One of the Patriots’ strongest attributes throughout the Bill Belichick era has been laser-sharp focus. New England players routinely will tell you they’re only paying attention to the task at hand: winning football games.
That’s obviously an impossible task, as these guys are human. But on Sunday, we actually heard a Patriots player admit some sight had been lost recently on what matters most in Foxboro.
Adrian Phillips, who quickly became a leader in New England after latching on in 2020, acknowledged the Patriots slipped a bit with their mental sharpness over the course of their two-week slide.
?It was super important because we know we dropped the last two games,” Phillips told reporters after the Patriots’ 50-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. “There was a lot of talking, a lot of stuff going on after the play. We kind of forgot about football and we were focused on the outside noise rather than to play between the whistles. We knew that this week we really had to go out there and play, go out there and dominate and don’t worry about anything else. For us to go out there and do that today is a step in the right direction. We just have to keep doing it.”
Perhaps the Patriots needed the type of wake-up call that comes when you lose back-to-back games. New England looked like a team possessed in Week 17, and it will be a tough out if it maintains that status the rest of the way.