Patriots offense lethal, not illegal

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
9:00
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When the New York Jets play the New England Patriots, there is always potential for something over-the-top coming from the Jets' locker room.

The latest is from Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. He gave a backhanded compliment to the Patriots’ No. 1-ranked offense, calling it "borderline illegal."

“It's borderline illegal, because sometimes the guys aren't always set when they snap the ball," Pace told ESPNNewYork.com. "But it's smart. Why not hurry a team up? I wish we would do it. For a defense, it just puts pressure on you."

I’ve watched the Patriots all season, and there is nothing illegal about their offense. The Patriots line up fast and get the play in by using one-word terminology.

New England’s offense is lethal, not illegal. The Patriots got the idea from the Oregon Ducks, and have implemented a college scheme that's working in the NFL. New England is ahead of the curve and perhaps providing a glimpse into the future of a scheme and tempo that more teams eventually will use.

For now, the Patriots are the only team that can play at this tempo for four quarters. It takes a smart quarterback (Tom Brady) and all 11 players on the same page. New England has mastered it.

Just because it’s unusual doesn’t mean it's illegal.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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