This, of course, can go a few ways. And there are a couple of extremes to consider.
Some teams get slapped around like the Patriots did on Monday night, and go searching for cover. Others sustain that kind of butt-whupping, and allow it to have a galvanizing effect.
More often that not, in the past, the Patriots have been closer to the latter after getting their clock cleaned. But this isn’t the same team, and to give it credit for things that happened in the middle of this decade is to ignore how much turnover has occurred on the roster and in the team’s leadership.
No other way to say it: This has to prove that it’s as resilient as its predecessors, because that’s not always an inherited trait, and there’s one resilient bunch that’ll be waiting for the Patriots in South Florida.
“You tuck your tail between your legs and run in the house and stay inside for four or five days, you’re not helping anybody,” the locker room’s dean, Kevin Faulk, said yesterday. “Take it on head-first knowing what the problem is, and come back out there and make yourself better. Make the team better.”
So in that way, could it be a good thing, to go through something like this now?
“It’s an eye-opener, obviously,” linebacker Tully Banta-Cain said. “But we’re presented with a new challenge this week in Miami. That’s how we look at it. It’s not like we’re gonna go through this huge re-thinking of who we are. It’s more of, if we let one slip away, we gotta keep our focus, and attack the challenge we have this week.
“We’re done with the Saints, we’re moving on. We haven’t put our best game together and if we’re going to do it, this is the week to do it because we know that Miami is going to give us best, and we obviously didn’t put our best football out there last week.”
Faulk may be an 11-year veteran, but after getting through Wednesday, he said there wasn’t really any way to tell yet if the team was handling the bludgeoning properly or not. And he won’t be able to today or tomorrow either.
“Today’s not the day to determine that. That day is Sunday,” he said yesterday. “How we prepare today, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, leading up to that, it’s a lot of little things.”