Every week before the Patriots play a game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss dissect the matchup in "Bruschi's Breakdown." This week's piece has been posted on ESPNBoston.com and Bruschi thinks a big part of the Patriots' plan will be to limit tight end Jason Witten.
"When there is an athletic tight end such as Witten, that's often where a Belichick defense will start its plan, because those are the easier throws, over the middle of the field, where a tight end can hook up or run a little option route," Bruschi says. "The more difficult throws are outside, so you go with the percentages and force him to make those tough throws to the receivers outside the numbers. This could be similar to how the Patriots approached Antonio Gates in the win over the Chargers the second week of the season."
For the Patriots on offense, Bruschi focuses on linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
"He is the best in the league at the outside linebacker position in terms of getting after the quarterback. You talk about specimens in the NFL -- it's Julius Peppers, Mario Williams and Ware," he says. "You can go beyond just the outside-linebacker position. Bottom line, this is one of the best defensive players in the NFL."