Most New England Patriots players are in uncharted waters with a 2-4 record staring up at the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East standings.
There’s still time to make up ground, but the third-place Patriots are two games back in the loss column to the 5-2 Bills and one game back from the 3-3 Dolphins. The Patriots take on the Bills this Sunday in what’s suddenly looking like a must-win game.
Safety and longtime defensive captain Devin McCourty, who has played all of his 11 seasons with the Patriots, never has finished outside of first place in the division.
He was asked Wednesday if he feels like the Patriots are still the “beast in the east.” McCourty had a very honest assessment of his football team.
“I feel like that’s a trick question,” McCourty said. “They’re first in the division. We’re 2-4. So I definitely wouldn’t call us the team to beat this year. I know, me personally, I talk about it every year, it doesn’t matter what’s happened here in the past. I’ve always said that when you talk about the Super Bowls won in the early 2000s, that doesn’t have anything to do with us. Super Bowls won in the 2010s, that has nothing to do with us.
“I would say right now, we’d be crazy to think coming into the game that we’re the team to beat. They’re No. 1. They’re gonna be a huge challenge for us on the road. The top team, we’ve got to really bring our A-game coming off three straight losses. So, I think for us, our backs are against the wall. We’ve got to go out there and play well.”