48 degrees, clear skies
Key Coaching Decision #1 (JAX leads 14-3 / 3rd & 7 NE 44 / 2:23 Q2)
- On an important 3rd & 7 with 2:23 left in the first half, Jacksonville appeared to convert the first down but was charged with a Delay of Game. What would have been a 1st down became a difficult 3rd & 12 that they did not convert. On the ensuing punt, they snapped the ball at 2:11 when they could have let it run down to the 2 minute warning. By snapping the ball early, they gave the Patriots an extra time stoppage for their last drive of the half. We have noted that the Patriots are extremely efficient at scoring before the end of the half, and in their preparation coaches need to be cognizant of this in order to minimize the opportunity for New England to score before the end of the half. The Patriots would score a touchdown on the ensuing possession. We downgraded Jacksonville’s game clock management for this sequence.
Key Coaching Decision #2 (JAX leads 14-10 / 1st & 10 JAX 25 / 0:55 Q1)
- Having received the ball with 55 seconds left in the first half and two timeouts, Jacksonville elected to kneel the ball instead of trying to assemble a drive. It was an interesting decision to not at least attempt to put more points on the board with 55 seconds to go.
- New England did a nice job of targeting LB Telvin Smith in coverage. They targeted him for two major catches on their first drive. Once on their opening drive of the second half for a pass that would have resulted in a 30+ yard gain had it not been dropped. And on their 2nd touchdown of the game at 8:51 in Q4 they caught him drifting and completed a pass underneath his coverage that was turned upfield for a touchdown. Credit to New England’s game planning and personnel.
- Excellent use of run and play action by Jacksonville in the first half of the game. They executed a cohesive and effective game plan in the 1st half in order to gain a significant lead. Credit to their game planning.
- New England’s biggest defensive adjustment in the second half seemed to be dialing up stunts with their defensive lineman that were extremely effective at landing pressure against QB Blake Bortles. They had some success rushing five but on several important 3rd downs it was just four defensive lineman executing stunts to get the pressure home. Credit to New England’s defensive game planning.