After losing to Jets, week for Patriots is “a little bit gloomier” as they try to reboundBy Howard Ulman, AP
Friday, September 24, 2010
Patriots review loss to Jets, prepare for Bills
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The video wasn’t a blockbuster for the New England Patriots. And the director wasn’t happy.
This week’s film review after Sunday’s 28-14 loss to the New York Jets was “not very fun, obviously,” wide receiver Wes Welker said Thursday.
Coach Bill Belichick could point to the two interceptions and lost fumble, the scoreless second half and the career day for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez against a young secondary.
Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain had to relive his roughing the passer penalty that helped set up a touchdown and a 7-7 tie in the second quarter.
“The week’s a little bit gloomier than normal,” Banta-Cain said, “but we’re a resilient team and Bill’s a resilient coach and he understands that we can’t dwell too much on what happened last week. But, at the same time, that bad taste is still in our mouth and we want to get it out.”
The Patriots (1-1) can get rid of it at home Sunday against the Bills (0-2). Buffalo is coming off a 34-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers and has lost its past 13 matchups with New England.
The task for the Patriots is to ignore all that and view the Bills as a serious challenge.
Belichick has a knack for making weak teams sound like Super Bowl winners and his players buy into that, even though the Bills are two-touchdown underdogs.
“They’re obviously a good team so he’s not blowing smoke or anything like that,” Welker said. “He’s just making sure we’re staying on top of things.”
Belichick actually has some evidence to back up his argument that the Bills pose a serious threat. They lost to the Patriots 25-24 in last year’s opener by allowing two touchdowns in the last 2:06. And the final score of the second meeting was close, 17-10.
“We don’t take any game lightly,” said Banta-Cain, who had five of his 10 sacks last season against the Bills. “Looking at last year, both games were pretty close. Buffalo always gives us a good fight.”
Imagine how nose tackle Vince Wilfork will feel if the Patriots lose. He was mad after losing to the Jets, a popular pick to do well in the playoffs.
“I hate to lose. I want to win every game. It’s impossible, but that’s just me,” he said. “I was just kind of frustrated, but we can learn from it.”
So the Patriots review video, study the game plan and work hard at practice. And as the week goes on, the mood lightens.
“You never know what to expect from Bill,” Banta-Cain said. “We’re always pretty intense around here on how we approach games. So there’s really never a light moment unless we create it ourselves within the players. But when it comes to Bill, it’s all about business.”
Last year’s comeback win over the Bills was a rarity for the Patriots — a solid finish in a season in which they struggled in the second half. Of their six losses, they held halftime leads in four of them.
And this year they’ve been outscored 39-14 after intermission.
“We have to know how to finish games,” Wilfork said. “That’s one thing we want to get turned around quick.”
If the Patriots do it on Sunday and beat the Bills, maybe Belichick’s film review will be less critical.
“No,” Banta-Cain said. “Sometimes he’s even more cutthroat after a win because, let’s face it, you get a win (and) some guys feel they can be complacent or kind of let up a little bit. So you never want to be too high or too low. So Bill does a good job, whether it’s a win or a loss, to keep our heads in the game.”
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