As he usually does following Patriots wins, Bill Belichick got together with Scott Zolak this week for a little film breakdown that lives on Patriots.com.
After last weekend's win over the Cardinals, there were plenty of plays for Belichick to highlight as having an impact on the final result, but on multiple occasions he noted his team's physical conditioning and how it may have given his team an edge over Arizona.
The first such play came in the first quarter when LeGarrette Blount carried several Cardinals defenders into the end zone for New England's second touchdown of the night.
"I think our conditioning was a good factor for us," Belichick said. "It seemed like a couple of times at the ends of drives we had maybe a little more juice. This is a good example of Arizona being a little bit late getting lined up, then a good downhill run by [Blount]."
Conditioning was a factor yet again in the fourth quarter, Belichick explained, during the hosts' final drive. A double-screen that went to running back Andre Ellington was quickly snuffed out and actually resulted in a four-yard loss.
"Even though it's the end of the game, and we played 59 minutes, you still see a lot of guys hustling," Belichick said. "A lot of fourth-quarter effort. Everybody running to the ball. [Dont'a Hightower] gets up there and almost makes the play, but now you have the backside pursuit coming from [Chris] Long and [Jabaal] Sheard, Jamie Collins. All those guys crowding the ball. Good effort there all the way through the game, it was good to see."
Other plays that were singled out by Belichick were Jimmy Garoppolo's first third-down conversion to Julian Edelman, Garoppolo's touchdown pass to Chris Hogan, two Stephen Gostkowski kickoffs, and a pass to Martellus Bennett that allowed Belichick to praise the play of fill-in left tackle Cameron Fleming.