The news isn’t all bad after last night’s debacle in Detroit.
Everything related in any way to the team, its players, or its coaches is very very terribly bad. Just an awful performance in every sense of the word. Lack of game plan, execution and leadership is showing on every level, and the once great Patriots look like just another shitbum team…more than a notch below the best teams in the league.
But, as I hinted, there is some good news for us, as fans. We’re going to get a real life, honest-to-goodness MUST WIN game, and in September no less.
Next week, the 3-0 ‘Fins come to town, looking to extend their AFC East lead to 3 games- but it’s almost like 4, considering they’ll hold an advantage in the head-to-head and Divisional tie breakers. Being 3+ games behind after 4 weeks is about as buried as a team can be. Even for NE, that’s a tall order to overcome.
Beyond just the division, falling to 1-3 would throw a serious monkey wrench into the team’s post season plans. The likelihood of a 1-3 team making the playoffs is somewhere around 15% according to various sources that measure such things. Granted, all teams throughout history didn’t have 4 games with the Bills and Jets, but I’m not so sure the difference between NE and those teams is a wide as we thought. Either way, with Brady and Belichick I put their playoff odds at significantly better than the historical average in any scenario, but the numbers show us, it’s an uphill climb.
Making the picture a lot bleaker is the fact that they follow up the Miami game with a Thursday Night matchup against the Chiefs…who are an early season juggernaut. Pat Mahomes has 13 TD passes in his first 3 games as a pro, and the Patriots haven’t been able to stop offenses led by Bortles and Stafford. This is not a good situation.
Look no further than the texts following last night’s game to gauge the level of concern around the HTTA offices:
Even the biggest NE fan needs to realistically prepare for them losing to KC. Things can change quickly, and KC has to travel on a short week, but the fact of the matter is, KC is the class of the conference…and the Patriots, well, aren’t.
So, a loss to Miami would put the situation at Threat Level: Midnight. At the very least mean kiss any chance at a bye good-bye, and if you do manage to sneak in, you might be on the road on Wild Card Weekend. Not a good look for a team with a decided home field advantage through the years.
Folks…it’s time to cancel your plans to go apple picking, and tell the kids to carve their own damn pumpkins next Sunday…all of a sudden the Week 4 Miami game is life or death. Strap on the old Bruschi jersey, get the chili cooking, and hunker down for a battle. The fate of the rest of your fall may be depending on it.