Patriots search for “better” after 2-2 start

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The Patriots lost twice during all of 2016, even though they didn’t have quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games. This year, with Brady during the first four games, they’ve already lost twice.

To little surprise, coach Bill Belichick had little to offer by way of specifics to explain the performance. Here’s a sliver of his post-game press conference, from the transcript provided by the team. The key word is “better.”

Q: Is there any explanation for how some offensive players can go unaccounted for on certain plays?

BB: Yeah, we didn’t do a good job.

Q: This is the third straight home game where you’ve trailed in the fourth quarter. Is there any similarity between these games?

BB: I don’t know. They were all different teams. We’ve just got to play better, coach better. We’ve just got to do a better job. It just wasn’t good enough today.

Q: It seems like there are some miscommunication issues in the secondary that are leading to big plays for the opponent’s offense. What is the difference between this year and last year in that regard?

BB: Yeah, well, look, we made some mistakes. They made some plays. We’ve just got to do a better job. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching, a better job of playing. We need to do better in all three phases for 60 minutes. It’s just too inconsistent.

Q: Are some of the mistakes in communication the same week-to-week or are there different looks each week that are causing different problems?

BB: Well, look, whatever they are, they are. OK, I mean, we play a different team every week. Nothing’s quite the same, so in the end the team we play against we’ve got to do a better job of defending. We’ve got to do a better job of attacking, got to do a better job of field position in the kicking game. We just need to do a better job in every area, so that’s what we’ll work on.

Q: How would you assess Stephon Gilmore’s adaptation to learning your defensive scheme since his arrival here?

BB: I think collectively as a total team — offense, defense, special teams — we’ve all got to just do a better job. We’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to play better, got to play together as a team better. We’ve just got to do a better job.

None of what he said (or didn’t say) is surprising. What’s surprising is the fact that he needed to say it, over and over again. The Patriots, who a month ago were seen by many as a potential 19-0 juggernaut are currently not over .500 with 25 percent of the season in the books.

55 responses to “Patriots search for “better” after 2-2 start

  1. Gilmore stinks. I’ve been a Pats fan for 35+ years, and out of these Belichick teams, I can’t remember a worse CB getting more chances. He’s horrid.

  2. Lots of work to do on the defense to turn it into a competent group. Wish we had kept Logan Ryan and not signed Gilmore. Nink retiring is not helping. Harris was a healthy scratch so seems like for once it was the Jets who knew when to cut a player the year early instead of a year late. He has no speed left from what little we’ve seen of him. Offense isn’t compensating well for Edelman being out, which is a bit surprising.

    Lots to clean up but its plenty early in the season to do so. We’ll see how Thursday night goes.

  3. As usual the patriots defense sucks at the beginning of the year, usually doesn’t suck this bad but always gets better as the season wears on.

  4. The Pats D is galactically bad. Guys running wide open all day. RBs running untouched 8 yrds up the middle. It seems like they have a lot of good players, but I’m not sure it’s fixable. Poor TBrady. If he has the ball last, with a chance and enough time, he wins the game. The D couldn’t even do that today, although the game changing call on Gilmour was ridiculous. Now they have a short week road game against a pretty good team. Good luck. I don’t remember it being this bad since Brady and Belichick arrived. 19-0. They’ll be lucky to make the playoffs the way they’re going.

  5. I know my team isn’t very good…but I don’t comment on every thread otherwise, but I have to ask where tylawspick6 is?????? Hahahaha… any given Sunday!!!

  6. It’s never just one guy. BUT Gilmore was involved in the two places where receivers went totally uncovered, and (needlessly)committed a penalty that kept the Panthers final drive alive. Without that penalty, the Patriots get the ball with 2 minutes to go, 3 timeouts, and decent field position.

  7. “The window has slammed shut. Coaches are aware of the cheating tactics. Without the refs helping them like they did against Houston, I doubt they win a single game at home.”

    You’ve been saying the same lame line for at least 5 years dude. I know you’ll act like you’re a rocket scientist if the Pats finally have a not great season, but all you are is a broken clock bound to be right every once in a while.

  8. Yeah remember 2 years ago when the Patriots were 2-2 after 4 games and the Seahawks were 3-3 after 6 games and both teams ended up in the Super Bowl? Just saying….

    If you judge a team based on September then the Bills would be in the Super Bowl every year.

    #Ijuststartedwatchingfootballthisyear

  9. vancouversportsbro says:
    October 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm
    The window has slammed shut. Coaches are aware of the cheating tactics. Without the refs helping them like they did against Houston, I doubt they win a single game at home.

    19 13 Rate This

    ——–

    yet jerry richardson and goodell cheated the living daylights out
    of the pats today

    lol

    did you even watch the game?

    pats had the game won late and the refs came calling again

    carolina had 1 penalty on gronk and it was on a maul job

    1 penalty

    the jig is up and ratings drop further

  10. solidarityrules says:
    October 1, 2017 at 6:02 pm
    It’s never just one guy. BUT Gilmore was involved in the two places where receivers went totally uncovered, and (needlessly)committed a penalty that kept the Panthers final drive alive. Without that penalty, the Patriots get the ball with 2 minutes to go, 3 timeouts, and decent field position.

