Ja’Whaun Bentley was one of the Patriots’ unsung heroes in New England’s Week 12 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Bentley and the Patriots defense, as you may recall, made a crucial goal-line stand just before the end of the first half in the 20-17 victory. The linebacker’s fourth-and-goal run stuff saved what could have been a critical Arizona touchdown, and kept the Cardinals’ advantage to three points entering the locker room.
The third-year Patriot provided some insight into the game-altering play during a media availability Monday.
“Well, when you’re that close to the goal line, the quickest way to the end zone is downhill, direct kind of runs,” Bentley told reporters. “Obviously, Arizona has dynamic backs as far as Kenyan Drake is concerned. So, (I) kind of was looking for that play.
“Shoutout to the (defensive) line — Lawrence Guy, Akeem Spence — all those guys holding it down, allowing me to come downhill and make the play.”
Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray handed the ball to running back Kenyan Drake from inside the New England 1 yard line. Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury noted after the game that the play was called due to the Patriots’ production in stopping the dual-threat QB on the ground.
“I had a good vision of it because of the D-line. Shoutout to LG, Lawrence Guy, I’m always going to give the credit to the D-line, that’s where it starts at,” Bentley said. “As far as them coming off the ball, opening the window a little bit for me to get through there and make the play, shoutout to them.”
Bentley and the 5-6 Patriots now have to turn the page with every game from here on out being crucial. New England will travel to the Los Angeles Chargers for a Week 13 game on Sunday.