It was far from perfect but the New England Patriots were able to grind out a 24-17 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. The team still had its fair share of issues in all three phases of the game but overall was able to display a lot of mental toughness and big play ability throughout the contest. Naturally, it appeared to be happy in the locker room afterwards.
“That was a great win,” quarterback Tom Brady noted before telling head coach Bill Belichick that the game was “a battle”. Wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea echoed those remarks: “That's the way to battle,” he told the offensive line. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels lauded the defense when talking to defensive backs Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty: “Way to finish the game, boys.”
Belichick's postgame speech reflected the general mood in the locker room: The Patriots had just won a tight battle. “That's the way to come down here and grind it out,” the future Hall of Famer told his team. Belichick also acknowledged the improvements that team has been able to make against New York, particularly on defense: “Played better on defense, got some turnovers.”
He also praised New England's special teams unit for generating good field position all game long but simultaneously reminded the squad to keep working hard – especially with the reigning NFC champions Atlanta Falcons coming to town on Sunday: “We gotta turn this around quick and be ready to go on these guys.”
Traditionally, the final words belonged to team captain Matthew Slater: “That's a great job, fellas, it ain't always going to be easy. But, hey, we are first place in the division. So how do we feel about that?”
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