They watched film of their worst loss of the season, listened to their coach's criticism and left Monday's team meeting determined to avoid a repeat.
"Everybody looked at each other in the room before we walked out," wide receiver Deion Branch said. "You could see it in the guys' eyes. Nobody said anything. Everybody was real ticked off at their play."
The warning signs were there early.
Some of last week's practices were poor. Players lacked focus, Branch said. That was obvious on Sunday.
"Whatever you do in practice will show up in the game," he said. "You can always stay positive, but you've got to also know at the same time that if we come out and play bad in the game, we already know the reasons."
Practices provide a chance to get familiar with the next opponent and correct mistakes.
"Coach Belichick knew he didn't need to come in and do a lot of fussing and cursing," Branch said. "Guys know that we played bad. Everybody knows that."
Colt McCoy completed his last four third-down passes for first downs. Hillis rushed for a career-high 184 yards, and Chansi Stuckey scored on an 11-yard run on a trick play.
Gostkowski felt tightness in his right thigh in pregame warm-ups and didn't return after kicking off following a New England touchdown with 6:17 gone in the second quarter. The two kicks the Patriots had after that were taken by Wes Welker, an extra point and a kickoff.
"We're still waiting for more information. So that's a possibility" that the team will sign another kicker, Belichick said.
The Patriots probably would have changed some offensive decisions without Gostkowski, perhaps trying a two-point conversion.
"But it never really came to that," Belichick said. "The situations pretty much took care of themselves based on the score."
"The bottom line comes to what we do on Sundays," tight end Alge Crumpler said. "You can talk about a week of practice. I've had awesome weeks of practice and lost a ballgame. I've had bad weeks and won a ballgame. You could chalk it up any way you want to, but the bottom line is we've got to go out there for those 60 minutes and make it happen."
They will have to practice and play much better to accomplish that.
"The biggest thing is just stay in focus, going out and doing what the coaches ask us to do instead of just doing what we want to do, just running around making up plays, making up routes," Branch said. "If we execute our base offense and do what were supposed to do I think we'll be OK."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press