Back in week 1 of the '10 season vs Cincy, the Pats ran a play which resulted in a Welker TD, but never went back to the same formation. Since that week, the key positions in that formation have grown exponentially in their importance to the Pats O and the D's who try to stop them.
What is this formation, why would it work so well on Sunday? It's the TE Bunch and it would force unnatural adjustments to the Giants D. It also gives the Pats 4 viable plays, at least to repeat form the formation
Details after JumpStreet...So the formation would look like this:
The base formation comes from a few basic factors:
1. Spreading out the Giants D pre snap and forcing them to commit helps D read the LBs and Safetiies
2. You know the Giants want to chip Gronk off the line with and End or LB- so you line him up outside where either a CB or Saftey is likely to match up with him or the Giants need to commit Boley or an LB outside the box.
3. You put Herndo out there with him and Branch behind them. Welker could easily go behind the TEs but if you keep him on the opposite side you are stressing the D even more I think. Edelman could fit in here as well.
4. If the Pats moved into this formation via pre-snap motion during the no-huddle it would be absolutely lethal. Start with Welker outside, motion Herndo and Wes stack behind him. Then motion Gronk out from the near side edge as the final motion and let Brady read the D for many options:
- a quick snap and flanker screen to Wes before the D adjusts to the heavy outside look.
- Run action where he fakes this screen and gives Benny or Woody 5-8 on a draw in the vacated middle of the D
- Dummy screen where Herndo 'whiffs' on his block and heads up field with the defenders likely more focused on slowing Gronk and Branch, Tommy goes over the top.
- Wes could receive single coverage on the opposite side with all this weight opposite him. If he does that's easy for Tommy. If he gets doubled then the middle of the field would be open for a draw or crossing route by Gronk.
In using this formation you are stressing the Giants D in all three areas, both flanks and the middle of the D. I don't think they'd want to leave the middle completely open so a LB has to stay in to protect against Benny and the draw. That's 5 in the box and then how do they address the outside?
You want to double Wes, that's 6 and 7 - meaning they would have 4 left and if they want to double Gronk or Herndo, that means all 4 are out in the flat or on that side. If they want to protect against the draw, they keep one more LB inside and you've got 3 on 3 on the outside, likely with a size advantage for the Pat.s
Finally They could run this formation with 3TEs as well, and simply have Gronk motion out to the outside TE and then put Herndo in the backfield where he can run the draw or motion out to the inside TE spot pre snap.