After last week’s dramatic matchup in Seattle, Bill Belichick was happy to see a return to the methodical wins his team has achieved in both homes games so far in the 2020 season.
The 36-20 win over the Raiders at Gillette Stadium on Sunday was the product of 250 yards rushing, and a team-wide ability to make fewer mistakes than their Las Vegas opponent.
“I thought we really stepped up and competed hard today,” said Belichick afterward. “We ran the ball well, and thought we got good blocking in there. Our backs and receivers, especially the backs, ran hard. They made a lot of yards on their own, broke some tackles and made a lot of yards with the ball in their hands.”
The familiar Belichick description of playing “complementary” football was on the coach’s mind, especially in describing a series of events in the fourth quarter where the Patriots scored on offense, made a special teams play, and then scored a defensive touchdown as well.
“I thought that was. a great sequence we had there with about five minutes to go in the game, we scored, made the tackle, had them backed up inside the 10, then strip-sacked them,” said Belichick. “Had a good complementary sequence there with our offense, with our defense, and our special teams. And then the defensive score.”
“It was a good complementary effort there, and a lot of credit goes to everybody,” Belichick later added. “When you run the ball 250 yards, it’s not all one guy. You have a lot of people doing things well and they did.”
Seven different Patriots ran the ball against the Raiders, all of them fighting for yards after contact.
“Those guys all kind of got what was there, and then they got a little more on their own with good running skills,” Belichick noted.
New England’s offensive line, dealing with some rotation due to injuries, also received praise from their head coach.
“We had some moving parts in there, shuffled things around a little bit this week, but generally speaking we got a hat on a hat, we didn’t have a lot of negative plays, we didn’t go backwards,” said Belichick. “Then when we had a chance to break a tackle or get into space, then the backs created some extra yardage on their own.”
“Josh did a great job of mixing it up, running inside, running outside, some zone schemes, some gap schemes, some misdirection,” Belichick offered on the play-calling of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. “I thought it was pretty well executed for the most part and the players really performed well.”
The Patriots are now 2-1 and head into a Week 4 matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs at 4:25 p.m.
And just before leaving the postgame press conference, Belichick made sure to add in one final note.
“I’ll just sign off by saying good luck to Brad [Stevens] and the Celtics tonight. We’ll be pulling for them.”
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) September 27, 2020
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