Big Decision: Bring the Blitz?

September, 15, 2012
9/15/12
2:00
PM ET
The day before each game this season, this space will feature one big decision facing Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his staff, in terms of the game plan.

This week's decision: Should the Patriots go with a blitz-heavy defensive attack?

CardinalsPatriotsThe Cardinals have one of the weaker offensive lines in the NFL, with their front five consisting of D'Anthony Batiste, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder and Bobby Massie.

Some analysts believe that Arizona should have passed on receiver Michael Floyd in April's draft and opted instead for offensive line help. Floyd has been unable to crack the starting lineup alongside Larry Fitzgerald, while in the preseason, the Cardinals lost their starting left tackle, Levi Brown, to a season-ending injury.

With Kevin Kolb filling in for John Skelton at quarterback, the Patriots could see it as an opportunity to bring a heavy dose of the blitz, with three starters along the line -- Colledge, Sendlein and Snyder -- all listed on the injury report this week. The Cardinals will want to get the ball to either Fitzgerald or Andre Roberts, and bringing constant pressure could disrupt the passing game more than a coverage-heavy approach.

However, the relative weakness of the Cardinals' offensive line could mean that blitzing isn't necessary. A four-man pass-rush headlined by Chandler Jones, who recorded a strip-sack in last week's win over the Titans, could get the job done, freeing up linebackers and safeties for coverage responsibilities.

What do you think? Should the Patriots blitz or go coverage-heavy? Join the discussion in the comments section below.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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