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Did New Orleans draw a blueprint?

Posted by Albert Breer  December 3, 2009 03:28 PM

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Here's the rub, though: It worked that well because the Saints got up on the Patriots and made their offense one-dimensional. It's a lot easier to commit that much to stopping receivers like Moss and Welker when the running game is nothing more than a sideshow.

In that case, as the Patriots did so often in 2007, the Saints used their offense as a defense, forcing New England into a catch-up situation. And New England cooperated to a certain degree, with a 19-36 run-pass ratio in the final three quarters.

"We always try to get ahead early and put your best stuff out there early because when you can make it a one-dimensional game for the other team, you can really start teeing off on the quarterback, so that’s important," Tom Brady said yesterday. "They got up and it was obviously a loud environment and they did a good job of staying ahead. We’ve got to do a better job when we’re behind to come back.

"You’re not always ahead in these games. You get behind and you’ve got to overcome it. When you’re down like we were in the second half, you’ve got to play perfect football and we didn’t do that."

OK, so can Miami duplicate this?

I doubt it. First, they don't have the offensive firepower to put the Patriots in the bad spot the Saints did.

Second, they certainly could do to Welker and Moss what the Saints did -- perhaps giving Vontae Davis more help on the back end, and using Yeremiah Bell to clean up on Welker if he gets open in the underneath coverage, as he inevitably will. But by committing that many players to defending that way, and taking the safeties out of the ground game in large part, it could leave a run defense that's without nose tackle Jason Ferguson awfully susceptible.

At least, that's the way I see it.

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