Ron Jaworski on The Big Show: Brady ‘began to see ghosts’ on the field
|01.18.11 at 3:53 pm ET|
ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, after reviewing the coaches’ film of the Patriots’ 28-21 loss to the Jets, credited New York for their defensive execution. At the same time, he expressed surprise at the number of opportunities missed by the New England offense, particularly quarterback Tom Brady.
“Obviously, a disappointing effort from the Patriots. I was surprised they played as poorly as they did,” Jaworski said. “I’m going to be honest with you guys. I looked at tape. There were some plays on the field that Tom Brady did not see. I think Tom began to play a little bit fast, and the term I use, he began to see ghosts. There were some opportunities, particularly early in the game, a key third-and-3, he had Danny Woodhead out of the backfield in the flat, he doesn’t throw the football. It’s a play that Tom has probably seen 50 times this year and completed 50 times. For some reason, he didn’t throw the football. I don’t know if he got spooked by the interception or what, but he did leave some plays on the field.
“I think he had a poor game,” Jaworski added. “He’s always been really good at that movement in the pocket, those subtle little moves to the left or right or up in the pocket that allows some time for the receivers to uncover. I just felt that at times he had those opportunities and he kind of flinched. There was a perception of pressure, and at times it wasn’t there. It was awkward to me to see Tom reacting that way. When bodies weren’t around him, he was perceiving pressure.”
Jaworski said that the Jets did not blitz on a high percentage of plays, but that they did so enough to change the timing and rhythm of Brady, the offensive line and receivers. He praised the play of cornerback Darrelle Revis, suggesting that he turned the contest into a “10-on-10″ game. He also suggested that the Jets — who had as many as seven defensive backs on the field — employed a strategy used to great effect by Bill Belichick and the Patriots against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, chipping receivers to throw off the rhythm of the passing game.
The analyst (and former NFL quarterback) also noted that the Patriots offensive line did not have its best game against the Jets’ defensive front. Though he said that the call for a punt fake was an excellent one — and that “the play would have worked” but for Patrick Chung fumbling the snap — he expressed surprise that the Patriots did not try to take advantage of tight end Aaron Hernandez to create matchup problems for the Jets and that the Patriots did not exhibit greater urgency on their almost eight-minute drive in the fourth quarter.
“There just didn’t seem to be a sense of urgency,” said Jaworski. “It was a great drive if it was in the first quarter. … I was very surprised by the lack of urgency to get the plays running.