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When Ravens ran same play twice, Patriots figured it out


One of the biggest plays made by the Patriots’ defense in Saturday’s win over the Ravens was an interception by Devin McCourty in the third quarter -- a play on which McCourty knew just where to be, because the Ravens had already run the same play earlier in the game.

In a video breakdown on the Patriots’ website, Bill Belichick says the Ravens ran the play on their first drive of the game and had success with it, as the Patriots’ secondary couldn’t get to the ball in time.

“This is a play that the Ravens ran on the first drive,” Belichick said. “Torrey Smith on this over route caught it over here across the field, and as you see this play unfold, we’re just a little bit late, the coverage can’t get there, it’s a good throw and a good catch and the Ravens pick up about 20 yards on this play.”

But when the Ravens tried to run the same play in the third quarter, McCourty recognized it and got there in time to get the interception.

“One of the things you love about Devin McCourty is not making the same mistake twice or recognizing the play the second time around,” Belichick said. “Here the Ravens are just flipping the play over . . . it’s the exact same play, flipped over to the other side, and this time Devin goes around the tight end, [Owen] Daniels, gets into position to come in and cut off the over route and make the play. A great job of reconition, anticipation, seeing the play and making it.”

Belichick said that play by McCourty illustrated why it’s so dangerous in the NFL to run the same play twice in the same game, even if it worked the first time around.

“A lot of times I hear from the fans or sportscasters or whatever, ‘Why don’t you keep doing what was working? Why did you change it? Why didn’t you keep doing it?’ Well, that’s one of the resasons. It’s hard in this league to keep doing it against players like that. They see it the second time around an they nail it,” Belichick said.

The Ravens thought they could beat McCourty twice with the same play. They found out the hard way that they couldn’t.