DeVito’s Patriots Notebook: Week 4 vs Carolina

By Mike DeVito

Match up break down by the numbers


Carolina Offense  AVG. NFL RANK New England Defense   AVG NFL RANK
Points/Game 15 29th 31.7 32nd
Total Yards/Game 276.7 28th 461 32nd
Pass Yards/Game 168.3 30th 330.7 32nd
Rush Yards/Game 108.3 13th 130.3 26th
Carolina Defense New England Offense NFL RANK
Points/Game 13.3 2nd 33 2nd
Total Yards/Game 251.7 1st 440.7 1st
Pass Yards/Game 162 3rd 340 1st
Rush Yards/Game 89.7 15th 100.7 16th




When Carolina has the Football:


Stop the Run/QB Scrambles – Even though they have managed a 2-1 record, Carolina’s offense has been struggling so far this year, especially passing the football. With their number one receiver Kelvin Benjamin, coming off an injury, Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen on the IR and Cam Newton’s shoulder dinged up, look for the Panthers to lean heavy on the run game. This offense has a large playbook with many differ types of runs. One possible way for New England to slow down the Carolina run game is to line up in a 3-4 defense with Dave Harris and Hightower at the backer positions. This style of defense is great against the run and limits the types of runs an opposing offense can use. Star center Ryan Kalil has been ruled out with a neck injury, leaving an area of weakness for the Pats to exploit. Cam Newton may not be as athletic as the QB New England saw last week in Houston rookie Deshaun Watson, but he can still make a lot of plays with his feet. After struggling keeping Watson contained, it might be to New England’s benefit to keep a spy on Newton throughout the game.


When New England has the Football:


Get the Quick Passes/Screens Going Early – As a former defensive lineman, playing against New England was always frustrating because of how fast Tom Brady throws the football. In fact, he gets rid of the ball so quick that a lot of rushers will stop their rush if they don’t win on the first move because they get in the rhythm of Brady’s fast release. New England has struggled (and that’s being generous) protecting #12 so far this season. That being said, they have taken a lot of shots down field, especially to Cooks. It might benefit them to start the game early with some quick passes and screens, getting Amendola and that stable of running backs the ball, to slow down a very good defense/defensive line (Peppers, Johnson, Short, Addison, Lotuleli, etc.).


Prediction – New England 24 Carolina 17  


Mike DeVito is a Maine alum and veteran of 9 season in the NFL with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. Mike is a guest host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live on Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.