-- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Monday morning that "it would have taken a great effort by our team" to beat the Denver Broncos in Sunday's AFC Championship Game and "we just came up short."
"Denver played a really good game," Brady said Monday during his weekly radio appearance on Boston sports station WEEI. "They were pretty flawless. ... We couldn't force them into making any bad plays on either side of the ball."
Brady acknowledged that several factors affected the outcome of the game, including missed opportunities on his part, but gave credit to the Broncos.
"It's unfortunate for our season to come to an end like this, but I would say Denver earned it," he said. "They played a lot better than we did yesterday."
Brady took responsibility for an overthrow to an open Julian Edelman streaking toward the end zone during the first half that would have given New England some key points, as well as momentum.
"That's one I think about that impacted the outcome of the game from my standpoint," Brady said. "I need to hit that throw. That's a throw I'm capable of making and I make nine out of 10 times, but I didn't make it yesterday.
"When you get in games like this and the margin of error's slim, you've got to make those plays and I didn't make it. Sometimes it's not turnovers that affect games, sometimes it's missed opportunities, and I missed that opportunity."
Brady didn't single anyone else out and wouldn't bite when asked if he wished he had more talented and athletic receivers with vertical leaping ability, such as A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals or Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons.
"I had a Randy Moss at one point, and he was pretty good at that. ... We have a really good skills set of receivers in Julian [Edelman], and the way Austin [Collie] played yesterday, and Danny [Amendola], you know, played his heart out," Brady said. "So we had plenty there yesterday. We just couldn't do enough early in the game to put pressure on them."
Playing in the tough environment of Denver didn't help, according to Brady, but he said his team has excelled in tough environments before.
"Of course it would have been different," he said, when asked if things might have gone better in Foxborough. "[But] we would have needed to play a lot better than we played yesterday. It was more how we played than where we played yesterday."
Asked if he feels the season was a success overall, Brady acknowledged that there were many positives, but by his standard it was not good enough.
"There's a lot to be gained from seasons like this," he said. "You see players that have really emerged and become dependable players for our team. ... But at the same time, you know, I think we established a certain level of play, and we're not satisfied unless we're the last team standing. We couldn't accomplish that this year."
The Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 -- a game Brady claims he won't watch.
"Truthfully, I could care less about watching the game, and that's pretty much how I feel," he said.