If Patriots coach Bill Belichick figures the 34-14 loss to the Browns as an "unfortunate positive," as he referred to it in Monday's press conference after he and his team steamrolled over the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-26 on their next effort, perhaps the football wizard is considering this week's empowering win as some sort of negative to keep his troops focused on yet another challenge in the Colts next Sunday. He's certainly not celebrating, nor surprised.
"Well, each week is its own new week, so we'll see," Belichick said, in reference to comparing the Patriots' last two games. "It starts all over again today.
"When it comes down to us and the Colts, it's the team that has the best week of preparation, that's able to execute the best on Sunday, that's able to take advantage of the other team's mistakes [and] take advantage of the opportunities that are out there - that's the team that will come off the field victorious. I don't know what that will be. I know we have a lot of work to do. Hopefully we'll be able to do a little bit more than they will, but that will be tough because they're a team that prepares well, [that's] well-coached [and that has] a lot of outstanding players. They have a lot of smart players. You really have to work hard to gain an advantage, so that competition will be all week."
The Boston Globe writes you can trace a team's winning or losing back to that week's practice, which several Patriots regarded as subpar in the week leading to Cleveland--wide receiver Deion Branch promised the media a different New England team against the Steelers, while defensive captain Vince Wilfork referred to practice retrospectively as "terrible." So when QB Tom Brady hit for 350 yards, throwing three touchdowns to rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski, Belichick sees players executing assignments established on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, writes the Globe.
Read more about the importance of practice in the Globe.
Patriots left tackle Matt Light referred to the extreme physicality of Steelers players late in plays on Sunday night as "extra sugar," denoting the unnecessary nature of late hits by the Pittsburgh crew. Read about the Steelers' "unnecessary roughness" in the Boston Globe.
Read about an animated Brady lighting up the sidelines to fuel his offense in the Boston Herald.