Patriots Dealing With Mental, Physical Challenges of Short Week Preparing for Jets


The Patriots’ big win over the Colts on Sunday was short-lived. In fact, it was even shorter-lived than usual, as Sunday quickly turned into Wednesday for Bill Belichick and company.

Typically, the Patriots will take the night after a win to really relish the accomplishment and enjoy the splendors of a victory. But this week is a little different. This week, New England has a much shorter turnaround as they head to New York for a Thanksgiving showdown with the Jets.

“It’s Friday but it’s Tuesday,” Belichick said of the Patriots’ mindset this week. “We lost three days there somewhere.”

Given the shortened schedule, rather than their normal week of preparation, the Patriots are limited to just three days of work before squaring off with their divisional rivals. And everyone is feeling the effects of the time crunch, even Tom Brady.

“It feels different than any game you play playing on this short of rest,” Brady said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “We’re just trying to put as much as we can into it in these three or four days.

“Hopefully everyone is spending their time wisely, not playing video games and stuff like that, trying to understand our plan and what we need to do.”

Fitting so much work into such a short window is never an easy feat. Belichick is well aware of that reality, as he’s been forced to streamline his team’s preparations in lieu of Thursday’s game. That means less film study, and less ground to cover.

“We just review the situations and these are the things we’ve seen them do and these are their — whatever it happens to be — their plays, their coverages, their blitzes,” Belichick said. “If we were going to show 40 plays, maybe we show 10 or 15 in that particular situation this week. We just don’t have time.”

Physically, though, Belichick compared the short week to training camp. Where players aren’t necessarily competing at 100 percent, but they still have to go out and give their best effort. But while the coach recognizes it as a considerable challenge for the players, he also knows the Patriots aren’t the only team enduring that test this season.

“It’s still a quick turnaround, no question about it. It’s a lot of preparation. It’s a lot of mental preparation. It’s a lot of physical preparation. It’s a big division game on the road,” Belichick said. “Those are all challenges but they’re the same ones the other team has so we’ll see how it all comes out.”

Brady fully understands the rigors associated with such a quick turnaround, having played in two Thanksgiving Day games in his career. But, just as Belichick alluded to, he also knows the mentally tougher team will ultimately come out on top.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” Brady said. “It challenges your mental toughness to see how much you can put into it and still be fresh for the game on Thursday night.”

The Patriots just hope they’re mentally tough enough to leave the Meadowlands at 8-3 rather than 7-4 come early Friday morning.

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