Mike Martz's offense is designed for big plays but it also allows a lot of big sacks. Is that a tradeoff most teams are willing to live with? I asked that of Patriots coach Bill Belichick this morning on a conference call. Belichick didn't exactly answer the question in the first person, but he said that's always been how Martz's offense has operated. Yes, a sack might put Martz in a third and 20 situation. But third and 20 doesn't scare him. "That's one thing about Martz's offense - they've always been able to overcome that," Belichick said.
The Patriots coach noted that the 49ers are among the league leaders in big plays this season. Indeed, only the Broncos and Cowboys have had more passing plays of 20 yards or more than the 49ers. But the Broncos and Cowboys haven't allowed nearly as many sacks as the 49ers. Denver's given up only three and the Cowboys just four. The 49ers, of course, lead the league with 19 sacks allowed. Which goes to show that sacks and big plays don't have to go hand in hand.
Other Patriots notes:
Mike Nolan speaks at 10:15 today. I plan to ask for an update on right tackle Jonas Jennings' right shoulder, but I doubt I'll get a real answer. Stay tuned ..
-- Matt Barrows