“You could argue there were elements of last night’s game in some other games, but last night’s game was the least competitive game we played,” he said. “Is that what we are? Or is that a bad night? We’ll see when we start playing again next year, I guess.”

As Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports noted, Belichick will need to make some additions if he wants to surround Jones with the supporting pieces needed to compete in the division — and also need to fix some of his own mistakes.

“But how are the Patriots going to surround him with players who make a defensive coordinator sweat? Are they going to buck convention and actually find a decent wideout early in the draft?” he wrote. “Finally, will Belichick accurately appraise his defense? Because there were key points in 2021 when he got it wrong.”

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