After a shocking loss to the Dolphins in the Patriots’ regular season finale, Bill Belichick kept his postgame remarks to a minimum.
The 27-24 loss to Miami cost New England a first-round playoff bye.
“Obviously not too much to say,” Belichick began. “Obviously we didn’t do anything well enough today to deserve to win, so we play next week, and we’ll see who that is. We still have opportunity in front of us here. We needed our best football, and didn’t have it today, but hopefully it’ll be there next week.”
After taking a 24-20 lead in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Patriots were en route to another win and a playoff bye. Yet New England’s defense was unable to hold Miami out of the end zone, surrendering 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with just 24 seconds remaining.
“Look, they’ve done a good job,” Belichick admitted. “I think we all know what they’ve done offensively the last six weeks or so of the season.”
Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense got the ball back with limited time remaining in the game, but couldn’t move into field goal range. With two seconds left on their own 37-yard line, New England tried a desperation play that failed.
Asked about the final play design, Belichick had a simple response.
“It’s our last play,” Belichick said. “So we’re trying to find a way to score.”
One development in the game that drew multiple postgame questions was the Patriots’ decision to not take timeouts near the end of the first half. New England got the ball back with 57 seconds remaining, yet ran with Sony Michel and James White to let the time expire.
“We’d have done that if we’d got a first down,” Belichick noted of the decision to not call timeout.
And on Tom Brady’s health, the Patriots’ coach said it had no effect on the play-calling.
“No, he practiced all week. I mean you’d have to ask him that,” said Belichick. He added that it “didn’t affect the play-calling though, no.”