Patriots new offensive game plan? Two words: Read option

For the first time in 20 years, we don’t fully know what to expect from the New England Patriots offense tomorrow. It’s exciting and frightening at the same time, but there is one reason we should be more excited than not: read option

The defense got exposed by Lamar Jackson and the read option handily last year. You know that Bill Belichick took notice of that, and has incorporated it into his offense. For starters, the Patriots don’t have the personnel to line up four receivers and feel like they can get a good match up each time.

The strength is running backs. Cam Newton isn’t as mobile as he once was, but if he can force the defense to worry about the threat of him running, the offense’s potential expands greatly. More lanes can be opened up for Sony Michel, who struggled at finding some last year. Defenses will be forced to stack the box, leaving 1-on-1 outside match ups for N’Keal Harry on the deep ball. In 3rd and short yardage situations, it opens routes up for Julian Edelman and James White, 2 of the best short route runners in the league. Belichick is an extremely observant coach, and takes things he sees from other teams and incorporates them into his game plans daily. It would be relatively surprising if they don’t take advantage of Newton’s mobility in building their offensive game-plan for tomorrow.

(Originally posted on September 12, 2020)

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