Pats players question Belichick’s lack of underhandedness in wake of loss

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FOXBORO, Mass. — On the heels of their first loss of the 2015 season, a 30-24 overtime defeat Sunday at the hands of the Denver Broncos, several New England Patriots players on Monday expressed their disappointment that head coach Bill Belichick had not found sufficient ways to circumvent the game’s rules to secure a victory.

“When we came back to tie it late in the fourth quarter, I was certain coach Belichick was going to find a way to bend, stretch or even outright break the rules to get us a win we didn’t earn,” said Patriots tight end Scott Chandler. “But he didn’t really do anything to give us an unfair advantage, and that’s both out of character and disappointing.”

Chandler, who caught five passes for 58 yards, noted that none of the footballs he caught appeared to be tampered with, while several defensive players complained that Belichick and his staffers failed to use illicitly acquired video to determine which plays the Broncos planned to run prior to the ball being snapped.

“I’ve been a Patriot for so long at this point that it’s totally unreasonable for anyone to expect me to win a game in which I’m forced to play within the rules,” said linebacker Jerod Mayo, who has spent his entire eight-year career playing for Belichick in New England. “Like last night, how was I supposed to tackle (Broncos running back) C.J. Anderson when no one illegally informed me moments before each play if Denver was going to run or pass?”

While Belichick, a six-time Super Bowl champion who has been with New England since 2000, is widely regarded as one of the game’s all-time greatest coaches, players within his own locker room seemed less than impressed after Sunday’s loss, a defeat that derailed a season many felt was destined to end in perfection.

“I understand it was a holiday weekend, and all the distractions that come with the holidays can take away from your undying, decades-long devotion to surreptitiously tipping the scales in your team’s favor,” said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “But no amount of turkey or grandkids running around is enough to excuse the fact that Bill just didn’t do enough to sidestep league rules in a shameless attempt to keep our perfect record intact.”

But in spite of missing out on their chance at history, even the most skeptical Patriots players are confident that Belichick will avail himself of every opportunity to hornswoggle opponents from now through the end of the season.

“If I’ve learned anything about coach Belichick over the years, it’s fool him once, shame on you,” said Mayo. “But you’re not going to fool him twice because he’ll find several new and unethical ways to skirt league rules and gain an undeserved upper hand long before you do.”

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