By: Derek Havens
Seven weeks into the NFL season and the New England Patriots are 5-1. Even though the team has one of the league’s best records and are in contention atop the AFC, people still seem skeptical of this Patriots squad.
Oddly enough, some people continue to focus only on the negatives of each game. Fact is that 29 other teams would like to be where the Patriots stand at this point season.
The Patriots traveled over 3,000 miles to play the Chargers in a true west-coast game. Not only is that impressive, but they beat a team that needed to win. I don’t know about you, but a talent stacked roster that is number one in top offensive and defensive categories playing at home should be considered tough to beat.
The Chargers showed another way to give a game away to an opponent Sunday. Whether they were mental errors, great plays, or luck, the Patriots capitalized and were more prepared. That is a testament to Bill Belichick and the coaching staff.
Bill said to the team after the game, “Don’t apologize for a win”. I could not agree more. While some players apologized for making some errors, there is time for corrections. A win on the road and in conference should not be overlooked and Bill understands that.
This tells me Belichick knows his young players expect excellence not only from themselves, but also from him and his staff. A team with that kind of dedication, drive, and commitment to excellence should be feared throughout the NFL.
This young team has been maturing and improving right before our eyes. With youth however, often comes inconsistency, which is why I am hesitant placing the Patriots in the upper echelon of teams. After all, this team still has room for improvement in almost every facet of the game.
Week by week though, doubters are proved wrong. The team has continued to make improvements and learn from mistakes after each game. Obviously, that is great to see but sustained success will only solidify those thoughts. The good news is the Pats continue to make improvements and seem to learn from mistakes after each game. We knew there would be growing pains with a young team, so the optimal word here is patience.
This next week against the Minnesota Vikings should be an intriguing game packed with excitement – and I’m looking forward to seeing how this team continues to grow in the coming weeks.