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Bill Belichick says if Patriots don't clean up penalties, trouble ahead

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There was a lot for Bill Belichick and his coaching staff to like in the New England Patriots' 36-7 win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. In the locker room after the game, Belichick congratulated players on a job well done.

But that doesn't mean there weren't things that have sparked some level of concern for Belichick.

Near the top of that list is penalties on offense.

Of the Patriots' eight penalties, seven came on offense:

"The penalties are definitely a problem, and last night a lot of them hit on the offensive side of the ball, so we put ourselves in a lot of long yardage situations. Several of the penalties were really concentration lapses, just things we didn’t do well enough and had a violation. We’ve got to do a better job being more consistent on that," Belichick said Friday.

"Things like that are just bad offensively because the defense doesn’t have to do anything. All they have to do is stand there. If we false start or go downfield or create fouls that are just not really caused by the defense ... it’s one thing if they cause you to do something or make a great move or something and you have to reach out and you’re fighting and trying to grab a guy.

"Same thing in the kicking game – we’ve had these illegal block penalties now, just too many of them all year, lost too much yardage. Some of them are close, some of them are tough calls, some of them aren’t, but the bottom line is we’ve got to do a better job avoiding them because it’s costing us too much yardage and too much field position."

The Patriots' lone penalty that wasn't on offense came against cornerback Rashaan Melvin for a block in the back on a punt return.

Overall, Belichick said the Patriots are flirting with trouble if it continues.

"If we keep having them, eventually it’s going to catch up to us. I can tell you that from experience," he said. "Just like turning the ball over, you might get away with it for a game or two, but eventually it’s going to cost you."