After every New England Patriots win, head coach Bill Belichick joins radio color commentator and ex-Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak for a film breakdown of the action. This week, the duo took a look at four pivotal plays from the team’s 43-40 victory over the visiting Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
1-10-KC 49 (7:21) S.Michel up the middle to KC 37 for 12 yards (R.Parker).
“One of the best things about the game was our running the ball,” Belichick said before analyzing the first play, an off-tackle run by first-round Sony Michel. The head coach especially praises the blocking up front, and highlights a double-team block by right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Marcus Cannon to seal the edge, as well as the push created by tight end Rob Gronkowski, fullback James Develin and pulling guard Joe Thuney. “Just getting good movement here at the line of scrimmage.”
1-10-KC 23 (5:12) (Shotgun) P.Mahomes pass short middle intended for T.Kelce INTERCEPTED by D.Hightower at KC 31. D.Hightower to KC 4 for 27 yards (D.Harris).
The first really big play of the game came midway through the first quarter when linebacker Dont’a Hightower picked off Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes deep in Kansas City territory. “This is a really good play here by Hightower,” Belichick said about the takeaway. “Normally what happens when the offense play-actions, is they try to hit the area behind the [linebackers].” Hightower was not fooled by the fake handoff and instead was able to get in the passing lane and record an interception. Belichick also highlights defensive edge Trey Flowers, who was able to clear the way for the 27-yard runback with a big block on Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher.
1-10-NE 15 (:17) (Shotgun) P.Mahomes pass deep right intended for T.Kelce INTERCEPTED by D.Harmon [D.Hightower] at NE -3. Touchback.
“I thought this was a big play in the game,” Belichick said about Duron Harmon’s end zone interception late in the first half. The head coach starts breaking it down by looking at Kansas City moving its personnel around: “Really good job of our guys adjusting to a formation you rarely see,” Belichick noted before again highlighting Hightower’s impact on the play as his rush forced Mahomes to try a pass into double coverage.
1-10-NE 21 (3:50) T.Brady pass short left to R.Gronkowski pushed ob at KC 37 for 42 yards (R.Ragland).
The final play that Belichick and Zolak look at also features a rarely seen look, this time by the Chiefs’ defense. “This is something we saw going all the way back to Buddy Ryan and the mid-80s,” New England’s head coach said of one of his team’s biggest pass plays of the night, a 42-yarder to Rob Gronkowski. Kansas City is covering the tight end with a safety down by the line of scrimmage, but New England reacts well: Gronkowski and left tackle Trent Brown fake to block the two men lining up on the other side of them but instead let one rush freely which in turn allows Gronkowski to get open down the field. “Josh McDaniels and the offensive staff did a really good job of installing the play,” Belichick said before taking Zolak on a trip back to the late 1980s and an old game between the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and Detroit Lions which saw the same play used.
To watch video of the breakdown, please visit patriots.com.