By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots needed to execute better against Miami, in all three phases. They certainly did that.
There also needed to bring a lot more energy, especially from the defense. Check.
Now, what needs to happen in order to establish more consistency?
The Patriots have had some wild ups and downs through four games. It's far from the first time the hometown team has started 2-2, but rarely have the highs and lows been so distinct. The key, now, is to string together more games like Sunday's 38-7 beatdown of the Dolphins.
However, what the Patriots do better than most teams is to put the past behind them. They'll toss the tape from a loss into the incinerator no problem, but they'll bury a dominating win just as quickly. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, already focused on the Colts, discussed the Patriots' ability to stay consistent with their approach. Which means Miami is over and it's Indy time, and what happens inside the walls of Gillette Stadium remains the same.
"The Colts, I mean, they’ve got a good football team, so we’ve really got to get ready for them,” said Gilmore. "They’re coming in here and they’re eager for a win, just like we are.
"Each week is different. You’ve got to put the win behind you, or whatever happens behind you, and get ready for the next game."
That may be tougher with only three days to get ready for Thursday, but that's a challenge that both teams are facing. The only way for the Patriots to gain an edge is for their consistency in preparation to translate to more consistency on the field. Sunday was a reminder of what they're capable of as a team. Now it's time for them to show they can do it on a game-to-game basis.
Check out more below from this week's Monday Night Notes...
They Said It...
Bill Belichick on what he saw from the front-seven, especially against the run: "Well, I think, as I said going into the game, you can’t stop the Dolphins with just one guy. They have a very good group of skill players and they have a very good offensive scheme and system. So, it’s about team defense, and I thought our team defense was good yesterday. We had contributions from a lot of different players, but the line, the linebackers, secondary played well together in their units and between the units so that we had good team defense.
"Our pass rush and our coverage were fit together, and our run force and our run fits fit together. We tackled better than we have the last couple weeks, certainly, so we were able to create more long-yardage situations, and our fundamentals and our execution were better. So, all the players did a good job on that. Again, there’s no one guy that can stop that offense, but collectively as a team, I thought that our execution was better than what it’s been."
Tom Brady on his vision for the offense and its performance so far: "I still think there were things we left out there [against Miami]. I really want to be playing our best out there. When it’s less than that, I think it’s frustrating for me. I’ve seen our best, I know what we’re capable of. I think part of it is just keeping urgency up and realizing it’s just October. We’re so far from where we need to be as a team. I think you’ve got to need to stress that urgency in practice, and then you’ve got to learn from the games, see where you’re at competitively. You’re going against a lot of teams that have different matchups and so forth, and we’re seeing what we’re made of each of these weeks. So, this is another great opportunity for us to match ourselves up against a really good team."
Cordarrelle Patterson on putting his strong game against the Dolphins behind him: "What I did [Sunday] is not going to affect what I’m trying to do this Thursday I’m not really focused on what happened [Sunday]. I’m really focused on Thursday and the execution I’m trying to bring to the offense."
Matthew Slater on his appreciation for ex-Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri: "He’s a Hall of Famer. ... The big kicks that he made here over the course of his career - unbelievable. The consistency. It’s his 23rd year in the league. He’s been playing longer than some of these guys have been alive. It really speaks volumes to who he is, the career that he’s put together. He’ll be in Canton one day."
Patriots-Colts: By The Numbers
-- This is the second time the Patriots have faced the Colts in a Thursday night game. The last time happened in the 2004 season opener on Sept. 9 at Gillette Stadium.
-- The Patriots have a 29-12 all-time record against the Colts at home. That includes an 8-2 record at Gillette, dating back to 2002.
-- New England has averaged 44.6 points in its last five games against Indianapolis. The last game, however, came way back in 2015, when the Patriots won 34-27.
-- Brady and Belichick are 10-1 in their careers in Thursday night games. Excluding season openers, they're 7-0.
-- Julian Edelman needs just 50 receiving yards to pass Gino Cappelletti for ninth all-time on the Patriots' career receiving yards list. He needs seven receptions to pass Kevin Faulk for sixth all-time in career receptions for the Pats.
-- If cornerback J.C. Jackson can record an interception on Thursday night, he'll become the first Patriots rookie since Logan Ryan in 2013 to intercept a pass in consecutive games.
Rob Gronkowski (Ankle) was listed as a non-participant in practice - on a day where the Patriots didn't practice. He simply wouldn't have participated if a practice took place. Adam Butler and Elandon Roberts were two new additions to the injury report - check out the full list here.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].