MIAMI GARDENS – First on his blocked punt and then on his blocked field goal – two crucial plays in the Patriots’ 41-14 victory over the Dolphins -- safety Patrick Chung said things unfolded just as they had been practiced.
“Just looping people,” he said. “It opened up just like Coach [O’Brien] drew it up on the board so you execute and things like that happen. You just have to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Chung did just that in a dominating special teams performance, all of which came in the second half and helped turn a 7-6 halftime deficit into a blowout win.
The blocked punt was the Patriots’ first since Kelley Washington had one against the Jets on Dec. 16, 2007. The blocked field goal was the Patriots’ first since Richard Seymour’s on Nov. 26, 2006 against Chicago.
Coach Bill Belichick was asked how much the blocks were a result of scheme or individual effort.
“Both,” he responded. “It is not just the guy who blocked it, it is the guys who hit the gaps, take the blockers and open it up for the guys that they miss. So it was a nice job by the whole team.”
Belichick credited special teams coach Scott O’Brien for the schemes, with Chung echoing those thoughts in saying the Patriots were prepared based on what they had practiced in the days leading up to the game.
“Coach drew it up and it happened just like he did it,” said Chung, who blocked two punts in college while at Oregon.
For good measure, Chung added a 51-yard interception return in the fourth quarter. He said he had never had such an individual performance.
“He just threw it to me,” he said. “I was shocked at first. You have to be in the right spot at the right time. The opportunity came and I took it.”