Editor's note: The following press conference transcripts were distributed for publication by the New England Patriots.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick touched on the following topics after New England's 37-31 victory over Buffalo at Gillette Stadium Sunday:
"It was good to win, good to win. Like usual. Tough matchup with Buffalo. They did a good job and fought us right to the end, but we made the plays that we needed to make. It wasn’t perfect, of course; we’ve got a lot of work to do. But in the end, I think the turnovers were the difference and we’ll just move on to Indianapolis."
Q: Danny Woodhead seemed to be a little more involved today.
"We use all of our backs. There’s no – you guys think that every game this guy’s got all these plays and the next game somebody else has all those plays. We don’t know. But they all played, they all contributed, they were all productive. And Danny made some good plays, no doubt about it."
Q: Have you seen some improvement with Cunningham rushing over the guard? It seems like you’ve done quite a bit of that this year. What do you like about that?
"He has been productive. He has been productive, yeah. Just trying to get our best guys on the field – best pass rushers on the field. He’s one of them and he’s had production for us, really, it’s grown. He's got a better feel for it. He handles a lot of communication there at the line of scrimmage in terms of what games we’re running and things like that. He’s done a good job of it."
Q: You talked this week about the explosiveness of the Bills offense. Is this what you figured you might be in for?
"Well, you know they didn’t really hit us with a lot of big plays. They moved the ball around; they got a lot of guys involved. [Scott] Chandler, [Stevie] Johnson and of course the backs, they did a good job. In the end, I think the turnovers helped us, but they’ve got an explosive group of skill players and they’ve got them all involved."
Q: Is there anything you can attribute their success on the ground today to?
"They had a lot of balance. And we missed some tackles and we didn't play some of the runs very well, but those backs are good backs and they make yards against everybody. We've got to do a better job. Give them credit: they gain a lot of yards against everybody. They do a good job. They're not easy to get on the ground, even if you play the play halfway decently, they make a lot of yards on their own."
Q: You took the bye week to fix a few things on the team, but it still seems like you guys are struggling to close out games.
"I’ll take any win. I’ll take any win."
Q: I know you will have to watch the tape, but are you a little disappointed with the lack of sharpness on defense after the bye week with the missed tackles and missed assignments?
"I thought overall as a team we just didn’t do a real good job of that. We had penalties, dropped balls, offsides, missed tackles. Missed tackles and dropped balls - that’s pretty fundamental. We just didn’t do a good job on a number of areas. I don’t think it was any one thing. Overall, we made some plays and we did some things well, but there were other things that just weren’t as sharp as what they need to be or what they should be. Yeah, we’ve got to definitely do a better job on those. It was far from perfect."
Q: What do you attribute that to? Do fundamental mistakes surprise you at this point?
"I just got through saying that I think they have a real good group of skill players that are hard to tackle. Part of that is a credit to them, but we've got to do a better job. I don’t know how else to answer the question. It's the same thing I just said."
Q: When Devin [McCourty] is at safety in the middle of the field instead of at corner, does that give him an opportunity to potentially impact more plays?
"I don’t know. Depends on the play."
Q: Do you feel like Stephen Gostkowski has been building confidence as the season goes on?
"I don’t think Stephen’s ever not had confidence. I don’t think that’s an issue."
Q: Were you impressed with Stephen Gostkowski’s game today?
"Yeah, he kicked the ball well, absolutely. But I don’t think it’s a confidence issue."
Q: Can you talk about him a bit?
"Steve is really consistent. He's real consistent. From the day he got here, he’s kicked well, he’s worked hard, he's been very consistent. Like everybody, not perfect, but good and he works hard to continually get better. That’s the way it has been when the stats say he’s doing real good, and that’s the way it's been when he’s missed a couple kicks or hasn’t kicked off well, whatever the case might be. But he’s very steady, he works hard, he puts a lot into it, and overall, he's very consistent on a daily basis. There’s not too many times when you walk off the field – in fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of more than a handful of times where you’d say, ‘Oh, he didn't have a good day today.’ There just aren’t many of those days. He kicks the ball well pretty much every time he gets a chance to kick it."
Q: His kickoffs really gave your defense some good field positions today.
"Right and we had good coverage on the couple they brought out and that was good. That was good. This is the best kickoff return team in the league – great returner, punt and kickoff returner, and that was one of the things we needed to do: neutralize [Leodis] McKelvin’s production in those areas and we did a decent job of that."
Q: We could see Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork getting after the guys a lot today on TV. Do you sense a frustration from them?
"You'd have to ask them."
Q: Is it becoming the hallmark of you defense that even though they make some mistakes throughout, they come up with the big plays when you need them?
"I don't know. It's the way it happened today, but who knows what the script will be next week. We’ve just got to go out there and try to play well for 60 minutes. That’s what we try to do every week. We want to make plays at the beginning of the game, ends of the game, all through the game, so hopefully we’ll be able to do a better job next week."
Q: Are you disappointed in Brandon Bolden’s suspension?
"Well, it's a league matter. I don't really have any comment on it."
Q: What makes Danny Woodhead so special, especially what he did today?
"I think Danny is a versatile player. He does a lot of things well. He's good in the passing game. He's got a good feel for man and zone coverages and getting open and he does a good job in blitz pickup. He runs well, reads his blocks well, he's got good quickness, he’s got some speed and really he runs strong for a smaller player. He's got a good skill set, he's smart, he works hard, always trying to improve and he does that we ask him to do, so he’s got a lot going for him."
Q: You lost both your starting guards today. Do you feel like your guys did a good job overcoming that?
"Yeah, they sure did. We were kind of fortunate there. Most of the time we only carry seven offensive linemen in the game and we happened to have eight today, so both Donald and Nick ended up filling in there. We’ll obviously have to watch the game and see how it all turns out, but there weren’t a lot of problems, I know that. That was obviously unexpected, but luckily they came through for us. That’s why everybody has to be ready. You just never know when the bells going to ring and both Nick and Donald and Donald answered it."
Q: Back to Bolden, you must have some opinion on it since it affects your team.
"Well, I can’t talk about it. I can’t get into those matters."