Perry: Patriots must show urgency in must-win Week 3 game vs. Jets originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots have no margin for error.
They are 0-2 after failing to execute at a high level late in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 and the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. It’s only going to get tougher for the Patriots because they play the NFL’s toughest schedule and nine of their remaining 15 games are on the road or a neutral site.
We’re going to learn a lot about the makeup of this Patriots team on Sunday when they play the rival New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The first objective for the Patriots this weekend is don’t fall behind early. Don’t put yourself in a difficult situation trailing by two scores in the first quarter, like they did in each of the first two games.
“This is a team that needs to, is desperate to, finally show some urgency. Show a little bit of urgency. Don’t let the game come to you,” our Patriots insider Phil Perry said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub show “Zolak & Bertrand”. “Don’t try to feel out the opponent in the first quarter and fall down 16-0 or 17-3. Urgency is something I think has been lacking with this team in general for a long, long time now.”
The urgency isn’t just confined to games, practices or training camp, either. It also includes roster building and taking care of your most important player — starting quarterback Mac Jones — and making sure he has the talent around him at all positions to succeed. The Patriots have failed in that regard for multiple offseasons since drafting Jones in 2021.
“You can go back to the offseason and adding talent around your quarterback, who apparently you have no urgency in terms of finding out what you have in that particular player,” Perry said. “Where’s the urgency there? Where’s the urgency in protecting him and adding a real right tackle, as opposed to throwing a million pieces at it and hoping one sticks.
“Go back as far as you want, even 2019 when they were urgent to make the most of what looked like Tom Brady’s last year here. They’re adding receivers left and right — a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu, $8 million for Antonio Brown, urgency, urgency, urgency, trying to win right now. Where has that been since then? It doesn’t seem like there’s much urgency in the draft, or in free agency, and no urgency in terms of the spending. Where is it? There’s no urgency in those first two weeks of the season and you’re 0-2.”
It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of Sunday’s game for the Patriots. From a historical perspective, only one of the 99 teams since 2002 that started 0-3 went on to make the playoffs. They are playing a Jets team they’ve beaten 14 consecutive times and a quarterback in Zach Wilson they’ve dominated since he was drafted in 2021.
There is absolutely no excuse for losing this matchup. And if they do, it could get ugly because two playoff-caliber teams in the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints are next up on the schedule.
“This is your season. This is as must-win as must-win gets in Week 3,” Perry said. “It’s a divisional game against a beatable team. If you lose, and I sat here before Week 1 with you guys, there’s some concern in the building that if it starts bad it could go real bad, real quick. There’s concern about losing buy-in from players because it’s not the Brady era. You can’t go 2-2, hope you figure it out and then wind up in the AFC Championship Game.
“These guys don’t know that. So if you go down 0-3 and lose to Zach Wilson, that’s a problem. This is your season. You need to show urgency. You need to run the football, take some shots, you need to be aggressive defensively. Do things in this game that show the world that you’re on top of it, and on top of it early, not late.”