Coach Lynn speaks to the media following loss to Patriots
AL: Well, tip my hat off to New England. They played a heck of a football game today. We dug ourselves in a hole in the first half, but the guys came back out in the second half and competed hard. It was a little too late. We didn’t play our best game today, for whatever reason, but like I said, my hat off to New England. They’ve been here before and they showed up today.
Q: What can you take away from this game today, that can help, in terms of next season? What have you learned?
AL: Well, I’ve learned that no one game doesn’t define who we are and our football season, for sure. And those men, they fought hard all year and there were some difficult situations that we fought back and won. And today, we just couldn’t get that done. But like I said, I liked the way they came out and competed in the second half. And you know, I’m not sure if you can take away anything from this one game today. You know, we got our butts kicked today. But we can learn a lot from this year and this season from one another. It’s not a comfortable moment for us, for sure, but I think in these times we can learn a lot about ourselves. And we can grow and be a better person, better teammate, better coach.
Q: Sir, you have been in the division several years before you came here. You’ve seen the best of the best of the Patriots. Haven’t seen a lot of it this year, we saw it against the Jets and today offensively, it looked like [Tom] Brady of old. Not that he’s had a great year, but today was like …
AL: I was expecting to see his best today. It’s playoff time. And he’s been here before and he’s one of the best that’s ever been on that football field, so he did a heck of a job of taking advantage of some of the personnel matchups. You know, their running backs, they ran the ball well. They caught the ball well, they extended drives and just little things like that. He’s really good at finding that and weaknesses in the defense. So, we made some adjustments, but it was a little too late. And you know, we went little, like we did last week some, but that running game was just too physical today. You know, we had to get our linebackers in and then sometimes they got us in some matchups in the passing game that we didn’t like. So, they did a heck of a job picking us apart. But we did not play good complementary football. Complementary football is what got us here, in all three phases. Today, we just didn’t play well enough.
Q: Coach, in the first half, your defense was on the field practically the whole game. Time of possession, number of plays, you just couldn’t get a stop defensively…
AL: You know, we couldn’t get a stop defensively and when we got on the field offensively, we got to stay on the field. You know, I think we had 20 plays in the first half and that’s just not enough plays to get into a rhythm. And I thought that hurt us. We couldn’t run the football, we got behind by three scores, kind of took our running game away from us, a little bit. And so, whenever we aren’t balanced on offense, then you know, we tend to struggle to stay on the football field.
Q: How much of it was what they did and how much of it was what you guys did?
AL: You know, I don’t know how much of it was what they did, but I know they did enough. I know that, and they did it early, and they did it fast and often. So we didn’t make good enough adjustments, I guess.
Q: Gus’ [Bradley] defense, you got Jahleel [Addae] on blitzing a lot. Was that something you talked about as the game was going on …
AL: Yes, we did. As the game went on, we did blitz a little bit more. We got DJ [Derwin James] down in the box, we brought him some off the edge, DJ, Desmond [King II], and we mixed it up with him and some linebackers. But we did try to blitz him a little bit more, yes.
Q: What can you say about the running game? Just like you said, you want to create balance, but it seemed like you were never able to get that going …
AL: The running game never existed today. We got in the hole too fast. We got down by three scores pretty quick and it’s kind of hard to stick with it, when you get down that much early.