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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rolando McClain Describes Patriots as a ‘Finesse Team’

Rolando McClain doesn’t speak with the media much, but when he does, he usually gives them something good. The Raiders linebacker broke from his usual pattern of silence to answer some questions Monday. We’re guessing his remarks won’t make him many friends in the New England-area, but they’ll likely create headlines this week.

Asked if the Patriots (whom the Raiders play Sunday) are different from the physical Jets (whom the Raiders beat in week three), McClain concurred.

“This is just a finesse team,” McClain said of the Pats. “I mean, Tom Brady‚Äôs a smart guy, has many weapons around him, with his receivers as well as his tight ends. His tight ends are playing great right now.”

McClain’s comments will no doubt be blown out of proportion and become bulletin board material, but they’re accurate. The Patriots are the second-highest scoring team in the league and they lead the NFL in yards per game. However, it’s important to note that 81% of their offense yardage has come through the air. 11 of their 13 offensive touchdowns have been passing. The Patriots are spreading out their offense and throwing the ball the way they did in 2007. They’re able to outscore many opponents, but physical teams like the Giants and Jets have been able to beat them in the past. Maybe the Raiders will be able to do the same.

We do know one thing: after getting called out for being a “finesse team,” the Patriots will have a lot to prove next Sunday. Perhaps incorporating Stevan Ridley into the offense more will help change that perception.

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