In the postgame interview room adjacent to his team's locker room, Bill Belichick wore a pained expression and was barely audible after the New England Patriots' last-second 31-30 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night.
You could say he spoke in a monotone. Except a monotone sounds like the roar of Niagara Falls compared to how softly the Patriots' coach mumbled.
"Good football game, tough loss, both teams competed hard," Belichick said in his opening remarks. "In the end, we came up a little bit short. Not too much more to say than that."
It didn't get an better – or any more illuminating – from there.
A sample of the question-and-answer period that followed with Belichick and reporters:
On trying to get the referee's attention at the end of the game after Justin Tucker's game-winning 27-yard field goal narrowly squeaked inside the right upright: "I'm not going to comment about that. You saw the game. What did we have, 30 penalties called in that game?"
On whether he thought he'd get fined for trying to grab the official: "No."
On what the Ravens did to get in their rhythm the last four minutes: "I don't know. You'll have to talk to them about that."
On whether Patriots' wide receiver Wes Welker -- who was thought by many to be playing a less-prominent role in the offense two weeks ago, but caught eight passes for 142 yards against the Ravens -- played hard: "I think we had a lot of guys that played hard. I can't watch everybody out there."
On the Ravens' adjustments late in the game: "I don't know. I thought we moved the ball pretty well in the second half. But you'll have to ask them what adjustments they made. You'll have to talk to them about that."
It was Belichick at his testy, tight-lipped best.
Inside the Patriots locker room, the mood was equally funereal.
"We just didn't make enough plays in the game to top it off," said Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited to two catches for 21 yards by the Ravens' defense. "We've got to finish and execute and play 60 minutes of football."
The Patriots, who dropped to 1-2 with the loss, were guarded in talking about the choppy flow of the game, the post-whistle shots both teams took at each other and the multitude of penalties that were called.
The replacement referees called a total of 24 penalties, 10 for 83 yards on the Patriots and 14 for 135 yards on the Ravens.
"You have to be ready for ever situation," Gronkowski said. "You get used to it. There are a lot of time-outs in the NFL. There's a lot of stops in play. You've got to be able to get the rhythm flowing after a time-out, after a flag, whatever it is. So you just have to execute at all times."
"I don't really think about that stuff too much," Patriots' safety Steve Gregory said. "I just let that stuff play out. We just have to go out and play better."