The Patriots took care of business Thursday night in Atlanta.
New England earned a 25-0 victory over the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, marking the franchise’s first shutout since a 45-0 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13 of last season. Bill Belichick’s defense sacked Matt Ryan four times and also came up with four interceptions.
That said, it wasn’t a perfect effort. The offense, led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones, moved the ball well at times but penalties and poor execution led to multiple missed opportunities.
Belichick acknowledged as much during his postgame news conference.
“Tonight was a good effort by everyone — coaches, staff, players,” he said during his opening statement. “On a short week. Falcons played hard. (Atlanta defensive coordinator Dean Pees) did a good job on us defensively. They were ready to go. Gotta give them a lot of credit. Falcons played very competitively tonight.
“Good to come away with a win. Got some big plays defensively. Nick (Folk) made some kicks. Did enough offensively to score enough points there to get ahead and win. Hopefully, we can just play with a little more consistency. We had, obviously, way too many penalties. Killed us in the return game. Killed us offensively.”
The first question for Belichick was about the performance of the Patriots’ defense.
“I think these guys play well together,” he said. “We use a lot of different personnel groupings. They communicate well together, play with good communication and anticipation.”
Overall, Belichick sounded encouraged by the play of his offense.
“We had our moments running the ball,” he said. “Thought we generally played the run pretty well. We had some trouble with a couple of those power plays there in the second quarter, but overall, I thought we played the running game fairly well. But, you know, we had the holding penalties offensively and that put us in some long-yardage situations. I think we had a couple good runs called back on that, too.
“But the players competed hard. Thought we played physical. I didn’t think that was — like I said, too many long-yardage penalties and too many long-yardage situations, mostly due to penalties.”
Belichick added: “Again, I don’t think there was a lot of bad plays out there. We just had too many negative plays that killed drives.”
The Patriots now have won five games in a row while improving their record to 7-4.
They’ll look to keep the ball rolling Sunday, Nov. 28 when they host the Tennessee Titans in the biggest game of the season to date.