Tom Brady, Bill Belichick Remain in State of Shock on Monday
For the third time in the last four years, Belichick and Brady were left to answer questions about what went wrong following another unexpected playoff loss -- and the other year (2008) when Brady was lost for the season to a knee injury suffered in the opener, the Patriots didn't even make it into the postseason. The fact that this very promising 14-2 season came to an end at the hands of the New York Jets no doubt stung more than any of the others, except for the loss in Super Bowl XLII.
Brady after the game compared coming to the realization that the season is over to running on a treadmill at 10 miles-per-hour and having someone hit the stop button and then he elaborated during his weekly appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan Show.
"It's very strange. It just ends very abruptly," he said. "I think you're always hoping that you're in that final game of the year. I haven't put any thought into anything really."
When he was finished addressing the media at the stadium, Brady was seen sobbing on the shoulder of teammate Wes Welker, his leading wide receiver. So it was no surprise to hear that he did not sleep well Sunday night.
"Believe me, every Patriot player that was in uniform yesterday didn't sleep well last night knowing that we didn't do what we needed to do to win the game," Brady said. "And certainly, I'm right at the top of the list in my disappointment in myself, that I really let the team down and didn't play the way I was capable. ... It was futile at about 2.
"I'm sure a lot of guys were pretty restless. I was certainly one of them. It was just a rough night, a rough day. Certainly, we had much higher expectations. We just didn't get the job done. Obviously, it was a great regular season, but we didn't win the game that mattered most."
For Belichick, being reminded that he and his coaching staff will travel to Hawaii the week before the Super Bowl to coach the AFC squad in the Pro Bowl was of very little consolation.
"It's definitely not where we want to be but we'll go out there and do it," he said.
Belichick also shrugged off suggestions that his defense was victimized by being young and inexperienced.
"I think that collectively as a team we lost," he said. "I think that everybody who played in the game has plays they'd like to have back. ... In that game I think there's something that each and every one of us who participated in the game would like to have back. I'd include veteran players in there with everyone else."
And they will have the entire offseason to think about that now.