After the 23-16 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, Bill Belichick began his postgame press conference by praising his team’s effort.
“First of all I’m really proud of the way our team competed tonight,” Belichick said of the Patriots. “Guys battled for 60 minutes. Wasn’t always perfect. There were certainly things we could’ve done better, but we were competitive down to the final play and that’ll serve us well going forward. Obviously we have to do some things better than we did tonight. Just wasn’t quite good enough.”
He paused before adding a possible reference to the game’s controversial officiating.
“You know, a lot of other circumstances in the game, no point talking about those,” said Belichick. “Hopefully we have a lot of football left and see if we can back on track and that is certainly all there is to it.”
Specifically, the Patriots’ apparent touchdown in the fourth quarter to N’Keal Harry was a point of interest. Though it appeared Harry had remained in-bounds, he was ruled down at the three-yard line (eventually resulting in only a field goal). Yet because the Patriots’ challenges were already used up, New England was unable to contest the call.
Belichick was asked what explanation he was given from the official after Harry’s play.
“You’d have to talk to them about that,” he said. “I’m not going to speak for them.”
Asked about how players might have reacted to some of the calls (or non-calls), Belichick didn’t elaborate.
“It’s the National Football League,” he said. “Just have to continue to compete, control what you can control.”
The Patriots coach took issue with a question about the offense “starting slowly,” and why James White hadn’t been involved more until the second quarter.
“We do what we thought was best. Start slow? We scored the first time we had the ball,” answered Belichick. “I don’t know, I might’ve missed it. Look, you can second-guess all the play calls you want. I mean that’s fine. That’s your job, go ahead and do it. That’s fine. We did what we thought was best. That’s why we did it.”