    4 1 Rate This

    —–

    he was also flagged on 2 creepy 3rd down illegal hands to the face calls that never existed extending panthers drives for a total of 10 gifted
    points

    we have seen this before early in the year when goodell pulls this crap

    it is stunning to watch

    rozelle and tagliabue never did this

    i am still laughing at the chung hold on mccaffrey

    comical beyond belief

    just what goodell tries to promote as the london game lays an egg again

    lol!

  11. OFF WITH THE ROSE COLORED GLASSES ALREADY.

    This isn’t a today problem. Four straight games is a real view of the current status of this team.

    Gilmore hasn’t yet digested the concept of team schemes in order to create harmony in the secondary (so he is buying time talking about communication), and the offensive line is playing like TB12 can make it happen without blockers. “Hope” is for next year. Fix it or change it.

  12. Have to be honest, right now that secondary couldn’t cover a sleeping baby with a blanket. There’s far too much talent back there for that to be the case and it seems largely to be communication and mental errors causing it. Outside of Browner it’s possible Gilmore may be the dumbest corner of the Belichick era. Maybe he just isn’t capable of grasping the scheme and they just have to either dumb it down or sit him down.

  13. I’m not sure Malcolm Butler would have been worth the $13M/year they decided to hand to Gilmore, but even with his slump in week 2, he’s definitely outplaying him thus far and appears to be displaying more effort (at least from the TV angles).

    You can’t help but wonder how the secondary would be performing if they had managed to keep the band together from last year (ie, Harmon, etc).

  14. goodellisaclown says:
    October 1, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    You can’t help but wonder how the secondary would be performing if they had managed to keep the band together from last year (ie, Harmon, etc).
    ________________________________________________

    Harmon is still with them, it’s Ryan that’s gone. Gilmore instead of Ryan is the only real change back there. The band that wasn’t kept together was the 7 in front of them.

  15. Look Pats fans… stop blaming the officials, yes they suck but they suck each and every week and each and every game. The calls go both ways. Pats D is not very good right now. BB will get it figured out but until then you may lose some games. But take the loss like a man and stop playing the blame game.. you sound like Hillary Clinton blaming others as to why she lost election.
    Any given Sunday and any given team can win. But just STOP with the blaming the officials for this loss..

  16. Chin up! Not worried 🙂 When you have players saying they’re not on the same page you know the coaches are a few steps ahead of them,

    They’ll figure it out. 🙂

  17. So if Stephone Gillmore isn’t killing your team by blowing assignments each week (had another one today) he is doing it by getting a 1st down penalty after your D finally stops somone which resulted on the game winning drive. Bad signing Hoody

  18. Guys, the Patriots faced only 3 top-15 quarterbacks last year. One of them is Big Ben, and the Pats own the Steels. The other two were Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan. Wilson beat the Pats in NE, and Ryan SHOULD have beat them on a neutral turf. Pats just had a cake-walk schedule last year. (And they were lucky their 39-year old QB only had to play 12 regular season games – thanks to Goddell). There facing a tougher schedule this year.

  19. finzfan49 says:
    October 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm
    Look Pats fans… stop blaming the officials, yes they suck but they suck each and every week and each and every game. The calls go both ways. Pats D is not very good right now. BB will get it figured out but until then you may lose some games. But take the loss like a man and stop playing the blame game.. you sound like Hillary Clinton blaming others as to why she lost election.
    Any given Sunday and any given team can win. But just STOP with the blaming the officials for this loss..

    ——————
    Wha???

    I dont see one person for or against the Pats blaming anything on the officials. It seems universally agreed by fans (bummed) and haters (thrilled) alike that the defense just isnt getting the job done. Frankly that defense has lost four football games so far and lost them badly. They are lucky Brady and the offense bailed them out twice.

    Gosh if it was just the officials there would be more hope for the Patriots. That would be awesome if it was just about the officiating.

  20. Tee hee 🙂 I see my pet concussion182 can’t help himself! It’s so easy to get under your skin!

    May you never… EVER… stop thinking of me. 🙂

    I own you 🙂

    And the best part of all?

    I always will.

    🙂

  21. Panoramic Wifi says:
    October 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Wha???

    I dont see one person for or against the Pats blaming anything on the officials.
    ____________________________________________________

    Look again, trollspick6 of course is laying the blame on officials and Goodell and ignoring the horrific secondary play. I know most Pats fans ignore her posts but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there like a black hole of nonsense swallowing the common sense around them. It’s only natural that a dollfan would tar us all with that brush. The fish may have been shut out this morning but their ‘fan’ won the SB when the Pats lost.

