TB: It was great protection. Great catch by Aaron. A lot of guys made big plays on that drive; we really needed it. We really kind of squandered away some opportunities throughout the game but came up big when we needed it. The defense was really incredible today. That's a good offense with a lot of damn good football players. They really buckled down when they needed to and offensively we put together a drive when we needed to.
Q: Do you approach those situations at the end differently? Watching you, it seems like you enjoy those situations. Is there any mental difference between how you approach the final drive and, say, a drive in the first quarter?
TB: I think your margin of error is very, very small at that point. You can't not get the ball in the end zone. The plays and throws need to more accurate. The routes need to be better. The protection needs to be better and the entire offense [needs to be better]. It's something we work on quite a bit and we haven't had really a true two-minute situation at the end of the game where we needed a touchdown in a long time. We practice it quite a bit. We prepare hard for that situation every week. When it came up this week, it's good to get the ball in the end zone.
Q: Do you like being in that situation?
TB: I'd prefer to be up four touchdowns with two minutes left. But that wasn't really the case today. You just keep playing, you keep battling, you keep fighting until the clock says 0:00 at the end and we did that today.
Q: How important were the three plays that got you to midfield at the two-minute warning to set up what happened after that?
TB: Very important. You're down three so you know you have to get into field goal range. Once you get into field goal range, you're thinking of scoring touchdowns. A lot of guys made a lot of big plays. They really did. Throughout the game we executed. We didn't really get the ball in the red area and then we had some turnovers that hurt us. You don't really score points if you turn the ball over four times. They played a good game defensively. They have a lot of good players and a good scheme. We worked hard for this one.
Q: It seemed like you were a making a lot of in-game adjustments because Rob Ryan throws so much stuff at you. What is it like to do that in-game, when just when you adjust, they throw something else at you?
TB: Yeah, they did quite a few things, as they said they would. I think we expected a lot of it. We were prepared for a lot of it. I just don't think we executed as well as we were capable [of]. I feel like we're holding ourselves back; it's a lot of self-inflicted issues with communication, mental errors and then ultimately execution. At times it was better than others and when we needed it in a critical situation we got it, so that's the most important part.
Q: You talked about squandering opportunities early on. What did you guys do on the last drive that you weren't doing early on?
TB: We were just, everybody was on the same page. It was good communication. Guys made some big catches. We had a few third down situations there where we needed to convert. We did that. We just look for our matchup and try to take advantage of what we were seeing.
Q: How much were you feeding off the defense after the three-and-out to get you the ball back?
TB: They were awesome today. They were awesome. We gave them some short fields there. But they really stepped it up when they needed to. They really kind of tightened down in the red area and limited them to field goals. That's really what kept us in the game.
Q: Is this kind of game mentally exhausting for a quarterback because they throw so much at you?
TB: Yeah I think what they do is they make you earn every yard. It's not like there are a bunch of gimme throws out there or gimme routes or gimme calls from the sideline. There are a lot of different things and they have a lot of good players that can execute it. Some good linebackers, a [defensive] line that really rushes no matter how many guys - three guys, five guys and some guys even cover. It's a good defense and they really made us earn it today.
Q: Going into the game, you know it will be mentally exhausting. Do you like that in some ways?
TB: Sure, I mean you face different challenges every week and every team has strengths and weaknesses. We knew what they were capable of and Coach warned us all week [that] this is a defense that's as fast and as physical as we played all year. They do a lot of different things. We prepared hard for that. Our execution wasn't great at times but when we needed it, it was. Everyone is sitting in the locker room at 5-1 going into the bye week feeling pretty good. Obviously there are a lot of things we need to correct but it's much better to be 5-1 than 4-2.
Q: How would you classify or describe Aaron Hernandez? What type of receiver is he for you?
TB: He's done a lot of good things. He's really become a dependable player. [He] runs very good routes. Coach always says ‘A receiver should get open, catch the ball and then do something with it after they catch it.' Aaron has really done all three things. He's really made a big jump from his first year to his second year and that's why he's out there at the end of the game.
Q: Both last week and this week, it was apparent you were bothered with your play despite getting wins. Is that something different as you get older and think to yourself it will get you if you don't fix those things? Do you get a little less enjoyment from the wins?
TB: You appreciate the wins because you could just as easily lose these games. You can't beat yourself up over the wins and then beat yourself up over the losses even though that's what we tend to do around here. I'm glad we're going to come in this week and you'd rather learn from your mistakes and win than learn from your mistakes and lose. When you play good football teams, they're going to make their share of plays and we're going to make our share of plays. Are there things that we could have done better? Certainly. And we could have done things better in each of these games this year. It's not even November yet. We're still building on what we set out to. We're nowhere near where we need to be and nowhere near where we're going to be in a couple of months. We just have to keep working hard and keep being mentally tough and keep doing what our coaches tell us to do and try to go out there and win these games.
Q: Why did you go to Aaron Hernandez on that throw? It was tight coverage. What made you go there?
TB: They had some double coverages on the other guys. They double covered, there was a combination coverage on Wes [Welker] and Deion [Branch] and then there was a combination coverage on that other side. I was reading Gronk [
Q: You're in that mode, in the two-minute offense and Coach Belichick called a timeout before the touchdown. He ran all the way down to call it. Was it a clock issue or a matchup issue or was it protection? You guys had
TB: I think he was concerned with Matt because he knew he was hurting. He wanted to make sure that we had DeMarcus Ware under control. We helped him out with the protection to give us a little more time and Logan helped out on that too. It was good. As usual, Coach was right.