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Belichick: "It wasn't our best effort"

Posted by Scott Thurston, Globe Staff  December 24, 2011 05:47 PM

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By Scott Thurston, Globe Staff

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he was "happy to win" after his team overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit and took out the Dolphins. "We've got to give the players credit,'' Belichick said. "They played a good enough half of football. We tee it up here again next week against Buffalo, but it's a good way to go into the little Christmas break here for a couple of days, recharge, come back and hopefully be able to finish strong."

On losing Matt Light before the game: "Matt's ankle was... he just wasn't able to push off on it, so we were scrambling around there. And then Logan [Mankins] played a few plays and then he went out, so we had to take what was left.''

On why he decided to start Mankins at left tackle: "Because of the game plan and everything that we were doing, we thought it was the best thing to do. But then that didn't last long. It knocked us out of some other personnel groupings and we got down to the end of the game and we didn't have our goal-line group and things like that, so we had to try to run the ball. We were down there on the goal line with multiple receivers in the game, things like that. But we just didn't have our big people groupings.''

On doing any different as the protection improved: "Maybe we did it a little bit better. [The Dolphins] mixed it up like they always do, We just didn't do anything well.''

On what he said at halftime: "We needed to do everything better. We just didn't do a good job in any phase of the game in any area. I know we're capable of more than that and the players showed that. They responded. It wasn't perfect in the second half and we got a couple of breaks, but we made a few plays on our own, so that's good. We were able to come out on top, but we dug ourselves a hole there.''

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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