FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For those who crave a hardcore X's and O's football fix, Bill Belichick's weekly breakdown of top plays in a victory, on Patriots.com, is must-see material. Among the things learned this week is what he appreciates about running back LeGarrette Blount.
Belichick highlighted Blount's 26-yard run early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over the Dolphins, which was a memorable play from the standpoint of Blount hurdling cornerback Byron Maxwell. But it was something else that made Belichick smile: the way Blount lowered his pads and finished the run.
"I love this by Blount where he just comes in here and seeks out [safety Reshad] Jones. Jones tries to block tackle him, and he pushes through for another 3-4 yards there. That’s really aggressive running, not running out of bounds and making him tackle us," Belichick said on the breakdown.
As for the hurdle, Belichick added, "A lot of these DBs just don't want to tackle LeGarrette high. He's 250 pounds, a strong runner."
In the season opener, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson had a play in the fourth quarter where he also whiffed on Blount. That was a critical play in the game, coming on third-and-11, with Blount picking up 13 yards.
With Blount's hard-charging running as the springboard, here were a few other plays highlighted by Belichick:
Some of the nuances that contributed to tight end Martellus Bennett's 20-yard touchdown catch were detailed, such as how quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo controlled the safety in the middle of the field with his eyes before turning to the right and finding Bennett. As that happened, the left side of the offensive line (tackle Nate Solder and guard Joe Thuney) held up in one-on-one situations, while right guard Shaq Mason did a nice job controlling Ndamukong Suh.
Receiver Danny Amendola's 10-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was an example of beating the blitz. The Patriots were outnumbered, Garoppolo bought some time, and Amendola ran a solid route over the middle. “It's great to have Danny out there; he's made a lot of big plays for us these first couple weeks," Belichick said.
Amendola's 19-yard punt return in the second quarter was used to spotlight how the Patriots had good field position throughout and played a complementary game. Solid work by the gunners, which include rookie Jonathan Jones, helped get it started.
Cornerback Logan Ryan forced a Jarvis Landry fumble midway through the second quarter and Belichick pointed out two different things on the play -- how Ryan first had an effective jam at the line of scrimmage before hustling to the sideline to jar the ball free, and then defensive end Chris Long's effort to recover the fumble. Belichick called Long "one of the real impressive players of the game. ... He just hustles here. You see him turning and running to ball. If he’s not there, I don’t know, they might recover this one. A lot of extra effort there from Chris to run that extra 20-25 yards to the ball.”
Safety Duron Harmon's game-sealing interception was the final play, with Belichick noting his range and how the Patriots were protecting the sideline so Miami couldn't get out of bounds.