A Pats fans take on the keys to a Titans win:
The season-opener is fast approaching, as is the long awaited epic Battle of the McCourtys!
1) A man named Yates once said that things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. Right infront of Jake Locker's unexpected Center is going to be Vince Wilfork's gang of hoodielums. The Titans OLine will be getting a hell of a challenge. Belichick's Defense has never surrendered a win to a quarterback's first start, and the New England front-7 is going to give Locker all the chances in the world to remind Tennessee that no one is perfect. If I were in a fantasy league I wouldn't take CJ2K in this game. With Britt out the Pats will look to take out their next best weapon and force Locker to try beating them with Washington/Wright/Cook. If the Titans O wins the game, it's going to be because they were able to find success in the air. For Pats fans, the condition of the secondary will be given tremendous scrutiny all year after what they did/didn't do last year and this will be a good test for them.
2) Be aware. Belichick almost always makes mid-game adjustments, and Locker is going to have to be ready for it. In terms of scheme, the Pats kept things very vanilla and boring in preseason. Don't expect that to continue into Week 1.
3) Blitz Brady at your own risk. Pretty much every blog I visited last year had folk saying the same thing; just hit Brady, gwar! Well, the teams that have success against Brady on D tend to be the ones who show restraint and create pressure with 2-4 guys. The rest need to get down on guys, do their jobs, and understand assignments. Don't believe me? Go back to last year and look at the film- Brady's QB rating was higher vs. the blitz than not. Creating good pressure is always great but don't forget the weapons Brady has that work wonders between the numbers in the first 3 seconds of any given play.
4) Speaking of weapons, they're no joke. Brandon Lloyd is the new-comer and while he doesn't have Moss's 2007 speed he certainly has that deceptive agility that gives him great ability to create separation along with great hands. He'll make things interesting at WR, offering far more talent there than the aging Deion Branch managed to do last year. This can quite easily help what I call the Big-3(SR Wes Welker, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Aaron Hernandez) do what they do best; create horrendous mismatches inbetween the numbers. With so much respect for Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, many a D's could fall into the trap of neglecting Aaron Hernandez or Brandon Lloyd. It won't help opposing D's that the Pats look more explosive at RB.
5) What may help opposing D's is that it looks like ProBowler Brian Waters may not be returning to RG, that LG Logan Mankins is coming off a torn-ACL(that he played through..), and that RT Sebastien Vollmer is coming back from back surgery. Pats biggest question-marks besides for the secondary is, of course, the Offensive Line.
Questions and pictures of your cheerleaders below, please.