Usually after a New England Patriots win you will see the fan base rejoice. But this is one of the most confusing wins for the Patriots in recent memory. On one hand, they won, and in the process ended their four game losing streak. But it was versus the New York Jets. The Jets were imposing their will offensively through three quarters, and looked well on their way to securing their first win of the season. The fact that it came down to the last play for the Patriots to get this win, versus the 0-9 Jets, is the disheartening piece of this puzzle.
In the grand scheme of things, what does this win mean for this team? Once again it feels like they are just treading water, and you can’t figure out whether or not they are good or bad. One week the defense looks capable of locking down any offense, the next they are allowing Joe Flacco to carve them up like a Thanksgiving turkey. For a team that mastered consistency over the past 20 years, it feels like a breach of personality to watch what feels like a completely different team week in week out.
To maintain the small sliver of hope that is this teams playoff hopes, they had to win. While they won, it wasn’t exactly the type of win that inspired confidence that they could do it again. If the Jets are putting up 27 on our defense, then how many are the Baltimore Ravens going to put up next week? Sure Cam Newton looked competent versus the Jets defense, but how will he fare against a more challenging Ravens unit? It’s fascinating that from a win, more questions than answers have been provided for this team.
At this point, the Patriots are 3-5 in their division, which is good for 3rd place. There’s a high chance that it will be 3-6 after next week, which would essentially pour a gallon of water on the Patriots playoff fire. Maybe if some of the injured pieces, such as Stephon Gilmore and Lawrence Guy, come back they can put up a fight versus the Ravens, but realistically it seems like the Patriots are heading for a middling finish to this season. Had the Patriots throttled the Jets maybe there would be more reason for confidence, but instead we are left questioning what’s next again.
(Originally posted on November 10, 2020)