By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick doesn’t often struggle to find reasons for his team to respect the next opponent on the schedule. “Humble Pie” remains the dish most often served in Foxboro.

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But this week, the job of convincing his team to take a lesser opponent seriously is a bit easier for Belichick. First and foremost, there remains a sour feeling from losing on national television this past Sunday night at home vs. the Seahawks. But in preparing to face Chip Kelly’s San Francisco 49ers, who own a 1-8 record and haven’t won since Week 1, Belichick is already calling upon last year’s stunning home loss to the Eagles, who at the time were coached by Kelly and the owners of a 4-7 record.

“We didn’t do very well at all against the Eagles’ scheme last year, so we’re going to have to improve dramatically on that to be competitive,” Belichick said Wednesday morning at Gillette Stadium as part of his opening statement to the assembled media.

The coach was asked about the 49ers’ struggles this season, and he noted that the game the Patriots played in Arizona in Week 1 was not dissimilar to the one the 49ers just played this past Sunday. The Patriots ended up winning their game by two points, while the 49ers lost their game by three points, but the relative competitive level is one of the many points Belichick will be making with his players this week.

“That was a very competitive game in Arizona,” Belichick said of the 49ers’ 23-20 loss in Glendale. “The same kind of game we played with the Cardinals, right down to the last possession.”

Unprompted, the coach then went back into last year’s loss to the Eagles.

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“I know a lot of people were talking about the same thing last year when the Eagles had lost a couple of games by four touchdowns and coming in here with a poor record, and then they came into here and hammered us,” Belichick said. “So I don’t really put too much credence in any of that, what’s happened. The way they played last week against Arizona is I think very indicative of their talent level and their ability to do things right against a good team.”

That Eagles loss, to many observers, marked a distinct turning point in the 2015 season for the Patriots. It came a week after the Patriots suffered their first loss of the year to fall to 10-1. But that loss came in Denver, historically a challenging place for Belichick’s Patriots to play, and a soft landing the following weekend with a home date vs. Philly looked to be an easy way to notch another W.

And when the home team opened up a 14-0 lead, the rout appeared to be on. But Belichick called for Nate Ebner to try a unique rugby-style dropkick after the Patriots were up 14-0. Philadelphia in turn scored 35 unanswered points. The Patriots did all they could to try to come back, including calling for a Danny Amendola pass to Tom Brady, but it wasn’t enough. The Eagles won, but they finished the year 7-9. Kelly got fired before the season even ended. They weren’t very good. The Patriots ended up finishing the season on a 2-4 stretch from Week 12 through the end of the year.

The loss displayed how a bad team can beat a good one. Though the Eagles only gained 248 yards on the day, they scored once on a blocked punt, once on an 83-yard punt return, and once on a 99-yard interception return. Even against a weak opponent, a lack of attention for even one seemingly meaningless special teams play can go a long way in altering the outcome of a game.

This year, the stakes are somewhat similar. The Patriots lost to the Seahawks, but there’s no shame there. Seattle is a tough team to play no matter the date and no matter the location. But going into San Francisco and taking a loss to a vastly inferior team would likely deliver a mighty blow to the Patriots’ collective mind-set. Belichick saw it with his own eyes last year, and based on his comments on Wednesday, he’s doing his best to try to make sure such a letdown doesn’t happen again.

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You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.