FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In a rare moment of in-season reflection, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick looked back on the team's season and picked an interesting moment as the turning point.
"I kind of thought that halftime of the Kansas City game was a little bit of a turning point for us in the season," Belichick said during his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI. "We were behind and we certainly didn't come back and make a game of it, but I thought we really competed hard. I thought that was a good sign, because we went down there and had good expectations -- it was a Monday night game, everybody was ready to go out there and play well against a good football team and we didn't, we were down at the half, it was on the road, and the place was rockin'.
"But I thought that we really tried to compete and play hard all 60 minutes, even at the very end when we had no chance to win. I think that was a good sign from our team that we did that. Not that we played well, but we played hard.
"I think at that point we all kind of realized that if we could just play well and just combine that with our physical and mental toughness that we could be OK. We certainly saw a good example of that in the Cincinnati game the following week. It was a short week, we didn't have time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We were on to Cincinnati in a hurry and had a lot of ground to make up. They were 3-0 coming in here, and the guys really responded and we played a good football game."
That week was easily the most tumultuous of the 2014 season, as it included reports of tension involving quarterback Tom Brady. Furthermore, the sports radio vultures were circling and many were picking against the Patriots.
What we've since learned was that Belichick wasn't operating off the same script. He saw positive signs and the promise of better things to come, keeping those thoughts to himself at the time.
He revealed them for the first time Monday.