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    The New England Patriots played against some

    of the NFL’s best offenses this year — from the Indianapolis Colts to the Chicago Bears to the Los Angeles Chargers last week. The biggest challenge they faced during the regular season LaAdrian Waddle Jerseys 2019 , however, is the one that will also cross their paths this week: a Kansas City Chiefs team that led the league in scoring during the regular season by averaging 35.3 points per game.While not all of the team’s 71 touchdowns were scored by the offense — five of them came either on special teams or via the defense — the unit is still the best in the business when it comes to putting pressure on opponents this season. Arguably the biggest reason for that is the play of second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will likely be named the league’s Most Valuable Player on the eve of Super Bowl 53.“He’s an outstanding player in every facet of the game,” Bill Belichick said earlier this week about Mahomes. “He’s got a strong arm. He can throw the ball the length of the field. He’s got a great touch. He’s got the ability to read coverages and extend plays, make good decisions and make explosive plays without taking too much of a risk and putting his team in jeopardy. He does all of those things well and that’s a credit to him.”Mahomes is certainly having an outstanding season, as a look at the numbers shows. During the Chiefs’ 16 regular season games, he completed 383 of his 580 pass attempts (66.0%) for 5,097 yards, a league-high 50 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. His impact however, goes beyond the stat sheet: time and again, the 23-year old was able to keep plays and drives alive pretty much on his own, thus constantly putting his team in favorable situations.The Patriots were first-hand witnesses of Mahomes’ excellence during the two teams’ week six meeting. While New England ultimately prevailed 43-40, the former first-round draft pick was able to keep his team in the game up until Stephen Gostkowski’s game-winning field goal right as time expired — and that despite the Patriots defense putting constant physical and mental pressure on him, especially in the first half.When asked about what impressed him about Mahomes’ play that day, New England linebacker Dont’a Hightower was pretty straight forward. “I think the same thing that kind of impressed everybody,” the Patriots’ defensive signal caller said. “I think the fact that he kind of came in and the whole game, he kind of kept his composure, he made a lot of key throws when he needed to, he extended plays, which really hurt us.”“Just the way that he kind of managed the offense, whether it was him making checks from what he’s seeing or maybe it was a check thing within the game plan — just the way he carried himself the whole game,” continued Hightower. Showing the necessary composure paired with his natural athletic abilities, Mahomes was able to finish the day with 23 completions on 36 attempts for 352 yards, four touchdowns as well as two picks.In order to limit his impact this time around White David Andrews Jerseys , the Patriots know they need to be able to keep the pressure on the quarterback from start to finish. “I think [we have] to keep him in the pocket but to also keep pressure on him, not letting him feel comfortable,” said Hightower. “But, obviously, he’s an athletic quarterback. He can throw just as well outside the pocket as he can inside the pocket.”“I mean, on film, you see him not even looking where he’s throwing and he’s able to hit it, too. I mean, he’s a very accurate quarterback, so we want to keep him inside the pocket but keep pressure on him,” the veteran defender continued. Hightower’s teammate Trey Flowers echoed the remarks about the Chiefs’ impressive quarterback, especially when it came to topic of Mahomes being able to keep plays alive.“He’s definitely a guy that’s able to extend plays and not as much as looking to run but he’s looking to throw the ball down the field to a lot of fast skill guys. Just him being able to buy some time, elude some pressure... and he has some guys that can run very well and get open,” said Flowers. “He doesn’t overthrow many of those guys, so just the accuracy and the arm strength that he’s able to do on the run and do as he eludes pressure — he’s definitely a great quarterback.” The Los Angeles Rams have one of the NFL’s premier offensive attacks — a group that ranked third in the NFL during the regular season with 30.5 points scored per game; one that also was in the top-5 in yards and yards per play, net yards per rushing and passing attempt, and points per drive. Needless to say, the New England Patriots defense will have its hands full on Super Bowl Sunday trying to stop this offense.But how exactly will the Rams’ offensive attack look like? Let’s take a closer look at their favorite personnel packages to find out — and one thing we can see right off the bat is that the Patriots will be in a lot of nickel and dime packages on Sunday: Los Angeles runs its offense almost exclusively out of 11-personnel groups with three wide receivers, one tight end, and one running back on the field.The team’s most-used package with a total of 281 snaps featured Cooper Kupp, now on injured reserve, as the team’s number three wide receiver. With him out of the