David Butler II/USA Today Sports

Bill Belichick defends taking Tom Brady out when he did: 'I thought that was the right thing to do'

Ryan Hannable
December 23, 2018 - 5:26 pm

FOXBORO -- With 6:39 left in the game and the Patriots leading 24-6 over the Bills, the Patriots offense took over, but it wasn't Tom Brady going under center -- it was Brian Hoyer.

This was very unusual as as typically it takes a lot more than a 18-point lead and almost seven minutes left in the game to get Brady out. 

So, why did Bill Belichick do it?

“Yeah, I thought that was the right thing to do," he said afterwards.

Brady didn't look right all game long as the 41-year-old continued to avoid hits more than usual and wasn't sharp in the passing game. The quarterback was 13-for-24 passing with 126 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Afterwards, Brady said he is not injured.

Belichick acknowledged the passing game wasn't great, but said he has confidence in everyone, including the quarterback.

“I think overall our passing game could be better, but we ran the ball well and that offset it," he said. "Some days it is the running game, some days it is the passing game. We will see what happens next week, but I have a lot of confidence in our quarterback, our receivers, our offensive line, our protection, so if we need to throw it, hopefully we will be able to throw it if we have to. If we need to run it, hopefully we’ll be able to run it.”

The Patriots are currently the AFC's No. 2 seed because of Houston's loss and can clinch a first-round bye with a win over the Jets next Sunday, or a Texans loss.

Related: Tom Brady definitively declares 'I'm not injured'