steady enough to reliably produce between seven and 10 sacks a year each when healthy, but that wasn't enough to threaten the Patriots. Teams need multiple players who can repeatedly win one-on-one matchups and force the Pats to either change their offense and give help in pass protection or risk getting Brady beat up.
Without steady pressure, teams simply can't hold up. The Titans don't have the safeties and linebackers http://www.officialflyersteamonline.com/Claude_Giroux_Jersey to man up against New England's bevy of running backs and tight ends. Dick LeBeau started the game with All-Pro safety Kevin Byard on Rob Gronkowski, and when that didn't work, he moved Byard back into center field and swapped in Johnathan http://www.authenticpittsburghpenguins.com/authentic-evgeni-malkin-jersey Cyprien and a series of inside linebackers. That also didn't work, which led to Byard returning, only for Gronk to beat him for a first down and then a subsequent touchdown. Imagine what teams without a first-team All-Pro at safety are supposed to do.
All of this makes New England's opponents on Sunday even more fascinating. The Jaguars finished the season second in pressure rate (33.3 percent) despite blitzing just 17.8 percent of the time, the lowest rate in football. Getting pressure with their front four is how the Giants beat the Patriots twice, and the Jaguars have the horses to ruin Brady's day without needing to send a Joel Embiid Youth jersey fifth man after the opposing quarterback. With A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, the Jags also have a pair of cornerbacks who can line up anywhere on defense and hold their own in man coverage.
Naturally, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels will adapt their game plan, something they do as well as anyone in football. They won't have as many of the unexpected wrinkles as they did Saturday, when they fooled the Titans by playing off their own season-long tendencies and threw a shovel pass to White for a touchdown and blocked up Tennessee's cross-dog blitz near the goal line for another easy score. cheap nfl jerseys paypal nba basketball jerseys nba basketball jerseys wholesale nba jerseys
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Re: Lessons of an impossible QB final four in 2017 NFL playo

Postautor: valdarian » 11 maja 2018, o 05:38

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