Watching Brady have a substandard game against a Baltimore defense that hasn't played at a really high level this year made me wonder how they managed to make one of the great quarterbacks and great offenses look very flat.

It's something that Lovie Smith has been working on for years.


Now, I look at one of my favourite offenses of all time, Ted Marchibroda's K-Gun offense with Jim Kelly. If you're unfamiliar, it was a no-huddle offense that relied on read-react principles from the recievers and QB's, so much communication, verbal and non-verbal that required recivers to read the defense the same way the QB did and run routes according to the pre-snap look that the defenses were giving. It's very similar to Tom Coughlin's Streak and Read principle that has recievers and QB's making assessments on sight adjustment based on how the Corners are playing their recievers, where the linebackers sit and how the Safeties are placed. It's the simple sight adjustments of exploiting CB techniques: if they're pressed close, and playing short, run deep routes, if they're deep, take what's short, if they're even but taking away outside leverage, run inside, if they're taking away inside leverage, run outside.

And Jim Kelly, in this offense was extremely efficient. He was able to diagnose defenses before the snap to try to determine the best matchups, and burn through his progressions with lightning fast efficiency and tear apart defenses, in an era of tough defenses. He was Peyton Manning before Peyton Manning was. Even now, in it's modern roots, with Coughlin and Gilbride, with New England, with Peyton Manning, these pocket passing, option based offenses are about trying to beat defenses by picking out the obvious mismatches before the snap, reduce the amount of tough plays, and know where the easy plays are going to be and using their physical prowess to punch the ball. It's an effective system, and mentally similar to the read-option run, only in the passing realm, and is something that a lot of elite offensive systems pride themselves on being able to do. It's Wes Welker, Dallas Clark, Victor Cruz, Rob Gronkowski, Greg Jennings as these option routes come early and often to rip apart defenses that always seem to have holes in them.