Bottom-line business. And 11 hours after the Patriots succumbed to the Niners in one of the most entertaining games of the Bill Belichick era, the bottom line hadn't changed.
Not good enough.
"I thought they fought hard and competed well," Belichick said on a Monday morning conference call. "It just wasn't good enough. Too many bad plays, too many mistakes. But yeah, we fought, we hung in there. Just not good enough in any area."
The Patriots slipped to the third overall seed in the AFC with the loss. If the current seedings hold, the Patriots will host the Colts in the Wild Card round. A win would put them in Denver for a game against a team it's whipped thrice in the past year.
It will be a challenge the Patriots wouldn't have had to face if they won out. But Belichick did note he hasn't detected this team being daunted by adversity.
"I don't think that's been a problem this year," he said.
In terms of fallout from the game, the fumble by Stevan Ridley again brings into focus that he is average when it comes to ballhandling.
Belichick was asked if a fumble like Ridley's was excusable because of the picture-perfect nature of the tackle delivered by Donte Whitner.
"There are gonna be plays in the game that are sometimes . . . things happen in football that are part of football," he explained. "The way the ball bounces or so forth and so on. Everything we do we try to do and coach with the best possible technique whether it be carrying the ball, we try to teach it with the best technique."
In the end, the furthest Belichick would go in lauding his team was this: "There were times we did things at a competitive level."
Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.
Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.
Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children. He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.
Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.
Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004. He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.
The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993.
In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.
“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”
Phil Perry and Mike Giardi react to Ben Volin's article regarding Tom Brady's future, and whether they think Brady has not been honest about wanting to play into his mid 40's.