FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Following last Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stressed that it was his team's execution -- not necessarily its effort -- that needed to improve.
Patriots guard Logan Mankins echoed similar sentiments after the team dropped its second straight on Sunday, falling 24-20 to the Giants.
"It's not effort, everyone plays with a lot of effort out there, everyone's trying hard," Mankins said. "To not put our best execution out there, it's very frustrating."
For the Patriots offense, the problems aren't hard to come by, with the unit held scoreless for the first half.
"I don't think it was so much what they did, it was just a matter of our execution and us turning the ball over, and just not doing the things necessary for us to move the ball," wide receiver Wes Welker said. "That's kind of what it came down to."
With rookie Nate Solder on the field for the Patriots as a sixth offensive lineman to begin the game, it appeared as if BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Patriots' running attack would be the story of the game. This changed quickly, however, with quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots spreading it out and looking to move the ball through the air.
"It was an up-and-down day today. We ran it good at times, bad at other times, so I don't think it was consistent enough," Mankins said. "When we started to throw the ball, that seemed to start working, so if something's working for us, we'll keep doing it."
Mankins pointed out penalties and turnovers as other areas of concern for the offense, while fellow offensive lineman Brian Waters noted the often abysmal field position the offense was handed.
"I think today was one of those days where we played with our back to the end zone," Waters said. "We had some really long fields. When we have long fields, you can get a couple of first downs and not really have gone anywhere."
Welker (9 catches, 136 yards) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (8 catches, 101 yards) were the offense's few bright spots, but both stressed their entire unit needs to execute better.
"You want to go out there and execute. We have to try and be perfect every time we're out there, every single play, and work together and do the things necessary to move the ball down the field," Welker said. "And that takes all 11 guys."
"We just weren't executing well. Everyone," Gronkowski said. "I just feel like we weren't doing that well. We came out in the second half and did a better job of it, but we have to be doing it for four quarters."
"The Giants are a good team, they have a good defense," Gronkowski continued. "[But] we definitely shoot ourselves in the foot too."