LAS VEGAS (AP) — New England coach Bill Belichick uttered the same word 10 times during a postgame press conference that lasted a little more than four minutes.
It summed up the Patriots’ 30-24 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, with by far the biggest miscue coming on the final play of the game.
After trailing 17-3 at the halftime break, the Patriots scored 21 unanswered goals to take a 24-17 lead with just four minutes remaining.
But Las Vegas — which came in 0-4 when leading by double digits at halftime, the first team since at least 1930 to lose four times in a season when leading by double digits at the half — answered with a pair of touchdowns in the final 37 seconds.
“Collectively made too many mistakes and gave up some big plays that were obviously the difference in the game,” Belichick said.
One mistake in particular The Raiders won the game and knocked out the Patriots (7-7), who were in playoff position in AFC.
New England’s running back Rhamondre Stephenson gained 23 yards on their final play. He then pitched the ball to Jakobi Meyers wide receiver, who then backedtracked and tossed it towards quarterback Mac Jones. Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones grabbed the ball from Mac Jones, stiff-armed Mac Jones, and ran 48 yards to win the walk-off.
“Obviously we made a mistake on it,” Belichick added. “Made a mistake on the play.”
Meyers and Stevenson took full responsibility. Each said it was their job take a knee to send the game to overtime.
“The play call was just a draw play — nothing more, nothing less than that,” Stevenson said. “I’m supposed to know the situation. I’m supposed to know how much time is on the clock in critical situations and I failed to do that today.”
Stevenson stated that the play started with him and that Meyers would not have received the ball if he had.
Meyers stated that he was trying to be a hero, by extending play.
“That ain’t his fault. He gave me the ball, I got to be smart with it,” Meyers said. “I thought I saw Mac open. I didn’t see Chandler Jones at the time. He seemed open and I tried to get it in his hands. After that, he allowed me to play with it. But the score was tied, so like I said, I should have just laid down.”
Belichick highlighted many mistakes made earlier in the game.
Bad snaps resulted in a blocked kick. With just under two minutes remaining, a false start resulted in a New England punt. And the Patriots allowed Raiders a fourth and 10 on their tying drive.
“Obviously we’ve got to do a better job playing situational football and not make critical mistakes in the game,” Belichick said. “We need to try to eliminate all the mistakes that we made. You just can’t do this in this league. It was time to fix those issues and play good football. We just made too many errors and made too many bad plays to win. That was obvious.”
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