PM:: Fire away.
Q. Tony said the tough thing about today was that, as a group, you didn't feel you played your best game. Would you agree that is your feeling?
PM:: Yes, we certainly did not. I thought the Patriots played extremely well and I thought we certainly didn't do the things that we have been doing, protecting the ball, converting third downs. Just never quite found a rhythm. And certainly, I didn't play the way I wanted to play. You know, any time you throw interceptions, that is on the quarterback; and so that was disappointing from my standpoint. I just made some, made some bad throws, made some bad decisions.
Q. The first interception, Peyton.
PM:: Yes. Just kind of a, you know what? I'm not even going to go through them individually. All four of them, like I said, were combinations of bad decisions and some bad throws so that is really the summary of those.
Q. Peyton, as Tony mentioned, they had good coverage. But he indicated, without saying it, that there were some holding and jostling going on in the secondary. Can you comment on that a little bit?
PM:: Yes. I don't know, I mean I haven't seen the film. I don't know if I will watch the film. You know, it's like Marvin (Harrison) said the other day, you know, you've got to win in spite of other things you can't take control of. So they, their defense played well. They kept us out of the end zone a bunch, you know, held us to 14 points. And so I give New England's defense a lot of credit and their players.
Q. Peyton, you and Marvin (Harrison) hooked up about three times all afternoon. What specifically were they doing to limit Marvin?
PM:: Like I said, defensively they really didn't, didn't play much of a variety of coverages. You know, on our one series when we ran the ball well, that was because their safeties were deep and their corners were kind of locked in on the receivers and just never quite, never quite really got back to that. We couldn't stay on the field on third downs after that. Steve, nothing, nothing super special. Ty Law was, you know, kind of playing bump and run with a safety behind him the whole time. You know, it wasn't, you know, bump and run is considered when he is bump and running, there is a safety in the middle. That safety, either (Rodney) Harrison or (Eugene) Wilson, was always over the top so he always needed help there. And just we tried some different things to try to, try to get Marvin open. But I thought, like I said, the combination of Law with Harrison behind him made it tough to get Marvin the ball.
Q. How frustrating was it for you?
PM:: Extremely disappointing. You know, frustrating, disappointing. You know, kind of all of the above. We worked hard to get here. We played really well to get here and just didn't, didn't play well today. And like I said, I give New England a lot of credit, combined with the fact that we didn't play very well. And they deserve to win the ballgame.
Q. You guys used the last year's game as a motivation on the offseason. Is motivation
PM:: Yes. Like I said, right now you're trying to, trying to deal with this right now. And this, you know, I understand the magnitude of the game and this will be, you know, like I said, we will get over it, I will get over it. But it is disappointing, no question about it. So but like I said, you know, there will be times later on this offseason to reflect on what we have accomplished. We have done, you know, I know you always hear this from the losing team, but we have done some good things and we did some good things to get here and just came up short.
Q. Was the weather a factor?
PM:: I didn't feel like it. You know, it wasn't ideal conditions; but you can't, you can't pin it on that.
Q. Peyton, once you got it to 15 7 how did you feel, did you feel you were back on balance there?
PM:: I really did. I thought we had an excellent drive in that, that first series of the second half. And then the next series, you know, we came out and, you know, tried one of the same running plays that we had scored on, we had used the series before and got stopped. We did everything. Threw twice, two incompletes. You know, I thought they had pretty good coverage, you know. Pretty much, you know, four man rush the whole game, not a lot of blitzing, you know, at the same time. So there were, you know, there were bump and run a lot, you know, playing combination of zone and man coverages with safeties over the top. You know, I thought they had some good pass rush at times, and it was just hard to find some guys open. But it was disappointing. After that, we couldn't really maintain a drive, stay on the field and convert third downs. I thought the defense did a good job getting us off after that one series.
Q. What was the difference between last week and this week? Was it simply a team with a better defense or was it more how you guys were playing?
PM:: Well, a combination. I think New England's defense is definitely one of the best that we have faced, you know, so far this season, you know, I would say in the playoffs as well. But you know, the past two weeks our execution has been so good, you know, kind of regardless of the defense we have been playing to date, our execution just wasn't quite as good. Certainly, I didn't do my part. We protected the ball very well, you know, our first two playoff games. Today, we just didn't do that. But you know, we never were able to maintain a real rhythm. The only real rhythm we had was that one series, kind of the first series of the second half. So like I said, a combination of New England having excellent players and playing at a high level, and the fact that we just didn't play real well and I didn't play very well.
Q. Jarvis Green, the sack.
PM:: Yes. I didn't, you know, like I said, I have the films. I haven't figured that one out yet. Like I said, I can't even I wouldn't even call I wouldn't say that he even blitzed the whole game. Sometimes he might have brought (Roman) Phifer, but I would hardly even call that a blitz. But they had good pass rushers up front. A couple of times they got some penetration and got some rush and that was kind of a result of the sacks. No, no secret blitz or anything like that.
