Belichick takes page from Chip Kelly's book
The Patriots didn't just come out with their typical high-speed offense against the Broncos on Sunday, they came out in hyper-speed. The offense moved at such a fast pace that the Broncos' defense got little time to rest and had trouble adjusting their defensive personnel. If they got stuck in a nickel or dime package, the Patriots would pound them with running backs Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden. If the defense had their full front seven on the field, the Patriots would create mismatches with their plethora of aerial weapons and find someone covered by a linebacker.
To put this turbo attack into perspective, the Patriots ran 89 offensive plays, compared to the 74.75 plays per game they had averaged through the first four weeks of the season. They only ran 60 plays last year in the Super Bowl and ran 23 more plays than the Broncos did on Sunday. Patriots fans are used to seeing their team move at a fast pace, but this supersonic attack was more reminiscent of Chip Kelly's offense at the University of Oregon.
"That was fast," said Broncos' tight end Chris Gronkowski. "I don't think I've seen anybody play that fast before, and I've seen a lot of their games." I'm sure he has seen quite a few of the Patriots' games, as his little brother plays a pretty big role in their offense.
The Patriots' offense has become as unpredictable as anything in the NFL. One week they'll air it out down field all day, the next week they'll pound the rock on the ground. One week they'll run 67 plays, the next week they'll run 89. The league's most high-powered offense has also become the league's most dynamic offense, leaving defensive coordinators wondering which execution method head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will choose for that week.
For those concerned with the fantasy outlook of Patriots' players, there is no need to worry if they keep this up. Sure, there are a ton of weapons to spread the ball to, but if they're running this many plays, there will be plenty of targets and carries to go around. Granted, the Patriots could turn around and go back to a slower tempo offense next week, but even when they do that, they tend to spread the ball to all of their weapons.