The Patriots pulled off a 34-16 victory on Saturday playing against the Houston Texans, but instead of describing the game as some fantastic win, Coach Bill Belichick sees his Patriots more like the team that “hung in there.” With the Patriots advancing to the AFC Championship Game next Sunday, New England is going to have to do more than hang in there to win, which is what Belichick passed along in an after-game interview.
According to the NFL News, beating the Patriots comes with complications because they have a “formula for success,” but that formula probably isn’t found in New England’s playbook. Simply put, the Patriots “hang around waiting for the other guy to screw up.”
There it is, another reference to the Patriots’ mode of play using some form of the word “hang.” Their own coach describes his team as “they hung in there” for Saturday’s game, and now the Patriots are described by the NFL News as a team that will “hang around,” waiting to pounce on mistakes. Both Belichick and Tom Brady admit there was a problem this week.
— ⓂarcusD2.0 (@_MarcusD2_) January 15, 2017
Belichick didn’t hold back or even make an attempt to wash over the way the Patriots played. He didn’t hesitate to throw the New England coaches into the mix as one area of the team that needs some polishing. Belichick critiqued the Patriots’ imperfection, which included pointing out what went wrong with both the players and coaches in an interview after Saturday’s win for the Patriots.
New England’s coach admitted they made a lot of mistakes, saying how “We threw the ball right at them.” Belichick also said, “We’re going to have to play better and coach better than we did tonight or there won’t be much left in our season.” He sees next week’s game as possibly their last if they don’t play better. “If we don’t improve on those situations the next time we play, it’ll probably be the last time we play,” added the iconic coach of the Patriots.
Yeah that's why Clowney went #1 overall https://t.co/tgY9pX7FKd
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) January 15, 2017
According to the Boston Globe, this game should act as a “wake-up call” for New England. They go as far as saying that if this win for the Patriots on Saturday made you feel good, “you must be wearing Tom Brady’s Under Armor pajamas.” Even Brady saw the error of their ways during the Patriots vs. Texans game.
The quarterback for the Patriots was also very forthcoming in an after-game interview. Brady said that the team lacked in all areas. From executing to turnovers, he agreed with Belichick’s critique of the game. Simply put by both Brady and Belichick – the Patriots have to play better to win next week. Speaking of Brady, MSN Sports reports he threw a tantrum in the third quarter after Jadeveon Clowney’s late tackle.
— patriots nation 1-0 (@patriotsfansfl) January 15, 2017
This tantrum bloomed after Brady had thrown the ball and Clowney continued to tackle the quarterback. The Houston Texans defensive lineman wasn’t flagged on that tackle, so Brady was irate, and a mini tantrum ensued. Brady didn’t get the benefit of a call, despite the quarterback being “used to getting as much protection from the NFL referees as possible,” writes Larry Brown on MSN.
With Belichick admitting to the news media that the Patriots “didn’t play particularly well” and that they just “made enough plays to win,” this seems to indicate much work is needed this week leading up to Sunday’s game. The Texans were not much of a match for the Patriots, as the Boston Globe suggests. They claim the “Pats can always beat the Texans.” At the end of the day, it seems just about everyone weighed in on the good, the bad and the ugly when it came to the way the Patriots played Saturday’s game.
With Belichick, Brady and the media all agreeing that this week’s game was not the most stellar performance that the Patriots have offered, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that this is New England’s fifth year in a row they’ve advanced this far in the playoffs. The Patriots have gone this far under Coach Bill Belichick 11 times. Next Sunday the Patriots will play one of two potential teams, the Kansas City Chiefs or the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to the Heavy, New England will be favored no matter which team they come up against. The game is set for next Sunday, January 22, at 6:40 p.m. EST, and it is at the Patriots’ home field in Foxboro.
[Featured Image by Steven Senne/AP Images]