And the questions keep rolling in for the Patriots in the wake of a crushing loss to the Colts.
In his weekly interview with WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" show, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answered more questions about Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth down late Sunday night in Indianapolis. Some highlights of the Q&A follow:
Should Bill Belichick have admitted he made a bad decision?
Brady: "Iím not sure that I agree with you guys in that sense. There are 53 guys on the team. We all take part in the wins and the losses. Thereís certainly things I could have done better out there to help us win the game. Obviously, it gets a lot of attention because itís probably not the popular thing. But at the same time, itís what coach felt was the best thing to do, and I think weíre all supportive of that. Itís just a very obviously easy argument for everybody and itís a simple decision for everybody when you donít take into consideration a lot of factors that happen over the course of a season or the course of a game. Itís one of those things where we played so well at times throughout the game, and in the end we didnít execute when we really needed to execute. Thatís what it comes down to."
Surprised by Belichickís decision to go for it?
Brady: "I wasnít surprised. I was running off the field and the punt team was running on the field, and they were waving us back out there, so I was just trying to figure out what we were doing. It wasnít like I was surprised that we were going for it. I thought this was the best opportunity for us to win the game. It really was. We have a very good offense. We have two downs to pick up two yards. If youíre going to tell me that weíre going to play the Colts, and we have to pick up two yards on two downs to win the game, Iíd say I like our chances. So hindsight is always 20/20. And the reality is, coach Belichick made a decision, and the team is fully supportive of the decision. Like I said, I wish we would have made the play. I wish we would have made a bunch of other plays so it wouldnít have come down to that. And there were still a lot of plays that were made after that and before that that we all as an offense and defense and special teams unit need to do better at. That was a very good game we played in a lot of ways. We just didnít play for 60 minutes. Similar to the way it was in the AFC championship game a few years ago where we didnít finish it off the way we could have. So, hopefully we learn from it and move forward and play better down the stretch."
Why wasnít the Kevin Faulk play a 3-4 yard out pattern to ensure a first down?
Brady: "Well, he was past the first-down mark, he just got pushed back. And they just didnít give us the forward progress soÖ that was just the call the ref made. Tough to tell. I saw it on TV but I couldnít really tell Ö I saw Kevís feet were at the 31 yard line at one point so sometimes you get those calls, sometimes you donít. We didnít get it this time around. Weíve got seven games left. Itís really going to be determined what kind of team we are these last seven games."
Do you agree with Tedy Bruschi that the call sent a bad message to the Patriots defense?
Brady: "I donít know. I certainly donít think thatís what Coach Belichick Ö Iíve known him very well. Iíve been a player under him for 10 years and weíve been part of a lot of games with the Colts over the years where Ö they have a very explosive offense guys and itís one of the best offenses in the league. Theyíre very productive scoring points. Before that last possession they went down the field in less than two minutes and scored and we lost a couple of our best pass rushers in Tully [Banta-Cain] who was banged up. Same thing happened in an AFC Championship game in 2006. We had a third and 4, we missed it, we punted to them. And they went down the field in less than two minutes to score again. Tedy [Bruschi] was on that field that day, so you can argue it a lot of ways. Had we punted the ball and they return it to the 50-yard-line then what do you say?. . .
"Listen, we lost the game and I understand the blame has to be placed somewhere and everyone always wants to point the finger and say Ďthis is the reason, and this is the one reason why we lost,í and the reality is thereís a lot of reasons why we lost that game. We were 3 of 6 in the red area, we had some real critical turnovers, we had some opportunities to get the ball in the end zone, we had an opportunity to run the clock out at the end of the game and we didnít. And we as players are responsible for that. Everyone just wants to second-guess the decision, but believe me, I think as a team we donít buy into that. We understand thatís one of many, many decisions that are made over the course of a game. I believe also when Coach Belichick says, ĎI thought thatís our best chance of winning the game,í I believe him. And I really thought it was too. And I wish we would have done a better job executing those last couple of plays or else weíd be talking about how great of a win it was.Ē