FOXBORO — To transfer previous one of many all-time blunders in NFL historical past, the Patriots are banking on two issues.
Routine and madness.
“One day at a time, one game at a time,” Belichick mentioned of his message to the crew Wednesday. “The same as always.”
“You have to embrace insanity,” added Pats captain Devin McCourty.
The two, as McCourty defined, are tied collectively. Two weeks after declaring the Patriots wanted to win their most up-to-date video games at Arizona and Las Vegas — considered one of which they famously misplaced on an ill-advised lateral — McCourty mentioned the identical factor once more Wednesday in regards to the crew’s last stretch. The 35-year-old security was totally conscious he was repeating himself. In truth, McCourty highlighted the actual fact he and the Patriots are partaking in the identical precise preparation processes this week however anticipating a distinct end result Saturday in opposition to Cincinnati.
“I think that’s the insane thing about being an athlete. … You think no matter what, you’re going to win,” McCourty mentioned earlier than later including: “I’m still going to tell you we need to win out because we still have an opportunity, we still have a chance to be in the postseason, and what’s what you play for, that’s what you play to. No matter what the situation is, you just continue to press forward and grind it out. And I think that’s what we’re going to do.”
As for latest days, Belichick wouldn’t disclose a lot about whether or not the Patriots are or aren’t recovered from Sunday’s loss. He insisted the Pats have addressed the defining second and lack of their season and are wanting forward. Eight years after considered one of his most well-known press conferences ever, Belichick is, but once more, on to Cincinnati.
“We talked about the game on Monday, and we’ve moved on to Cincinnati. We’re working on Cincinnati today,” Belichick mentioned. “They came in and ate breakfast. I saw them eat breakfast. I saw them in the meeting room. They all went to their individual meetings. Take a break to go to the bathroom and drug testing. Come back in and go to the next meeting.”
As for the gamers themselves, they have been a bit extra open in regards to the course of. Mac Jones talked about Pats wideout Jakobi Meyers is in good spirits, regardless of throwing the game-losing lateral to Raiders defensive finish Chandler Jones final week. Mac Jones additionally went as far as to say Meyers had a “great” follow Wednesday and name each week the identical, one other nod to routine.
“No matter what happened the week before, we’re running the same schedule,” Jones mentioned. “I see (Jakobi) at the same times every day and on the off day. He’s a very routine person. He’s not going to let results affect his performance. He’s going to grind and do whatever he can to help the team like he’s done since he’s been here. He definitely had a great practice today. Just proud of the way he’s responding.”
Even if the Patriots handle a comparatively regular work week, their latest routine of dropping on recreation days could proceed. The Bengals (10-4) will enter kickoff as winners of six straight, with quarterback Joe Burrow at near MVP kind. Belichick was glad to expound on Burrow’s exploits Wednesday.
“He’s a tough kid,” Belichick mentioned. “He’ll stand in there, throw the ball and take successful to make a play. Accurate, hits all of the throws, robust to sort out, manages the sport effectively, sees the sport effectively. Productive in essential conditions, third-down, pink space, huge video games. I’d say he makes loads of his finest performs on the proper time when you really want him.
Defensively, McCourty described the Bengals’ weapons as “probably the best” throughout the NFL. Wideouts Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have all caught 50-plus passes and mixed for 19 touchdowns. Limiting them can be a prime precedence, as will reviving a Patriots offense that continues to sink within the rankings of each main statistical class.
Patriots-Bengals harm report: CB Jonathan Jones restricted, DeVante Parker out Wednesday
Before they will assault Cincinnati’s protection, the Patriots know they mustn’t beat themselves, one thing they did repeatedly in Las Vegas. Before Meyers threw the ball to Chandler Jones, the Pats allowed Derek Carr and Co. to transform on fourth-and-10 deep in his personal territory. Then they yielded three straight completions and a 30-yard landing in opposition to rookie nook Marcus Jones.
Before that, proper sort out Conor McDermott false-started on a second-and-7 snap exterior the two-minute warning that successfully killed the Patriots’ possibilities at working out the clock. It marked their third false begin of the day. And earlier than all of that, Mac Jones performed considered one of his worst video games of the season, together with a misfired 1-yard landing cross to tight finish Jonnu Smith ultimately zone.
All of this, for a bottom-10 offense by factors scored and DVOA, has sadly develop into routine. To break from that, the Pats are engaged in essentially the most well-known definition of insanity — executing the identical issues and anticipating a distinct end result. This late within the yr, the Patriots really feel they don’t have any selection.
Because after Sunday’s loss, these are the stakes now.
“It’s the season,” McCourty said. “If you want to make the playoffs, you’ve got to beat three playoff teams:”
That is, until they lose Saturday. Then, subsequent week, McCourty will say they solely have to beat two.