FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s weekly breakdown of plays on Patriots.com following a victory caters to the hardcore X’s and O’s fan, and one of the plays he highlighted from Sunday’s win over the Raiders was a third-and-1 stop in the fourth quarter.
“I thought this was really a huge play in the game,” Belichick said, pointing out how the Patriots ended up kicking a field goal on the ensuing possession to make it a seven-point game.

On the play, the Raiders aligned with a fullback offset to the right side, as well as a tight end on the right side of the line.

“We’re kind of working into those blocks,” Belichick said. “Joe Vellano does a real nice job here on the tackle, and Rob [Ninkovich] does a good job of slipping the fullback block from the outside, coming around the guard. Vellano really gets two guys here — gets the tackle and then knocks off the puller and that clears it up for Rob to make the hit and then we have just about everyone else coming in and finishing off on the pile.”

Vellano played just 14 snaps in the game, but his role on the third-and-1 stop showed that it was about quality not necessarily quantity.

Other plays selected by Belichick:

1. Dont’a Hightower on Marcel Reece. A strong tackle by Hightower on the fullback, on second-and-8 with 12:38 remaining in the second quarter, was highlighted to point out how Reece was a matchup player for the Patriots in the gameplan. Belichick added this on Hightower: “High has had a good start to the season. He’s been in on a lot of big plays.” From an overall perspective, Belichick added: “I thought our tackling was …read more