The New England Patriots showed some improvement in Sunday's Week 8 game against the Buffalo Bills, but it wasn't enough in a 24-21 loss.
The Patriots, over the last 20 years, have won so many games late in the fourth quarter with go-ahead touchdown drives highlighted by great execution and protecting the football.
This season has been a different story. Three of the Patriots' losses came down to the final drive/play, including Sunday's defeat to the Bills when quarterback Cam Newton fumbled inside the red zone with 37 seconds left on the clock.
Newton, during his weekly Monday morning appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show", indicated that one win could get the Patriots rolling in the right direction.
"I've been one week at a time for the last four weeks. Just the vibe that you get in the locker room is, 'We just need one,'" Newton said. "Because going back and knowing this team as well as I do know this team, coming off that Raiders win, man, I think everybody had a full head of steam and momentum. And then, obviously, what happened with COVID and everything like that, it's just been a slippery slope. Walking down a slippery aisle, trying to regain your footing. And one thing that I do know about this team is once we get that first one, that next one is almost, 'OK, we know how to win. We know how this feels. This is where situational football kicks in. Let's do a better job of doing this, that and the third.'
"There's no doubt in my mind that guys are taking the proper steps and focusing on each and every day, each and every rep, each and every practice. That will inevitably lead to in-game success for one particular game. We have a relatively young, but mature team that keeps everybody focused and in line with what the common goal is for that specific day and week."
Luckily for Newton and the Patriots, they play the winless New York Jets in Week 9. The Jets are a historically bad team and have lost every single game by at least seven points.
The upcoming "Monday Night Football" matchup is a great opportunity for the Patriots to get a win, clean up some areas of their game and build some much-needed momentum for the second half of the regular season.
New England's toughest remaining game is Week 10 at home versus the Baltimore Ravens. Going into that matchup with some confidence would be huge for the Patriots.