"On offense we just didn't do the things we talked about doing, and that starts with me. I've got to play better," Manning said. "That's pretty plain and simple. When the quarterback stinks, usually not going to win many games."
Manning said he had thrown himself on the hot coals of the 22-point loss before even stepping to the podium.
"[I was] talking with Dave Logan and he said 'I've never heard you say you stink before,' and I don't usually stink," Manning said, referring to a postgame interview with the Broncos' flagship radio station. "But I stunk today. I don't make excuses, I don't say it happens every now and then."
Manning finished 34-of-57 passing for 438 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He set an NFL record for career 400-yard passing games, but that was no consolation for Manning, who is now 5-11 against the Patriots with Tom Brady at quarterback, 2-8 in those games played in Foxborough.
"I need to play better and usually can overcome some things," Manning said. "I didn't do that today."
Manning was particularly hard on his second-quarter interception, a play that seemed to send the dominoes toppling for the Broncos.
On a first-and-10 from their own 35-yard line, with the Broncos leading 7-6, Manning tried to squeeze a pass to receiver Demaryius Thomas. But Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich had dropped into coverage and slid into the passing lane as Manning released the ball.
Ninkovich returned the interception to the Broncos' 5-yard line, and the Patriots scored on the next play for a 13-7 lead. The Patriots finished out the second quarter with a 27-7 lead.
"He was in the right place at the right time, I give him credit, I give them credit," Manning said. "I can't make that throw, first-down play ... that was bad, bad football by me."
Manning was pushed to elaborate further on the play a few minutes later.
"I don't think I can say it much plainer than I've been saying," Manning said. "Bad football ... bad decision, certainly a throw I'd like to have back."