Bill Belichick was in a much more talkative mood compared to several previous games following the Patriots’ 29-25 win over the Bills on Sunday.
The win came at a much-needed time and ended a three-match losing streak.
“A good win for us today, a good team win,” Belichick said. “I had a lot of contributions from all three units.”
“A lot of good football,” Belichick continued. “Obviously, Buffalo is a very good team, a quality team, a very explosive team, so it came down to the last handful of plays, and luckily we were able to make it this week.”
It was a day when quarterback Mac Jones and the New England offense put together a 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive (highlighted by Mike Gesicki’s one-yard score).
“Good offensive drive, good run from Rhamondre (Stevenson),” Belichick said of the moment of the fourth-quarter attack.
“Mac controlled the blitz well, got it to (DeVante) Parker’s weak side and hit (Douglas) down there, then made a good throw for a touchdown,” Belichick said. “A lot of good football pass protection. They rushed, they blew, we picked it up, we threw it, we caught it. That was a good performance.”
Jones finished the day completing 25 of 30 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think it was one of our most consistent offensive performances of the year,” Belichick explained.
“We moved the ball, we scored points, we changed the field position,” he added. “Again, that’s not one person. One person can’t do it. Eleven people have to work together. (Bill O’Brien) did a good job with the game plan all week. The team went in there and played with a good competitive level, better fundamentals and better execution. So it’s a good starting point.”
While it was the offense that had to come to the rescue late in the game, the Patriots’ defense also played a major role in the victory. Bills quarterback Josh Allen was limited most of the day, and he committed an early turnover when Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers picked off his opening pass.
“Pep has had a good year. Very explosive player, tough tackler,” Belichick noted. “There was a lot of play with the interception.”
The interception was a callback to a play from a previous Patriots-Bills game.
“We got hit on that play against them last year and worked on it in practice and (Pep) played well, did a good job of going up and putting the ball high,” Belichick said. “I worked a lot on Allen throwing the ball down the field. He had that one in the end zone, it looked like he threw it about 70 yards.
Given the recent struggles, there has been speculation about Belichick’s future in New England. In addition, there was a pregame update from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport rapportiNG that Belichick had agreed to a multi-year contract extension the previous offseason.
He was asked about the status of his contract after the current season.
“Yes, I never talk about my contract,” Belichick replied. “(I) concentrate on the game. Try to focus on Buffalo and I’ll focus on Miami. You can count on that.”
“But thank you,” he added.
He turned to former Patriots quarterback and current 98.5 The Sports Hub radio host and color commentator Scott Zolak and tried to lighten the mood.
“Can you throw me a softball over there?” Belichick joked. “I can hit a single. I don’t need to hit it out of the park, but some kind of softball for me?’
Instead, Zolak asked what was actually a tough moment for the Patriots: The team opted to use one of its valuable second-half timeouts at a moment in the third quarter prior to a 49-yard field goal attempt from kicker Chad Ryland (who ultimately made the kick).
Interestingly enough, Belichick acknowledged it had been a mistake.
“Obviously that could have been costly,” he said of using the timeout. “That was a mistake on our part. I’d say normally you’d probably just think about taking the delay penalty and kicking it, but the way the wind was today, those kicks were hard. I mean, I know it’s coming from the 15-yard line, but then you back it up. It’s a much tougher step.
“So we called a timeout on that, but thank you, thank you for reminding me,” Belichick added humorously. “Appreciate that. You know bad coaching and bad management.”
But referring to Bills kicker Tyler Bass’ missed field goal from 42 yards, Belichick highlighted the wind’s impact with an unprecedented joke at the third news conference.
“You saw what happened on Bass’ field goal. I mean, it looked like one of my five irons,” Belichick deadpanned. “Straight to the right, but it was a strong wind there today, so we decided to take the (timeout) and make the kick a little shorter.”
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