The New England Patriots came into Sunday’s showdown against the Houston Texans with relatively high expectations. For all the team’s struggles so far this year, they were riding a two-game winning streak and taking on a group that was 2-7 on the season.
Unfortunately, the train quickly went off the tracks. The Texans played arguably their best game of the year and ultimately prevailed 27-20.
Following the outing, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media and addressed what went wrong.
“Well, it was a disappointing outcome for us today,” he admitted. “[We] had some opportunities throughout the course of the game and just couldn’t do enough with them in all areas.
“Offensively, we moved the ball, but just — let me just open it up first here. So, as I was saying, defensively, obviously all the areas of the game, the passing game, we didn’t do a good enough job there, especially in the first half,” he continued.
“We had some opportunities to convert on third down in the red area and we just weren’t able to do it. Then Watson had a good day, like we have seen him have before. They have a lot of good skill players, tight ends and receivers. So we just didn’t do enough, didn’t do enough at the critical times to, that we needed to.
“So it’s disappointing, but we’ll turn the page here and move on. Still have a lot of confidence and belief in the team. If we just do things a little bit better then the results will be different and better. But, I don’t know, we just couldn’t do it today.”
The one thing Belichick was happy about in this game was quarterback Cam Newton’s play.
“I think [Newton’s] been playing very consistently here for awhile,” he said.
“So we have seen that from him for I think a number of games here, really since the San Francisco and the Buffalo games. He’s had decent games for us, so have the receivers.”
Belichick also had nothing but praise for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“He’s very good,” the Patriots head coach admitted.
“Yeah, he’s very good at it. He’s a big, strong kid, hard to tackle, gets outside the pocket, creates some space out there. And the lines are very long. They just kind of get in the way and Watson makes things work out. He’s got good pocket presence and he’s a really good quarterback and he had a really good day today.
“All the yards they gained weren’t in the passing game either. It was him running or him throwing. It was the entire offense. He did a good job with it, obviously.”
Obviously New England isn’t going to make it to the playoffs this year, but a .500 record seemed like a reasonably realistic goal. With this defeat, that will likely be out of the question in 2020.