  22. When you are unable to cheat, the game gets a lil harder huh Tom?

    Watch for Brady to retire after this season, as his fake career is over

  23. Iknowitall says:
    October 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    When you are unable to cheat, the game gets a lil harder huh Tom?
    ___________________________________________________

    7 id’s down, 87 to go. Oh wait, 20 of them are dollfan id’s and they were shutout so only 67 to go. You can do that standing on you head chip.

  24. Ahh! The only thing better than seeing the Pats give up another 30 spot at home (3rd in a row I might add), is seeing the trolls try to justify that loss by blaming the refs (again) and spinning it in every direction when the truth is that your 2017 Belichick defense is terrible. A little dose of reality gentlemen.
    Get used to it.

  25. The secondary breakdowns are on either McCourty or the coaching staff or both. It’s pretty obvious these guys don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing back there.

  26. don’t forget, had several fumbles or missed interceptions gone differently NE could very well have lost at home vs. Houston.

  27. Whatever happens from here … At least the Pats won the offseason and gave all that money to Gilmore , Hightower, and Harris…

    TyLaw calls it cap hell. … But most just call it chess vs checkers… Or something like that.

    Hang in here, Pats homers, you’ll be okay… Just not 19-0.

  28. Almost 0-3 at home where they used to never lose…until several playoffs…last ranked D. They sign Harris off Jets and he never plays, they release Ealy and he won the PFF game ball today. INT, 3 deflection. I just never understood the “won the offseason” chatter.

  29. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    October 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm
    Panoramic Wifi says:
    October 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Wha???

    I dont see one person for or against the Pats blaming anything on the officials.
    ____________________________________________________

    Look again, trollspick6 of course is laying the blame on officials and Goodell and ignoring the horrific secondary play. I know most Pats fans ignore her posts but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there like a black hole of nonsense swallowing the common sense around them. It’s only natural that a dollfan would tar us all with that brush. The fish may have been shut out this morning but their ‘fan’ won the SB when the Pats lost.

    ————————

    Ok you got me. I missed that one before. But yeah, I see now that he did say that.

    Sigh. (He’s all ours and you cant have him!!)

  30. skawh says:
    October 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm
    don’t forget, had several fumbles or missed interceptions gone differently NE could very well have lost at home vs. Houston.

    —————
    Heck, without one Tom Brady miracle we lose to Houston. Tom Brady miracles are certainly nice in a pinch but we cant just live by them. He does have a really impressive rate of miracles but its not 100%.

  31. Boy that 19-0 bragging sure sounds a long way off now, doesn’t it?

    Any thought of that went away with Julian’s knee ligament.

    Besides, everybody said a perfect season doesn’t matter, only the Trophy does.

  32. Not blaming the refs but Gilmore had 2 penalties that were killers. The one I do blame on the refs is defensive holding on a running play. The broadcast team was as mystified as I was. Right now NE looks like what they are, a .500 team.

  33. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    October 2, 2017 at 6:35 am
    Not blaming the refs but Gilmore had 2 penalties that were killers. The one I do blame on the refs is defensive holding on a running play. The broadcast team was as mystified as I was. Right now NE looks like what they are, a .500 team.

    ——————-
    If not blaming the refs then the best thing is dont even mention them. All it does is give the trolls something to harp on. Besides, there were bad calls that went the Pats way too so that balances out.

    Yeah, this is the defense’s fault. If they dont pick it up the Pats will be nothing more than a good football team. The goal is to be a champion so sinply being good doesnt cut it.

  34. If Hoodie can get that defense up to merely adequate levels, they could back in to the playoffs as a 9-7 wild card, run the table, and STILL win a Super Bowl. I put nothing past that team. That said, I haven’t seen a worse Patriots defense since the 90s.

  35. Panoramic Wifi says:
    October 2, 2017 at 8:35 am
    Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    October 2, 2017 at 6:35 am
    Not blaming the refs but Gilmore had 2 penalties that were killers. The one I do blame on the refs is defensive holding on a running play. The broadcast team was as mystified as I was. Right now NE looks like what they are, a .500 team.

    ——————-
    If not blaming the refs then the best thing is dont even mention them. All it does is give the trolls something to harp on. Besides, there were bad calls that went the Pats way too so that balances out.

    Yeah, this is the defense’s fault. If they dont pick it up the Pats will be nothing more than a good football team. The goal is to be a champion so sinply being good doesnt cut it.

    Sorry, I do blame the refs for making a complete wrong call on defensive holding. Why nit pick?

  36. Lemmy,

    I guess you didnt see when the officials missed the call on 4th down in the endzone in the 4th quarter when your team jumped offsides. And the phantom pass interference call on Gronk. Bad officiating works both ways. Take your losses humbly and get ready for Thursday night in Tampa.

  37. No use Belichick going into details because media and us fans wouldn’t really understand it anyway. He knows what to work on. They’ll get better and get into the playoffs. Once you do that anything can happen. Don’t win it every year and don’t ever have the most talent, but they scare hell out of everyone just by hanging around.

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