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Rob Ninkovich on M&M: ‘It hurts’ going out this way

01.21.13 at 12:05 pm ET
By
Rob Ninkovich

Rob Ninkovich

Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich and offensive lineman Logan Mankins stopped by for visits with Mut & Merloni on Monday morning to discuss Sunday night’s 28-13 loss to the Ravens in the AFC championship game.

“You put in a lot of effort and time to get to where we were last night. It hurts,” Ninkovich said. “All you can really do is try to learn from it. We’ve got a lot of young guys on defense. They got a lot of great experience throughout the season, through the highs and lows of a football year. I think we’re just going to get better from it, really. I think our future’s definitely bright.

“You’ve got to give the Ravens credit for the way they were able to play us. I think they played us the best way they could.”

Said Mankins: “Overall, we didn’t execute good enough and didn’t score any points [in the second half]. That’s what happens. You don’t score, you don’t win. … You’ve just got to take your hat off to those guys. We expected to win and we didn’t. They played a heck of a game, and we didn’t play a good one.”

Most of the focus is on the New England offense’s missed first-half opportunities to build a bigger lead and its inability to score after the break, but Ninkovich is more focused on the defense giving up 16 points after the break.

“That first half, defensively we did a good job of kind of shutting down the run game,” he said. “They really weren’t able to get anything moving on us. But at the end of the day, it’s up to us to hold them to seven points. If they score seven at the half, we should have done our best to keep them from scoring again.

“We definitely missed out on a couple of opportunities for turnovers — a missed interception, [Jerod] Mayo had a great strip on the sideline there, the ball bounced out of bounds; any other game it would have bounced back in and somebody would have jumped on it. That’s the way football is. You’ve got to deal with it. Sometimes it rolls the other way.”

To hear the interviews, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

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