FOXBORO -- When the Patriots lost to the Chiefs 41-14 in Week 4 of the 2014 regular season, the score indicated that the game was not competitive. But later that season, Bill Belichick referenced that low point as the moment when he knew he had a competitive group of players on his roster.
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"I thought that we really tried to compete and play hard all 60 minutes, even at the very end when we had no chance to win," Belichick told WEEI at the time. "I think that was a good sign from our team that we did that. Not that we played well, but we played hard.
"I think at that point we all kind of realized that if we could just play well and just combine that with our physical and mental toughness that we could be OK."
During a conference call on Friday, he was asked about his team's finish to Thursday night's season-opener against the Chiefs and if there were any comparisons to be made to that 2014 game in terms of the effort his team showed late in the loss.
He wasn't interested.
"I think I've said it a thousand times. I don't think anything that we did was really good enough," he said. "I'm not really interested in living in the past – in 2014, in 2015, 2003, 2004 – which constantly keeps coming up in everything about some other year than this year and this team. I don't really think all that is relevant because we're talking about another team. But we get a thousand questions about it every week. So I'm really concerned about the 2017 team and what this team is, what this team needs to do. I'm not trying to live in the past like everybody else is."
According to Tom Brady and some of the other veterans in the Patriots locker room, the team's energy and attitude -- particularly late -- needed an adjustment.
Maybe Belichick and his team will eventually look back on Thursday's loss as a turning point, the way the blowout at Arrowhead Stadium was in 2014. But right now, the effort his team showed late, like a lot of things that happened in the game, seems to fall under a very distinct category for Belichick.
Not good enough.