Bennett, Blount, and Amendola Have Big Games
Reviewing the game film from the Patriots win over the Dolphins there were several areas to focus on but because of the short week and the Texans arriving here on Thursday for the game, we can’t wait for the All-22 coaches film to be made available later on Tuesday.
And we’re going to focus just on the Patriots offense this week. The defense and the issues they had in the second half is an area that should be discussed and we’ll cover some of the problems that need fixing when we do our Houston breakdown of key matchups.
Prior to his injury, the Patriots offense under Jimmy Garoppolo was clicking on all cylinders. He was making all smart decisions with the football and knew where to go with the ball especially when Miami brought pressure.
We’ve highlighted a few of the key plays for the offense, and while the offense will no doubt be a limited one with rookie Jacoby Brissett under center, once either Tom Brady or Jimmy G. returns, the unit will be a tough one to stop given the available weapons at their disposal.
Amendola 12-Yard Touchdown: After the Patriots moved down the field with ease, they were in great shape at the 12-yard after Martellus Bennett took a screen pass down the right sideline.
At the snap, the receivers on the outside took the secondary into the end zone. The linebackers drop into the middle of the field at the hash marks. Miami rushed four and got good pressure on the edges but not up the middle. Garoppolo was able to sense the pressure, step up in the pocket and kept his eyes focused downfield.
Amendola lined up in the right slot and initially sat down in the space between the linebackers. But with both moving as the Garoppolo stepped up, Jelani Jenkins stepped to his left, right into the throwing lane. Amendola didn’t panic, just took two more steps to his left and was wide open as Jimmy G. delivered the ball.
The players in the secondary couldn’t react in time as he scampered into the end zone for an easy score.
Bennett 20-Yard Touchdown: On the Patriots second drive of the afternoon they again moved well down the field. They were set up inside the red zone at the 20-yard line after Chris Hogan made a really nice catch to put them in position.
The Patriots were facing a third and nine from the 20 and once again, Garoppolo was spot on with his reads and where he wanted to go with the ball. Miami rushed four and got a push on the edge but Garoppolo was able to step up in the pocket to make the throw.
Miami was looking for Amendola on a crossing route at the sticks in the middle of the field. The free safety Abul-Quddus broke hard up into the passing lane. Bennett was lined up on the right and beat the jam of Kiko Alonso at the line. Alonso tried to sneak a peek back into the backfield and Bennett recognizing that the safety left a hole in the seam, held up his hand as a signal that he was open.
Garoppolo delivered a dime right on the money to Bennett as he crossed into the end zone for another easy score.
Amendola 10-Yard Touchdown: The Patriots third scoring drive of the day found them on the Dolphins 10-yard line and facing a third down and four yards to go for a first down.
This time, the Dolphins bring pressure from everyone up the middle and from the left, Garoppolo’s blind (left), side. The wide receivers on the outside run straight up the seams clearing out the perimeter. Bennett runs an out pattern to the left taking the defender with him to the sideline.
Amendola is lined up in the right slot. Abdul-Quddus is in coverage and is shading him to the outside. The blitz vacated the middle of the field completely and Amendola, recognizing this runs a skinny post into the wide open middle.
Abdul-Quddus is in chase mode immediately and can’t do anything to stop the pass. Garoppolo is under heavy pressure but was able to deliver it to Amendola who was hit perfectly in stride for the third score of the day for New England. Coincidentally, it was the first time in his career that Danny Amendola has had multiple TDs in a game.
Blount Hurdling Maxwell for a 26-Yard Gain: LeGarrette Blount had a fantastic game. He carried the ball 29 times for 123 yards and a touchdown and nearly single-handedly killed off five of the final six minutes when Miami KNEW the Patriots were going to run.
One of his absolute wow type plays of the game occurred in the fourth quarter after Miami had narrowed the Patriots lead to 31-17 and New England took over on their 18-yard line with a first and ten.
On what became kind of a signature play in the final quarter, the Patriots ran to the left behind LT Nate Solder and LG Joe Thuney who pulled and led the way for the big man to run a sweep. DE Andre Branch was coming hard down the line inside and was sealed by center David Andrews. Chris Hogan stopped Jenkins from flowing over from the OLB position. CB Byron Maxwell flew up and attempted to hit Blount low in an attempt to upend him at the first down marker. It was the correct move. Blount has 45 pounds on Maxwell and had a head of steam going. Any attempt to go high on him would have been an exercise in futility. He just couldn’t have guessed what was to come next by Blount.
In an incredibly athletic move, Blount, all 6’0, 250-pounds of him, hurdled Maxwell like someone 50 pounds lighter. He rumbled all the way down to the Patriots 44-yard line for a 26-yard gain. The play was well designed and executed and would have been a first down. But the extra little show by Blount makes it one of the wilder, and wackier moments of the day.
Posted Under: Patriots Film Room
Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots season Bill Belichick Byron Maxwell Danny Amendola isa abdul-quddus Jacoby Brissett Jelani Jenkins Jimmy Garoppolo Julian Edelman Kiko Alonso LaGarrette Blount LeGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Martellus Bennett Miami Dolphins New England Patriots NFL Patriots Tom Brady Trey Flowers