Monday, December 23, 2013

Belichick: Red zone improvement 'not revolutionary'


The New England Patriots' red zone offense had been trending down of late, but it turned things around Sunday in a 41-7 blowout win over the Baltimore Ravens.

New England, which went 1-for-4 inside the 20-yard line last week against the Miami Dolphins, converted on all three of its trips in the red area against Baltimore.

"It wasn't a big new game plan or anything, like we put in a new offense down there," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday, via ". . . Not anything revolutionary – just good football from really all 11 guys that were out there on the field."

Running back LeGarrette Blount found pay dirt on a pair of runs in the red zone, and quarterback Tom Brady connected with tailback Shane Vereen on a touchdown pass from 4 yards out.

"Each week in the red area, it's its own game," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. "Statistics from the past, they don't really determine what's going to happen from one week to the next, they just kind of tell you what happened in the past.

"This is a week to week thing, and we've got to do a good job of preparing now for a very good Buffalo defense, and the challenge will be a little different in terms of maybe the scheme or the players this week, but again, if we do a good job then we'll give ourselves a great chance, and if we don't and Buffalo executes better than we do, then you could find some struggles."

Buffalo is holding opposing offenses to convert just under 49 percent of their visits to Buffalo's red area. Despite what happened this week, the Ravens rank near the top in the league in red zone defense.

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