Who was on the field and how did the Patriots block Dan Carpenter's 53-yard field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter?
This is the type of play that an end-zone angle would nicely show, but going over the TV copy of the game, this is what it looked like:
Who: The Patriots' field-goal block team consisted of DL Gerard Warren, DL Mike Wright, DL Vince Wilfork, OLB Tully Banta-Cain, DL Myron Pryor, LB Jerod Mayo, OLB Jermaine Cunningham, S Jarrad Page, S Patrick Chung, CB Kyle Arrington, CB Devin McCourty.
How: The Patriots lined up seven players to the defensive right, bunching Wilfork, Warren and Wright on the line directly to the right of the long snapper. Mayo lined up behind them. Banta-Cain lined up to the right of the three linemen, with Chung and Arrington split out a bit further. So from a numbers perspective, the Patriots had a 7-on-5 edge in an "overload" situation. When Dolphins offensive lineman Joe Berger blocked down on Banta-Cain, it opened a free lane between Berger and Lydon Murtha at the end of the Dolphins line that Chung exploded through untouched.
"Whether there should have been more help outside or the wing should have closed it down a little bit more, I'm not sure, but there was a little gap there," Belichick said Wednesday on a conference call. "The big thing was Patrick's technique of getting through the line and flattening out, trying to get down the line of scrimmage and get his hands up right behind the center, which is where the ball travels if it's a good kick. He was able to get through that seam and get to the proper spot to block it."