Power Of The Non-Existent Run Game
By FirstDown PlayBook on Nov 3, 2015

Much has been made of the fact that the New England Patriots have all but dismissed their run game and  are letting Tom Brady do what Tom Brady does. There is certainly no arguing the point that the run game is not the staple of the Patriots offense.

However, one of our Tuesday 10 NFL plays this week shows how and why the Patriots still get great milage out of the run game even when they don’t run it.


The Patriots start the Dolphins off with a 12 personnel and an Pro I offensive set. They put the F Tight End in the backfield and then shift him out to a true Tight End position, except he is off of the ball. It was 1st and 10 early in the football game and to the Dolphins this personnel grouping and formation looks like a no brainer run down.

The Patriots fake the run at the F Tight End and the Dolphins Linebackers are all in as they attack the line of scrimmage. It looks like the safeties are playing quarters and are in a bit of a conflict of assignment as they are tasked with helping stop the run but also handle any vertical threats their way.

Brady finds Gronk like he usually does, this time on a play-action pass and essentially the only player that has a chance to make a play is the Free Safety. Gronk makes him miss and the Patriots score their first touchdown of many last Thursday night.

So when we look at the Patriots and measure the value of their run game, it’s important to understand that the run game can be a silent powerful tool even when it’s not used often. As most defenses know, just because the Patriots are not running it doesn’t mean they cannot run it.

Be sure to take a look at the FirstDown Playbook Tuesday 10 tonight to check out this and nine other play drawings of some of the best NFL plays from week eight!


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