Patriots' LB on dominating NFL regular season mindset: 'It's football. We only get 16 chances'

Don't expect the New England Patriots to stop going for the knockout punch. It's a team that has only one train of thought on a weekly basis, and that locomotive is perpetually barreling full speed down the tracks with the goal of obliterating anyone and anything in its way.

Not even the headlines swirling around newly-acquired wideout Antonio Brown has altered their focus.

Their killer mentality to start the season -- following the club earning its sixth Super Bowl win in February -- demonstrates no signs of looking anywhere but forward to working on a seventh, evidenced by having now defeated their first two opponents by a combined score of 76-3. It was expected that quarterback Tom Brady would again look Father Time in the eyes and scoff in 2019, but he's now also strapped with a potent wide receiving corps and a defense that has been outright dominant in the first two games. 

Head coach Bill Belichick has never been one to allow the Patriots to play down to competition, and you can take a gander at how they outright mauled the Miami Dolphins on Sunday for reference. So when the New York Jets -- a team currently steered by 24-year-old third string quarterback Luke Falk -- head to Foxboro in Week 3, the Patriots won't view them as some hobbled 0-2 club trying to figure things out on the fly. 

Instead, they'll approach the game like they would if it was a top-seeded club standing in front of them, which is to say there will be no prisoners taken.

"It's football," linebacker Kyle Van Noy told NBC Sports Boston of the team's unwavering mentality each week. "We're trying to dominate the opponent. We only get 16 chances. People think that's a lot, but it's really not. 

"You get to showcase your talents and all the hard work you put in in the offseason, so you want to be able to play as many snaps as you can, because you never know when your last is. And with the mindset that we have here, we're trying to dominate."

So far, so good, and it's why they usually end up having at least 19 chances every year; on the whole.

The Patriots aren't playing like a team only months removed from hoisting another Lombardi trophy. They're playing like one that has never touched one and that still has a lot to prove going forward. This is one of the reasons they've been the platinum standard in the NFL since the turn of the century, and will seemingly remain so for some time to come. Much like a heavyweight boxer approaching a fight, it doesn't matter if the opponent is injured, unfocused, or simply not on the same level. 

At the end of the day, that opponent is still a heavyweight who decided to step into the ring with the goal of standing over you with their arms raised high. As such, for the Patriots, there will be no punches pulled; regardless of who the favorite might be going in.

It's almost like they're the underdog -- throwing haymakers early, often and until somebody throws in the towel -- every single week. 

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