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Belichick: “Turn the Page, and Move On” and More Following Patriots Loss to the Cowboys

The Patriots head coach met with the media to discuss the team’s performance following their 35-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Despite some positive moments on both sides of the ball, including some key defensive stops and a gutsy fourth-quarter performance by rookie quarterback Mac Jones, the New England Patriots fell to 2-4 on the 2021 NFL Season with a 35-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. In the end, missed opportunities, questionable coaching decisions and their opponents’ ability to make plays when most needed was the difference in Week Six.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media, both postgame on Sunday, and again on Monday morning. Here are some of the highlights from Belichick’s meets with the media:

Postgame: Sunday, October 17

Opening Statement:

“It was a tough one to lose tonight. Yeah, it was a good football team. Give Dallas credit. They're a good team. They're well-coached. I know we just came up a little bit short. Thought that we went toe to toe with them for 60 minutes and we just couldn't – they just made a few more plays than we did, so give them credit for that. We'll move on.”

On the emotional swings from Mac Jones on his 75-yard touchdown pass.

“I don't know, it's like the final few minutes of any close game. Try to make good decisions, try to help your team win.”

On how physically taxing it is to defend against an offense like Dallas in both regulation and overtime? [The Cowboys ran 82 plays on offense through overtime.]

“Yeah, I don't know. They're a good team, and that's what you've got to do. Got to stop them.”

On motivating his team through tough losses [moral victories]:

“Yeah, like we do – every week is the same. Play the game, correct the mistakes, turn the page and move on.”

On the strain of being 0-4 for the first time since 1993, as well as not winning at home:

“I just answered that question.”

On the Cowboys ability to put up the most points the Patriots defense let up all season:

“Yeah, well, they got six of them in overtime, so they're a good offense. They're one of the top two offenses in the league.”

On what Rhamondre Stevenson has shown over the last couple weeks to have him be a little bit more involved in the offense:

“Yeah, all the backs are involved. We had three backs today and they were all involved.”

On the ability of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to extend plays:

“Yeah, he did a good job. There was a lot of times where I thought we had him covered pretty well, but he was able to extend some plays and made some great throws. They have very good skill players”.

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On the decision to kneel out the clock before halftime:

“Because we were getting the ball at the start of the second half.”

On his thoughts about the Patriots pass rush, overall, on Sunday:

“You know, there's always room for improvement. Again, the quarterback was a hard guy to get. In the end – they have a good passing game, and they were probably a little better than we were today.”

On his thoughts on the break down on the blocked punt in the first half:

“We missed an assignment.”

On the game-winining touchdown from Prescott to CeeDee Lamb in overtime:

“Yeah, I mean, I was kind of on the other side of the field, so I'll wait until I see it on film. We covered a flat receiver and then he was just on the over route with another extended play. Obviously…didn't play it well enough, didn't coach it well enough.”

On the momentum switch for the Cowboys following that Randy Gregory strip sack, [the offense punted the next five straight series] and how it impacted play calling:

“I don't know, there were a lot of other plays in there. I don't think that play affected the other plays. Shouldn't have.”

Monday, October 18

On the Patriots coverage on 3rd and 25 [leading to a 24-yard completion from Prescott to Lamb, setting up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation]:

"Just a good throw and a good catch. Coverage was pretty good."

On why the team was not more aggressive to close the first half:

“Again, because we were getting the ball in the second half. We wanted to go back and get settled, come out strong in the second half. Same thing I said last night.”

On why the Patriots moved on from using bigger offensive packages during the midway portion of the game:

“When it comes to running the plays, with big men, we only had a certain number of play calls out of 22-personnel. You can only run the same plays so many times.”

On the breakdown in protection by linebacker Jahlani Tavai, leading to Jake Bailey’s blocked punt:

“Obviously we missed an assignment. It wasn’t really a full-out block, it was a force.”

On the performance of offensive lineman Michal Onwenu on Sunday:

“Mike’s one of our best offensive lineman, I thought he stepped in there and gave us a great effort.”