Key matchups for Patriots in week four
Patriots third down offense vs Packers third down defense
Converting third downs can go a long way for a team trying to control the clock and pull an upset on the road. In the Patriots’ case, staying out of third-and-long situations will go even further with backup quarterback Brian Hoyer at the helm. However, they get a tough test on Sunday as the Packers sport the NFL’s best third down defense. Through three games, the Packers have only allowed opponents to convert 22.6% of third down opportunities (7 for 31) while they have had to go an average of 8.2 yards on third down.
The Patriots offense has been pretty good on third down so far, converting 42.9% (9th in the NFL) having to go an average of 7.9 yards. A big reason why they have been able to convert third downs has been through the air, particularly the connection between Mac Jones and Jakobi Meyers. Ten of the 15 first down conversions have come through the air and five of those have been on completions to Meyers. Being in third and long situations will put a lot of pressure on Hoyer, and he will have to hope Meyers is able to find weak spots in the Packers zone.