Brady: We played the kind of game we talked about

Brady: We played the kind of game we talked about
September 12, 2012, 6:33 pm
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FOXBORO -- A word being used handily by the Patriots this week is "balance." It first popped up after the team's 34-13 victory in Tennessee
New England ranked 20th in the NFL last season in rushing yards per game with 110.2, and averaged 27.3 rushes per contest. Last Sunday, they ran for 162 yards on 35 attempts. Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 236 yards.
The offense was, as you don't always see with the Patriots, balanced.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels touched on the subject during his Tuesday conference call.
"If youre able to do more than one thing well and able to move the ball in different ways, I think it just forces the defense to have to defend a lot of different things in your offense. You cant really settle into one thing and get comfortable with that.
"When you have a decent balance offensively, your running game can help your play action, your play action can help your running game and then you mix in all the other things you want to try to do. I think it becomes a complementary part of our game."
McDaniels kept things very well mixed, to Tennessee's dismay.
New England used a lot of different personnel Sunday. Aaron Hernandez, who only got six targets but played every offensive snap, looked as versatile as they come -- working out of the backfield, taking a direct snap, getting split out wide and playing in tight. The team also employed deception with bubble screens, tear screens, and by creating pass plays out of run formations. Tennessee bit on Brady's play-action fakes to the running backs again and again.
Best the Titans could manage against the quarterback? One sack, two knockdowns, five hurries.
Meanwhile, New England achieved yup -- balance.
When asked about how important managing the rushing and passing game was to the team's efficiency, Logan Mankins put it quite simply.
"You can ask the Titans about that," he said flatly. "They didn't run the ball."
Tennessee, behind superstar running back Chris Johnson, squeaked out just 20 yards on the ground. Johnson owns four of them. That meant one first down via rushing to New England's 13.
It meant, in the end, 13 points to New England's 34.
"Our goal will always be to try to go in and maintain our balance unless we decide that the best thing to do would be to do something other than that," said McDaniels. "I know weve done that in certain games in the past, to make a conscious effort or a decision to do it some other way. Right now, we did a decent job in Week 1 and hopefully we can continue to do that by being productive in both the throwing game and the running game."
Thing is, scheming isn't good enough. Sometimes what happens on the field doesn't develop the way it was imagined and adjustments must be made.
"You try to game plan it for the most part, you know, weekly," Brady mused. "I think sometimes, depending on the game situation maybe it becomes a bit out of balance if you get maybe a substantial lead or vice versa where the second half you're maybe forced to throw it a lot more than you would like to. But when it's a competitive game and it's still first quarter, second quarter, and you play some of these games that are going to be four-quarter games, you've really got to be able to do that over the course of the entire game.
"As it turned out last week, that's pretty much how it happened. We kind of played the game the way we talked about needing to play the game."