New England Patriots put their 20-year streak on the line Sunday against Pittsburgh Steelers – New England Patriots Blog

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts. Quick thoughts and notes on the New England Patriots and the NFL:

1. The 20-year-old’s streak is in jeopardy: The last time the Patriots started a season in which they lost their first two games was in 2001, the longest active NFL streak without starting a 0-2 season.

That’s on the line on Sunday when the team visits the Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS, 1 p.m. ET). Some, like the former Patriots midfielder Rob Ninkovitchdubbed a “must-win” when considering the New England Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 and the Green Bay Packers in Week 4.

Existing players don’t go that far but admit they can’t afford to dig themselves deep into a hole.

“We’ve had a lot of urgency all week, and I think we understand the situation we’ve put ourselves in,” longtime captain Matthew Slater He said. “The last thing we want to do is go out and play like we did last week [in a 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins]. “

In a notable NFL story, the three teams with the longest streaks in avoiding the 0-2 start are in danger of breaking it on Sunday: the Patriots (20), the Green Bay Packers (15) and the Dallas Cowboys (11).

The Packers host the Chicago Bears, while the Cowboys – uninjured at first Duck Prescott Welcome to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Patriots players conveyed a measure of calm and confidence as the training week ended.

“The energy is great,” start the defensive intervention From this Godchaux Tell ESPN.com. “It’s one week. This is a marathon. Every game counts, but big in November and December. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to win early, because you always want to take care of business, but this is a long season.

“We have a chance to come back against a great Pittsburgh team. We will be ready to play.”

Godshaw’s view is taken into account. However, the only way the matches will be in November and December is for the team to stay afloat in September and October.

And if the Patriots fall on Sunday in Pittsburgh, they will have to face some challenges in recent history. Since the NFL expanded to 14 teams in 2020, no team that started the season 0-2 has qualified for the playoffs. Since 1990, only 11.3% of teams that started 0-2 have progressed to the postseason.

Of course, the Patriots achieved this famous feat in 2001 when they won their first Super Bowl.

2. Strange view: The Patriots of the first round Cool String He didn’t have to look far to see his Sunday challenge against Pittsburgh. In his first defensive tackle for the Steelers in their opening win of the season against the Bengals, he was a 12-year veteran defensive lineman. Cameron Heyward Rushed past the rising goalkeeper Bengals left Cordell Foolson To record a bag.

The Heyward-Strange match will be crucial to keeping the quarterback Mac Jones from harm.

“I have studied him a lot and will continue to do so,” Strange said on Friday between bites of a sushi roll with salmon, avocado and cucumber.

“But I feel like there comes a point where you don’t want to push yourself out. He wears his pants like everyone else. I think it’s very important that I do the right thing. It’s making sure I’m in a strong position, with good leverage, and I’m not too high. He takes care of me in return. Too much worry about who I’m going to oppose.”

3- Fluoresce factor: Former Patriots assistant coach Brian Flores is in his first season with the Steelers as a senior defensive assistant/midfield coach, and has been noticed in New England. Flores was 4-2 against the Patriots as Miami coach from 2019 to 2021, and his aggressiveness pressing the QBs has been well documented.

“I think BFlo is doing a great job integrating into that defensive unit,” said Patriots offensive line/communication coach Matt Patricia. “Terrell Austin obviously does a great job coordinating, but there’s definitely some influence there.”

4. Catch up with Trent: Starting to tackle the Left Patriots Trent Brown He clarified a few things in the locker room conversation, saying he didn’t speak to reporters after losing the season opener because he was rushing to visit his family before boarding the team buses. And while some took Monday’s brief video conference as a sign that he wasn’t happy, he said it wasn’t. He tells me he’s proud to be tasked with protecting Jones’ blind side, and he’s committed to doing better. “Why don’t I want to play Left Intervention?” Asked.

5 – Reunion of the gunner: Former All-Pro Patriots kick return Gunner OlszewskiNow with the Steelers, he didn’t go the cliched route when asked what it would be like to face his old team. “Anytime you play your ex, you want to show up,” he said.

Patriots players are looking forward to seeing him and stopping him.

“No one in this league appreciates what they can do more than me,” said Slater, the captain of the New England special. “I just love his story, his journey, to where he is now. He’s a top comer in this league. The thing about him is his mentality. He has no fear there. He’s going to be aggressive. His football IQ is through the roof. We think we understand how We have to play with him. It will take 11 players on the field to be locked up.”

6. Mark Welker: Wes Welker249 receptions in his first 35 games with the Patriots (2007-08) is the highest total in NFL history for any player in his first 35 games with a team, according to Elias. Stefon Diggs He could outrank her by 12 times in a home game by the Buffalo Bills against the Tennessee Titans on Monday night — his 35th game with the Buffalo. Sure, Titans coach Mike Frapel isn’t going to be planning the game with the intent of keeping Welker’s record, but whatever he cooks up to slow the Diggs down could go a long way toward helping his former Patriots teammate stay on top.

7. Visit Slater Steelers: When Slater was a free agent in 2018, he visited the Steelers. It was the only free agent visit he made in his 15-year career in the NFL, which he spent entirely with the Patriots. “It was a unique time in my career. I never imagined I would play anywhere else, but unexpected things happen in this league,” Slater said. “I grew up really hating them, because they hit my dad [Jackie Slater] At the Super Bowl, but I have the utmost respect for them, and for Mike Tomlin.”

Tomlin on the Younger Slater: “A legendary special teams player. I used to say ‘the legend of this generation’. I no longer include ‘of this generation’.”

8. Emergency Snapper: “You don’t need insurance until you need insurance,” Belichick once said. That streak came to mind when watching the Steelers’ opener 23-20 win over the Bengals, which probably wouldn’t have happened if Cincinnati hadn’t lost long. Clark Harris Injury to the right biceps muscle. This emergency snapper push Mitchell Wilcox into action, and his high, sluggish shots contributed an extra point handicap (he could have won the game with no time left) and a field goal from 29 yards missed in overtime (he could have won the game, too). For the Patriots, a defensive line Dietrich Weisz Jr.. and the back Mac Wilson Sr.. They worked as emergency snipers at the training camp.

9. Cardona Value: Joe Cardona He has taken on the Patriots’ snapper duties in every game since he was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, providing the club with perfect consistency. chargers Josh Harris He is the tallest salary earner in the NFL (averaging $1.4 million annually), while Cardona is in the final season of a four-year deal averaging $1.07 million per season. When a player like Harris of the Bengals is knocked out of the game, costing the team a key win, it highlights the often-overlooked value of the position — and close to home, how important Cardona is to New England. .

10. Did you know: The snap kick for field targets generally unfolds in 1.2 to 1.4 seconds. Anything slower is at greater risk of a potential ban, and anything faster is at risk of a mishap.