FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi played for the New England Patriots for 13 seasons and heard about the importance of playing "complementary" football on a regular basis.
Following the team's 30-23 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, Bruschi shared his breakdown on the essence of complementary football:
What is complementary football? The question is sometimes asked and yet it isn't always answered.
So here is one example:
How the Patriots scored their first touchdown Sunday was a result of complementary football. It started with a punt early in the second quarter, as the team was already trailing 10-3.
The Jets then ran for 2 yards on first down, and then 6 yards on second down. On a critical third-and-2, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass to receiver Brandon Marshall to the left sideline was incomplete.
That forced a Steve Weatherford punt, and it wasn't a very good one -- 31 yards.
The Patriots took over at the Jets' 47-yard line, so with the offense not even being on the field, they end up seven yards ahead of where they were on the previous drive.
Then Amendola stayed hot with a 23-yard catch over the middle, setting the stage for Tom Brady's 11-yard scramble on third-and-10 to keep the drive alive. It ended with Brady's 1-yard leaping sneak for a touchdown in which he reached the ball over the goal line.
When you look back on the sequence, all of it was made possible due to the execution of the punt team doing its job. Then it took the defense producing a three-and-out, setting the stage for the offense to take over possession seven yards ahead of where they ended the previous drive.
That is the essence of complementary football.