After five weeks, it's clear the New England Patriots have changed some things on offense. Only problem is, if you blink, you may miss them.
The return of Josh McDaniel has sparked the innovation pace and how to dictate it. This past Sunday, it was on full display as Bill Belichick, McDaniels, and Brady went full throttle and Denver got throttled.
The Patriots, since 2007, have used uptempo as a way to change the pace, but this year, it's on hyperdrive. Buffalo struggled with the fast pace in week 4, and many coaches are starting to lose sleep thinking about how to defend it.
The fast pace helps the running game as the Patriots run only a handful of plays, so execution is the primary focus. The offense would at the end of one play immediately line up, forcing the Denver defense to keep certain personnel on the field. Not having the ability to sub, the set of running plays now matches up against the defense.
This was evident as the Patriots, for the second straight week went over 250 yards rushing.
Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Brandon Boldin and Shane Vereen all gave different skill sets, but once the rush was on, they all produced.
The second half is the passing aspect, and the Patriots aren't brand new to this phase. "It's not new," Denver coach John Fox said. "They've been doing this for a long, long time. They just have a good group of guys together doing it."
After the running game has taken effect, play action becomes a deadly venom with Brady at the helm. Linebackers and safeties are forced to react to the play action, sucking them in and opening up passing lanes.
Brady used the fast pace and the running game to buy extra time in the pocket, freezing defenders for Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski to find open space in the middle of the field.
"It's awesome," Ridley said. "It takes a lot of pressure off Brady. And that's our leader."
Lead is what Brady does, the offense moves so fast that McDaniels has to be ready to send in the play calls fast, or he's the bottleneck.
Mix it all together and you get version 6.0 and unlike the new iPhone, not many bugs at all.