FOXBORO, Mass. — The last time the Patriots were set to take on the Ravens, former Baltimore linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo made headlines when he tweeted New England was doing some “suspect stuff” on offense.
Ayanbadejo is gone from the Ravens and some of that “suspect stuff” has disappeared from the Patriots’ offense. Ayanbadejo was referring to plays where Tom Brady snapped the ball before the opposing defense was set. There are not many opportunities for New England to do that this season since they haven’t been in the no-huddle as often.
“We haven’t really snapped it quick all year,” Brady said. “Our team is pretty different now than it was at that point and they’re pretty different also. They do some different things.”
The Ravens lost Ray Lewis and Ed Reed over the offseason. New England’s offense is trying to get by without nearly every offensive weapon they had in last season’s AFC Championship Game against Baltimore, which the Ravens won 28-13.
“I just think we’re trying to figure out what we think is best to do to help us win,” Brady said when asked why the team wasn’t running more up-tempo plays. “It just hasn’t really required that. But we go fast plenty of times, like I said, in those two-minute situations where we’ve done a good job. Maybe we should do it more often.”
The Patriots would be wise to make some adjustments this week. The offense struggled, especially in the red zone, without Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. The rookie receivers, Dobson and Thompkins, could be back this week from injuries. Tight end Gronkowski was lost for the season in Week 14 after tearing his ACL and MCL.
The Patriots did not have a single snap running the no-huddle offense on Sunday against the Dolphins, according to the league’s stats.