picture, the top group Los Angeles uses now looks as follows:In total, the Rams used this personnel package on 264 of a possible 1 David Andrews Jerseys 2019 ,248 snaps this season (21.2%). A group that is used no matter the spot on the field or the situation, it is hard to draw any definitive conclusions from personnel alone about what kind of play is run out of it: L.A. attempted 134 passes out of this package compared to 130 runs.The numbers were solid either way, as the Rams averaged 5.8 yards per play when using this group while also scoring 14 touchdowns and turning the football over just four times (1.5%). This variation of an 11-personnel package gained 4.5 yards per run on the ground, while also being able to gain 7.0 yards per attempt through the air. However, all three statistics rank below the Rams’ season-long averages.On a per-pass basis, for example, the following package was more productive:Los Angeles gained 11.3 yards per pass attempt using this variation of 11-personnel, with the only difference to the group above being the use of undrafted rookie wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge over ex-Patriot Brandin Cooks. However, the package is not one regularly used by the Rams: the team employed the Hodge-for-Cooks group on only 31 offensive snaps this season, attempting a mere 12 passes.When it comes to passing the football, the following group is more prominently featured and can be characterized as a pass-first package:As opposed to the Rams’ most-used package, tight end Gerald Everett is on the field here instead of Tyler Higbee. Overall, L.A. trotted out this group for 137 snaps this season and on 121 of them Jared Goff dropped back to attempt a pass. Once again, however, the yardage gained per pass is below his season-long 8.2 yards per attempt as the team averages “only” 5.6 when using this 11-personnel group.What’s the reason for this? As we discussed last week, Goff’s 2018 is essentially a tale of two seasons. His numbers before and after the Rams’ week 12 bye look drastically different when compared to his early-season statistics. One number that reflects this is the oft-mentioned yards per attempt: Goff gained 9.3 yards per pass through the first eleven games, and only 6.5 over the seven since.There are two basic factors that played into this decline. Not only did the team face four of the NFL’s playoff teams since the team’s bye week — the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints — it also lost the aforementioned Cooper Kupp to injury. Before tearing his ACL, Kupp averaged 14.2 yards per catch and scored six touchdowns as a core offensive playmaker for Los Angeles.With him gone, Goff lost one of his most trusted weapons. Kupp’s replacement meanwhile, Josh Reynolds, is solid when catching the football — he averages 13.9 yards per reception — but has a much lower catch percentage: while Kupp caught 72.7% of his targets before his injury, Reynolds has a season-long catch rate of only 53.1%. And while it is not the lone reason for the statistical step back L.A. and its most prominent groups has taken White Patrick Chung Jerseys , it still is a factor to be considered.But while the passing efficiency suffered over the second half of the season, the running game is still going strong — and the package with Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Brandin Cooks and Gerald Everett at the skill positions is actually pretty productive in the ground game, albeit not often used: on 12 rushing attempts out of this group, L.A. gained 6.3 yards per rush so far.A more prominently used group when it comes to running the football is the following:C.J. Anderson has come on strong since the Rams brought him on board in December, rushing for 466 yards and four touchdowns on just 82 attempts. When he is on the field, the team likes to run the football as the personnel group outlined above illustrates. Los Angeles used the group on a total of 60 snaps so far, with 41 of which turning into running plays — with a solid outcome on a yards-per-play basis: L.A. gains 5.1 yards a rush out of this group.Overall, Anderson is a bit of a key for the Patriots to rely upon. When he is on the field, the play is more likely to be a run than a pass: Los Angeles attempted a rush on 60% of his snaps, which is not overwhelming in one direction but still more lopsided when compared to the usage of other groups — most prominently the one we outlined first, the Rams’ favorite package ever since losing Kupp to injury.In general, though, one thing stands out: Los Angeles is an 11-personnel team, and capable of using it to both pass the football and run it as well. New England will likely counter with a nickel look to be safe against passing plays, but also has to put an emphasis on stopping the run game out of the package — something the Patriots have not been able to successfully do at times this year.Ultimately, it would not be a surprise if the team used plenty of 5-1-5 alignments with the linebackers used to help set the edge and funnel plays into the middle towards big-bodied defenders Lawrence Guy and Malcom Brown. No matter how the Patriots opt to approach the Rams’ 11-personnel look, though, one thing is clear: it will be a tough test for a defense that has played impressive for stretches during the postseason so far.

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