The New England Patriots spent the week “starting over” after two of the worst losses in the Bill Belichick-era. That included getting back to the fundamentals and basics in an attempt of getting their season back on track.
In their first game following the new process, it was the same old result.
While the Patriots did at least find the end zone for the first time since Week 3, they again found themselves facing a double-digit deficit in the first half. And after working themselves back in the game and getting the ball back with the chance for a game-winning drive? You guessed it: they didn't score.
“Definitely frustrating,” Mac Jones said post game. “But just have to watch it all and learn, and watch it with truthful eyes. That’s all you can do and it just wasn’t clean enough across the board. There’s penalties and all sorts of things we need to clean up. It’s hard to win like that, and I’m definitely frustrated for sure.”
With the 21-17 loss, the Patriots now fall to 1-5 on the season with back-to-back games against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins on deck. While the future may look extremely bleak, the team has no choice but to keep pushing with 11 games left on the schedule.
“Obviously it’s disappointing, our record being what it is,” captain Ja’Whaun Bentley said. “We’ll reset and we’re just going to keep moving forward, mainly because that’s what we do. We just have to move forward as a team. ... We’re going to keep working and that’s all we can control. So, we just got to make sure we keep doing that.”
“We’re going to come back to work Tuesday and try to correct this ship,” David Andrews added. “That’s the only thing I know to do and the only thing I’m gonna allow myself to do. We just got to keep pushing.”
When they return to work this week, everyone in the building will have a decision to make on how things go moving forward — either roll over or keep fighting.
“It’s up to us to look ourselves in the mirror and see who we are, individually, what we’re going to bring every day,” Kendrick Bourne said. “Are we gonna just quit? Come to work to just work. Or are we gonna come to work to really work and put in effort so we can change this thing around. If we get guys coming in like that, I think it will change.”
The players believe they have the right group in the locker room to make it change.
“Adversity builds character and I think we have great character in our room with all my teammates and all my coaches,” Rhamondre Stevenson said. “It’s just on us to go out there and execute and win some games.”
“I think we have a really good group of guys and if we choose to respond the right way then it’ll be really good,” Jones added. “If we don’t, then it’ll go the other way.