Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t veer far from his typical post-loss script in a conference call Monday morning, less than 12 hours after his team fell, 28-22, to the Houston Texans.
“We have to do a better job all the way around, coaching, playing, execution,’’ he said. “We have a lot of tough, competitive players on our team. We competed hard. We just didn’t coach well enough, couldn’t make enough plays.’’
His message was consistent: All three phases of the game have to be better. The coaching has to be better. The execution has to be better.
Belichick didn’t have much else to say about New England’s defeat, its second of the year. At 10-2, the Patriots hold the second seed in the AFC, behind only the Baltimore Ravens. With only four regular-season games remaining, does Belichick keep an eye on the evolving playoff picture?
“The only thing we can do about it is the next game,’’ he said. “Focus on Kansas City. I’m sure we’ll all add it up at the end.’’
According to Belichick, the team returned home at around 6 a.m. Monday morning. Players will have both Monday and Tuesday off before resuming practice Wednesday.
As for whether New England’s 94-yard, six-play touchdown drive in the final minutes of the game supplied any confidence in the offense moving forward?
“We’ll have to start all over again against Kansas City,’’ Belichick said. “We’ll see how that goes. I don’t think this game will have too much to do with that one, but I don’t know.’’
The Patriots host the Chiefs Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
No hard feelings
Belichick said in his weekly radio interview later Monday there’s no reason to read into his brief postgame handshake with Texans coach Bill O’Brien. The brevity of the exchange led some to wonder whether there is lingering hostility between the two organizations over Houston’s pursuit of Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio. “Not on my end,’’ Belichick said . . . Running back James White’s offensive snap count (68) far exceeded those of teammates Sony Michel (15) and Rex Burkhead (4). White turned in his game of the season with multiple touchdowns (2) and more than 100 yards from scrimmage (98 receiving and 79 rushing). Michel, who finished with 45 rushing yards on 10 carries, was on the field for a season-low 17 percent of the offensive snaps. Seven of his 15 snaps came on New England’s opening drive . . . With an average of 22 million viewers, Sunday’s Patriots-Texans game was the most-watched Week 13 “Sunday Night Football’’ game in nine years. Providence was the top market, followed by Boston and Houston.