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Patriots eager to move on to Oakland

Posted Sep 26, 2011

Bouncing back from a devastating loss to Buffalo is top priority for New England.

Difficult as it is, identifying and accepting your faults can be cathartic.

In the NFL, where even the longest weeks go by in a blink, it is imperative. Particularly when you’ve been humiliated on the road and must follow that up with a cross-country trek that forces you to leave a day earlier than usual.

Such are the circumstances the Patriots find themselves in this Monday, 24 hours after dropping a 21-0 lead and a 34-31 decision to the Buffalo Bills.  

“It’s just a tough thing to watch,” safety Josh Barrett conceded. “You have to learn from it. There are a lot of coaching points that we took from it. You know, we’ll get better.

“We have to correct them this week because we’re moving on to Oakland.”

The 2-1 Oakland Raiders, who also fell victim to the Bills before heading home to take care of another AFC East opponent, the New York Jets, yesterday. They’ve demonstrated the ability to keep pace with the 30-point outputs that East teams are capable of posting.

“They’re playing well, really well,” Barrett said of the Raiders. “It’s a situation where we have to reflect and learn from it and get back out there.”

That starts with turning on the projector, swallowing some pride, and believing in yourself to make the necessary changes.

Co-captain Jerod Mayo contended that the changes New England needs to make right now are within their power to implement.

“I think it’s good for us to get in and watch this,” declared Mayo. “We have a short-term memory, whether it’s a win or a loss. We’re on to the next one.”

“We want to be a resilient group of guys. To lose a game in that type of fashion, you definitely can’t wait to put the pads on again next Sunday. But it’s definitely going to be a long, hard week of practice. We’ll be up for the challenge,” cornerback Kyle Arrington promised.

“Extremely confident. We wouldn’t be here if the coaches weren’t confident in us.”

It’s not always easy to let go right away, though.

“The first half we came out on fire and kind of let up,” tight end Rob Gronkowski began when reporters descended on his locker.

“It’s always frustrating when you don’t win. Just have to put that behind now and come out with a strong practice week and make sure we work hard.”  

“We’re all competitors. No one likes losing, especially in this proud organization,” added Arrington. “No one’s accustomed to losing a whole lot. We’re anxious to get back out there.”

“It’s a great challenge for us,” Mayo concluded, turning his attention squarely on Oakland.

“Completely different team than Buffalo, but at the same time, their offense has a lot of weapons. It’s a great challenge for our mental toughness.”  

After a day off Tuesday, the players will begin their Raiders preparations in earnest on Wednesday. The team departs for California on Friday, in order to get a full day to adjust to the three-hour time zone difference.

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