Bill Belichick praised the Patriots’ defense after shutting out the Falcons

Belichick credited Devin McCourty's fourth-quarter interception as a "big play."

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick after the Patriots' win over the Falcons. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

After the Patriots produced a dominant display during Thursday night’s 25-0 shutout of the Falcons in Atlanta, Bill Belichick credited his defense.

“Good to come away with a win,” said Belichick. “We got some big plays defensively.”

“Falcons played hard,” Belichick acknowledged. He cited former Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees — now working in the same role for the Falcons — for creating a game plan that gave New England’s offense trouble.

“Dean did a good job on us defensively,” Belichick explained. “They were ready to go.”

Still despite scoring just one offensive touchdown, rookie quarterback Mac Jones was able to guide the Patriots’ offense to its fifth win in a row.


“[We] did enough offensively to score enough points there to get ahead and win,” Belichick noted. “Hopefully we can just play a little bit more consistently. We had obviously way too many penalties. Killed us in the return game, killed us offensively. We have to do a better job there, but good to come down here and get a win and get a couple of days here this weekend to catch our breath and then be ready to go.

“Short week but [a] good week,” Belichick concluded.

Praising his defense’s collective effort, Belichick also singled out the fourth quarter interception from safety Devin McCourty.

“Devin’s interception was a big one after they had the ball and [had] good field position and had a chance to get back into the game,” said Belichick. “That was a big play for us.”

While the Falcons’ offense wasn’t able to pose too many problems for the Patriots, the threat of rookie tight end Kyle Pitts was an issue Belichick paid particular attention to.

“He’s a big challenge,” Belichick said of Pitts, who finished with just three catches for 29 yards. “I thought our players did a good job. They had good awareness.”

“Glad we don’t have to play him every week,” Belichick added of Pitts.


One of the players who helped cover Pitts — among a lengthy list of responsibilitees — was linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

“Kyle’s a smart player,” said Belichick. “He does a lot of things for us. Plays on all downs. Plays inside, plays outside, rushes, plays linebacker in the sub [package].”

Van Noy capped off his performance with an interception that he ran back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was one of four interceptions New England’s defense made.

With the Thursday night game behind them, the Patriots won’t play again until a Nov. 28 showdown with the 8-2 Titans at Gillette Stadium.

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