FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick usually urges his team to “ignore the noise.” Did the entire team skip that meeting this summer?
Based on how the Patriots performed Thursday night against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 42-27 loss, it appeared they convinced themselves they’d not only beat the Chiefs but go 19-0 and cruise to a third Super Bowl title in four years.
The Patriots would be lucky to make the playoffs if they continue performing like they did in their Week 1 loss.
And quarterback Tom Brady, who struggled without his binky Julian Edelman, going 16-of-36 for 267 yards, had strong words for his team. At least, they were strong for the typically uncontroversial Brady.
“We just have to be a lot better in a lot of areas, starting with our attitude and our competitiveness,” Brady said after the game. “We’re going to have to do a lot better than tonight.”
Brady was asked specifically about his team’s attitude.
“I just think we need to have more urgency and go out there and perform a lot better,” Brady said. “That is a winning attitude and a championship attitude that you need to bring every day. We had it handed to us on our own field. It’s a terrible feeling, and the only people that can do something about it are in that locker room. We’ve got to dig a lot deeper than we did tonight because we didn’t dig very deep tonight.”
Sounds like a team that believed the hype surrounding them, even after Julian Edelman went down a torn ACL. Perhaps the Patriots could have cruised through the season with their star wideout. But the offense sputtered Thursday night, and the defense performed even worse.
“I’ll just tell you, man. I’ve been a part of this organization for five years, and I can say we definitely needed some more energy on the sideline,” defensive captain Duron Harmon said. “It wasn’t where we were at. It wasn’t at the level that we usually have it at, and it seems like it made us pay.”
Edelman was a player who used to bring his teammates down a notch when they started to lose focus. Perhaps it’s not a cliche and the team really did miss him as much on the sideline as they did on the field.
The Patriots also turned over 30 percent of their roster this offseason from their 2016 Super Bowl LI-winning squad. Perhaps some of the new acquisitions haven’t accustomed to the winning culture.
“I don’t think the average person truly knows how difficult it is to win a game,” offensive tackle Nate Solder said. “And maybe this team doesn’t know that. But we’re going to learn and keep pushing forward.”
The Patriots also lost in embarrassing fashion in Week 1 and were trampled by the Chiefs in separate games during the 2014 season then went on to win Super Bowl XLIX. Maybe the 2017 squad was just getting both out of the way in the same game here. Those 2014 losses prove that all hope is not lost for this team. But the Patriots need drastic changes offensively and defensively before they start to look like Super Bowl contenders again.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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