It took until the seventh game, but Bill Belichick finally has something to get on his defense about in film sessions.
He's probably smiling inside about it. If you thought the media likes to nitpick and make a mountain out of a molehill, Belichick is world-class at it. Actually it's an integral part of why the Patriots have an unrivaled history in the NFL when it comes to sustained success.
Think you're a hotshot after a big game on national TV? Belichick's going to knock you down a peg in film.
Is your Twitter blowing up with your highlights? Belichick's got your lowlights teed up and ready for you.
It doesn't matter if the Patriots win 33-0, like they did on Monday night, or if they lose 33-0. The Patriots always start the next work week at zero when it comes to accomplishments. You are 0-0. You have no stats. It all starts all over again every week.
So when the Patriots arrive back at the facility this morning, the offense will still be sputtering along. The defense — which can't turn on their phones without hearing how historically good they are (and, they are any way you slice it) — will get a quick pat on the back, and then it will be their turn in the hot seat when the film gets turned on.
Yes, the Patriots are spectacular as a whole on defense. It starts with the pass coverage, which is just suffocating and nothing I've ever seen before in the league. That helps the pass rush, but it doesn't need it, not with all the read and hug blitzes, games and straight blitzes they throw at poor souls like Sam Darnold.
But the Patriots defense showed enough miniature cracks in one area of the game to give the type of opening Belichick loves. And considering the upcoming schedule, he has to be even more thrilled.
What's he going to get on the defense about?