After the Patriots ended the regular season with a 33-24 loss in Miami to the Dolphins on Sunday, Bill Belichick cited his team’s unforced errors.
“Obviously played poorly, coached poorly, just didn’t do anything very well. Just too many mistakes,” Belichick said. “Way too many.”
New England fell into a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter and never completely recovered. It was another loss that began with a slow start for the Patriots.
Belichick was asked if he could see a “common denominator.”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Not sure.”
Despite the early mistakes and the fact that the Patriots trailed by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter, rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the New England offense managed to make it close in the fourth quarter.
Back-to-back touchdown drives closed the deficit to 27-24, but a Dolphins conversion on a crucial third down on the following drive all but ended the game.
Asked if he was encouraged by his team’s ability to fight back despite the eventual loss, Belichick had a blunt response.
“It wasn’t good enough today,” he said. “We’ll leave it at that.”
Wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson, who caught two touchdown passes against the Jaguars in Week 17, was inactive.
One potential explanation for the move was that the Patriots were missing multiple defensive backs, with Kyle Dugger out with a hand injury and Myles Bryant on the COVID-19/reserve list.
“You’re only allowed two standard activations,” said Belichick regarding Wilkerson’s status.
The Patriots now head into the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs at 10-7, and the New England coach is looking to turn the page.
“We’ll go back to work here,” said Belichick. “Look at the game today and get ready for next week.”