Saturday, October 27, 2012
Revisiting return and strip sack
By Mike Reiss
For those with an interest in X's and O's, Bill Belichick's weekly breakdown of plays after victories (on Patriots.com) 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.