Devin McCourty believes the New England Patriots are poised to build on their first winning streak since last December.
Speaking with The MMQB’s Albert Breer after Sunday’s 27-24 road victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, the longtime Patriots safety and co-captain said his team has found a winning “blueprint” after enduring some early season struggles.
“I think we’ve learned what our blueprint is,” McCourty told Breer. “We know what we’ve got to do each week to go out there and play well. Like, we’re not a team that’s just gonna roll it out there. And my whole time being here, we’ve never had that kind of group. So I definitely think we have confidence, and I said it probably a couple weeks ago, your record is what it is. That’s who you are. There’s nothing else to really say.
“There’s a lot of teams who have confidence. It’s about going out and doing it. I think that’s what we’re doing a good job of now.”
The Patriots won with complementary football on Sunday.
Their defense again flummoxed Chargers star quarterback Justin Herbert, intercepting two of his passes and returning one for a touchdown. Their Mac Jones-led offense sputtered for much of the afternoon but coalesced on a pivotal seven-minute drive that effectively put the game away. On special teams, Nick Folk went 4-for-4 on field goals and Gunner Olszewski had three 20-plus-yard punt returns.
“Coming into the season, everyone kept trying to make our team one-dimensional — What is the defense gonna do to help the offense? The defense has to do this and that,” McCourty told Breer. “The whole time, we talked about just playing complementary football. That’s the only way to win football games in this league. The teams are too good to play on one side, and I think you?re seeing our team just develop and learning not only to play on each side of the ball but learning how to play off each other.”
The Patriots have won two straight and three of their last four, climbing back to .500 (4-4) after a 1-3 start. Their only losses over the last five weeks have been nailbiters against two of the NFL’s best teams: 35-29 in overtime to the Dallas Cowboys and 19-17 to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think the biggest thing is you’ve got to learn how to win as a team,” McCourty told Breer. “I think, like you said, obviously (Matthew) Judon knows how to win. I would say even Mac does, being at Bama. We got winners here, but you’ve got to learn how to win as a team. And I think Bill (Belichick) said it earlier this season: It’s about playing well in the critical situations, when offensively they know we need to run the ball and stay in bounds and have good plays. And we do that.”
New England will be seeking its first three-game win streak since October 2019 when it visits the 4-4 Carolina Panthers on Sunday.