GREEN BAY, Wis. -- While acknowledging that it was a nitpick from a game that could have swayed in either direction based on a play or two, one question asked following the New England Patriots' 26-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers was if the New England offense strayed too far from the power running game.
Bill Belichick didn't think so after the game, but didn't elaborate at the time. He shared some expanded thoughts Monday in his day-after-game news conference following a more detailed film review.
In the end, Belichick highlighted the low number of snaps as a primary factor, as the 57 (including penalties but not kneeldowns) were the team's second fewest this season (50, versus Kansas City, Sept. 29).
“I think we had a lot of opportunities to move the ball in the game [but] we missed a third-and-1 early [on the first drive], we came up on a fourth-and-1 just short of the first down [late in the first quarter], we had a penalty to start the third quarter. So we ended up with some short drives, which limited the number of plays we ran offensively," Belichick explained.
"And defensively, we weren’t able to convert on third down as effectively as we needed to (Packers were 10-of-17), which gave them extra plays. So you can probably say there were a lot of things offensively that we didn’t do as much of as we wanted to do because we didn’t have the ball as much as we would have liked to have it. That’s a combination of our fault and their good play.
"That was one of the main areas of the game that we didn’t control well enough. They did a good job of that. So you can look at every group and everything we do, and say, ‘Could we have done more of it?’ If we had the ball more, and had more plays, we probably would have done more of it. But we didn’t."
The Patriots ran eight plays with a sixth offensive lineman, Marcus Cannon, on the field. Seven of them came in the first half.