Patriots weren't really 'tipping' their plays

Patriots weren't really 'tipping' their plays
September 19, 2012, 9:26 pm
Share This Post

On Wednesday Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton went on the Doug & Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 620 and said that the Patriots were tipping their plays.

"We let Tom Brady tell us what kind of defense we were going to play," Horton said. "What I mean by that is we had looked at them and given our players some fantastic keys. We'd call the defense in the huddle, but if New England came out with a specific look, we were going to check to something else because we knew they were going to run the ball. The players did a great job.

"When Aaron Hernandez got hurt, it threw that game-plan out the window. We knew that whenever Hernandez was in tight, it was going to be a run. So we had a run check. But when he got hurt, it screwed that up because they went to three wide receivers instead of two tight ends. What they did, and we figured out real quick, was whenever Tom Brady was under the center they were going to run the ball and whenever he was in the shotgun he was going to pass the ball.

"We told our players, make the run check if Tom Brady is under the center. If he's in the gun, go to the pass check. They handled it beautifully. We had dual calls and what we were telling them was that we knew when they were going to run and pass. Our players put us in the best position to win the game. They did a flawless job of managing the game of getting inside New England's head."

The numbers tell a different story, however.

According to Mike Reiss at ESPN Boston, the Patriots attack was a little more varied than Horton let on. The Patriots ran their offense out of the shotgun 39 times, including penalties and their two-point conversion attempt. On 11 of those plays they ran it.

Brady was under center 43 times, according to Reiss. The Patriots ran it just 17 times in those situations.

Horton put together a good defensive plan that stymied the Patriots, but it appears as though his memory of Sunday's game was a little off.