September 24, 2012

With arm grab, Belichick wanted explanation of last-play FG

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, looks on during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

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Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker watches his game-winning field goal in the final moments of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Baltimore won 31-30. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

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"We go back into the locker room (and) 10 minutes or so later, Johnny comes back and says they're reviewing the play, we may have to go back out and finish the game," he said. "About five minutes after that, when the players got dressed, we came back out for a final play in that game.

"I've been through a situation in the final play of the game where it's over, but it's not over, that type of thing. That was really the situation last night. So, I was trying to get the official's attention to get an explanation on it and in no way was I trying to do anything other than that."

There were questionable penalty calls throughout the game."I'm trying to focus on coaching our football team," Belichick said when asked about his frustration with replacement officials. "We need to do a better job of controlling the things that we need to control."

There were 14 penalties against the Ravens and 10 against the Patriots.

"We've all got to understand that, hey, they're making those calls on both sides of the ball. There's some good and bad calls on the Ravens (Sunday) night. There were some good and bad ones on us," Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch said Monday on WEEI radio. "As players, we need to remove ourselves from what the refs are doing and just go out and play our game."

Last season's AFC champions haven't been doing that up to their usual standards, having lost 20-18 to Arizona before Sunday's setback.

The Patriots led 30-21 with 10:50 left, then punted. The Ravens scored with 4:01 remaining, making it 30-28, but Tom Brady and the offense couldn't use up the entire clock. Another punt gave Baltimore the ball with 1:58 remaining.

Then New England's defense struggled, capped by Devin McCourty's pass interference that gave Baltimore the ball at the Patriots 7-yard line. Two plays later, Tucker made his winning kick.

"We just don't play well when we need to," Brady said. "We've got to play our best when it means the most, and we need to start winning close games."

 

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