On a fourth-and-three at the 29-yard line in the third quarter, Belichick could have called on the field goal unit to make the score 20-6. Instead, he opted to leave Tom Brady and his offense on the field, but his quarterback was sacked and the Patriots suffered a turnover on downs.
Reflecting on the game, Belichick told WEEI radio: "Those three points would have been good to have at the end of the game if we would have made the kick, which we would have had a good chance to.
"I felt like, at the time, we were down by 17 points, only had three points, and hadn't got down there very much. I don't think you're going to beat Denver kicking field goals, but if we would have had a field goal and then the two touchdowns we ended up getting later on, those would have been important points for us.
"I don't know that was the right decision. It wasn't, obviously, when we lost yardage on fourth down and gave the ball back without any points."
The Patriots have now been knocked out in the AFC championship game in both of the last two seasons. Last year, their opponents the Baltimore Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl.