New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick breaks down plays on Patriots.com after the team records a win, so check out the Belichick Breakdown here. Host Scott Zolak notes that Belichick considered these the plays that helped the team win the game.
There are eight plays highlighted, with six specific plays of note and two other plays that exemplify a game-long effort that Belichick appreciated.
The first play is a 3rd and 10 pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Julian Edelman on the opening drive. “The throw is good and it gives Julian a chance to be able to finish the play with a catch and run to pick up a first down,” Belichick says.
The second play is the 37-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan. “Jimmy saw the single coverage out here, the press coverage out here by [Cardinals CB Brandon Williams] on Chris Hogan, so we’re making a little adjustment to the play here,” Belichick says as he points to the offensive line.
The third play is the 8-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount. “An excellent play where LeGarrette drops his pads on [Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu] and is able to run through him and then push the pile into the end zone,” Belichick says. He also highlights the blocks by Martellus Bennett, Cameron Fleming, and Joe Thuney.
The fourth play is more to show how Cameron Fleming really played well on Sunday. The play is a 2nd and 9 pass to Bennett that doesn’t convert a first down, but Belichick says, “Cam, really, you know when you kind of go through the game and nobody talks about an offensive line man, that’s generally a pretty good thing.”
The fifth and sixth plays are kick off coverage plays. One highlights Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, Jordan Richards, and Brandon Bolden for forcing the Cardinals to start on the 10 yard line after the Patriots opening touchdown. Belichick appreciated the stop at the 10 instead of conceding the drive to the 25-yard line after a touchback. “Make them earn those 15 yards,” Belichick says.
The other is the start the Cardinals final drive, which highlights Jonathan Jones, Patrick Chung, Nate Ebner, and Barkevious Mingo making a big stop to force the Cardinals to start inside the 10. “Good complementary game from our defense, special teams, offense, field position, helping each other out,” Belichick says.
The seventh play is a 3rd and 10 after the two-minute warning in the first half, which resulted in a Justin Coleman pass break-up. Belichick praised the team’s ability to stop the Cardinals on third down, but highlighted that the team struggled in short yardage situations. You can be certain the team focused on short-yardage stops this week.
The eighth and final play is on 2nd and 19 from the Cardinals final drive, which Belichick believes shows “4th quarter effort, [with] everybody running to the ball.”