New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference following the Patriots 13-0 win over the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, December 28, 2008.
"I'm really proud of our team today. I think going 11-5, winning the last four, coming in here today, I thought we really played well as a football team. Anytime you get a shut out on defense – offensively, we took care of the ball. We had that big drive in the third quarter into the wind and I thought we played pretty good in the kicking game. I thought our specialists did a good job, all the ball-handlers did a really good job."
"I'm proud of what they did today. It was difficult conditions to say the least. I know it was the same for both teams, but I'm just saying it was very difficult for the skill people to handle the ball. Execution was a problem, but I thought our guys hung in there and did a great job, like they have here the last month of the season. We'll just have to take it from here and see what happens."
On Difficult Conditions:"We watched quite a bit of the Giants/Buffalo game from last year and I'd say the conditions were somewhat similar to that in terms of which way the wind was blowing and how much of a factor it was during the game. It was probably harder today than it was in that game, so we talked about a lot of strategic things there."
On decision to defend goal and take wind:
"I thought the wind was enough of a factor that we wanted to take it to start the game. I wish we could have done a little bit more with it in the first quarter – as it turned out, just getting three points was good. I wish we would have had a couple more stops there and had a little bit more possession time in the first quarter, but Buffalo knocked out a couple first downs on the ground – they're a good running team; [Fred] Jackson is a good back."
On quick-kick and other decisions:
"We quick-kicked. I thought that was a situation where earlier in the game, Buffalo rushed all ten guys, so protection was going to be an issue. The quick kick saved us there, with the protection problem. Matt [Cassel] did a great job there. And at the end of the game, just punting on third down, making sure we didn't have any problems with protection, or snap, or anything else – at least we would get a clean punt out there."
Recall any games with similar conditions?
"The '86 NFC Championship game when I was with the Giants against the Redskins – those were strong winds and coach Parcells elected to take the wind in the first quarter and we got ahead 17-0 and that was the final score. I'll never forget that game and I'll never forget that decision that he made in that game. I thought about that before this game. This wind was every bit as strong as that game, maybe even stronger."
Will you get updates on the playoff picture?
"I'm going to warm up a bit- take a warm shower, call my kids and enjoy this victory, enjoy this 11th win. And then we'll just wait and see what happens. If we get a chance to see it, I'm sure we'll take a look at it somewhere along the trip here."
How happy are you overall with the season?"I think the players gave us all they have. I respect this group of guys immensely. They've worked hard, they've put up with me all year and they fought through a lot of adversity. We lost three tough games, every other week – Indianapolis, then New York and Pittsburgh. They battled through that stretch then came back and won the next four, in a lot of different conditions. Mentally and physically, they're a tough football team – they're resilient and they know how to play in adverse conditions and I think they play well in them."
On Matt Cassel's play:
[Matt] Cassel I thought made a lot of great decisions today. To throw it, to run it, he put the ball, at times, in only places it could be caught. On the curl pattern to Randy [Moss], right in his chest, on the pass to [Wes] Welker down to the one-yard line on the option route on fourth down. He put the ball right on him, the only place it could be."
Play of the game:
"To me, the play of the game was [Chris] Hanson's punt. In those conditions, that punt was a hell of a kick. I put it up there with Jennings punt against Dallas in the '81 season."