FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made significant contributions in the team's 27-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs, as his two touchdown catches established the NFL record for most postseason receiving scores by a tight end (8).
But not to be overlooked was the final play Gronkowski made, recovering the Chiefs' final onside kick attempt.
That play was one of several highlighted by coach Bill Belichick in his weekly breakdown on Patriots.com. Gronkowski benefited from a strong wall created by Rob Ninkovich, Dont'a Hightower, Brandon Bolden and Logan Ryan in front of him.
"It came down to this, as it did in a lot of the games last weekend. I thought [it was] well executed by the hands team," Belichick said. "It's a good kick, comes down right there at the 10-yard mark. But these guys are all blocked; it's a nice screen there in front of Rob, and Rob makes a good play on the ball. He's able to make a good, clean play because of the blocking and execution that goes up there in front of it. … It's a great way to end the game there."
Some other nuggets from Belichick's breakdown:
He liked the way the Patriots defended screen plays, showing a short 2-yard gain by the Chiefs on their first drive, and then a bubble screen to tight end Travis Kelce that was stopped for a loss of 2 yards. "Screen plays are all about hustle and pursuit, and just everybody closing quickly and taking good angles," he said, before highlighting how the Patriots stripped running back Knile Davis on a big third-quarter fumble. "A lot of the game to me was about effort, second effort, hustle and just good ball awareness."
Receiver Danny Amendola's ability to make the necessary sight assignment on a 16-yard catch-and-run on the team's first drive -- and how the Patriots' quick tempo created some confusion -- was shown as an example of how the Patriots' early success might have affected the Chiefs' desire to blitz. Another example of the Patriots getting the ball out quickly came on James White's 29-yard catch-and-run late in the third quarter, with Belichick complimenting his speed. Two plays later, the Patriots' tempo created further confusion on a 14-yard catch by Julian Edelman, with Belichick pointing out how the Chiefs weren't aligned at the snap.
Good route-running on a stutter move by receiver Keshawn Martin on his 42-yard catch in the second quarter, with Belichick saying Martin has "done a great job" this year as a returner and inside/outside option at receiver. The play helped dig the Patriots out of bad field position from their own 9. Another example of good route-running was highlighted on Rob Gronkowski's stop-and-go move on his 16-yard touchdown.
Good across-the-board work by the punt unit, with an strong force inside by Dekoda Watson on Amendola's 22-yard return.