As the Patriots come off a bye to face the most brutal stretch of their schedule, each game will have more ramifications than just one week ago. Because the Bills lost on Sunday, falling to 6-3, New England is now within one game of taking second place in the division and also moved up to the seventh seed in the playoffs.
Entering week eleven having won four of the last five games, the offense will need to show incredible improvement to retain their current status divisionally. The upcoming game against the Jets has become more critical than in years past, as the division has seemingly opened for the taking. Winning a second game against the Jets this season would surely increase their chances in the division and the conference, placing a lot of pressure on the outcome of Sunday’s game.
The concerns regarding the offensive struggles have remained a talking point for Patriots coaches and players, the latest to comment on the matter being Hunter Henry this week.
During an appearance on WEEI’s “Gresh and Keefe” on Tuesday, Henry echoed much of what had been heard in previous weeks from Bill Belichick and emphasized their need for a drastic change in attitude for the remainder of the season.
"“It was good to have a week off, good to evaluate all that stuff as a team, as an offense. We’ve got to attack this second half of the season with a different mentality than we have these last couple of weeks. Our defense has been playing really, really good, but we haven’t been offensively. We’re going to take pride in that, and we need to go show it on the field; instead of just talking, we need to go show it.”"
Although what Henry said is what the team has said all season, the idea of walking the walk and not just talking the talk is far more critical now than in weeks past. This point in the season is when teams are most competitive, and every win or loss can determine the fate of a team’s future. The offense needs to kick it into full gear and iron out their struggles to remain a playoff contender.
Can they do that? Will they do that? They face a tough test this week when the Jets come to town, a game result that could be the launching pad to project forward or essentially end their season.