Belichick hopes joint practices with Lions will lay foundation for success away from home in 2019

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The Patriots rarely lose more games than they win, under any analysis of their performance. In 2018, they lost more regular-season games away from home than they won there, compiling a very non-Patriotic 3-5 record on the road.

This year, they’re practicing with the Lions in Detroit, the site of their first regular-season road loss in 2018. Coach Bill Belichick sees the benefit of putting in work away from home.

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” Belichick told reporters on Monday. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to take advantage of it. It was an area we weren’t very good in last year. I think there’s a lot of components to that, but the bottom line was we weren’t a very good road team at all, and that’s important in this league. You’re not going to last very long when you can’t play .500 on the road or better. So, hopefully we can improve on that, and this is an opportunity for us, as I said, to take some steps, get some things ironed out, start to develop a routine, and hopefully build on it.”

Of course, the Patriots ultimately pulled their away-from-home record to .500 for the full year, winning in Kansas City to earn a berth in the Super Bowl and then winning the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Aiding the effort to get to those important season-ending away-from-home games was the ability of the Patriots to go 8-0 in Gillette Stadium last year, and to beat the Chargers there in the playoffs.

That said, the Patriots’ regular-season road struggles kept them from securing the No. 1 seed, and almost kept them from earning a bye. They’ll need to perform better as the road team in the regular season, if they hope to follow Super Bowl trophy No. 6 with a seventh.