BALTIMORE (AP) — Over the course of his 25 years as an NFL head coach, Invoice Belichick has ready his crew for every kind of quarterbacks and a myriad of offensive schemes.
None of these previous experiences had been of a lot assist this week to the six-time Tremendous Bowl winner, whose unbeaten New England Patriots (8-0) face Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens (5-2) on Sunday night time.
Jackson’s velocity and agility make him a risk to run from a set play or when cornered within the pocket. The second-year quarterback is the focus of a run-oriented assault that makes use of his quickness and the ability bursts of working backs Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards.
Making an attempt to emulate Jackson’s quickness in follow is nearly inconceivable as a result of the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is a one-of-a-kind star.
“We don’t have a man. I don’t know if anyone else within the league has a man, both,” Belichick stated. “He’s a really gifted participant with an excellent skillset that’s distinctive. So, that will probably be a giant problem for us.”
Jackson leads the NFL with a 6.94 yards per carry common and ranks 10th with 576 yards speeding. He’s the one quarterback in NFL historical past to go for not less than 1,600 yards and run for 500 by way of the primary seven video games of a season.
“I’ve by no means seen a participant like this on the quarterback place,” Patriots defensive again Devin McCourty stated. “Clearly his velocity (and) the best way he’s in a position to throw the ball down the sector. You watch some video games the place he’s transferring across the pocket, he’s near working, he sees a man downfield and abruptly he flicks his wrist and it’s 50 yards down the sector simply.”
Miami stacked the road and dared Jackson to go within the season opener, and he responded with 5 landing passes and an ideal 158.Three quarterback score.
“We reap the benefits of what the protection provides us,” Jackson stated. “If they provide us the chance to go, we’re going to do this.”
Make a alternative, New England, and hope for one of the best.
“His capability to do each issues at such a excessive degree makes it robust, after which it’s the scheme that they run,” stated McCourty, who leads the NFL with 5 interceptions. “Every thing will not be what you see each week, so now you’re attempting to arrange for one thing that you may’t replicate in follow. We don’t have anyone that may throw the ball and run the ball like he can, so it’s very robust to arrange for him.”
The Ravens will probably be dealing with a Patriots protection that ranks among the many NFL’s greatest in a number of classes.
New England is permitting an NFL-low 7.6 factors per sport and ranks second in each yards allowed (234.0) and passing yards allowed (148.8). It additionally ranks fourth in speeding yards allowed (85.2).
Turnovers have been the Patriots’ largest calling card in 2019. They’ve an NFL-best 27 and lead the league with 19 interceptions. They’ve recorded not less than one choose in every sport.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was an assistant on the College of Cincinnati when he first met Belichick, who was on a recruiting mission for the Browns.
Now that they’re friends, Harbaugh concedes that Belichick is one of the best within the enterprise.
“He’s only a man that I’ve admired a lot,” Harbaugh stated. “If you happen to’re on this league and also you’re a coach at any degree, particularly a head coach, you certain as heck needs to be what he does and attempting to determine why he does it so nicely, as a result of no person has ever performed it higher. I’ve a whole lot of respect for him.”
Since Stephen Gostkowski went on injured reserve Oct. 3, New England’s kicking sport has been an journey.
Mike Nugent was launched this week after a four-game stretch during which he missed three field-goal makes an attempt and an additional level.
The Patriots signed 11-year NFL vet Nick Folks to exchange him. Folks made 80.3% of his field-goal makes an attempt, taking part in three seasons with Dallas, seven years with the New York Jets and 4 video games with Tampa Bay in 2017, his final cease within the NFL earlier than becoming a member of the Patriots.
Folks, who turns 35 subsequent week, final kicked within the now-defunct Alliance of American Soccer, the place he booted a league-record 55-yard area aim in March for the Arizona Hotshots.
Wholesome after bye
A bye week enabled the Ravens to get three gamers wholesome once more. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee), receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor (ankle) all practiced this week and hope to play Sunday.
Brown provides Jackson a deep risk. Smith and Onwuasor present Baltimore with extra weapons in opposition to the harmful Tom Brady, who’s 6-1 lifetime in opposition to the Ravens within the common season.
Baltimore is 9-2 after a bye underneath Harbaugh, who took over in 2008.
AP Sports activities Author Kyle Hightower contributed to this report.