Patriots

Bedard’s Breakdown: Patriots’ flaccid defensive plan vs. Texans put the players in no-win situation

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(Adam Richins for BSJ)

A week ago, we were rightfully raving about the Patriots' defensive plan against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

It was vintage Bill Belichick. They had a tremendous plan — create a hard edge taking on lead blockers, with an overhang defender to double up on the edge — to make the Ravens have to run everything through their weakened offensive line, make them fight you in a telephone booth, and make Jackson have to win with his arm.

Sure, the weather helped, but the defense was tremendous in the 23-17 victory.

The Patriots had their mojo back.

So much for that.

Apparently, Belichick gave the defensive coaches the week off after the Ravens game because the exact opposite happened: instead of throwing a curveball at Deshaun Watson and the Texans, the Patriots rolled over, played dead and basically went with the, "Hopefully he's off and throws us one or two," plan.

That was it. How else do you explain 13 — 13! — three-man rushes. The Patriots only sent pressure — against a bad line missing both tackles, including their far-and-away best player in Larmey Tunsil — three times (6.8 percent).

You'd figure that sort of pass-rush plan would include something else with it, like