The New England Patriots, it turns out, are mortal in the month of December at Gillette Stadium. Despite a furious comeback attempt, Bill Belichick’s Pats fell to the San Francisco 49ers at home Sunday night. Now New England is going to have a tough time earning a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, and Belichick isn’t likely a happy man as they begin preparing for Jacksonville and Miami to close out the regular season.
Bill Belichick joined Michael Holley, Glenn Ordway and Steve Deossie on WEEI in Boston to discuss Sunday night’s loss to the 49ers, the poor weather conditions, the talking heads and blocking out the hype. He also touched on the controversy regarding a Ted Ginn punt return against San Fran, the officials getting mixed up and a controversial last-second timeout from the Niners.
On not being good enough against the 49ers Sunday night:
“We just weren’t good enough. We didn’t do anything well enough to win.”
On the poor weather conditions being a factor:
“We’re playing in the same conditions they are.”
On if he concerns himself with blocking out talking heads in the media:
“Sure, we talk about that. All that talk doesn’t really mean anything, one way or the other, good or bad. Doesn’t really mean anything, so it shouldn’t affect us. We should try not to let it affect us. I’m not saying guys don’t hear it or aren’t aware of it, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the outcome of the game. So it shouldn’t be important.”
On if he’s disappointed in how his special teams performed against San Francisco:
“I didn’t think that we performed well enough in any area — coaching, playing, offense, defense, special teams, running game, passing game. You name it, we just didn’t play up to the level that we need to play to, that we have played to or that I think we’re capable of playing to. … It just wasn’t good enough in any area.”
On challenging a call because he believed a punt grazed the leg of return man Ted Ginn:
“It was a real close play, and I think it was a big play, so … I thought it was worth challenging. … I thought the ball did hit him, myself. And that was out there live. Looking at some of the replays, I still think it might have. It’s a very close play, but in the end it was determined that the ball didn’t hit him, so we have to accept that. That’s what the call ended up being, but I thought there was some evidence that it did hit him.”
On the confusion among the the officiating crew in that situation:
“I think they made a mistake procedurally, the way they marked it, and that’s kind of where they got messed up. And once they were able to sort it out, they ended up doing the right thing. But I think that they made a mistake in the initial process of the play. Then, once I challenged it, then they recognized that mistake. … I think it all ended up where it should have ended up, assuming that the ball didn’t hit Ginn.”
On the defense calling a late timeout — arguably too late — when the Pats were running the hurry-up:
“It’s a close call. Of course you know the head coach can call timeout at any time and he just has to notify the official on his sideline. And if the official hears the timeout before the ball’s snapped then time’s out. … It’s no different than icing the kicker.”