I was reading the TMQ column over on ESPN and the writer brings up a really interesting point about the Patriots perfect record in the snow with Bill Belichick as head coach. The Patriots rarely practice indoors, even though they have an indoor practice facility. Believe it or not, this is a rarity in the NFL. They practice in the snow and rain outside to better prepare for that kind of weather. That makes sense, even to people who aren't football fans.
What might not make sense is the Patriots game plan in the snow. Unlike most teams, the Pats throw the ball more often during games when the field is covered in snow, as it was this week in their blowout win over Chicago. The traditional thinking is that you should run the ball in poor weather because it's harder to throw and catch the ball.
So why is passing better than running in the snow? Because pass rushing is extremely difficult on a slippery field. Tom Brady had all day to pass against the Bears, and by halftime his team was up 33-0. By using pass plays up the middle where the receiver doesn't have to stop or turn quickly, the Patriots made the Bears defense look like a junior varsity team. The Bears, on the other hand, only had 14 yards passing in the first half and zero points on the board. When they did have pass plays they were designed for short yardage, which they thought was the safer play but in reality required their receivers to start and stop on a surface with no traction.
nice take about "passing" in snow. They are good in this decade! they are off to close the decade with a win!
Hmm... very interesting. They are definitely great in the snow. I think confidence builds over time too. Ever since the tuck rule game against the Raiders in '01, I think their confidence has grown. Plus Brady has a lot to do with it, his experience with those games is the single biggest factor in their success.
All very good points DB. They are just killing teams in the snow. I think I recall them beating the Titans something like 59-0 last season in blizzard-like conditions. I think Brady had like 5 or 6 passing TD's in that game as well. Building off your point further, it goes to show how much preparation makes a difference. Another thing I believe is that many players on all other teams don't want any part of playing in freezing or snowy conditions. Because the Patriots prepare in those conditions and have built up the toughness and tolerance for it they have a profound edge mentally as well.
The game against the Titans was almost identical to the one this week against the Bears. Chicago should have watched what New England did in that game and prepared for it. Like the Titans, the Bears came out expecting the Patriots to run the ball. Also like the Titans, the Bears offense hardly called any passing plays. The Titans and the Bears did the exact opposite of what they should have been doing in those conditions, and they each got blown out.
Reaction time is also 40% slower in the cold. This means if you know where you are going AKA a WR. And your QB knows where you are going, you have that much extra time to get the ball.
Exactly. The defense reacts to the offense, and it's harder to do that in the cold and made tougher by the lack of traction. The effect wasn't really in play on Monday Night Football as the field was hard but not particularly slippery, despite the snow. The Bears embarrassed a very troubled Vikings team in that game.
You can bet the Patriots will be looking forward to snow-covered fields come playoff time in January.
The Patriots are used to those conditions as well. Tom Brady is the reason they are 10-0 in the snow. He is the type of player that loves to play the game. He gets a natural high playing in the snow. For those of us that love this game, playing football in the snow is the best. You always want to play in the snow. Same goes for him. He loves it because he loves the game. The snow makes Brady that much better, which then, makes him more dangerous then he already is.
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