FOXBORO, Mass. — The frustration was evident the moment you walked into the Patriots locker room last Thursday night.
Players either were quiet and dejected after the ugly home loss to the Buffalo Bills or airing their grievances to reporters. Even quarterback Mac Jones sent not-so-subtle shots at New England’s oft-criticized offensive coaching staff.
The Patriots looked and sounded like a team on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second time in three post-Tom Brady seasons.
But the reality is New England still has a chance to right the ship. The Patriots entered Week 14 trailing the New York Jets by just one game for the AFC’s final playoff spot and still have a realistic shot at qualifying for the postseason.
That’s what center David Andrews wants his teammates to remember as they prepare for the final month of the season.
“Look, we’re 6-6, we’ve got five games left,” the veteran offensive captain said after Tuesday’s practice. “We can do whatever we wanna do and it can go one way or the other. I think everyone’s committed to trying to turn it around and making it go the right way. That’s all we can do. That’s what we’re gonna try to do.”
It would be easy for Patriots players to point fingers at each other, especially on offense. But Andrews on Tuesday was adamant that everyone inside New England’s locker room bears some of the blame for what’s been a disappointing campaign.
“It’s the greatest team game for a reason,” Andrews said. “It’s just like when you win a Super Bowl. Everybody in the organization gets a ring, right? Not just the players, not just the coaches, not just the front office, not just the owner. Everybody that had something to do with it — from the training staff to the cafeteria — everybody’s a part of it.
“And that’s how it is when it’s a loss, too. It’s not one person’s fault. … Everybody on the team can do better in some way or aspect. And as players, that’s what you can do — your execution, your preparation, your details, whatever it may be. And that’s why this game is special, why it’s the greatest team game.”
The Patriots will look to get back on track when they visit the Arizona Cardinals next Monday night.