Belichick: Hit on Talib was deliberate

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, looks on during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots have returned home following a heartbreaking loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Sunday.

Head coach Bill Belichick was able to look at some of the game footage on Monday, and he had a lot to say about one play in particular.

Belichick first praised the Broncos, acknowledging his team was outplayed the night before.

“They did an excellent job. They did well defensively, Manning had a great day, they were well-prepared. They just did a better job than we did,” he said.

Early in the second quarter, standout New England defensive back Aquib Talib collided with Broncos wide receiver and former Patriot Wes Welker. Talib had to be helped off the field and into the locker room, and he remained sidelined for the remainder of the game with a knee injury.

It was a costly play for sure, especially since Broncos QB Peyton Manning went on to throw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns against an already banged up New England defense. Belichick made it clear Monday he thought it was more than just a costly play.

“I went back and watched it, which I didn’t have a chance to yesterday, and it’s a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aquib. No attempt to get open, and I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play. It’s not for me to decide, but it’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”

A timeline for return hasn’t been announced yet for Talib, who already spent several games this season on the bench with an injury to his hip. The cornerback is a free agent at the end of the 2013 season.

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