During today's game I suggest watching both quarterbacks when they are under pressure. Specifically, is a sack inevitable because a linebacker is coming in full speed and the quarterback has no chance, or would a step in one direction by the quarterback completely change the outcome of the play.
Defensively, it is another story completely. While the Patriots are awesome ball hawks and hold their own with pass breakups all over the field, the sideline pass is our kryptonite and has been for several years. While the rule for forcing a receiver out of bounds changed in 2008, I don't feel like the Patriots have adapted. Way too often opponents have come down with a desperation catch and managed to get their feet in, or close enough that the officials (on the field or replay) say that they are in. Since our cornerbacks are typically outsized by our opponents but have really good timing, it should be a no-brainer that we use the sideline to aid our defense by giving a little shove out of bounds.
EXTRA POINTS AND CHIP SHOTS NOT GUARANTEED- No Joe Cardona and Jake Bailey makes things a bit difficult for Nick Folk. Throw in some extra pressure, cold temperatures, and 13 mph wind and now it's an even tougher task.
FINISH- Have a Bengal in your grasp? He needs to be brought down. Have the ball on the goal line? It needs to cross over. Is a punt bounding towards the end zone? It needs to be downed on the one. Does Joe Burrow have an ill-advised or tipped ball? It needs to intercepted. You get the picture. We can't have another game of almost made plays.