New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, November 30, 2008.
Q: Can you talk about the number of turnovers you guys had?
MC: A lot of turnovers, especially in the second half. Five turnovers in the second half; you can't beat anybody doing that. That is what was very costly.
Q: Was the weather a major factor in today's game?
MC: No, you can't say that. The weather is the weather. You have to deal with whatever is out there. They had to deal with it too. When it comes down to it you can't turn over the ball like that.
Q: In the second half, was it something that Pittsburgh's defense was doing to confuse you guys or was it lack of execution?
MC: Lack of execution and they are a good defense. They made some plays out there. Our hats go off to them. They played well tonight.
Q: How did you feel going into halftime?
MC: Well it was 10-10 going into halftime and we were right where we thought we would be in the game. We didn't turn the ball over in the first half and then you go out there and have five turnovers in the second half. That is a big difference maker.
Q: It seemed like there were a lot of dropped balls today…
MC: I missed some throws out there and maybe we missed some catches. That is just part of the game and that is going to happen. As an offense, we have to move forward. I really think the main thing for us was those turnovers. Anytime you go out there against a good defense, against a good team, who can manage the clock like they do and then turn over the ball, that takes away opportunities for us on offense and keeps our defense out on the field. We need to go back to the drawing board and do whatever we need to do to take care of the football.
Q: Was it hard for you personally with the two strip sacks in the third quarter?
MC: There is no doubt. As a quarterback, you have to go out and take care of the ball. That is your No. 1 priority. You get strip sacked twice and then those two turnovers on the interceptions. That is really what makes the difference.
Q: Was it a 'pilot error' on the two strip sacks or was it that you were still processing what was going on down field?
MC: It is just you drop back and go through your reads. Until I see it on film and really am able to analyze it, I couldn't tell you 'oh, well I was still going through my read or I held the ball too long.'
Q: Where does a performance like this leave you guys?
MC: Where does it leave us? It leaves us at 7-5 in the division right now. That is where it leaves us. We have four games left and we have to go out there and play well in all of them. This is still a tight race. We are going to go down to the wire here. Five [losses] aren't going to knock us out of the playoffs right now but we have to come out and play better than we did today.
Q: How did it affect you guys when Wes Welker was knocked out of the game?
MC: Once one guy goes down, another guy has to step up. That is just how this league works. That is how our team works. We would love to have Wes [Welker] out there every single play. He is a guy that works hard and you want him out there. But if he doesn't, then we have to move the next guy in and move on.
Q: Can you talk about the offense's game plan for this game?
MC: For the game plan that we had and the structure that we had, we had a good idea of what they were going to do and how they were going to attack us. For the most part it played out how we thought it would.
Q: You had a lot of success in the two games prior to today. How do you emotionally handle a game like this?
MC: Emotionally, you just say 'this is a loss and the last one was a win.' You try to get better and go back to the drawing board and see what you need to do to get better.
Q: You talked earlier in the week about not letting the ups and downs and distractions of your season affect how you play. Is this another occasion of where it just concerns you, the film room and the coaches?
MC: That is exactly right. To be completely honest, I am not going to read anything you guys [media] write. We have to go out as a team and get better. That is what we have to do. It is not about Matt Cassel. This is about 11 guys on offense trying to get better and a team trying to get better. This isn't about one guy's performance or Matt Cassel and his stock rising or dropping. I could care less about that. I care about winning ball games. Tonight we lost so obviously I am upset.