The Patriots received a wake-up call Sunday night in Baltimore.
After running roughshod over its opponents through eight weeks, New England was handed its first loss of the season courtesy of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The Patriots defense finally showed some cracks, and it’s safe to say the team as a whole has a handful of weaknesses to address as it enters a Week 10 bye.
But as former tight end Tony Gonzalez noted Tuesday, taking a thorough whooping historically has been a part of New England’s season-long process. Gonzalez is confident the Patriots will properly make the necessary adjustments moving forward, which is why he left the Week 9 primetime contest more impressed with New England than Baltimore.
“… I was way more impressed with New England. If you look back in history and you see what the New England Patriots have done for the last 20 years, you know they’re going to improve,” Gonzalez said on FOX Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself.”
“You know this is just a little glitch. It happens every year to them. It seems like they always get blown out at least once during the season and it’s one of those things. They turn it back around and they say ‘OK, we’re going to address this, address this.’ That’s why they’re so good. That’s why they always get to the Super Bowl is because they make corrections as they keep going. That’s how you do life, that’s how you do business, that’s how you do football. It seems so simple, but they have mastered that. So, looking at them last night with Mohamed Sanu, I’m excited about that. I think if Mohamed Sanu had played with New England and Tom Brady his whole career he’d be up there with one of the greats of all time. What I saw last night, that added component with Julian Edelman going down there, with Sony Michel and James White, all those guys — it’s going to be spectacular. They’re going to get it right and I’m still saying New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game against my Kansas City Chiefs.”
It probably would have been dramatic to develop actual cause for concern surrounding the Patriots after their loss to the Ravens. The first half of New England’s season was littered with cakewalks, and a rigorous test probably is what the team needed. The Ravens, fresh off a Week 9 bye, opened the contest with a haymaker, but the Patriots managed to pick themselves up and make it a game. Their comeback efforts were too little, too late, but the sense of resiliency, which Brady was happy to see, surely must have been encouraging for Bill Belichick and Co.
So while New England might not be the juggernaut fans originally thought, it still is primed for another deep postseason run.