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Womens Devin McCourty Jersey , Keion Crossen downgraded to “out” Later today, the New England Patriots will play the Jacksonville Jaguars in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. The Patriots will enter the contest with one of the NFL’s best offenses, but one that faces questions as running backs Rex Burkhead (concussion) and Sony Michel (knee) were both listed as questionable on Friday’s final injury report. Also listed as questionable was offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (calf).But while Burkhead and Michel might ultimately appear in today’s game, Cannon will not: New England downgraded him to “out” yesterday evening after he apparently suffered a setback during one of this week’s practices. Cannon has dealt with a calf injury since early August and previously missed three weeks worth of practices and the entire preseason because of the issue.Without their starter at the right tackle position, New England will now likely turn to primary backup LaAdrian Waddle to go against Jacksonville’s talented defensive linemen. Waddle brings plenty of experience to the table but is a downgrade from Cannon: last week against the Houston Texans and All-Pro defender J.J. Watt, the starter held his ground while playing 61% of offensive snaps. Waddle, meanwhile, was more inconsistent during the 39% of snaps he was on the field for.It would therefore not be a surprise to see the Patriots try to help Waddle with an additional blocker – think tight end Dwayne Allen – at times today.Cannon is not the only player to get downgraded yesterday: cornerback Keion Crossen also will not play. Like Cannon, the seventh-round rookie did not travel with the team and instead remained in New England for additional treatment. Crossen, who was limited on Friday due to a hamstring injury http://www.authenticsnewenglandpatriots.com/cheap-david-andrews-jersey , was a healthy scratch last week and even if healthy would have been no lock to make the 46-man game day roster. One of the most-anticipated games of this year’s regular season will take place in Foxboro on Sunday night: the New England Patriots will host the Green Bay Packers. While the visiting team has had its ups and downs this season, it still features a powerful offense — led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers — and an efficient defense.Let’s analyze the matchup by taking a look at some of the advanced stats heading into the game (courtesy of SB Nation’s Bill Connelly; for his methodology please click here).Patriots offense vs Packers defenseNormal down and distance in the open fieldWhile New England’s offense shows some inconsistencies in the open field, the Green Bay defense performs well between its own 30-yard line and the opponents’ 10. This will make for an interesting matchup especially when it comes to moving the football: the Patriots have regular success – gaining 50% of necessary yardage on first down, 70% on second down, and 100% on third and fourth down – in this area, as do the Packers.Backed Up Situations Near the Goal LineThe Patriots’ success rate when backed up looks solid albeit unspectacular after eight games, with the turnover percentage still hurting from a tipped week one interception. The Packers’ defense, meanwhile, is one of the best in the NFL when it comes to limiting an offense’s effectiveness inside the opposing 10-yard line.Red ZoneDespite having to settle for three field goals and only one touchdown in the red zone on Monday against the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots offense is still among the NFL’s best inside the opponent’s 30-yard line – but one that gets weaker the closer it approaches the goal line. The Packers defense Youth Rob Gronkowski Jersey , meanwhile, is wildly inconsistent in the red area with obvious weaknesses coming inside the 10-yard line. If New England gets down there, chances are the team’s output will look better than last week.Third DownsGreen Bay has a serviceable third down defense no matter the situation it finds itself in. The Patriots offense, however, outranks the unit in all but one categories: New England successfully converts more third-and-longs and third-and-shorts. The middle range – two to six yards to go – is where the Packers have a statistical advantage heading into the game, so improving there has to be high up on the home team’s agenda.Blitz SituationsThe Packers match up well with New England’s offense when it comes to blitz situations – obvious passing downs specified as first-and-18 or more, second-and-14 or more, and third-and-3 or more. Facing an aggressive pass rush that ranks fourth in the league in such situations could pose a challenge for a Patriots offensive line that is performing very well on the year but could be without its starters on the right side: Shaq Mason missed the first two practices of the week with a calf injury, Marcus Cannon the last two games because of a concussion.Patriots defense vs Packers offenseNormal down and distance in the open fieldThe Patriots defense, having faced a highly inconsistent Bills team in week eight Youth James White Jersey , improved its open field rankings when compared to last week. In general, this will make for an interesting battle against a Packers defense that moves the football well in this part of the field. The key matchup might be third down: making sure to get off the field has to be a priority against a potent team that has had some success when it comes to sustaining drives.Backed Up Situations Near the Goal LineThe Patriots are no defensive world beaters when having an opposing offense pinned down inside its 10-yard line, but the Packers are not overly exciting in this part of the field either. Mediocre versus mediocre.Red ZoneNew England’s defense is back at its bend-don’t-break roots and one of the best units in the NFL again inside the 20-yard line. The Packers offense, meanwhile, is inconsistent in this part of the field: while it performs well inside the 10-yard line – except when it comes to turnover rate – its success is limited between the 30 and 10. Of course, stopping Green Bay before getting too close to the goal line and thus forcing field goals instead of surrendering touchdowns would be big for the Patriots.Third DownsThe Patriots’ defensive struggles on third down continue. Even though the team is strong on third-and-longs, it is among the worst in the league inside six yards to gain. Green Bay, on the other hand, is generally successful on third downs — especially when there is less than one yard to gain. To make matters worse for New England from a statistical perspective: the team has yet to stop a third-and-short conversion this season, Green Bay has had success on all of them. Advantage Packers.Blitz SituationsOne of the most interesting battles of Sunday night could be whether or not Green Bay is able to generate big plays against a New England defense that is average in this area. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm and explosive pass catchers like Davante Adams http://www.authenticsnewenglandpatriots.com/cheap-eric-rowe-jersey , Jimmy Graham, and Randall Cobb as potential targets, the Patriots need to be able to limit the big play – especially in so-called blitz situations.Overall, the Patriots and Packers match up rather evenly which means that the little things might make the difference and be the keys to the game:Third down: if New England can get wins in this area to extend or stop drives, it would go a long way to dictate the tempo and rhythm of the game.Red zone: the Packers are inconsistent in this part of the field on both sides of the football, which might play into the Patriots’ hands.Big plays: New England’s defense has gotten worse when it comes to defending big plays over the last few weeks – now would be a good time to bounce back.If New England is able to get regular victories in most of those areas, it would go a long way to getting a victory in the game as well.
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