Coach Bill Belichick was pleased with the how the Patriots minimized their penalties Sunday in a 16-9 victory over the Raiders.
In their first two games, the Patriots totaled 16 penalties for 263 yards.
Sunday, they had six for 59 yards.
"We need to play more that way," Belichick said after the game. "It wasn't perfect but that was an improvement in all three areas."
The run game, however, didn't please him. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen combined for just 76 yards against a Raiders defense that had given up 400 yards through its first two games.
"I thought it was inconsistent," he said. "We had some negative runs, which created long-yardage situations."
But it wasn't just the run game.
"I think we can do just really pretty much everything better offensively," Belichick said. "We need to work harder and be more consistent in the running game and the passing game, all the way around, everything — blocking, throwing, catching, running, run reads, routes, distribution, you name it."
Though his defense didn't record a sack, it held the Raiders to three field goals and their run game to 67 yards.
"I think the big thing defensively is we gave up 9 points," he said. "That's really what it's about. I think that's the most important stat. The rest of those stats really you can do whatever you want with them, they don't really mean much."
He evaded three questions about his offensive line, which gave up two sacks Sunday, and wouldn't go into specifics about injuries or personnel on the line.
"We're going to do what we think is best every week," he said. "I don't see where that would be any different this week or any other week, at any position."
He called the win a "grind-it-out game" for the Patriots, who are now 12-1 in home openers at Gillette Stadium.
“[It’s] good to be 2-1,” he said.