New England Patriots lost their mojo, and they need to get it back soon

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots lost their mojo, their edge, their swagger, or whatever else you may want to call it, over their past two games, and they need to get it back Week 17, or they are done for.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Patriots will play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium. A loss to the lowly Jaguars would effectively end New England’s season, even if they find their way into the playoffs.

The Jags are a meager 2-13, which is good for the worst record in football. To put it simply, if the home team can’t bring this one home in style, they can pack up and kiss their 2021 season goodbye.

The New England Patriots face a win or effectively go home for the season game tomorrow

After two lackluster efforts against the Indianapolis Colts, and an even more damaging one against the Buffalo Bills, the Pats need a rebound game and they may just get it this Sunday.

They need a rebound as emphatic as the greatest player in NBA history, Mr. Bill Russell, would garner for the Boston Celtics, the greatest team in NBA history.

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The past two games have been an embarrassment for the 2021 Patriots, who seemed well on their way to a clean sweep of both the AFC East and the top spot in the entire AFC a mere two weeks ago.

That was an illusion. We used to say that they read too many of their own press clippings. Maybe they did. As was reported in the Boston Herald, linebacker Jamie Collins noted,

"According to linebacker Jamie Collins, they started getting “a little complacent”“We started feeling ourselves a little bit, but it happens,” Collins said Friday via video conference. “We dug ourselves a hole, and we’ve just got climb back out of it.”"

If that’s not a bad optic, nothing is. “Complacent”, “feeling ourselves a little bit” smack of overconfidence bordering on lethargy. Kudos to Collins for his honesty.

But let’s make this clear, it’s up to the coaching staff to ensure that those loser attitudes don’t pervade their players. And since they didn’t, the Patriots could be in trouble.

The New England Patriots coaches allowed this mess to happen

If their team is feeling a little too good about themselves, it’s on the coaches to bring them back to reality. At 9-4, they had won absolutely nothing. Yet it seems they felt they had won everything.

Bill Belichick and his staff should have made that clear to this 2021 version of the Patriots before they stunk up the past two games and put their season in jeopardy.

If it meant blowing off a practice or two to run these players ragged to bring them back down to earth, then that’s what should have been done. Obviously, it wasn’t.

The team went into Indy and then, after evidently a festive Christmas, blew a golden opportunity to at least lock up the AFC East if not more against Buffalo.

Instead, as Collins previously noted, they “… dug themselves a hole.” They did indeed. They flopped. Now with two games left, it’s time to put up or shut up.

The Bills were quite emphatic in their comments after the game. If that doesn’t get the Patriots fired up nothing will. Bill Belichick seemed a bit ill after the Buffalo game. Hope he’s OK.

If he is, he should make it clear to his team that Sunday is the beginning of the season, not the end. There is still a lot to play for. That is unless the team of the past two weeks shows up.

And quarterback Mac Jones, the super-accurate thrower before the past two games, if he’s hit the proverbial rookie “wall”, should get up and jump over it.

In addition, the sleeping defense should strap on their pads and wreck the Jaguars this Sunday. They also didn’t show up against the Bills.

Next. Pats must use Jacksonville to get back on track. dark

The past two weeks were costly, no doubt about it. But this New England Patriots team still has time to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and make believers out of their fans and observers.

And if by chance they do, and if they happen to meet up with the Buffalo Bills, who dissed them all over Gillette Stadium, there will be an opportunity for payback. And you can bet the Patriots will be ready for another opportunity to take down their hated division rival.

But first, they need to get back on track against the Jaguars, or else they may end up missing the playoffs outright. It’s time for this Patriots team to put up, or shut up.