The Patriots weren’t at their best Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Still, New England managed to secure a 16-point win over a team that entered Foxboro unbeaten on the 2020 NFL season.
The Patriots improved to 2-1 with a Week 3 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Cam Newton came back down to Earth after two great outings to start his New England tenure, but the Patriots overcame the quarterback’s “subpar” performance thanks to a dominant rushing attack. New England also made a handful of timely plays on defense.
When tasked with playing word association for Raiders-Patriots, Rodney Harrison opted for a term that likely will be often used to describe New England this season: physical.
“Just physical, physical football,” Harrison said Sunday on NBC’s “Football Night in America. “That’s what (Bill) Belichick wants. He understands who he has at quarterback and they’re not going to blow people out. So, situational football, physical, play well on defense, don’t give up big plays, which they did a great job of that bouncing back from Seattle and running the football.”
The Patriots won’t be able to rely on their physicality in Week 4. New England will need to turn in a near-flawless performance this Sunday if it is going to upset the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City.