Sunday, December 23, 2012
Belichick: 'Eventually we settled down'
By Mike Rodak
It may have been a game that frustrated New England Patriots fans from the start, but coach Bill Belichick took the podium after Sunday's 23-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars calm and satisfied with the result.
"Kind of got off to a slow start," Belichick said. "(The Jaguars) gave us a little different approach offensively. We made some adjustments. Once we kind of saw what they were doing, I think our players, we all got a better look at it."
The Jaguars set a franchise record with 202 yards of total offense in the first quarter, as they opened a 10-3 lead. But the Patriots buckled down and tied the game by halftime, then took the lead early in the third quarter.
"They did a good job of starting the game off with a little different style. They really got the advantage on us, but I think eventually we settled down and handled it," Belichick said.
In the fourth quarter, the pendulum swung back in the Jaguars' favor, as they cut New England's lead to 23-16 with less than nine minutes remaining. However, Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne was intercepted by Patriots safety Patrick Chung in the end zone on back-to-back drives.
"We had some pressure. Thought we had pretty good coverage. We don't really want to put ourselves in that situation but fortunately we were able to bail out of it," Belichick said. "We've had a couple of those. We had one in the Denver game, similar situation. So we made the plays, and that's the plays we need to make to win."
The win and the Houston Texans losing on Sunday keeps the Patriots' hopes for a top-two seed in the AFC intact entering the final week of the regular season.
"There's always more work to do and we'll have another week to work on things before we head into the playoffs, but we can continue to make progress and be ready next week," Belichick said.