Patriots

No Patriots kneel during national anthem prior to game vs. Panthers

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No Patriots kneel during national anthem prior to game vs. Panthers

One week after 16 players took a knee, all Patriots players stood for the national anthem prior to Sunday's game against the Panthers at Gillette Stadium.

The Panthers, who did not kneel last week, again stood on Sunday.

The national anthem remains in focus a week after the number of players kneeling went up following criticism from Donald Trump. Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills all took a knee ahead of the Dolphins' loss to the Saints in London. 

McDaniels takes the blame for offense: 'I need to get better'

McDaniels takes the blame for offense: 'I need to get better'

A measly 10 points? 133 passing yards? If you're looking to place blame for the 1-2 Patriots offensive struggles, the offensive coordinator says to start with him.

"I haven’t done a good enough job the last two weeks of putting us in the right positions to be successful, and I need to get better at that," Josh McDaniels told reporters on a conference call Monday in the aftermath of a 26-10 loss in Detroit. "I need to do a better job of helping them do that and we need to play better."

It's the first time the Patriots have lost back-to-back games by double-digits since 2002. 

"We try to come up with the right things each week, in each situation – you know, practice them and then hopefully execute them properly in the game," said McDaniels, who had agreed to take the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job in the offseason before he was talked out of it and remained in New England for a new five-year deal reportedly worth more than $4 million a year. 

Of failing to convert on third downs, McDaniels said: "We felt like those gave us an opportunity to do that, and certainly Detroit did a better job of executing and defending us on those plays than we did. So, again, I take responsibility for all those things, and they didn’t work out so we have to do a better job of finding a way to make those short-yardage conversions moving forward."

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Bill Belichick concerned with Patriots' execution, not effort level

Bill Belichick concerned with Patriots' execution, not effort level

It was an ugly night for the Patriots Sunday as they fell to 1-2 on the season with a 26-10 loss to Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions. 

Some will call this the beginning of the end for the Patriots dynasty, but Bill Belichick obviously didn't feed in to any of that in his interview with WEEI Monday. 

"It’s the execution that really concerns me. We’re trying hard, just not getting enough done," he said. "It’s been across the board. I think it’s as much a question of trying and effort as it is execution and basic fundamentals. We’re coming up short and just have to do a better job of playing."

If the issue with the Patriots to this point is execution and not effort, there's hope they can turn things around. Poor execution usually comes from poor coaching or poor personnel, and we know coaching isn't the issue. 

Another hot topic coming out of the game last night is the usage of rookie running back Sony Michel compared to veteran James White.

“I think your team evolves every year,” he said. “The more you know about it, the better you can coach it. But look, every team is going through the same thing. We’re doing the best we can with it, and hopefully we can better. We’re not anywhere near where we want to be. But nobody is going to solve that but us. We’ve got to work and figure it out.”

The receiving core has been an issue since training camp, and with Julian Edelman out for another week serving a suspension, Belichick did not give a clear idea to when we would see Josh Gordon on the field. 

“I think it’s a little too early to put out any big evaluations at this point,” he said. “As you know, a lot of performance is based on confidence, knowing what you’re doing, and being familiar, and not thinking too much and trying to play at confident game speed."

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