Honest question - let's play this out. COVID aside...you're a Pats fan, you're watching the game at Gillette, and you've had a couple of sixteen-ounce Sam Adams drafts. You see Cam Newton throw his third interception of the day. The Pats are down 30-6 with a few minutes left in the third quarter. Are you booing the hell out of them with all the remaining emotion you have, or are you packing your shit up and leaving?
I'm taking the second route. We've seen too much elite football to have to suffer through a molly-whopping at the hands of a former Patriot, and the man formerly thought of as the heir to Tom Brady's throne. No thanks.
Lucky enough, you don't just have to imagine it...you can live it! The Patriots were throttled by the San Francisco 49ers in 33-6 fashion in their Week 7 matchup. Take your pick of "accolades" that the loss yields - 2 wins and 4 losses through seven weeks marks one of the most dismal starts in franchise history. For one, check this out...
WINLESS! ALL THREE GAMES! This is so new for this organization that I'm not even sure how to comprehend it. How do these New York teams suffer through years of this misery? How do they expect to lose every week? How are they immune to their impending failure every single game? This alone is demoralizing for a franchise that associates themselves with the success that the Patriots have.
As if that's not enough, are you ready for a soul-crushing statistic of just how significant two straight home losses is for the Pats?
2008! That is TWELVE YEARS since they've lost two straight home games. This is not a normal occurrence for the Patriots.
Last week, we heard a great deal from Patriots players and coaches (as well as experts & analysts) about how awful the Broncos loss was for them. Many were brushing it off as a week without organized practice, a leaky offensive line, and an unexpected bye week. You don't have to look past the quarterback and ringleader for reflections on how poor it was - take it from Cam himself.
"I don't point fingers. I point thumbs." "We have no room to look through a telescope. Our focus should be with a microscope." "The sky might be falling, but listen...I'll bring my umbrella & rain coat to get the job done"
Well, seems Cam may have left his athleticism and drive at home...with his rain coat and microscope.
We're approaching a dark road ahead with both the Bills and Ravens queued up over the next three weeks. But before that, we've got this nightmare to unpack.
Per usual - your Good & Bad takeaways from this week.
GOOD (warning, there's not a lot)
Jake. F***ing. Bailey. Bailey - the punter - is the best thing we've got right now. I raved about him last week, and he had another solid outing in Week 7. 2 punts for 90 yards total, both were pinned inside the 20 yard line. Jake Bailey, quite honestly, was the only reason why the Niners had to work through any inkling of adversity. Credit where it's due to #7.
I meant this Tweet below in an appreciative way, not digging him. He literally is the best we had today.
Cam Newton. Holy cow. 9 for 15, 3 interceptions, and only 98 passing yards. Sacked once. Only rushed for 19 yards on 5 attempts. 39.7 QBR. Is the experiment of Cam Newton over? Is his resurgence now a moot point? A bust? I think it's too early to declare Newton's downfall...with not a great deal of talent around him, it might not be the right time to use him as a scapegoat for the lack of Patriots success.
All wide receivers. Crucify me if necessary - you cannot win a football game when your highest-producing wide receiver is Jakobi Meyers. Sure, anytime a receiver of yours can rack up 60 yards on 4 targets, you don't take it for granted...but where's everyone else? Where's our KING, Julian Edelman? 1 reception on 3 targets - TWO of which were intercepted - where on earth has the separation gone? Somehow, in one of the most baffling mysteries of the NFL, the Pats wide receivers cannot get open. Bottom line: although there's some decent - but raw - talent on this roster, they need help. Lots of it.
UP NEXT: Nobody circles the wagons like the Pats' Week 8 opponent - the Buffalo Bills. The only silver lining we have here is that the Bills narrowly escaped with a win against the winless New York Jets - the game quite literally came down to the last possession. Josh Allen - and the team at large - were held without a touchdown in what - ironically enough - was a spitting image of the Broncos' win over New England last week. I'd like to convince myself the Patriots can catch the Bills on a day that Josh Allen and Cole Beasley don't show up, but who am I kidding? Lots needs to go right for the Pats to steal one from Buffalo next week.