For the first time all season, the New England Patriots played a complete game on Sunday. All three units – offense, defense, special teams – contributed to the 23-7 beatdown of the visiting Atlanta Falcons and helped the Patriots move to 5-2. Naturally, the postgame celebrations reflected this as patriots.com's recently released “sights and sounds” footage shows.
“That was a damn good job,” head coach Bill Belichick, who also noted that his team still can get better and “left a few things out there”, praised the players in the locker room after the game. “Way to finish the game offensively with the ball in our hands. Defense, big plays all night. Special teams, great field position. Good team win; all three units – good complementary football. What we need.”
Belichick's comparatively upbeat speech came after a game during which the Patriots had a lot to be happy about. It all started with Cassius Marsh's blocked field goal attempt to which defensive coordinator Matt Patricia replied that the team needs more and this one block “ain't gonna do it”. Big plays also happened on offense and defense.
“We're taking it to these guys,” linebackers coach Brian Flores told his group during the game while also praising the unit's energy level. One of Flores' pupils, Kyle Van Noy, made a big fourth down stop near the goal line later in the game, which earned him a round of high fives and a “that's what I'm talking about” from Matt Patricia.
The defense was not the only unit stepping up for the Patriots, as the team's running game also delivered its best performance of the year – and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia predicted this as captured by the sideline cameras: “The run game, it will open itself up as we go if we just stay ahead on down and distance and get positive runs when we run it.”