There will be no 16-0, Part II in Foxborough this season. Not after New England lost for the first time this year in a Sunday night slugfest in Baltimore.
Against one of the AFC's top contenders in Lamar Jackson's Ravens, the Patriots were beaten on the ground, in the air, on the stat sheet and in time of possession. The Boogeymen defense gave up as many touchdowns in one game (4) as it had allowed all season. For the first time all year, New England looked like the lesser team in its 37-20 defeat.
"We competed out there. It just wasn't good enough," Patriots coach Bill Belichick mumbled after the defeat. "So we've all got to do a better job and it starts with me."
Until then, New England has work to do.
"We can't think we're gonna have a bye week and fix every problem that we had throughout the season and it'll just carry us," safety Devin McCourty told reporters. "It doesn't work like that. I think if it did, you'd see a lot of better football teams out here."
One of those football teams better than New England, at least in the standings, is the San Francisco 49ers, who because of New England's defeat, are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. At 8-0, San Francisco will put its unbeaten mark to the test next Monday when it hosts the Seattle Seahawks.
"Losses always find a way to recalibrate how you see yourself and we obviously have a lot of work to do," Brady said of his attitude toward the bye. "It just wasn't good enough. To get beat by 17 points, that's not what we're about."
"It's not the first game we've ever lost," McCourty said. "We lost a game. Get back to work. Figure it out and go play better next time you're out there."
They're on to Philadelphia.