FOXBORO, Mass. — Frustration lingered in the New England Patriots’ locker room following their latest defeat.
The vibe inside Gillette Stadium on Monday was tense following Sunday’s 23-16 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
“I think guys are on edge,” Dorsett said. “We’ve got guys that are angry. We’ve all got to look at each other and we’ve got to look at ourselves and just say, ‘We’ve got to play better.’ ”
The loss was New England’s second in a row and its third in five games following an 8-0 start to the season. In those last five games, the Patriots have scored 20, 17, 13, 23 and 16 points.
Dorsett remains confident the Patriots’ offense can rebound with the assortment of weapons it currently possesses. In the last two games, Julian Edelman and James White have accounted for 56.2 percent of the team’s total yardage — including White’s 35-yard halfback pass to Jakobi Meyers on Sunday — and four of its five touchdowns.
“I don’t think we lost any confidence, but I always resort back to we’ve got to play better,” said Dorsett, who finished without a catch on two targets against the Chiefs. “We know we’ve got to look at each other, and we’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror when we go home, and you’ve just got dig down. You’ve got to dig deep. You’ve got to come to practice. You’ve got to come prepared. Wednesday, you’ve got to come ready to fight. And that’s what it’s going to be — it’s going to be a fight every week.”
Defensively, the Patriots allowed 20 points in the first half against Kansas City — including a 48-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman — but just three in the second half, holding reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes to just 57 passing yards after the break.
“I think the key right now is that urgency has got to turn up a notch,” linebacker Kyle Van Noy said. “I think that’s the message we want to have: to have that urgency not just when our back’s against the wall, but for 60 minutes. From the first snap to the last snap, just that sense of urgency needs to go up. That’s the goal, and we hope to do that this week.”
The Patriots have three games remaining on their regular-season schedule: at Cincinnati this Sunday and then home against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Win out, and they would secure at least a first-round playoff bye. (Home-field advantage still is in play, but that would require the Baltimore Ravens to lose at least two of their final three games.)
“I think everybody’s disappointed,” Van Noy said. “I’m disappointed (about) the outcome, but I’m ready to go against Cincinnati already.”