Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles from the field after the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 35-31. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Q: That game really turned on a couple of the wrinkles that you put in in the second half. Can you go through the Julian Edelman double pass play and then the eligible foolishness that just caught them flat footed?
TB: Yeah, that double pass has been in all season. It was great that Josh [McDaniels] called it at the perfect time. We actually got the prefect look. Star blitz right off of it. They bit up, obviously to try to go tackle Jules and Danny slipped behind them and Jules threw a dime. Pretty sweet play. We needed it. We needed a lot of plays. We played from behind, which is not the way that we want to play. Playing these guys from ahead was the best way to play them – and behind twice by 14 wasn’t necessarily in the plans. It took a lot of good execution to overcome it. A lot of guys fought through – a lot of mental toughness and I’m glad we pulled it out.
Q: How many times has Julian Edelman said that he can really throw?
TB: He did. He throws it better than I did. He spun it. It was a perfect spiral right in stride. I’ve gotta make some rules that he can’t throw it better than I can, but he did. It was pretty sweet.
Q: What was the move with the linemen that had John Harbaugh so upset? What did you do and why was he all shook up about it?
TB: I’m not sure. I don’t know why. Maybe he – did anyone ask him?
Q: What did you guys do? What is saying you can’t cover so-and-so? Who’s eligible and who isn’t and how do you do it legally?
TB: I don’t know. Who knows. Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out. We obviously knew what we were doing and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week.
Q: John Harbaugh called it clear deception and said the league is going to look at it?
TB: They’ll look at it then. I don’t know what’s deceiving about that. [They] should figure it out.
Q: Can you go through the game-winning touchdown drive and what you saw on the throw toBrandon LaFell?
TB: Yeah it was man-to-man coverage and Jojo got a great release, so it made it easy on me. He made a great catch. They guy looked like he had his other – his right arm kind of arm-barred and he caught it with his left and was able to get his right hand on it, so it was a great play. We needed it. It was the first time we really got ahead in the game. So it was a big play.
Q: Did you make that call at the line of scrimmage or was that the call?
TB: We had a few things we were working on out there. We always have good communication at the line trying to organize things and get them the way we want them.
Q: How big was Amendola’s catch on that drive to get the first down?
TB: Huge. Yeah, huge. They were showing a blitz and I knew that corner was going to be sitting there waiting for him, but I was trying to get to him quick where he could turn and make a move a and he did; he made a great move and ended up making a big first down, so that was a huge play.
Q: How concerned were you in the final minutes? You’ve seen big games. Do you look when you’re on the sidelines? What’s going through your mind?
TB: Yeah, it was a fourth-down play right around the two-minute warning they made, which was just a great play that [Owen] Daniels made. You lose a little momentum at that point and then we got a great rush on Joe [Flacco] and he threw it up in the end zone and Duron [Harmon] made a great pick. He’s picked me in practice a bunch – Duron – so it was nice to see him pick another quarterback, especially at a big time moment like he did. It took a lot of plays to win. A lot of plays that you need to advance and you never know how these games are going to go, but we fought hard. It wasn’t a perfect execution game, but it was great to win.
Q: You were down 14 points in the first half and again in the second half. How do you remain so calm and collected and be able to bring a team back like that?
TB: Well, we got off to a slow start, down 14 to nothing and threw the pick and they got the touchdown before the half, which is not really the way we wanted to go into halftime. Then they scored again in the third quarter and then we had the good drive there to kind of bounce back. Then we got the double pass for a touchdown to even it up going into the fourth quarter. It was a – it took a lot. It took a lot of the team, it’s a lot of energy, but that’s what we’re here for. We’re supposed to go out there and make good plays. I though the guys really – we made them when we needed to.
Q: Entering the game, did you know you were going to be digging into your bag of plays or was that part of the in-game adjustments?
TB: Like I said, the double pass has been in for a long time. You always have –plays like that in and he called it at the right time. That was just a great call by Josh. We got a great look. It was great to be able to do.
Q: On the throw to Brandon LaFell, they had played with a big cushion on about four or five consecutive plays prior to that. Were you looking to see if they started to play up and take advantage of something? And what happened to your eye?
TB: It was different coverage when they were playing off and then when they go up there and pressed it was more man to man. And Jojo ran a great route and got a good release.
Q: Were you waiting on that? Or were you going to go over them?
TB: I mean, if you get the opportunity you’ve got to take advantage of it. There are strengths and weaknesses to every defense. If they’re going to press, you’ve got to hit some of those and it was nice to be able to do that. If they’re going to play off, you throw in front. If they’re going to press, you try to throw it over them. If they’re covering you outside you throw it inside. It’s just a chess match all game. We hit a couple early and then we made some plays that we needed to late. We needed those.
Q: Your eye is alright?
TB: Yeah it will be fine.
Q: They showed you on the sideline after your interception. What was going through your mind? Can you run us through what happened?
TB: Yeah, it was just a terrible play by me. We finally tied it up at 14. We had a chance to actually go ahead for the first time in the two-minute drive there, and I just made a terrible decision.
Q: So when you see them score, you’re taking that one pretty hard?
TB: Absolutely, I take them all pretty hard, especially when I give them one like that.
Q: How conscious were you of the pass rush clock? It seemed like as the game went out you kind of neutralized their rush with quicker throws. Was there something that you felt like you had to do a better job of as the game progressed?
TB: Yeah, you’ve got to keep it moving against a great rush like that. They do a great job of the edge rushers and they get a lot of good inside moves and you have to counter with sometimes getting the ball out quick. And then obviously taking some opportunities down the field when you have time. We hit some quick ones, especially there in the second half, which we needed to. Guys made a lot of great plays. Whatever we had to do to move the chains and score points, that’s what we wanted to do.
Q: Considering the high turnover rate in the NFL, how can a big come from behind win in the playoffs bring a team together the way the grind of the regular season can’t?
TB: Well, after this weekend there will be four teams standing. Every team starts the year with great hope and we were one of those teams and we’re still standing, so it feels good. We have a great opportunity ahead of us to play a championship game at home. We’re going to need our best week, obviously playing the first or second best – one of the best teams in the AFC who’s earned the right to be here. We’ve certainly earned and we’re proud of it, but we have bigger goals ahead.
Q: At the end of the game what happened there – you took three straight knees and all of sudden Baltimore is back on the field. How did that happen?
TB: I don’t know. Ask coach.