Thursday, November 15, 2012
Bruschi's Breakdown on Patriots-Colts
Every week before the Patriots play a game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss dissect the action as part of "Bruschi's Breakdown." This week's breakdown is posted and Bruschi sees it as an intriguing matchup for a number of reasons. He will be watching for how rookie QB Andrew Luck fares against the struggling Patriots defense.
"(Luck) doesn't necessarily 'wow' you with his ability to scramble, or his strong arm -- he'll often use touch over velocity -- but I think he wins you over with his consistency," writes Bruschi. "Over and over again, making the right read, the good decision, such as taking a sack instead of forcing the ball somewhere. Maybe it's shrugging off a rush with his exceptional lower-body strength. The Colts have been excellent on third down and he's obviously a big part of that. He steadily gets better as games go on, and hasn't made the big mistakes that have cost his team a victory. And probably most impressive is the way you rarely see him make the same mistake twice."
As for the New England secondary, Bruschi takes a very Belichickian approach: It is what it is.
"There have been a lot of questions this week about the defense, and my feeling is 'this is what you have' and you just have to accept that," writes Bruschi. "They are going to give up yards; you're going to see quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick and possibly Andrew Luck going up and down the field against them. You're going to see some miscommunications in the secondary, like what happened in the end zone last week against the Bills. So what they have to keep doing is making big plays. That's what has been saving them, things like a Brandon Spikes forced fumble, or a Devin McCourty interception. That's a sign of a defense that knows when to step up and make a big play. It's tough to live this way and bank on making the big play, but it seems like that's what their forte is."
And here is Tedy's take on how he thinks the Patriots will utilize cornerback Aqib Talib, who will be making his Patriots debut on Sunday:
"This will really reflect how Bill Belichick views the secondary. I think it should probably be spot duty -- Talib coming in for a series here, or a series there, and making it simple for him so he doesn't get caught up in a lot of communication adjustments where he could make a mental error. But if Bill views the problems as bigger than that, he could throw him right into the fire and try to get things right as quickly as possible. Either way, it will be something to watch. You can make things simple for a cornerback, which is usually the position that is the last level of communication within a defense."