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Washington Post: On The Patriots And How To Beat Them

I wrote about the Patriots for the Washington Post, and discussed how good their offense has played this season. QB Tom Brady is at the top of the list, but their offensive line has been outstanding which in part explains Brady's and RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis's success. But I also focused on how the Browns beat the Patriots:

The key to stopping the Patriots is to keep their offense on the sidelines, which is what the Browns did to the Patriots during their last loss. The Patriots won't remain a dominate team if their defense can't get off the field.

In that loss, the Browns ran RB Peyton Hillis down their throat, converted on 3rd down, and won the time of possession battle by nearly 2 to 1. They even used rookie QB Colt McCoy, so the likely start by QB Matt Flynn shouldn't negate this strategy. But he will have to throw effectively too, so that they aren't facing an extra safety at the line in run support. It doesn't have to be a run dominant strategy as long as Flynn is completing a high percentage of his passes and he keeps the clock running.

The real problem is that RB James Starks is no Peyton Hillis, and the Packers offensive line does not resemble an elite run blocking unit. As I mentioned above, perhaps a short passing game with a high completion rate could produce the same results. It's not a formula for victory, but it might be the best shot they've got.