New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is confident his team will play better in their next games after they lost big to the Kansas City Chiefs, 41-14, on Sept. 29.
For Bill Belichick, there is no way for the New England Patriots to go but up.
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Belichick told ESPN Boston's Lee Schecter the Patriots will have to play better after they lost, 41-14, to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football on Sept. 29:
"In an embarrassing 41-14 loss to the Chiefs on Monday night, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has one big takeaway: We need to do everything together.
"On both offense and defense, the Patriots were outplayed and outcoached by the Chiefs.
"Offensively, the Patriots were pulling and swapping linemen around and the passing game could not get going other than a few passes to wide receiver Brandon LaFell.
"'We need to do everything better offensively,' Belichick said during his postgame news conference at Kansas City. 'We had like five first downs in the first half or something like that. We did a lot of things wrong and we turned the ball over in the second half. So pretty much, we need to do everything better.'
"All eyes have been on the Patriots' offensive line that saw two rookies, center Bryan Stork and right guard Cameron Fleming, make their first starts in the hostile, record-setting, noisy environment of Arrowhead Stadium. Left tackle Nate Solder was benched for Marcus Cannon as well as right guard Sebastian Vollmer. The issues were endless on the line.
"When asked about the Logan Mankins trade after playing two rookies and seeing the offensive line struggle at all positions once again, Belichick was not willing to talk about it.
"'We can send around a lot of hypothetical questions, but we are where we are and we need to do better,' Belichick said.
"Belichick also benched quarterback Tom Brady after a late-game interception that was returned 39 yards for a touchdown by Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah. Rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw some action in the fourth quarter.
"'I think our team competed,' Belichick said. 'I thought we competed there at the end. That's what they should do.'
"The Patriots have another marquee matchup on national television on Sunday night against the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.
"'We have to have mental toughness and we are going to have to have a good week in a short amount of time,' Belichick said.
"The Patriots were viewed as a top team in the AFC that could compete for a Super Bowl, but the attention on the end-of-season goals is not something Belichick dwells on. He is moving on to next week.
"'I never make predictions going into the season,' Belichick said. 'Never have. Never will.
"'Our team is going to play better than they played tonight. Have to go to work and we have to do that.'"
Belichick downplayed a potential quarterback controversy brewing in New England, per Boston.com's Eric Wilbur:
"Is there a quarterback controversy in New England? Oh, Bill Belichick will squash that idea rather quickly, thank you very much.
"After the Kansas City Chiefs dismantled the Patriots, 41-14, Monday night, Comcast's Mike Giardi asked the Patriots head coach if the quarterback position would be evaluated during the week leading up to Sunday's game against the (Cincinnati) Bengals. Tom Brady was benched in the fourth quarter after one of the worst performances of his Hall of Fame career, throwing a pair of picks in the dreadful loss, paving the way for Jimmy Garoppolo's first NFL experience. The rookie led a touchdown drive capped by a Rob Gronkowski catch.
"Is there a chance Brady should be looking over his shoulder?
"We'll take that either as a 'No, are you (bleeping) kidding me?' or Belichick's admission that he doesn't really know how to answer that question.
"Giardi's CSN colleague Ty Law playfully -- at least, we think -- suggested that the journalist who asked the question should be fired during Comcast's post-game coverage, and then later, along with cohort Troy Brown, laughed off the suggestion that Garoppolo could see more playing time depending how badly this season spirals downward for New England.
"But Giardi's was a valid question, especially after Brady's atrocious outing in Kansas City. He's not getting benched, even with only four touchdown passes and a 79.1 QB rating on the season. He's on pace to throw only 16 TD passes. The fewest he's ever thrown in a season previously was in 2001, when he had 18 over 14 games.
"Brady isn't infallible, a matter people around here don't want to face. At 37 with fewer tools surrounding him than ever before, the point where Belichick needs to move on from Brady may be closer than anyone wants to admit.
"Is there a quarterback controversy in New England? No.
"Should there be?"
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