Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Nate Solder

New England can continue the success it had against Cincy. Here’s how

Originally Published: October 10, 2014


By
Field Yates
| ESPN Insider

Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesTom Brady and the Patriots’ offense got back on track against Cincinnati.

The New England Patriots have been — for the most part — a game-plan offense with quarterback Tom Brady at the helm. That is to say their offensive approach from week to week varies to try and attack an opposing defense’s limitations, be it a weak secondary, poor front seven or any vulnerability revealed from tape study.

But while their game plan frequently changes, there are fundamental concepts in which the Patriots excel more than others. In Week 5, facing what had previously been the stingiest defense in the NFL, the Patriots reverted back to these areas of strength in a 43-17 rout of the Bengals, handing Cincinnati its first loss of the season and revealing that their offense still has what it takes for this team to contend for a Super Bowl again this season.

Let’s break down how the Patriots attacked the Bengals on Sunday night.

It starts with two tight ends

The Patriots ran 48 snaps with two or more tight ends on the field against Cincinnati, the highest number of snaps any team has run with at least two tight ends in any game this season. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski played 77 percent of the total snaps, by far his highest percentage of the season, while Tim Wright, Michael Hoomanwanui and lineman Jordan Devey (aligned as a tight end) served as complementary tight ends. Not surprisingly, the Patriots also ran their lowest percentage of three wide receiver sets in Week 5 (28 percent).<!– end free …read more