Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a bit of a shellshocked look following a 28-21 loss to the Jets in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Like coach Bill Belichick, he acknowledged the strong play by the Jets, but also lamented New England’s failures.
“I think we’re a pretty good football team, but not when we play like we played today,” Brady said. “I certainly wish I did a better job.”
It was a stunning end to a season that saw the Patriots go far beyond most expectations and Brady turned in an MVP performance as they compiled a 14-2 regular-season record.
“It’s like you’re on the treadmill running at 10 miles an hour and then someone just hits the stop button,” Brady said. “I think we certainly expected to play better today.”
It was the Patriots’ first loss since Nov. 7 in Cleveland.
“In order to score points, you’ve got to consistently be able to put together plays, and we could never really do that, or find a rhythm, and they made a lot of plays. They didn’t make many mistakes,” Brady said. “We made too many mistakes, there was too many plays that weren’t the way we drew them up.”
More from Brady’s postgame comments:
On the Jets:
“It was a good plan by them, you’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
On the Patriots’ ability to handle the Jets’ zone defenses:
“I don’t think we were surprised by anything. They could certainly zone us off more. There were times we handled it well, and times we didn’t. They mixed it up, I thought they executed pretty well, they didn’t give us any big plays. We just didn’t make enough plays.”
On the Patriots’ fourth-quarter clock management:
“We thought if we could get it in the end zone, it’s a three-point game, so I think there was probably four minutes left when we ended up kicking that field goal. If we had scored a touchdown with four minutes left, you know, we’re down three with four minutes, so we thought we had an opportunity there but, ended up kicking a field goal, didn’t really execute the way we needed to to finish that drive, and then we just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone when we needed to.”
On getting over the loss:
“I think you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes and hopefully move forward with even more determination than before. The team fought hard, it’s really a great group of guys. I enjoy playing with these guys. I think everyone really is always trying to do the right thing, just today we just didn’t execute the right thing.”
On the team’s expectations this season:
“I think our expectations this season were very high. To finish the way we did, we won a bunch in a row against some very good teams and played well. But you know, playoff football comes and really it comes down to who makes the plays, and we made too many mistakes. It’s totally a new season. There was a sign out there that said zero and zero, and that’s the truth. Every team really has the same opportunity once you’re in the playoffs. We’ve seen that throughout the playoffs, a lot of teams have great seasons but there’s ultimately only one Super Bowl winner and in order to get to that game and to win it, you’ve got to play well in the playoffs. I think the teams that are still playing have played really well, and the teams that aren’t certainly haven’t played their best games.”
On the Jets’ defense:
“They spun the dial pretty good on their pressures and coverages. I think we had some opportunities to make some plays that we really didn’t. It felt like we were fighting hard out there to gain yards, and we were trying to stay balanced out there. I think it probably turned into more of a passing game for us as we got behind. We talked all week about fast starts and getting ahead of these guys and playing from ahead. We had some opportunities there in the first quarter, and really let those slip away and really made it a dogfight. And ultimately, couldn’t really dig ourselves out of the holes we made.”