FOXBORO -- Before the bye week, there was a lot of talk inside the Patriots locker room about mental rest, physical rest, and self-scouting. Now that the bye week is over, the focus is placed back on their next opponent.
And the Buffalo Bills will be the first team that New England will play in what some are calling "a new season."
"I guess it just like having another season," said Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd on Thursday. "Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and in the divisions. So, you have stuff that you can look forward to, and you have stuff that you can improve on, schematically and personnel-wise. It gives you a little bit more hope and some stuff to look forward to, going into the end of the regular season."
With eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Patriots stand at 5-3 and lead the AFC East by one game. So, as Lloyd points out, everyone realizes what's at stake from here on out. And it begins on Sunday against the Bills at Gillette Stadium.
"It seems like the games are a lot bigger, they mean more," said Lloyd. "They're just more important, coming into the second half of the season and playing in November and December."
The Patriots also hope to then be playing in what they'll also call a "new season" in January, and then one more time in February.