The New England Patriots like to run Press Cover 2 Man-Under often where they rely and trust their cornerbacks to not allow a play underneath and the safeties have over top in coverage. Unfortunately for the defense, this can pull them away from the middle of the field. Since their linebackers are watching the running back, Ben Roethlisberger motions JuJu Smith out to ensure the defense is in man coverage.
Once the ball is snapped the play action forces the linebackers to hesitate which gives Smith the time to use them as a screen to create space between him and his man-to-man matchup. The goal here is for JuJu to be athletic enough to get open while reading where the linebacker and determine where to go based off his first step.
Jaguars have to utilize Lee this game over the middle since the Patriots defense often uses Cover 2 Man Under which is great for cross routes bc its hard for the DBs/LBs to stick w the Slot recover through the box & the Secondary drops back. PA pull the LBs foward, drag/Qslant AD pic.twitter.com/amABRbysKL— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) January 18, 2018
Marqise Lee has shown the ability to execute these plays each and every week with great awareness. On the first play he heads right towards the first down marker and the second clip he decides he wants the touchdown instead of a short conversion.
Blake has also shown the ability to adjust and get the ball across the field when needed also,
Favorite throw by Blake this past Sunday. Feeling pressure by the defense and could easily throw the dump pass to Ivory instead tries Keelan Cole. This was an awesome play because the defender notices the pressure on Blake and assumes he would never be able to make the throw pic.twitter.com/9RQyG6ViHW— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) December 19, 2017
That is one of my favorite throws by Blake this season and with the Patriots being the fourth-worst in the league with first downs allowed, I’m okay with these crossing patterns all game if it ends with a Leonard Fournette rushing touchdown from inside the red zone. I don’t mind the Jaguars offense having a lack of downfield play because the Jaguars offense is tops in the league for offensive red zone scoring with 67.8 percent efficiency.
Keelan Cole has been the most underrated offensive weapon this season even though he’s second in the league with yards per reception with 17.8 — so if Cole can get them to the red zone quickly, the odds increase for Jacksonville to win this game.
How to beat the Patriots deep? ..starts with Keelan Cole. NEvPitt week 15- Bryant does a great job beating Gilbert w just his eyes. Once the defender turns his head to make a play, he runs by him. Cole does this Preseason Week 1 against NE, Can he do it again? #Jaguars pic.twitter.com/TGuYR61q6E— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) January 18, 2018
As a wide receiver you have to know some things a cornerback is looking for when lined across from you. One of them is when you complete your route generally the receiver’s eyes look for the ball and so cornerbacks are taught to find that point and turn for the ball to make a play.
There are some plays that are designed to make them bite such as the wheel route, when running out to the flat, there is a head fake giving space to make your break upfield. Some players can make their defender jump by using this same tactic but its during their route.
Martavis Bryant does this against the Patriots in Week 15 and Cole uses this same move in the last matchup against the Patriots in Week 1 of the preseason. The wide receiver turns his eyes toward his quarterback forcing the CB to do the same allowing some separation for a deep reception on deep fades. Cole perfects this move early in the season and has a great opportunity to expose a weakness in his defender this weekend, Stephon Gilmore.