Patriots - Jaguars: Inactive Impact

PI takes a look at who's not available and who is playing to give you an insider's perspective at how the inactives impact this game and the game plan.

Updated 8:00pm

Stephen Neal and Nick Kaczur are back in action:
The Patriots will have more depth on the offensive line to rotate in to wear down the Jaguars big bodies. One thing that is constantly overlooked by the media is that the Patriots move guys in an out of the lineup to keep their offensive line fresh.

Neal's return is especially significant because of his superior athleticism. The difference in options available to the running game by having Neal on the field over Russ Hochstein or Billy Yates is significant. Neal can pull and get to the point of attack faster than either of his backups. He has the ability to use leverage to get position on a bigger defender, or use his size to bury a smaller opponent. His presence is an indication the Patriots can use more sweeps and traps to get yardage, plays that work especially well against the bigger bodies the Jaguars tend to use on their defense.

Kyle Brady is healthy:
Something about how Brady is in the lineup allows the Patriots' offensive line to protect Tom Brady better. It also allows for New England to capitalize on attacking the edges of the Jaguars' defense. Brady is HUGE (6-foot-6, 270-pounds), so he has the size to dominate cornerbacks and smaller linebackers.

Eugene Wilson is out:
Losing Wilson is significant in that he will not be available for depth purposes if the Jaguars decide to try to ruin numerous deep routes. His replacement is likely Brandon Meriweather - New England's 2007 first round draft pick, and the only player left on the active roster from this season's draft class.

The rest of the Patriots inactives are regular backups. OT Wesley Britt has usually been inactive. RB Kyle Eckel was fighting a stomach issue, but has been inactive of late as the fourth string running back. Rashad Moore is a depth player who has only been on the roster a few weeks. Billy Yates is usually inactive as an extra lineman. Antwain Spann and Ray Ventrone are special teams players.

Inactive list:
OT Wesley Britt
FB Kyle Eckel
DL Rashad Moore
DB Antwain Spann
DB Ray Ventrone
DB Eugene Wilson
OL Billy Yates
Emergency QB Matt Gutierrez

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