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While the New England Patriots offense appears

    • 450 posts
    August 21, 2019 8:54 AM EEST
    to have finally hit its groove Stephen Gostkowski Jerseys 2019 , the team’s defense continues to be a work in progress. Today, the unit will have its next chance to fully get back on track and finally display some of the consistency that it has lacked over the first six games of the year. Standing in its way is a Chicago Bears team that is using plenty of the same concepts last week’s opponent – the Kansas City Chiefs, who scored 40 points against New England – likes to run but without quite the same firepower.That being said, the Patriots cannot afford to take the Bears lightly and need to make sure that the following is doneChallenge Mitchell Trubisky’s decision makingLast week against Kansas City, the Patriots had a productive first half and a big reason for that was the defense’s ability to make life hard for second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes. New England used diverse pre-snap looks and fake blitzes time and again to challenge the talented but relatively inexperienced passer in terms of his reads and decision making.While Mahomes adapted nicely at times and made plenty of terrific plays, this approach also led to two takeaways and helped the Patriots keep one of the NFL’s best defenses off rhythm. Fast forward to this week and the Patriots will face another player similar to Mahomes: the Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky comes with more starting experience but is still a player that can be challenged by odd formations or rarely seen coverage concepts.New England should therefore use a similar approach as it used last week to try to make the former first-round draft pick feel uncomfortable in the pocket even without necessarily having to generate plenty of pressure up front. It worked against Bears head coach Matt Nagy’s former pupil, it might work against his new one as well. Nevertheless White Matthew Slater Jerseys , the Patriots need to make life as hard as possible for Trubisky.Be disciplined against option playsAs noted last week, Kansas City likes to regularly use the run-pass-option to put its explosive players in a position to succeed. The concept, which allows the quarterback to either hand the football off after the snap or keep it to pass depending on the movements of the defense, is also a staple of Chicago’s attack: the Bears, coached by former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, also use RPOs more often than the average NFL team.New England therefore again needs to be disciplined against such plays. The linebackers in particular will be challenged by RPO concepts and other option plays the Bears like to run – like a read option that allows the quarterback to keep the football and advance it himself as a runner. Last week, the group faired pretty well in such situations and it again needs to stay patient and not give away its hand too early to allow Trubisky to regularly make the correct reads.Get on the same page in the secondaryVersus the Chiefs Matthew Slater Jerseys 2019 , the New England defense tied a season-high by giving up six plays of more than 20 yards. Four of those gains happened on passes – which is not unexpected when going against a highly explosive offense like Kansas City’s but still troublesome from the Patriots’ defensive perspective. After all, the team again faces a group of offensive skill position players this week that has a knack for making big plays down the field and a passer that is not afraid to target them.It is therefore imperative for the Patriots’ defense – particularly the secondary – to be on the same page when it comes to stopping talented wide receivers like Allen Robinson II and Taylor Gabriel, or running back Tarik Cohen and tight end Trey Burton. Together, the four form a quartet similar to the one the Chiefs presented last week: Robinson II and Gabriel are reminiscent of Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill, Cohen of Kareem Hunt, and Burton of Travis Kelce.And even though the Chiefs’ group is a notch above Chicago’s, the New England defense needs to be on top of its game to slow it down. One way to do that is by taking away the big play down the field White Devin McCourty Jerseys , and having solid communication and displaying sound play diagnosis in the defensive back end – unlike on two long touchdowns last week – will be important yet again to make it happen. Without a contract extension, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was potentially entering his last year with the team. With a contract extension, Brady is potentially entering his last year with the team.As Tom Curran of aptly explains, the move changes nothing about the possibility that 2019 will be Brady’s last ride in New England. It possibly will change the narrative that he’s careening toward a departure, even though it shouldn’t.Brady received an extra $8 million this year, and the team reportedly picked up $5.5 million in cap space. Since the contract is a two-year extension (a three-year deal), the creation of $5.5 million in cap space comes from a signing bonus of $8.25 million. The balance of his $23 million will be in the form of salary and Devin McCourty Jerseys 2019 , possibly, the retention of the $1 million in per-game roster bonuses.The details of the 2020 and 2021 compensation have yet to be leaked. The numbers, when they emerge, likely will cement the notion that the Patriots could decide to move on after 2019, especially since the cap charge would be only $5.5 million for doing so.So Brady has gotten an extra $8 million, the team has engineered a relatively small amount of cap relief, and the Patriots have secured dibs on keeping Brady for 2020 without having to apply the franchise tag at $32.4 million or without having to potentially risk letting him hit the open market and being grossly overpaid by a team that cares far less about Brady’s specific football abilities in 2020 and far more about the millions Brady could help a franchise generate in ticket sales White Isaiah Wynn Jerseys , jersey sales, and everything else that goes along with having the greatest quarterback of all time under contract.