Great stuff here as always from the Word of Muth, breaking down the offensive line against the Dolphins. Vollmer is definitely one to keep an eye on this Monday night. Hopefully he can bounce back, but if he can’t it could be another major injury hurdle for the Pats to overcome this year.
Vollmer has been great all year, but missed Week 12’s game against the Jets with an injury. He was a game-time decision on Sunday, and it looked like New England may have made the wrong decision. Vollmer struggled in both the passing and running game against Cameron Wake for most of Sunday. In the running game he was consistently behind his blocks: his helmet was never on the correct side of the defensive lineman. Generally, if the defender is running towards your side, you want your helmet on the defender’s outside number or shoulder (depending on if the play is going inside or outside). Vollmer never threatened to get outside of Wake. As a result, Wake was never worried about losing leverage and was able to dig his cleats into the ground and hold the point. On backside cutoffs, Vollmer had the same issue. He was unable to get his head across defensive tackles, so he gave up far too much penetration. It wasn’t just the lack of movement or some leakage in the running plays: it was the huge negative plays he allowed. He gave up a sack-and-a-half and was responsible for another sack he wasn’t credited for. (His man beat him inside, forcing Brady to give ground and roll right into Solder’s man.) He also had a holding penalty. Those are all drive-killers.