If the Patriots need more time to learn lessons from Sunday’s sloppy come-from-behind win in Buffalo, they won’t really have it.
Coach Bill Belichick said Monday morning his team had already begun to cram a full week into four days ahead of the home opener on Thursday against the Jets.
“There’s going to have to be some days combined,” Belichick said of the Patriots’ week-long routine for regular-season games, with the Jets arriving just four days after the Patriots eked out a 23-21 win at Buffalo.
The Patriots on Sunday were plagued by offensive miscues, including three turnovers. One of those, a fumble by Stevan Ridley, led to a 74-yard touchdown return for the Bills and resulted in Ridley being benched for the rest of the game.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Monday no decisions have yet been made on when Ridley might re-enter the lineup.
“Stevan’s got to do a better job of holding on to the football,” McDaniels said. “He knows that. And we’ll work hard with him on that.”
Quarterback Tom Brady was forced to rely primarily on three weapons in Sunday’s win—veterans Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman and free-agent addition Danny Amendola. Brady struggled to develop a rhythm with rookies such as Kenbrell Thompkins, Zach Sudfeld, and Josh Boyce, but McDaniels deflected questions about the failures of the young receiving options.
“Very rarely is it going to be perfect,” he said. “We need to correct the things that we can correct and go out there and try to improve this week.”
The short week before Thursday’s game had Patriots coaches ramping up their schedules, and McDaniels said they started reviewing game video on the flight home from Buffalo.
The team had already begun preparing for the Jets even before Sunday, but coaches had also digested video of the Jets’ Week 1 win over Tampa by Monday morning. Before the end of Monday, the Patriots planned to move on to work that in a normal week would wait until Wednesday.
“We try to cram our normal schedule into a lesser amount of days,” defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said. “Sometimes you have to push ahead a little shorter than on a normal week. You just try to get to everything as soon as you can.”