FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots on Sunday looked like a team that needs a bye week. Their 26-3 home win over the Indianapolis Colts wasn’t an especially lively affair, particularly from the offense.
New England not only has myriad issues to fix on offense, but it also has multiple key players dealing with injuries. And, like many teams, the Patriots have played a ton of football since late July and could use a good, long break — both mentally and physically.
Yet some players apparently would prefer to keep the train moving after picking up their fourth victory in five games and moving to 5-4 on the season.
“I think a lot of the guys actually want a game next week,” Stevenson said inside New England’s locker room after racking up 60 rushing yards and a receiving touchdown. “So, I think we’re just fired up to play. And we’re just ready to make those steps and be a better football team.”
Does Stevenson personally want to go on a bye week?
“I wish we did have a game,” he said. “I always want to play.”
That certainly is an encouraging sentiment, one that indicates the Patriots might not be as down on themselves as their fans are.
But the reality is that New England’s players, including Stevenson, need this break.
Stevenson’s season high in offensive snaps last year was 40. He’s hit that mark or gone over it in all but two games this season, including in the last five contests. The Patriots must limit his workload once Damien Harris, who missed Sunday’s game due to an illness, is back at full strength.
More than anything, New England needs to put in extra work over the next two weeks to prepare for a pivotal Week 11 rematch with the New York Jets.