Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels Very Acquainted With Bill Belichick’s Stingy Defense

One advantage that you think Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels would be able to exploit is his familiarity with Sunday’s opponent. Unless you’ve been living on the moon, McDaniels was the mastermind of the New England Patriots’ offense for almost a generation. In turn, he’s acquainted with the Patriots’ defense, which is the brainchild of Bill Belichick, a unit that is atop several key defensive categories. That’s something that McDaniels is keenly aware of.

While speaking with the media on Wednesday, McDaniels pointed out some basics regarding his upcoming opponent. A foe that comes into Allegiant Stadium with one of the most potent defenses in the league, no less.

“This is a team that played well Monday night, and they’re playing well. And it’s a team that you’re going to have to do a good job with in all three phases. They play really good complementary football. Nobody scores more off of turnovers than they do. They force a lot of takeaways and play really stingy defense. They don’t give up a lot of big plays; it’s hard to drive the ball. The [Patriots] make you convert three or four third downs in a drive, which is always challenging against them.”

Josh McDaniels needs to have a perfect gameplan against his old squad

Heading into Sunday, Belichick’s defense is ranked in the top ten and top five in so many crucial categories. Chief among them is their red zone defense, which ironically has been kryptonite to the Raiders’ offense led by Derek Carr. In fact, the Patriots have only surrendered nine touchdowns in the red zone this year, which is good for ninth overall.

Josh Jacobs and the running game are also facing a tough task in this game. The Patriots have only given up six rushing touchdowns all year; that impressive feat ranks top in the NFL. They’re also fifth in points allowed (239); basically, McDaniels is going to have trouble getting points on the board. This game is likely going to be a low-scoring affair if we’re being honest. If Belichick’s unit is able to neutralize the run game, you’d think the offense could adjust their approach. One way will be to convert first downs, move the chains efficiently, and lower the chances of the Patriots defense forcing a turnover. They’re in the top five for interceptions (13), fumble recoveries (9), and forced fumbles (10).

A heavy dose of short passes to Mack Hollins, who has 27 first-down conversions, would help. Maybe a returning (possibly) Hunter Renfrow can help in that department as well.

*Top Photo: NFL.com

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