FOXBORO, MASS. — Sunday provided a perfect blueprint for the kind of Patriots loss that drives Bill Belichick absolutely nuts.
Turnover battle? New England turned it over twice, compared to one from the Dolphins. Penalties? The Patriots were flagged eight times for 84 yards — often in key spots — whereas Miami committed five penalties for 28 yards.
Add in the fact that the loss came at home against a divisional rival led by a former member of his own coaching staff (Brian Flores), and the loss is as bad as it gets for Belichick, despite the Patriots nearly pulling out a victory.
So, it was no surprise that Belichick was brief, testy and, well, himself following the 17-16 defeat. After every Patriots game this season, we’re going to offer our takeaways from The Hoodie’s postgame availability.
First, watch the four-minute joyride in the video below.
Sunday night’s press conference was short enough that there really would be no reason for not sharing the full transcript.
Take a look:
Belichick: It was obviously a disappointing game. We just didn’t do enough. Just didn’t do enough to win. We had our chances, had our opportunities. But really all the way across the board, we’ve just got to do a better job. Really that’s about the story of it. There’s a lot of things that could have helped us. Just have to coach better, play better, execute better, play better situational football than we did today. Just missed too many opportunities to win.
Question: Can you just touch on the ball security? It seemed to be an issue today with four fumbles.
Belichick: Yeah, it’s not good enough. Got to take care of the ball better. Ball security, penalties, too many little missed things, situational football. Just all of it.
Question: Bill, what would you tell us about your impression of Mac Jones? Just the way he stepped up in the pocket, took a lot of hits and seemed to be very poised?
Belichick: I thought we all competed hard. We’ve just all got to do a better job. I mean, Mac competed hard. I thought we had a lot of guys competing hard. We’ve just got to perform better as a team.
Question: What are your thoughts on the defensive performance? Some issues early on, but particularly a number of plays from the linebacker corps like that play by Matt Judon that led to the interception in the fourth quarter.
Belichick: Look, there were some good things there, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. We didn’t play well enough in any phase of the game — offense, defense, special teams. We were enough to be competitive, enough to lose by a point, but it’s not enough to win. We’ve got to play better and coach better. We’ve just got to do a better job.
Question: Adrian Phillips gave you a chance to win in that game and had some big stops there in the fourth quarter. Can you speak on that?
Belichick: Yeah, again, we made some good plays. We just didn’t make enough of them. We didn’t make them at the right times. So we’re just going to have to do more than that.
Question: Is there any update on status for Trent Brown?
Belichick: No, I don’t have any updates.
Question: I would love to know just your impression of the atmosphere. You did have fans, but just a sense of what it was like today.
Belichick: Yeah, it’s been great all year with that. It’s good energy in the stands, and it was in the road games, and it was in the Washington game. So…
Question: Is there anything in particular with Jonnu Smith that stood out to you?
Belichick: I’ll have to watch the film and look at it a little more closely. I don’t know.
Question: Forgive me if this is a repeat question, but how did you feel Mac Jones played tonight?
Belichick: Yeah, we covered that.
Question: And his ball security tonight, how did you feel about that in particular?
Belichick: Well, I mean, just in general, we have to do a better job with that obviously.
Now, if Belichick were being honest, he probably would tell you he was thrilled with the way Jones played in his NFL debut. The rookie signal-caller was poised, tough and accurate, and gave his team a chance to win.
None of that will make Belichick forget about the sloppy, undisciplined play on both sides of the ball, but still.
Ultimately, we’ve seen Belichick far grumpier during postgame press conferences, but he was understandably ticked off after this game. It probably will be a long week of practice for the Patriots ahead of next Sunday’s game in New York against the Jets.
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