Heading into their Week 4 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night, the New England Patriots look to be in rough shape for the game on the injury front. However, they do still possess a weapon that many teams would love to have in future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
While it would seem on paper to be a tough proposition for the Patriots to match the Falcons offensively, they do have a chance if you take into account Atlanta’s soft pass defense. The Falcons come into this contest as the 25th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, giving up an average of 296 yards per game.
If you contrast that with their run defense, it is staggering that their defense against the run is ranked fifth overall in the league. The Falcons have only given up an average of 79 yards-per-game on the ground through the first three weeks.
Considering that the New England rushing attack has struggled mightily this year, mostly due to Stevan Ridley‘s ineffectiveness and fumble problems, they will probably abandon the run early if it continues to be ineffective. This should leave Brady with ample opportunity to air it out early and often on Sunday.
The key to victory against Atlanta is exploiting their secondary, particularly Asante Samuel. He is a guy that can make plays, but can get burned just as easily. Knowing this, who better to take advantage of that weak secondary than Brady and the Patriots? They will have to do just that if they want to emerge at the end of Week four as an unbeaten team at 4-0.