FOXBORO, Mass. — Some assorted notes and nuggets from Monday’s New England Patriots media availability at Gillette Stadium:
— Sunday’s 27-24 home loss to the Miami Dolphins will go down as arguably the worst regular-season defeat of the Bill Belichick era. The Patriots are doing their best to put it behind them.
“We’ve just got to flush it,” wide receiver Phillip Dorsett said. “We’ve got to flush it. I think everybody probably feels the same way. We’ve got to flush it. Obviously, we didn’t play well yesterday. We know that. We lost. But we’re still 12-4, still have a chance to play, and at the end of the day, we’ve got to move forward.”
The loss prevented the Patriots from earning a first-round playoff bye, forcing them to play on wild-card weekend for the first time since 2009. They’ll host the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans on Saturday night at Gillette.
“We’ve just got to move forward,” cornerback J.C. Jackson said. “It’s just on to Tennessee.”
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy said the Patriots will be treating this postseason — which could feature games against the Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens — as a “revenge tour.” All three of those teams won their most recent matchup with New England, with Baltimore and Kansas City handing the Patriots two of their four losses this season.
— The Patriots’ defense finished the regular season ranked first in a slew of categories — including points allowed, yards allowed, third-down defense and interception rate — but struggled in key moments against Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense.
The Dolphins staged a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes that culminated in a game-winning 5-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to tight end Mike Gesicki. Fitzpatrick also led a nine-play, 83-yard touchdown drive shortly after halftime.
One concerning trend of late has been New England’s lack of takeaways. The Patriots failed to force a turnover in either of their final two games of the regular season, the first time they’d done so in consecutive games since the 2017 postseason.
Miami fumbled twice but recovered both times.
“I feel like we played great all year, man,” said Jackson, who pulled down five interceptions during the regular season. “We’ve just got to do a little bit better with our technique and fundamentals going into the playoffs.”
— Van Noy’s contract is set to expire this spring. He was asked about Saturday’s game potentially being his last in a Patriots uniform.
“I can’t really worry about that,” the linebacker said. “That will all take care of itself. I feel like the way I’ve taken care of my business on the field and off the field, it’ll all sort itself out. For me, I’m just focused on playing football and winning this game, just like everybody else in this locker room. We’re all hungry for success, and what better way to do it than playing at Gillette on Saturday. I’m excited.”
Van Noy, who has won two Super Bowls since joining the Patriots in 2016, led the team in quarterback hits with 14 during the regular season and ranked second in sacks behind Jamie Collins with 6 1/2. He also broke up three passes, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles and tallied seven tackles for loss.
Nineteen members of New England’s current 53-man roster are set to hit free agency after this spring, including quarterback Tom Brady, safety Devin McCourty, left guard Joe Thuney, linebackers Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts, center Ted Karras, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, special teamers Matthew Slater and Justin Bethel and Dorsett.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images