Q. Peyton, you have taken a lot of responsibility for the result after a tremendous season. How much harder does that make it when it ends in what you consider a personal failure?
PM:: Well, like I said, I certainly felt I have done, done my part well to get us to this point, and I needed to do my part well today, I think, for us to win. And I just didn't do it. And so yes, I certainly feel personally responsible and accountable, and it is disappointing. It is very difficult. And but you know, that is somebody has to lose this game, there is no question about it. And you know, the past two weeks, you know, like I say, we have played really solid football. And like I said, when you come out and don't play well, you have got to take everything that comes with that. But like I said, I, certainly, from my standpoint feel, feel extremely responsible and accountable and I am very disappointed.
Q. Did you feel like they made you move your feet and throw on the move a little more than you were used to?
PM:: There were some times that they got a little penetration in there, either the D linemen or the defensive ends, and I just wasn't able to get in a real groove from a standpoint that I would have to get out of the pocket a few times. And it is a credit to their defense and the way they rushed.
Q. Peyton, have you ever felt worse after a loss?
PM:: You know, I feel, I feel pretty miserable every time I lose, I really do, regardless of the situation. Obviously, this is, you know, this is a national spotlight game. There are only two games being played today and you want to be in those games, believe me. You know, I think some people would, it would be easy to be, to be a backup, you know, and not have played today or it would have been easier to almost gotten here and sat here and watched. And God, how can he throw that ball in there. But I would rather be, I would rather be here and, hopefully, I will get another chance to get back. So but I certainly would have liked to have done my job better today. I am very disappointed that I didn't.
Q. Do you agree with the notion that a quarterback has to be in a Super Bowl or win a Super Bowl to be considered a great quarterback?
PM:: You know, like I said, I can't I can't, you know, I have a definition of myself and I have things that I know that I can do. But you know, there are so many different people that are going to have definitions of you, you know, and so many people that are going to say, you know, he is this or he is that. I just can't, I can't control what everybody else says or thinks. I certainly would like to win a Super Bowl, more than one. And you know, like I said, I have played six years and I haven't done that yet. I have been close and I am going to keep sawing wood and keep trying to get there.
Q. Peyton, I know you don't want to examine each interception, but how unstoppable the offense has been in the playoffs, that first interception, did that deflate your guys emotionally a bit?
PM:: I don't think so. We hit Marcus on the first play of the game and got down there, and Harrison made a good play. And I would have liked to have had that throw back, you know, as soon as I threw it. I just kind of lost sight of Harrison back there in the end zone. He stepped in front on that. So no, because we have been pretty good at putting the mistakes that we have made, even though we haven't made that many, of putting them behind us and moving on. I certainly didn't want to get down to these guys today. A big part of the plan was for us to have won the toss, you know, won the toss and try to get a lead. We have done that in the past. But at the same time, I mean seven to nothing, 15-0, it was a very reasonable score to come back from. And we had a chance. We just didn't get it done.
Q. Peyton, how will you deal with this? Will you kind of disappear and get away from everything, or will you go right back to the film room?
PM:: That is something you don't really plan. Everything that we planned to was, you know, trying to be playing in two weeks. And so you never want to have plans for the disappointment so, you know, I haven't gotten that far. But like I said, we will try to, you know, there will be a time to reflect back on what we have done this season and we will do that. And back, like I had said, I always, no matter how I played in a game, I always, you know, like I had said, feel responsible and accountable that I should have done my job better. And when you lose and you don't have a game the next week, it makes it harder. It really does. But I will, you know, I will be all right.
Q. Peyton, was there anybody on the Patriots who on defense played better than you thought he might or could?
PM:: I thought they all, like I said, they all played well. I thought, you know, like I said, there may have been some open guys at times that I missed, you know, that I didn't get to because I was trying to avoid the D linemen or just was working the other way. But I thought the D line played well. I thought, like I said, it would be hard to say that it wasn't a whole lot of true, you know, man to man coverage, that there was safety help all the time. But any time, like I said, you intercept a quarterback four times, you certainly say your secondary covered well and played well. I mean at the same time I think I made some poor decisions and some bad throws. But yes, like I said, they are all good players. You know, (Ty) Law, I threw him three. You know, he earned those plays and it is a credit to him. And you know, I thought their corners and their safeties and their linebackers all did a good job in the passing game.
Q. Peyton, did you think it was unfair when a guy can play nearly two different games on the playoffs, and based on this one game now the thought is he ended as a failure?
PM:: Yes, that is the way it works. That is the way it works. Like I said, there have been a lot of nice things said about me the past couple of weeks; and obviously, it is going to be the total opposite now. You try to stay pretty even keeled the whole way, and I have always done that throughout my entire career. Like I said, I don't make any excuses whatsoever. You know, I won't dodge this. And you just it is an old cliché but you handle it like a man and you deal with it, and you just try to reload and do it again the next time. So that is all I know to do. And it is just it is not a fair game always, it never has been. And there have been plenty of positives so far this year; and obviously, ending on a negative is disappointing but that is the way it worked out today