What’s there to do but shrug and move on?

The prime-time disaster at New Orleans on Monday was simply a matter of the Patriots running into “a better team” on a particular night, Bill Belichick said.

“We weren’t as competitive as we needed to be on offense or defense,” the Pats coach told reporters yesterday. “I thought we were at least competitive in the kicking game, but it wasn’t nearly enough. New Orleans clearly was a better team last night. They did things a lot better than we did and that was pretty obvious.”


How bad was the 38-17 loss?

New England hadn’t given up 38 points in a game since a 38-13 defeat to Miami on Sept. 21, 2008. The 480 yards they surrendered dwarf their 313.4 average. And Drew Brees became the first quarterback to throw for five touchdowns against a Belichick-coached Pats team.

“We gave up big plays in the passing game and one in the running game,” Belichick said. “We didn’t coach them, play them and defend them well enough.”

The loss kept New England from taking an all-but insurmountable three-game lead in the AFC East. The Pats are 7-4; Miami and the New York Jets are tied at 5-6.