Julian Edelman: 'The Patriots just aren't the Patriots right now'

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Julian Edelman has strong take on Patriots' struggles originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Julian Edelman isn't afraid to criticize his former team as a new member of the NFL media.

The ex-New England Patriots wide receiver, now an "Inside the NFL" panelist on Paramount+, didn't mince words when discussing the team's struggles through the first six weeks of the season.

"The Patriots just aren't the Patriots right now, and it hurts me to say this," Edelman said. "They are not the Patriots. We are so used to seeing the last 20 years -- I know there's different players and this, that, but there's still a group of guys in there that know how they should play. They need to start playing mistake-free football."

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New England has turned the ball over 11 times -- six interceptions and five fumbles -- so far in the campaign. It also already has had two punts blocked, something that hasn't happened to a Patriots team since 1993.

Edelman, who received permission to "mother (bleep)" the team from head coach Bill Belichick, did exactly that.

"Well, I'm MFing you. I'm MFing you! They need to start taking care of the football," Edelman said. "I don't want to hear, 'Mac Jones is a rookie.' He's got six games under his belt, he's not a rookie no more and he's been compounding good performances. There needs to be some accountability in those rooms."

Some strong statements from Edelman, but it's hard to argue with the three-time Super Bowl champion's assessment. The Patriots lost their first game of the season on a late turnover and have beaten themselves with uncharacteristic mistakes each week since, resulting in a 2-4 record.

New England will look to get on track Sunday when it hosts the New York Jets. Kickoff for the Week 7 matchup is set for 1 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.