Player’s React to Sunday’s Big Win, Look Ahead at What’s Next
A big win Sunday night for the Patriots. ABC6 Sports Reporter Courtney Fallon was able to catch up with players after the game and has their reaction.
“I'd love to see what it looks like when we put together 60 great minutes of football,” said Quarterback Tom Brady. “Today was 45.”
There's no place like home field advantage. The Patriots clinching the AFCs top seed Sunday, means the road to Indy runs through Foxboro. But, even from a quarterbacks perspective, this team is far from playoff form.
“Some days it's been better than others,” said Brady. “I like the way that we answered (Sunday). I mean, you never want to get down 21-nothing. But, you know if we do, we do. And, we've got to find a way to battle back.”
“You hand a team 21 points, it's not going to always turn out like that,” said Devin McCourty, interception. “So, we've really got to figure out how to get off to a better start.”
“We don't want to be doing that,” said Rob Gronkowski. “It's the playoffs now. We've got the best teams coming in the house. We've got to start in the 1st quarter. We've got to start fast. We've got to start strong. We can't be getting down like that.”
Down 21-0 in the 1st quarter, the Patriots defense was forced to make some major adjustments, like moving Devin McCourty from cornerback to safety and starting rookie Sterling Moore in the 2nd half — a move that paid off in a big way.
“You know, we say it all the time,” said Jerod Mayo, Patriots linebacker. “You talk about mental toughness on the field. He shows mental toughness in life. Just being able to bounce back from those situations and turning it into a positive — was huge.”
On the up side, the Patriots closed the book on a record-breaking 2011 regular season. Rob Gronkowski set the record for most receiving yards by a tight end, while Quarterback Tom Brady threw for over 5,000 yards on the year.
The tight end duo of Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have put up big numbers all season — the type of production they'll need headed into the playoffs.
“Like I've said, they've done a great job with that all year,” sais Brady. “And I've got to continue to get better and make better reads and make better throws and hopefully that leads to a win in a couple of weeks.”
The Patriots don't know they're next opponent. But, they know what they have to do to get ready.
“Well, every week is it's own week,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “It's its own set of challenges. Whatever our challenges are next, we don't know who that opponent's going to be. So, we'll keep working on the things that make us a better football team.”
Well, you heard the locker-room message loud and clear: This team is not content to play just three quarters of football. They certainly will have to make some adjustments before hosting that divisional match up at Gillette Stadium on January 15th.
Courtney Fallon, ABC6 Sports.