On Friday, I wrote that the Patriots' alleged "blueprint" for beating the Broncos was really a blueprint for beating any defense in the NFL. I didn't think it all the way through, though, and an important point was left out.
The one-word fast running game only works when it's quiet enough for Tom Brady to call out that one word. At Seattle yesterday, the Patriots couldn't play as fast, because Brady had no ability to communicate the play as quickly as he could at home.
CenturyLink Field is the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL, and Brady may have an easier time in stadiums with less noise. But for the moment, I'm going to say that the one-word run game is only something New England can consistently rely upon at home.
Seattle has an excellent defense, and by doing a really good job against the run, and turning New England one-dimensional, they gave themselves the best chance to win. They only sacked Brady once, hit him five other times, and he threw for 395 yards, but the Seahawks intercepted Brady twice, and forced a couple of short field goals.
Wait a minute... Did the Seahawks just show the whole NFL a blueprint for how to beat New England?
ZOMG! We might have cracked the code here at IAOFM.
Alas, the answer is no, there's no blueprint. Defenses have to line up, be sound in their gap responsibilities, hit Brady as much as possible, try to cover all the excellent receivers the Patriots have, and stiffen in the scoring area. There's nothing innovative or earth-shattering about it. Except maybe deciding that whenever that damn Danny Woodhead is in the game, that he's getting tackled - whether Brady hands him the ball or not.