Patriots no-huddle offense stalled by 'injuries'

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Patriots no-huddle offense stalled by 'injuries'

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn On more than one occasion Sunday, the New England Patriots were in no-huddle, hurry-up offense mode and there was very little the San Diego Chargers could do about it except literally fall by the wayside.

And so they did. Defensive end Shaun Phillips hit the deck at one point. And play stopped. And the fast-charging, quick-strike Patriots offense came to a halt momentarily. (Phillips actually left the game and went to the locker room for the half, but returned later.)

As more teams like New England look to go no-huddle just to change the pace of the game a bit, you're starting to see more and more defenses combat that with the anti-no huddle gimmick of pretending to be hurt.

"It's not anything we have control over," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in his weekly teleconference with the media. "We just try to do what we can do, and execute the plays when we get an opportunity to execute them the best that we can. The decisions made by other people, are their decisions."

Belichick added that in the course of a game, there are other ways in which the game's flow are stalled as well.

"We all see now, there are different breaks in the game at all points in time," Belichick said. "You can have the momentum, things positive going in your favor and we stop and review a play or review the score or a play gets challenged or a player gets injured."

What else, coach?

"Or beach ball rolls on to the field, or it could be a dog runs out there, it could be anything. Streakers . . . things happen," Belichick said. "That's part of being focused and playing through the situation, whatever comes up."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

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Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the aftermath of Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live video. Curran interview Matt Light ahead of the AFC Championship. They dissect the press conferences of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and look at how to beat the Steelers.

SUBSCRIBE iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | AudioBoom

2:29 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live aftermath

13:14 Stopping Le’Veon Bell

27:16 heywassyonumba? with Patrick Chung and Kyle Van Noy

32:30 Injury report updates for AFC Championship

36:51 Brady and Belichick’s press conferences

44:50 Matt Light interview

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round.