Bill Belichick’s post-game press conference:
“We played a good football team today. Obviously we weren’t able to make enough plays. We certainly gave them too big of a lead there in the first half; it was too far to come back. Give them credit. They’re a good team. They played well. We just didn’t make enough plays to win. I hope we can play better, but that’s what happened today. We just came up short early and fell too far behind and couldn’t make it all up.
“I’ll just say this one thing –- and I don’t really have any other comment on Tedy’s [Bruschi] situation. The statement released organizationally, I’m 100 percent behind. I don’t have anything else to add to it. I think that everything we can say at this time has been covered. That’s all I have to say.”
The long ball hurt you …
“We gave up big plays, running and passing. That obviously hurt us. It’s obvious.”
You had stressed not giving up giving plays, so how disconcerting was that?
“We never try to give them up. We try to prevent that every week. We have to do a better job of it.”
Could Corey Dillon have played?
“We looked at him in pre-game warm-ups. I think he did everything he could. Just wasn’t able to go today.”
Patrick Pass seemed to play well –- could you comment on that?
“I thought Patrick had some good plays. He’s good with the ball in his hands. He’s been doing it for us all year. He did it again today. Absolutely. I thought he did a nice job –- running, catching, making plays when he had the ball in his hands after the catch. He did a nice job.”
James Sanders was held out of the rest of the game after being injured in the first half; was that due to injury?
Were you surprised how often they blitzed Brady?
“No, that’s what they do. They blitz a lot.”
How did your team handle the blitz?
“Some plays were better than others. Some were better than others. Sometimes we handled it and picked it up. Other times they got some pressure on us. That’s what they do.”
Did you see what happened on the Mankins ejection?
You’d have to ask them. I’m sure they’ll tell you about it, what they saw.
Are you concerned with the play of the defense?
“We’ll work every week to get better. Every week we’ll go to work and do the best we can. That’s what it has been every week, that’s what it has been every year, and that’s what it will be going forward.”
More on Denver’s big plays …
Look, they made the plays. Give them credit. They protected him, they threw it, they caught it. They executed them better than we covered them on those particular ones. Give them credit.
Was there any point in second half where you felt you had momentum –- and that you were back into the game?
“It was a one-score game at the end of the game.”
So at that point …
“It was a one-score game. What are you looking for? It’s a one-score game at that point. You get one score and a two-point conversion and you can tie it up. It’s obvious, right?”
Were you in man-to-man coverage most of the day?
“No. We mixed it up. Some man, some zone, some combination.”
On the injuries …
“I’m not going to get into a big analysis about it. The players that we activate, we play and we think we can win with”
How much did dropped balls hurt down the stretch?
“Look, we had some opportunities to make more plays than we did. You have to take advantage of all those opportunities against a good team like Denver and we weren’t able to do it all the time –- in all three phases of the game. There were plenty of plays all the way around that we have to do better and obviously they’re good and gave us some problems. There were some things [they did] that we didn’t handle well enough.
What did the defense do better in the second half?
“There was no big change in scheme.”
Why was the defense more effective?
“We didn’t give up 70-yard plays.”
What will the bye week do for the team –- getting some guys back?
“The bye week is what it always is. It’s an opportunity for some extra time to work on the things that we need to work on. We’ll try to utilize the time the best we can to make the most improvements we can on the football team going forward. That’s what we’ll do.”
What are your priorities defensively?
“Right now, our priorities were the Denver Broncos. That’s all we were focused on –- Denver. We’ll think about next week, next week. We’ll start working on it tomorrow. But we weren’t thinking about the bye week. We were thinking about Denver.”
More to come.