The New England Patriots looked like a tired football team in Sunday’s 34-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
And that’s understandable. The 7-3 Patriots have played 10 straight games, five of which were in prime time, before their late bye week. The Patriots were forced to play on short rest, of varying degrees, five times.
So, getting some rest this week without a game Sunday is important. But so is fixing the mistakes the Patriots made in their Week 10 loss. So, how does head coach Bill Belichick plan to manage that?
“Well, I think at this time of year rest is always a good thing,” Belichick said. “Also, practice timing and I?d say attention to fundamentals and details that sometimes get minimized a little bit when you?re doing heavy game planning and trying to handle weekly teams that have very challenging schemes and systems.
“It?s a balance between rest and improved fundamentals, improved execution in the things that we need to do better. I don?t think that we?re going to get that by just sitting around and resting, but rest is important and the health and energy of the team is important, so we?ll try to balance those things and do the best we can with our opportunity to maximize our time efficiency and the way we use it.”
The Patriots were off Monday and are in for meetings Tuesday. They have a practice scheduled Wednesday; the Patriots haven’t announced their schedule yet for Thursday, Friday and the weekend. If Belichick allows the team to get away for a four-day weekend, expect them back in the facility Monday through Friday next week.
The Patriots’ bye came two weeks earlier last season, and they practiced Wednesday and were off Thursday through Sunday. They returned for meetings Monday and practiced Tuesday through Friday the following week.
The Patriots were coming off a win before last year’s bye, however, so it wouldn’t be overly surprising if Belichick switched things up in some fashion this season.