Last night we saw the New England Patriots look absolutely terrible in a 26-10 road loss to the woeful Detroit Lions in a game that many thought the Patriots would bounce back and win following a disappointing performance in Jacksonville the week prior. It was a game many fans thought that you could chalk up to a flukey September Patriots performance. Especially given their recent history where this team has looked extremely pedestrian through the first 4 weeks of the season but inevitably finds a way to return to form and dominate the AFC. Last night we did not see that. We saw a Patriots team look defeated from the jump and never really make a true effort to get themselves back in the game. I mean we haven’t seen a team get so exposed in Detroit since Rabbit told everyone how Clarence’s parents had a real good marriage and told the Free World to go fuck themselves. That was some brutal stuff and so was last night’s performance by the Patriots.
And while you definitely need to give Matt Patricia and the Lions team a lot of credit for coming out strong and devising a game plan that would be effective against this Patriots team, it’s clear at least right now, that these back to back losses for the Patriots has a different feel from other seasons where we’ve seen them struggle early. For starters this WR situation is becoming laughable. There were several different occasions last night where Brady had 4-5 seconds in the pocket with good protection and absolutely no one was able to get seperation from a Lions defensive backfield who hasn’t exactly been impressive to start the season and was shredded at points by Jets Rookie QB Sam Darnold and San Frans’ Jimmy G in the previous 2 weeks. I mean when Patriots fans right now are banking on Josh Gordon who has not proven he can stay on the field since 2013 to come in and save our WR core you know there are serious issues. Of course there is Julian Edelman as well who will return in week 5, but how does he perform after not playing the last 20 regular season games? It’s hard to believe that he alone can fix all the issues this team has had offensively thus far even if he is able to pull some of the double coverage off Gronkowski, who was only targeted 5 times last night and has only totaled 9 targets over the past two weeks. If you wanted the glaring number to equate why this team has been so pitiful in the passing game there it is.
In the running game, Sony Michel has looked more like a guy the Patriots pulled off the practice squad and threw on the roster rather than a 1st round draft pick. But yet his inconsistent ability to gain yards rushing has not stopped the Patriots from going with him time after time to no avail. As much as the passing game sucks, I would rather see Brady drop back 50 times then to lose a game in the fashion we saw last night. A game that felt like they didn’t care and never felt the urgency that they were about to be embarrassed on National TV by a Lions team that is on the complete other end of the spectrum in terms of the NFL monarchy that the Patriots have positioned themselves into over the past two decades.
On the Defensive side of the ball it wasn’t any better than the pathetic offensive performance that had me throwing up in my mouth multiple times last night. I can’t even be mad at these players on defense anymore, they simply just aren’t talented enough to put a product on the field that can compete in this league at a high level. And I know what your gonna say, “we didn’t have Flowers, Chung and Eric Rowe last night” and yeah I hear you, but think about how absurd that statement is if those guys are the ones holding our defense together. Like I said, its not on the players, this one is all on Bill Belichick, the arrogant asshole that he has become especially since being annointed the “Greatest Coach of All Time”. He has consistently let this defense become one of the least talented groups in the league by thinking he can coach them into something that they simply are not. A competent defense that can get stops when they need them. That’s all the Patriots really need, because as much as I have concerns with Tom Brady and the offense I truly believe they will find a way to return to form and put up points again. But none of that matters if the Patriots get completely destroyed on time of possession like Matt Patricia’s gameplan did to them last night. Patricia knew to win, he had to keep Brady off the field as much as possible and committed to running the ball and the clock as early as possible last night. He attacked the Patriots on defense in a way only someone that knows the ins and outs of that unit would be able to do and it worked to perfection. I’m sure he was grooming his beard in excitement all week going into this game because he knew from first hand experience how much the Patriots suck on that side of the ball. I can’t remember the last time someone ran the ball down the Patriots throats all game like that but Patricia certainly knew it was possible and committed to it from the get go.
The Special teams wasn’t anything special so I won’t spend a lot of time there, but it wasn’t great to see Cyrus Jones back there catching punts again. I guess Bill is forgetting in his old age how this guy dropped about 14 punts his rookie year and is just an accident waiting to happen out there. Lefty Punter Ryan Allen did kick the shit out of a few balls which may have been the only bright spot of the entire game.
The Patriots travel back to New England for a much needed home game next week, but they will have a matchup with the now 3-0 Miami Dolphins. A team whose fan’s mouths are watering at the idea of finally being able to slay the giant bully of the AFC East in the Patriots, who have been shoving their faces in the sandbox and giving them wedgies for the past 18 years. It’s going to be a tough game for the Patriots with Miami looking explosive at times on offensive and boasting a top 10 defense in the league. I won’t fully press the panic button on this team yet, but if they perform like this next week you’ll see me smashing that thing like a long lost Gronkowski touchdown spike.