Coming off a bye week the Patriots knew that their week four match-up out in Dallas wouldn’t be easy, and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett did some things early on that caused New England’s offense some problems early on.
In the first half they couldn’t do much of anything, converting just 1-of-6 on third down while struggling to put up the thirteen points they managed against Dallas. Over that stretch the Cowboys sacked Tom Brady five times, the most in any half over Brady’s entire career.
Bill Belichick explained that part of the reason they struggled had to do with the fact the Cowboys came out in a defensive front they hadn’t shown before, which took some adjustments before they finally got things going.
“Defensively they gave us, you know, a look that we really hadn’t seen them do before.” Belichick explained after the game. “They played a lot of the game in a dime defense, a kind of 3-2 look with McClain and Lee in the middle, a lot of 6 DBs and they got on us and it was a little bit of a different look. We made some adjustments to that. I thought that Josh and our offensive staff did a good job of, you know… and the players making some in-game adjustments to deal with the new look that they gave us there. So overall, good to come down here and win.”
In the second half, it was a completely different story. Brady missed all of one pass over the final two quarters, finishing 10-of-11 (91%) for 165 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots outscored Dallas 17-3 and put the game away.
When asked if the adjustments came at the half, Belichick said that they started dealing with it from the first series.
“We made those adjustments from the first series. I mean, we don’t wait until halftime,” said Belichick. “There’s nothing magic about halftime, as soon as we see what they’re doing,then we need to be ready to address it.”
“We changed some plays, we changed some protections. I mean, you know, there was odd spacing, it was a dime look, against, really, a lot of our different personnel groups not just against our sub-passing groups. So we just had to identify it and handle it. But no, that started from the first series. We’re not going to sit there and wait until halftime to figure out what’s going on.”
Overall they did a good job against Dallas’ offense, holding them to just two field goals while also forcing two turnovers, both of which came in the fourth quarter and helped seal the win for New England.
Now as they get set to return home to get ready for the Colts, Belichick was pleased with the overall effort he got from his team and he’s happy to be 4-0.
“Overall, good to come down here and win,” said Belichick. “I thought we got, you know, real good contributions from everybody. We had a good week of work, practice. These guys were ready to go, players played a solid game. Give them all the credit in the world. They did a good job.”
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary