Bill Belichick discussed J.C. Jackson, ‘well-coached’ Chiefs, and Patriots’ injuries after loss

Bill Belichick discussed J.C. Jackson, ‘well-coached’ Chiefs, and Patriots’ injuries after loss

Patriots

Belichick also commented on the performance of Bailey Zappe.

Bill Belichick and Patrick Mahomes after the Patriots’ loss to the Chiefs. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

After the Patriots 27-17 defeat to the Chiefs on Sunday — taking the team’s 2023 record to 3-11 — Bill Belichick once again acknowledged that his team missed opportunities due to penalties.

“There were a lot of big plays in the game,” he told reporters afterward. “We had a couple turnovers, had one called back. Had another touchdown called back. So there were a number of key plays in the game that could’ve helped a little more than the way they turned out.”

Both sequences that were called back due to New England penalties would have otherwise resulted in potential game-changing sequences.

Aside from his own team, Belichick credited Kansas City.

“It’s competitive. They’re a good football team,” he said. “They’re well-coached, obviously have a lot of good players. Can’t give them any extra opportunities.”

Asked later in the press conference if he had been any more upset with the calls than usual, Belichick avoided blaming officials.

“Yeah, I didn’t say that. We talked about some key plays in the game, so I rattled off a few of them,” Belichick explained. “I’d say those were big plays in the game. Touchdown called back, turnover called back, interception, so there were a number of things. Both teams missed field goals, so there were big plays in the game. Scoring plays.”

The major postgame subject was the conspicuous absence of cornerback J.C. Jackson, who was listed on the Patriots’ active roster but didn’t feature.

Was Jackson available?

“No,” said Belichick.

Pressed on why Jackson was listed as available but still didn’t play, Belichick avoided specifics.

“He wasn’t available. Let’s leave it at that.”

New England rookie cornerback Alex Austin ended playing in Jackson’s role for much of the game.

Belichick said that despite being given little warning that he would be playing in an increased capacity, Austin was ready.

“We all know that when the game starts, anything can happen,” he said of Austin having to step in. “Happened a little bit before that, but he was ready to play, expected to play, and played a lot.”

A subplot of the game from the Patriots’ perspective was the plethora of injuries the team endured. Tackle Connor McDermott, guard Cole Strange, and tight end Hunter Henry all exited.

“It was tough to lose him, tough to lose Connor, tough to lose Hunter,” Belichick said when asked about losing Strange to injury, and the effect it had on the offense’s performance. “I would say it didn’t feel like we were able to do what we should’ve done in that situation.”

As for quarterback Bailey Zappe’s performance, the Patriots’ coach said he would take more time to evaluate. Zappe, making his third straight start, threw for 180 yards with a touchdown, but also a costly interception.

“I’ll take a look at it on film. Can’t watch everybody out there.”

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