Revisiting return and strip sack

October, 27, 2012
For those with an interest in X's and O's, Bill Belichick's weekly breakdown of plays after victories (on is a worthy time investment.

For last week's Jets win, Belichick chose two game-altering plays:

1. Devin McCourty's 104-yard kickoff return for a TD. Belichick highlighted how it was designed as a right return. But with the ball kicked to the far left side, and the Jets overpursuing, a seam was created to the near left side for McCourty. "Instead of Devin following the wedge to where the play is designed, he sees the opening, splits it, gets one-on-one with the kicker, and it's all over," Belichick said.

2. Rob Ninkovich's strip sack. While Ninkovich received praise for his game-ending sack, which came on a strong one-on-one rush, Belichick began his breakdown of the play highlighting strong coverage from the secondary. Belichick noted that the Jets ran a maximum protection with seven blockers. The Patriots only rushed four, and that helped with double-coverage on receiver Jeremy Kerley. Belichick suspected that's where quarterback Mark Sanchez wanted to go with the ball, and it forced him to hold it longer. With Jermaine Cunningham getting a strong inside rush on right guard Brandon Moore, and Ninkovich working the left edge, the two combined for hit, strip sack, and recovery.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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