How Predictable Is Patriots’ Offense? Rams’ Kenny Young Knew Play Call On Pick-Six

Young noted how Cam Newton offered a tell, as well


There was a time before the Patriots’ game against the Rams got out of hand, even if it didn’t necessarily feel that way.

New England had just benefitted from an interception by cornerback Myles Bryant. It gave the Patriots the ball at the Los Angeles 32 yard line, trailing just 10-0. A pair of Damien Harris runs advanced the ball another 13 yards, inside the red zone.

And then the game, and perhaps the Patriots’ season, changed dramatically.

Cam Newton dropped back and threw what was supposed to be a screen pass intended for Harris, only to have it intercepted and brought the other way by Los Angeles linebacker Kenny Young.

Young’s 71-yard pick-six gave the Rams a 17-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. It was over from there.

Young explained that the Rams defense knew the Patriots’ play call for their next snap after the game. It would be a screen pass on second-and-9. It was.

“Honestly, it was more of an instinct thing. We knew they were going to try and screen us, the best way they can so we had to be open for that,” Young said after the Rams’ 24-3 Week 14 victory.

“As an inside linebacker, that?s one of your jobs to be instinctive. So, I see Cam, he?s a big guy so you can?t miss him, and just his whole mannerisms showed that he was going to throw a screen. He threw a bad ball and he paid for that.”

Patriots fans will find fault in Newton. And that’s fair. If Young is being truthful and the veteran quarterback offered a tell before or during the play, that’s obviously an issue.

But isn’t the bigger issue that an opposing defense can sniff the offense’s play call a mile away? The Rams knew a screen was coming as soon as they stopped Harris for a one-yard gain on the play prior.

After all, what other options do the Patriots have? It’s either a run, a screen, or a trick play.

It’s predictable, and it may have cost the Patriots their season.

Patriost quarterbacks Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham
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