Belichick: ‘We’re a better team than we played today’

Patriots coach Bill Belichick gave the Jets credit for executing plays and making things happen in their 28-21 victory at Gillette Stadium today, but also thinks the Patriots are better than they showed.

“It’s a disappointing way to end the season. You know, we just didn’t do enough things well today to win, that’s obvious, and the Jets did them well. So, just have to go on from here, but it’s a tough way to end,” Belichick said. “We’re a better team than we played today, but we weren’t today. It’s all of our responsibilities to participate in the game, we just didn’t do a good enough job.”

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Here’ Belichick’s full postgame Q&A, as supplied by the Patriots media relations department:
Q: What was the thought process on the fake punt?
BB: We just made a bad mistake on the play. Just a bad mistake.

Q: A bad mistake in calling it or a bad mistake in execution?
BB: I’m not even going into it.

Q: It was a pretty important play.
BB: It was a bad mistake. I just said that.

Q: Did the Jets do anything different coverage-wise defensively or was their coverage just better?
BB: I think they did pretty much what they do. They hit us on a couple pressures. They played a lot of man-to-man, mixed in some zone, some three-man rush. They hit the backs and the tight ends coming off the line of scrimmage. I don’t think it’s anything we haven’t seen before, but they did a good job. Give them credit.

Q: Did the trash talking this week between the two teams have any effect on the preparation?
BB: No. I just think we didn’t play well or coach well. We didn’t do anything well enough. We gave up too many points, didn’t score enough, didn’t have good field position. We just didn’t do a good job.

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Q: What was the thought process there in the fourth quarter running the ball so much and trying to run out the clock?
BB: It was a one-score game. It was a one-score game. Are you talking about before the field goal? Well, I mean it was a two-score game. We’re trying to get the ball down and get it in position. They were playing a lot of DB pass coverages and all of that and we thought we had some good opportunities to run it. Some worked out and some we could have handled better.


Q: On the broadcast before the game, they said Welker was being benched for the start of the game for his subtle press conference that he had. Is that true?
BB: I don’t have any comment on that.
Q: You’ve often said you play how you practice. How was practice this week?
BB: The bottom line is we didn’t play well enough. Really nothing was good enough. We just didn’t do a good enough job in any area. We had some chances that we weren’t able to take advantage of. The Jets had some opportunities and they did more with those opportunities than we did.
Q: Did you sign off on the fake punt?
BB: I’ve said all I’m going to say about that.
Q: At this point, given the run you guys have been on and the season, how surprised are you at the result of this game?
BB: It’s a one-game season. If you don’t play well, you’re done at this time of year. That’s not a secret. We all know that.
Q: Was there a message in the locker room after the game?
BB: Not a major one, no.
Q: Did you feel your team was ready to play?
BB: I think we were ready to play. We just didn’t do a good job.
Q: What did you say when you and Rex Ryan met on the field after the game?
BB: Whenever I have a conversation with somebody else it’s between me and the other person.
Q: What did they do early to you guys? They had three sacks early.BB: They have a lot of looks on defense. They have their regular group, their nickel group, their dime group. Some of that depends on our formations and so forth. I think that’s what they do.
Q: You scored so well and consistently this season. What was different today?
BB: We didn’t do it today. We didn’t do it. We gave up too many points. We didn’t score enough, didn’t have good field position in the kicking game. We just didn’t do enough things we need to do to win. You can list them all: too many penalties, too many mistakes, missed tackles, missed blocks, pressure, drops, all of the above. That’s what happens when you don’t win: you usually have too many of those types of plays.
Q: Did their interception turn the game?
BB: Well, I mean, it cost us a scoring opportunity. We drove the ball all the way down there in the red zone and gave it away on that play. They couldn’t do anything with it, but we lost an opportunity. They lost one, so I’d say that evened out, but it’s certainly not what we were looking for.
Q: What did you see from Mark Sanchez today?
BB: I think overall the Jets did a good job. That includes everybody, not [to] single anybody out. They all did a good job – better than we did.

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