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Bill Belichick details big-effort plays

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After a one-week hiatus following a loss to the Packers, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s breakdown of plays following a victory returned to Patriots.com this week.

One of the things he highlighted from Sunday's victory over the Chargers was Julian Edelman’s 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the fourth quarter.

In detailing how the Chargers had 10 defenders within five yards of the line of scrimmage, “loading up on the run,” Belichick pointed out Tom Brady’s solid work with play-action and getting the ball to Edelman in the middle of the field.

But there was something else that truly caught Belichick’s eye – the downfield effort of receiver Brandon LaFell and running back LeGarrette Blount.

“I think one of the best parts of the play is LaFell coming back on [defensive back Shareece Wright] and helping out to screen Wright out of the play and you see LeGarrette really hustling down the field with the block on the 5-yard line,” Belichick said, adding that Edelman’s effort also warranted notice.

“That’s the kind of effort allows you to make those big plays. Good football.”

The other plays highlighted by Belichick:

Collins’ second sack: In detailing linebacker Jamie Collins’ second sack (second quarter, 2:28), in which Collins shot through the middle of the line of scrimmage, Belichick pointed out good coverage in the secondary and the linebackers getting good depth in their drops. Belichick also noted the unsung work of tackles Alan Branch and Sealver Siliga to rush more on the outside, keeping quarterback Philip Rivers pinned in the pocket. That set things up for Collins inside, where the interior offensive linemen are “used to blocking big D-linemen but they get an athletic quick guy on them like Collins.”

Ayers’ interception like Ninkovich’s pick of Manning. Belichick showed Akeem Ayers’ critical interception (third quarter, 4:49) and how both Ayers and Rob Ninkovich dropped into hook zones off the ends of each side of the line of scrimmage. “Akeem reads the throw and gets a good break on the ball,” Belichick said, pointing out an effective pick stunt with linebacker Jonathan Casillas inside while working in concert with Collins. Belichick agreed that the interception was similar to Ninkovich’s interception of Peyton Manning earlier this season.

Gronkowski over Freeney in coverage. Belichick highlights an unusual matchup in which outside linebacker/defensive end Dwight Freeney is assigned to cover tight end Rob Gronkowski, and the result is a 35-yard catch and run (second quarter, 10:33). “Those mismatches can work either way, depending on what the player is asked to do,” Belichick said.