Wilfork: We're 3-3 for a reason

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Wilfork: We're 3-3 for a reason

SEATTLE -- Vince Wilfork was not in the mood to chat Sunday night.

The defensive captain got dressed slowly after New England's 24-23 loss. By the time he turned around, there was a crowd of reporters waiting. They waited to hear what went wrong when the Patriots failed -- for the third time this year -- to close out a game.

Wilfork clipped off the first question before it was finished.

"We didn't make enough plays," he said. "Plain and simple."

He shook his head while he spoke like a bull being bothered by flies.

"That's all I have. Didn't make enough plays. What else can you do? We lost. We're moving on."

Wishful thinking.

On Sunday, the Patriots gave up a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter before they were felled. They did it by hemorrhaging 14 points in the final 10 minutes. Before that, the Seahawks were held scoreless on six drives over two-and-a-third quarters: Fumble, downs, punt, punt, punt, fumble.

But when it came down to crunch time Seattle was able to execute touchdown drives of 68 and 57 yards. The first was scored in two minutes; the second, even faster.

"We just didn't make enough plays," Wilfork repeated. "It's very simple. I'm not going to sit here and lie to you and say I'm not -- I'm very frustrated. I don't know what else to say. I'll probably lose my head right now. I'm very frustrated. We just didn't make enough plays when it counted . . . and it cost us."

Again.

New England's three losses this season are by two or fewer points. The 20-18 Cardinals win is immortalized by Stephen Gostkowski's missed game-winning field goal. Against Baltimore, a last-second 27-yard boot by an undrafted rookie kicker did the Patriots in by a score of 31-30.

Those are just two plays in 120 minutes of football; they don't illustrate the team's larger failings. But describing them may be just as simple. Like Wilfork said, the Patriots couldn't hit the kill switch. They couldn't even find it.

And not for lack of preparation.

"It was exactly why it was going to be. Everything they did, we knew what they was gonna do." Here, Wilfork gathered as much scorn in the back of his throat as possible before spitting his next words. "They didn't shock us."

When asked if New England's .500 record belies the team's talent, he paused for almost five seconds before answering.

"Who knows? We're 3-3 for a reason," he said. "Until we do something about it, we're going to continue to have problems."

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

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Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

When Tom Brady returns to the Patriots following his four-game suspension, his team will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

That became the reality as soon as the Jets fell to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday, 24-3. The Jets committed eight turnovers in the loss to fall to 1-2. 

The Bills and Dolphins each won their first games of the season on Sunday, taking down the Cardinals and Browns, respectively. 

With the Patriots record at 3-0 following their win over the Texans on Thursday night, and with all three of their AFC East rivals sitting on just one win thus far, even if Bill Belichick's club was to fall to Rex Ryan and the Bills in Week 4, it would still be alone atop the division.

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Surely the Patriots would like to have a zero in the loss column when Brady returns. Regardless, to be in first place when Brady's Deflategate punishment is finished -- and having achieved that mark with two different starting quarterbacks -- has to be a point of pride for the organization . . . and a source of agita for those who doled out the punishment.

Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

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Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

Must be Bills week. 

After Rex Ryan's club put together an impressive win at home over the Cardinals, 33-18, it wasn't long before the Bills coach was yapping about the Patriots and their coach Bill Belichick.

Ryan was asked about the quarterback situation in New England since both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are dealing with injuries at the moment. Who might the Bills see when they visit Gillette Stadium?

"Look, I can sit back and say I don’t care who plays quarterback, cuz I know (Tom) Brady ain’t," he said. "I don’t care who plays quarterback; Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If Belichick’s playing quarterback, we’re coming after him. I promise you that."

There's no indication yet as to whether or not Garoppolo or Brissett will be unavailable for Week 4. When asked about his level of concern when it came to his quarterbacks, Belichick didn't say much during a conference call on Sunday

Ryan, like the rest of us, will probably have to wait for the Patriots to release an injury report before he learns about the status of either young passer. And until then, he'll have to prepare for both.