It’s time to accept it; the New England Patriots just isn’t good. Defenses don’t fear the passing game at all, and it makes the offense one dimensional. I had an eerie feeling when Jimmy Garappolo evaded a sack and picked up a first down on the third play of the game that it would be a rough game, and boy was it ever. The San Francisco 49ers dominated from the opening kickoff right until the end, and in the process, showed the Patriots that last week was not a one off stinker.
This team is certainly in quite an interesting position, especially considering the past two decades of success. On one hand you want to have faith in the brain trust of the team that has guided this team through those times of success to be able to figure out how to replicate that success with this team. But this team has shown now two weeks in a row a staggering inability to do just about anything correctly. It’s mind boggling that this team staged a furious 4th quarter comeback against the Seattle Seahawks only a couple weeks ago. This was supposed to be the game that eased our fears, but it has only poured more fuel on the fire.
Realistically speaking, this isn’t a team that can be fixed with a couple of patchwork trades. Holes are starting to pop up defensively that we had to anticipate happening given the massive turnover that occurred over the offseason. The guiding presence of Dont’a Hightower has been sorely missed, never more so than today. The secondary isn’t playing up to last seasons high standards, as they are letting up way too many gimme plays that opponents had to work so hard for last season. Obviously the offense needs more playmakers, but from what has been shown so far, this isn’t a squad worth investing in.
As tough as it may be, the best course to take is to let this play out. Maybe Cam Newton will rediscover how to throw a football and read a defense, and the offense can open up more. Maybe the defense tightens up, and uses its secondary to attack opposing offenses. Regardless, the playoff aspirations this team held after the first couple games have been severely damaged, and Patriots fans should begin to prepare for a postseason that doesn’t involve Patriots football.
(Originally posted on October 25, 2020)