Down 17-0 to the Miami Dolphins at halftime Saturday, and without their two best offensive lineman, the New England Patriots needed a wake-up call, and apparently they got a loud, profane one from coach Bill Belichick.
"Itâs probably not even legal for me to say it (Belichick's halftime speech) right now, so I wonât,â linebacker Jerod Mayo said, according to the Boston Herald. "Iâm not even going to censor it. Too many bleeps. But just know, we needed to come out and play better."
Mayo played just fine, with 13 tackles and two sacks, but New England's normally potent offense wasn't itself in the first half, punting six times. That had a lot to do with the offensive line injuries. Left tackle Matt Light was a last-minute scratch with an ankle injury. His replacement, guard Logan Mankins, went down in the first quarter with a knee injury.
But after going 7-for-19 in the first two quarters, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady cranked it up in the second half, going 20-of-27 for 217 yards with one passing touchdown and two rushing scores in the final 30 minutes.
âWe knew in the first half, that wasnât us,â said defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick. âIt was unacceptable. So, we turned it up.â
"It wasnât our best effort of the season," Belichick said. "But down 17-0, the players played a good enough half of football."