The Patriots’ season came to an unforeseen end on Saturday in an AFC wild card playoff loss to the Titans at Gillette Stadium, 20-13.
Afterward, Bill Belichick summed up his team’s disappointing display.
“Obviously a close game,” Belichick said in the postgame press conference. “Just couldn’t make enough plays tonight. It’s always disappointing to end like this, but it’s the National Football League. Just [had to] keep playing, just got to play a little bit better and we couldn’t do it.”
“They made some key plays in critical situations,” Belichick noted. “In the red area on third down, and ultimately those plays were probably the difference in the game.”
Despite losing to the lower-seeded Titans, Belichick praised his players’ effort.
“Look, I have a ton of respect for this football team. These guys competed all year. Everybody, all three units. We played hard, and as I said just came up a little bit short tonight.”
The immediate topic of interest heading into the offseason is the future of Tom Brady. The 42-year-old quarterback is set to become a free agent for the first time in his career. Belichick was asked if Brady will be back with the team next season.
“Right now we just finished the game, so we’re focused on this game, OK?” he responded. “I mean really.”
Bill Belichick is asked if he plans to bring back Tom Brady next season pic.twitter.com/Xiqoas8zcz
— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) January 5, 2020
Belichick also declined to talk about his postgame locker room message to the team.
“I keep that between me and the players, like I always do,” said the 67-year-old coach.
When asked if he had a message for Patriots fans after the loss who had supported the team “through thick and thin,” Belichick took exception to the characterization.
“We appreciate our fans. I wouldn’t say it’s been all that thin around here, personally,” Belichick replied. “Maybe you feel differently, but I haven’t heard too many fans say that. Of course we appreciate our fans. We have a great relationship with them, they’re here for us. We always try to perform our best so they can be proud of the way we perform.”
Bill Belichick Live Postgame Press Conference: https://t.co/edMUkeBGTN
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 5, 2020