The New England Patriots had their bye in Week 10 with a date against AFC East rival New York Jets to follow. The Jets, who were 6-3 following a Week 10 upset of Buffalo, were ahead of the Patriots in the standings. But that didn’t stop head coach Bill Belichick from worrying about other things — for instance, teams that aren’t the Jets.
Belichick stated his press conference by talking about the difficulty of preparing for the Vikings on a short week, a team for which he heaped praises upon. He talked about how good Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Kirk Cousins, TJ Hockenson, Patrick Peterson, Harrison Smith and company are.
In fact, the Vikings are so good, Belichick says he started looking ahead to the game during the bye week.
Bill Belichick really loves the Vikings and really hates the Jets
This is objectively funny, to me, for a few reasons.
The first, and most obvious, is that Belichick felt like his time would be better spent preparing for the Vikings than the Jets. The Jets, as mentioned, were ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East and conference playoff picture going into the game.
The second is that it seems he realizes what he has said and quickly pivots to talking about it being a short week and they did, indeed dig “into the Jets.”
Despite the admittedly lax preparation, the Patriots defense absolutely crippled the Jets offense. Crippled might actually be underselling it. This stat perfectly encapsulates what the New England defense did to Zach Wilson and the New York offense:
Less than three inches per play! That seems almost statistically impossible, but here we are.
Though, perhaps Bill Belichick’s time could have been better spent studying the Jets defense. The Patriots didn’t do anything on offense, themselves, and managed to win the game on a punt return touchdown in the final seconds.
We shall see if the work pays off. The Patriots travel to Minnesota on Thanksgiving night and will face the 8-2 Vikings who are coming off an anemic offensive performance of their own, a 40-3 loss against Dallas.