Did you catch “Do Your Job” Sunday night on NBC at 7 p.m.? If not, you have another chance to watch it Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network, followed by “America’s Game: 2016 Patriots.”
Whether you missed it or want to relive some of the greatest moments of the NFL Films feature, which focuses on the Patriots’ coaching staff, here’s what we learned from watching “Do Your Job Part 2.”
— Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has long let his infatuation for Benardrick McKinney be felt, but New England’s wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea, who is in charge of red zone game planning, saw a mismatch in the red zone if the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Houston Texans linebacker was forced to cover running back Dion Lewis. The Patriots used the matchup to their advantage when Lewis scored on a 13-yard swing pass in the first quarter of New England’s 34-16 divisional-round win over the Texans.
— Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hit wide receiver Chris Hogan for a long touchdown on a flea flicker in the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots ran a similar concept, without the flea flicker aspect, against the Steelers in the 2004 AFC Championship Game. The Steelers’ defense has stayed similar since that time, so the Patriots were confident it again would work. Belichick said Julian Edelman, who blocked strong safety Sean Davis before going into his route, was the key guy on the play.
— Belichick referred to Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as a general manager, which is notable in and of itself. On game day, Caserio sits up in the booth and communicates the other team’s personnel changes to Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Caserio and McDaniels were teammates at John Carroll University. That’s not typical duty for a GM or director of player personnel.
— Patriots football research director Ernie Adams tells Belichick when to challenge plays and when to go for a two-point conversion during games. Before games, he monitors the field for tells from the other team.
— Prior to Super Bowl LI, the Patriots noticed Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was mostly running routes from his left to right after suffering a foot injury during the season and that he wasn’t quite as sharp from his right to left. That didn’t appear to be the case during the Super Bowl, so the Patriots had to make an in-game adjustment.
— Belichick gave Brady crap before the matchup with the Falcons that the Patriots hadn’t scored in the first quarter of any of the six previous Super Bowls they had been a part of together. They didn’t score in the first quarter of Super Bowl LI, either. There’s always next year.
— Once Falcons running back Tevin Coleman left the game, the Patriots wanted to force Devonta Freeman to stay in as a pass protector, an area of weakness for the undersized back. Freeman didn’t see linebacker Dont’a Hightower, lined up wide outside blitzing, until it was too late on a fourth quarter strip sack that helped flip the game.
— The Patriots prepped additional two-point conversion plays to put on their call sheet prior to Super Bowl LI because an attempt failed in the AFC Championship Game the previous season. The Patriots needed two two-point conversions late in Super Bowl LI and converted on both. They later would use another play from that call sheet.
— Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia took a risk late in the game when the Falcons faced second-and-11 by choosing to defend the pass rather than the run. He guessed right, and defensive end Trey Flowers sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. On that play, Hightower was held. The refs didn’t throw a flag, but Hightower alerted the refs to watch for it. Defensive end Chris Long drew a holding flag on the very next play, pushing the Falcons back even farther and out of field goal range.
— McDaniels referred to wide receiver Danny Amendola as the Patriots’ “best trash runner and catcher.”
“Meaning, you’re gonna have to catch it with a lot of bodies close to you,” McDaniels said. “You’re going to have to turn your head and shoulders toward the goal line real quick and just dive through a brick wall if you have to. It’s not going to be easy, but that was why we chose Danny to do it.”
That’s why Amendola was on the field and caught the ball on the Patriots’ second successful two-point conversion.
— The Patriots used a third two-point conversion play from their call sheet on what wound up being the game-winning toss to running back James White. The play originally was designed for Dion Lewis, who suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the game. White powered through Falcons defenders for the touchdown, and the rest is history.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images