The New England Patriots could have won both of their first two matchups of the 2023 NFL season, but they're 0-2 after dropping close games to the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins at home.
Slow starts, bad offensive line play and an inability for the offense to make enough winning plays late in the fourth quarter have doomed the Patriots through two weeks.
Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon began his postgame press conference after Sunday night's loss to the Dolphins with a message. The upshot was basically that the Patriots aren't a bad team despite what their winless record might suggest.
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One way for players to galvanize the team and make sure everyone is on the same page is to hold a players-only meeting following a frustrating loss. Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub show "Zolak & Bertrand" suggested during Thursday's show that the Patriots had a players-only talk after Week 2. He didn't offer many specifics, though.
"They had a players only meeting after (Sunday night's loss), didn't they? That's what I was hearing," Zolak said, as seen in the video player above. "... I think the team talked after the game."
Judon was asked during his Thursday press conference if the team had a players-only meeting Sunday night. He said it did not happen.
"No, I think we all know where we're at," Judon told reporters. "We don't need to have a 'Come to Jesus' meeting after the second week.
The stakes couldn't be much higher for the Patriots entering their pivotal Week 3 matchup against the rival New York Jets. Since the league adopted its current division alignment for the 2002 season, 99 teams have started 0-3 and only one of them -- the 2018 Houston Texans -- made the playoffs.
That historical context, plus the fact that the Patriots have the league's toughest schedule, help explain why Sunday's game is of enormous important for Bill Belichick's team.