(CBS)- Three weeks into the season, the Patriots are proper within the thick of issues as typical within the AFC with a 2-1 document. With new quarterback Cam Newton on the helm, the offense appears to be like a lot totally different than what we’ve come to anticipate from the crew in 12 months’s previous nevertheless it’s been efficient, rating as Soccer Outsiders fourth-most environment friendly unit within the league by DVOA.
The distinction with Cam has been noticeable on the sidelines in addition to NFL on CBS lead sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson notes, the Patriots have a “totally different stage of vitality” because of their new QB.
“The feelings and the grins and what he brings and the cheering and the hugs. I noticed him hug Josh McDaniels after a landing final week. I don’t know the final time I noticed Brady and Josh McDaniels hugging besides perhaps after the Tremendous Bowl,” mentioned Wolfson in an interview with CBS Native’s Ryan Mayer. “It’s fascinating to observe. I feel you may inform Josh McDaniels is having quite a lot of enjoyable with this offense and simply developing with alternative ways to win. You’ve gotten seen the various alternative ways Cam is ready to assist the crew.”
These alternative ways of serving to the crew have confirmed up in every of the primary three weeks because the offense has tailored to its opponents in fascinating methods. Towards the Dolphins in Week 1, it was Newton’s operating skill and a punishing floor recreation that racked up 217 yards on 5.2 yards per carry with a whopping 34:49 in time of possession.
In Week 2, even in a loss to the Seahawks, Newton impressed together with his arm throwing for 397 yards with a landing and an interception whereas including one other two scores on the bottom.
And final week, it was the crew’s operating backs that have been efficient, totaling 209 yards on 17 carries cut up between Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and J.J. Taylor.
That multi-faceted offensive method ought to serve the crew properly in what appears to be like to be a tricky Week Four matchup in Kansas Metropolis in opposition to the Chiefs. As anticipated, Patrick Mahomes and firm are as soon as once more inflicting nightmares for opponents because of the number of choices. However, Wolfson, who was on the decision when the Chiefs performed the Chargers in Week 2, pointed to that recreation as one Patriots coach Invoice Belichick is more likely to research for perception into the best way to sluggish the Chiefs.
“It’s not like they haven’t performed one another prior to now. I feel Invoice goes to undergo these video games and see what they have been capable of do, what was profitable and what was not. I feel he’ll go to the Chargers just a little bit and that recreation in Week 2 as a result of they have been capable of do a extremely good job on the Chiefs into that third quarter,” mentioned Wolfson.
The constant saying about Belichick is that he focuses on taking away the opposite crew’s most suitable choice. With the Chiefs, that may be arduous to decipher. However, Wolfson notes that containing Mahomes and forcing the sport to be primarily based extra on the operating recreation is a potential avenue.
Nevertheless, the larger possibility she factors out lies with McDaniels, Newton and the offense. Management the clock.
“The primary factor is, it’s a must to swap to the offense of the Patriots, and say simply hold Mahomes off the sphere,” mentioned Wolfson. “If you are able to do that, you may have some success. For those who can have some lengthy drives offensively and hold them off the sphere so long as potential.”
The Patriots have proven a capability to try this this season and the Chiefs have proven some vulnerability in opposition to the run permitting the Texans, Chargers and Ravens to tear off 118, 183 and 158 yards respectively on the bottom within the first three weeks. Every of these groups averaged over 4 yards per carry. However, the Ravens and Texans each fell into large first half deficits forcing them away from the bottom assault.
Wolfson pointed to explosive performs as one other key issue. It’s arduous to maintain the Chiefs from getting these chunk performs, however the Chargers have been profitable at doing so for almost all of three quarters. Simpler mentioned than performed, it is going to be a enjoyable cat and mouse recreation to observe on Sunday.
The Patriots journey to Kansas Metropolis for a 4:25 p.m. Jap Time matchup on CBS.