The New England Patriots are not a good football team in 2023. They are 2-9 entering Week 13, which is good for last place in the AFC East and is the worst record in the entire conference. While you and I can sit back and lament Bill Belichick's team for its lackluster year, it's jarring to hear someone on the roster actually admitting where they're at.
Following New England's Week 12 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium last Sunday, Jabrill Peppers -- who played for New York for three seasons before joining the Patriots in 2022 -- met with running back Saquon Barkley on the field after the contest went final. Barkley was mic'd up for the exchange, which caught Peppers telling him, "You lucky we ass." Of course, the safety was referring to the Patriots, who suffered the 10-7 defeat.
That clip naturally went viral and Peppers met with reporters on Friday and publicly apologized for disparaging his team in that manner.
"First of all, I just want to apologize to my teammates and the coaching staff for even having to answer questions about that," Peppers said, via ESPN. "We got more important things to worry about than me being caught on a hot mic. At the end of the day, we're 2-9, we got a top-five pick in the draft and that didn't come via trade. We all know the standard, we all know what it's supposed to look like and it's just not that right now. It's not no shot at anybody in the locker room. I said 'We." We own that. I own that. We have good players, great players in the locker room, but every team has great players.
" ... That doesn't speak to the character of men we got in this locker room. We all come to work willing and ready to do whatever we can to help this team win. The ball just hasn't been rolling in our favor and that's on no one but us."
While Peppers doesn't shy away from his comment, he was also critical that the clip was released in the first place.
"The guys in here, they know me," said Peppers. "They know I speak my mind. Just got caught on the hot mic, man. That's all that was. I didn't even give Saquon a chance to tell me. I don't think it was right that they put that out. A lot of things get said on that football field. I know there's multiple people mic'd up game in and game out that they don't put out, so I was kind of taken aback by [them releasing the video]. At the end of the day, I own that. I own everything I say and I'm not running from it."
Peppers likely isn't the only player inside New England's locker room who shares that sentiment, but he and the rest of the roster will try to turn things in a more positive direction when they play host to the Chargers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.