Defensive dilemma against Brady

December, 22, 2010
12/22/10
6:15
AM ET
Pat Kirwan, a senior analyst for NFL.com, does a terrific job breaking down the dilemma that defenses have when scheming against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: Pressure or not to pressure?

Kirwan dissects the three plays in which the Packers sacked Brady on Sunday night, getting deeper into the mindset of Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, and includes diagrams for good measure.

Writes Kirwan:

"Capers was committed to inside pressure to get Brady off his launch point. If the problem arises again, expect Brady to use some half roll and occasionally vacate the launch point.

"Football is like a chess match, and Brady is the master chess player. While everyone points to the Giants sacking their way to a win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, since that day, Brady is 7-1 when teams sack him three or more times.

"After watching a lot of the pressure calls this year, defenses really need to think about just slowing Brady down and not risking the damage he can do. The next team that copies Capers' pressure calls will probably pay dearly."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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