The Patriots were humming along on a five-game win streak before an embarrassing 34-14 loss in Cleveland knocked them off pace. The loss stunned Patriots fans, who had grown accustomed to the winning ways of the revitalized Patriots team.
Rather than complain about the loss, or let their frustrations take over, the Patriots set their sights on learning from their mistakes made in Week 9, and charged ahead toward a difficult schedule that featured the Steelers, Colts and a rematch with the Jets.
In a way, the loss in Cleveland was a wake-up call for the Patriots. Though the team was already 6-2 on the year, they knew they needed to step it up if they wanted to bounce back during the toughest stretch in their schedule.
“I think after that game, it was a gut-check time for us,” Vince Wilfork told reporters while describing the Week 9 loss. “We knew a lot of things that we did in that game, we wouldn’t have been able to win any game.”
After a week of hard work in practice, the Patriots headed to Heinz Field to face a dangerous Steelers team on Sunday Night Football. The Pats allowed 23 points in the fourth quarter, but performed at a consistent clip throughout the game, finishing with a 39-26 victory.
Throughout the 2010 regular season, there was not a more difficult turnaround on the Patriots schedule. To bounce back from a loss in Cleveland to a victory in Pittsburgh on the national stage was no easy feat, but it proved that the Patriots could handle adversity on the most difficult level.
Which game do you think was the turning point for the Patriots this season? Share your thoughts below.
Monday, Jan. 10: Who is your least favorite Jets coach in the past 15 years?