After Sunday's shocking 38-13 setback against the Dolphins, many members of the Patriots expressed the need to immediately get back on the field, redeem themselves and get the bitter taste of defeat out of their mouths.
Instead, they will have to dwell on their first regular-season loss in over 21 months for an extra week.
"Absolutely it will be a long two weeks," said Richard Seymour, "but you have to take it for what it's worth. It's only one game, there's still a lot of football to be played. We can't get too low."
"Me, personally I'd like to get back on the football field," said Randy Moss. "We're going to have an off-week to take off and really focus on getting back to what we know how to do and look forward to the week after that."
Now, the Patriots are back on the practice field and preparing for a two-game road trip to the West Coast. They visit the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 5, and then travel to San Diego to play the Chargers on Oct. 12.
"It does (make it harder). I just can't wait to get back out there," said cornerback Deltha O'Neal. "I wish the bye week wasn't this week, but later in the season, so we could get this nasty taste out of our mouths."
But not everyone echoes that sentiment.
"It doesn't matter if we have a bye week or not, we still have to go forward from this," said Kevin Faulk. "This is what we do. We play football each and every week so it doesn't matter about the bye week right now."
Historically, the Patriots have had success under Bill Belichick after taking a week off regardless of when the bye week came on the schedule. Belichick is 6-2 with the Patriots after the bye, and New England has won the post-bye week contest five years in a row, including a 56-10 pasting of the Buffalo Bills last season.
"There isn't anything we can do about the schedule," said Belichick. "So, what it is we work with, try to make the best out of it and do the best that we can to improve our football team during that time."
New England faced a similar scenario in 2004 when it had the bye after playing just two games and responded by defeating Buffalo, 31-17. The Patriots have played the Bills following the bye week four straight seasons.
"I wouldn't say it's good," Rodney Harrison said of having the bye week after just three games. "It's disappointing because for two weeks you've got a bitter taste in your mouth...the only way that you get rid of that bitter taste is to just come to work and prepare. You get bitter or you get better."
This week's OT cover
OT beat writersMaureen Mullen brings you Red Sox information and insights.
Tom Wilcox covers the Patriots.
Scott Souza is all over the Celtics.
Danny Picard is on the ice with the Bruins.
Mike McDonald takes a look at the humorous side of Boston sports