With Glenn and Nestor handling the post-game Ravens locker room duties, I snuck into a packed Patriots interview room to hear what Bill Belichick had to say following that 33-14 thrashing.
It was interesting to say the least.
“Outcoached from start to finish,” he said.
“They put a game-plan together and it worked from the first play.”
“Whatever we tried to do was wrong. And they just kept piling it on us.”
“When you fall behind in the playoffs, it’s very difficult to come back because every team in the post-season is good and they know how to play with a lead.”
The Boston media came at him pretty hard, although Belichick’s stoic podium-manner makes it difficult for any abrasive exchange between the press and the head coach.
One reporter said, “Were you more disappointed or in shock at being behind 24-0?”
Belichick took about 10 seconds to answer that one. He just offered a half-a-frown and said, “Just disappointed. Not shocked.”
I think he was probably fibbing. Every person in the stadium was in shock.
Look, we’re all Ravens fans and all, but none of us thought our purple birds would be up 24-0 fifteen minutes into the game.
Shocked was the right word, no matter what New England’s coach said afterwards.
Someone else asked him if he was surprised by how poorly Tom Brady played and he remarked, “When you lose by 19 at home, it’s fair to say that probably no one had a good game, including me.”
Brady, meanwhile, handled the beatdown with dignity.
“We know how playoff football works. You can’t turn the ball over. And when you do, bad things usually happen,” Brady offered.
“I made some bad throws for sure. Some of that was a by product of being down early and I felt like I needed to make something happen. The harder I tried to do that, the worse it got for us.”
“Give Baltimore a lot of credit. Every mistake we made was forced by them. Either good reads in the secondary or good, aggressive play. They definitely had more energy than us.”
The subject of the fans booing the home team was thrown at Brady early on in his press conference.
“I would have booed us too,” he deadpanned.
Say what you will about Brady and his penchant for penalty-flag-begging, but he was a complete class act after the game. He faced nearly 35 minutes of questions afterwards and answered every single question without a grimace, wince or a “what kind of question is that?” look on his face. And some of the questions were dumb, trust me. But Brady stood there and gave an answer to every question.
I was impressed.
One of the final questions for Belichick was this: ”Could you have imagined your season would have ended liked this? At home?”
Belichick: ”When you win as many games as we’ve won, you think you’re going to win every time you step on the field. That’s the plan going in, anyway. Today, they looked like they thought they were going to win from the first play. Hats off to them.”
The Patriots lost to a better team today.
They all admitted that.
Then again, it would have been hard to position the afternoon in any other light.
The Ravens won in a knockout.