Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t second-guessing himself over twice failing on fourth down in field goal range in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Instead, Belichick is simply saying there are plays he’d like back — just as there are plays he’d like back in any other close loss.
“Our team competed. I’m proud of it. We had guys battling right until the very last play, with a chance to tie or win,” Belichick said on Monday morning. “Each of us that competed in the game, players and coaches, feel the same way. A couple plays, a couple calls, a couple whatevers we’d like to have back. In a close game like that you always feel that way. This is no different.”
Belichick declined to criticize the officials for a blown call early in the game, when they wrongly ruled a backward pass from Peyton Manning to be an incomplete forward pass. Although Belichick won his challenge and the Patriots got the ball on replay, the quick whistle was a mistake that went against New England.
“That’s a tough play for the officials to see because the guys on the line of scrimmage can’t see it, and the referee and the umpire are behind where the quarterback throws the ball, so they don’t really see a straight line,” Belichick said. “I know it’s a tough play to officiate.”
Belichick also declined to complain about the Patriots’ tablets not working properly, forcing them to use old-school paper play sheets on the sideline.
“It is what it is,” Belichick said. “It’s a pretty common problem. We have ways of working through it. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s not like the headsets where the other side’s really affected. You deal with what you deal with. We’ve had it at home, we’ve had it on the road, other teams have had it. It’s a fairly common problem. That didn’t affect the outcome of the game. I mean, no way.”
And so while Belichick would like to have a few plays back, he’s not pointing to any one play that he thinks cost his team the game.