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Cards DC Ray Horton thinks he's figured out the Patriots

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
This is how Ray Horton and the Cardinals defense made Brady feel. (US Presswire)

Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton thinks he knows one of the major reasons Arizona upset the Patriots last Sunday, holding off the defending AFC champs 20-18 in New England. It's because Horton said he discovered a tendency by the Patriots offense that allowed the Cardinals defense to know whether New England was about to run or pass.

Mr. Horton, please shower us with your knowledge.

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"We knew that whenever [Aaron] Hernandez was in tight, it was going to be a run, so we had a run check,” Horton told Arizona Sports 620.

"But when he got hurt, it screwed that up because they went to three wide receivers. What they did, and we figured out real quick, was whenever Tom Brady was under the center, they were going to run the ball and whenever he was in the shotgun, they were going to pass the ball. We told our players, ‘Hey, make the run check if Tom Brady's under the center. If he's in the gun, go to the pass check.'

"They handled it beautifully, and so we had dual calls that basically what we were telling them is we know when they're going to run and pass, so our players put us in the best position to win the game and they did a flawless job of managing the game of getting inside New England's head."

Well, there's little question that whatever the Cardinals were doing -- and surely, it couldn't have been as simple as Horton just made it sound -- it was confusing the Patriots offense.

But Horton's line of reasoning also confuses Patriots Rapid Reporter Nick Underhill, who writes that the Patriots ran the ball less than 45 percent of the time when Brady was under center and that 10 of the first 20 plays where Brady took a direct snap were actually passes.

And, as Arizona Sports also pointed out, of the 46 shotgun snaps taken by New England, 39 were passes (which, as you know, is slightly less than 100 percent).

“Not sure what Horton is talking about,” Underhill wrote. “Horton's claim isn't even a little right.”

Now, what does all of this mean? Don't know. Maybe Horton is trying to psyche out the rest of the Cardinals schedule by citing incorrect stats so they'll think he doesn't know what he's talking about and, instead, Horton will use that to his advantage.

Or maybe Horton was exaggerating. Or maybe Horton watched the film of a different game.

Either way, the Patriots were held to just one touchdown. So, it worked, and in the end, that's really all that matters.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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