Here’s what will motivate Patriots after playoff hopes are snuffed out – Yahoo Sports

Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:57 am

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Cassel: There's no doubt how the Pats will approach the final three weeks originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Ive been in this position before where the playoffs are basically out of reach.It's frustrating knowing the season hasnt gone the way you wanted it to go.

But you still want to go out there and perform, because this is your profession. This is what you do for a living. And if you dont give full effort and dont go through the appropriate preparations for the game, youre going to get boat raced.

You dont want to get embarrassed. You have a lot of pride as players and as an organization, so the approach in those situations is the same.

Ive been on a few teams with guys who might've checked out late in the season, where theres just a certain frustration level andtheyve had disagreements with the coaching staff.

But the Patriots are rock solid. Theyve got great veteran leadership, whether its Devin McCourty or Cam Newton --who has been around for a long time --or the veterans on theoffensive line. They're all-in. They know that they have a job to do, and theyre going to do everything they can to finish strong.

I dont think Bill Belichick'sapproach will change either. I think hell put the guys out there who give him the best possibility to win. Thats just who he is: Hes a competitor.

And even though this season hasnt gone as planned, you can build momentum with a team for next season. We went 4-12 in my first year in Kansas City, but that last stretch of games was still important for us because we had some pieces together and we started to play better football at the end of the year. The next year, we came back and won 10 games and won the AFC West.

So, Bill isgoing to do everything he can to try to win these last three games.

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If that means playingJarrett Stidham because they think he gives them anopportunity to win games, then theyll do that. If not, then Cam will play for the rest of the season. But I dont think there will be a lot of dramatic changes.

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This isnt the preseason where youre trying to see if a guy can play. If somebody is in the building there, they understand their skill set. Theyre going to approach it the same way they do every week. Their sole purpose is to go all out to win.

I believe tanking is a myth. When people on the outside say, "Im so mad they won today because it hurt the teams opportunity for a better draft pick" ...players dont think of it that way. And I know coaches dont think of it that way, especially on bad teams.

Theyre fighting for their livelihood. Theyre fighting for their next job. Theyre fighting for their families. So, nobody who Ive been around, whether its coaches or players, has talked about tanking.

The Patriots'mission is to finish 9-7. Thats their goal. I guarantee Bill is also telling them, Look, we have three division opponents, and we play these guys twice every year.

Theres motivation in beating a division rival like the Dolphins or the Bills who are stillfighting for a playoff spot. There's motivation in letting them know, "Youhad a good season this year, but were going to come back stronger than ever. Remember were still the New England Patriots."

If you win the division, youre going to the playoffs. So, when you havethree division games left, you want to go out and beat the s--- out of those guys in your division.

If the Patriots win these three division games to finish9-7? I know everyone is used to winning 12 games around here, but thats a strong finish that would say a lot about the resilience of this team after the adversity its been through in 2020.

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Here's what will motivate Patriots after playoff hopes are snuffed out - Yahoo Sports

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December 19th, 2020 at 10:57 am

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