Nov 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gets chased out of the pocket by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden (93) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
After Sunday night’s win over the Colts, a few New England Patriots’ players met with the media to discuss the game.
How do you feel the team played?
“It was a great win, a real complementary win. Defense played great, kept us in it all night. We got ahead. We let them back in there with kind of a dumb interception in the first half but we came out and played a lot better in the second half. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage which was huge and Jonas (Gray) ran great but it all starts with the big guys up front and they played a great game.”
Since struggling at the beginning of the season, do you feel the offensive line is coming together?
“Yeah, I think you have to be able to find different ways to win depending on the matchup you get and you have to devise a game plan that you think is going to work. And then once you get in there, you see if it works and if it’s going good, you kind of stay with it but you’ve got to be able to adjust. To be really one-dimensional, I thought tonight we showed great toughness, certainly on both sides of the football and special teams. We ran the ball great. We were pretty tough to tackle. We made some real big time plays when we needed. This is a team that gave up like three third downs in their last 33 attempts and I thought we did a pretty good job tonight. It was a great win; great win on the road against a damn good football team. They all get bigger from here and we will enjoy it but we will be back to work tomorrow.”
What happened on that interception late in the first half?
“It was just a bad play. It was a no-look throw, which those don’t ever end up very good. I thought I had a good look pre-snap and (Rob) Gronkowski got through there but I just put too much air on the ball and ended up lobbing it right to Mike (Adams). Hopefully there is no more of those this year.”
How quickly can you recover from an interception, especially right before halftime?
“You hate to let them back in there like that. It’s kind of a momentum play, and it was just not a good one. That doesn’t happen very often, so I’m not overly concerned about it. It was just a dumb play.”
What was the message by taking a knee right before the end of the first half?
“They came with a little momentum there and we knew we were going to get the ball to start the third, and they’re pretty good there at two-minute. So are we. We’re 14 to 10. We’re in a decent position. We’re playing well, playing on our terms. We did a much better job protecting the ball there in the second half. We made a lot of big time third downs, some big time run after catches. The defense stepped up. It was great to see the defense play like that especially when they kind of backed them up against the wall and kind of closed it out, finished strong. It was exactly what we needed.”
How did you feel about the protection you got from the offensive line and the time you had open in the pocket?
“We had great protection. I thought they all played really well up front, and that’s what we’re going to need. There were challenges, some good schemes that this team ran, and it’s very complementary between the receiving skill position players and the offensive line. If they’re going to add extra guys to the rush, then we’re going to need to get open a little bit quicker and we did that tonight. I thought we did a good job on third down, and that was a big key to the game.”
How comforting is it to have the run game to rely on?
“Whatever it takes. I think there are games that you go in and we’re not sure how good we’re going to run it, but when it’s going well, you just want to keep giving it to him. They were creating holes, and Jonas Gray was finding yards whether it was cutting back or staying with his blocks. He just had great vision tonight. He ran for almost 200 yards, so it was a pretty sweet night for a running back to be able to do that.”
Was the running game the plan from the beginning tonight?
“We always try to stay balanced. You never go in saying we’re going to run it this much or throw it this much. You try to get the runs on your terms, and if they’re going to load up and stop it, you’ve got to throw it, but if they’re not going to respect the running game, you’ve got to keep giving it to him. We kept making yards no matter what personnel group we were in, no matter what the scheme was, we did a great job getting a hat on a hat, getting downhill and making yards. It was awesome.”