I feel nothing, not pain, not sadness, not anger, just an emptiness. Honestly, I didn’t expect New England to make the playoffs so this isn’t a surprise, it just felt inevitable. The deck was stacked against them from the beginning, they lost Tom Brady, Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Danny Shelton to free agency, they had the most dead money in the league (around 15% of their cap space was dead money) which hindered their signing ability to the point where they had to trade their first round pick because they couldn’t afford to play that player, and on top of that they had a league high 8 players opt out of the season, important players too, like Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, and Patrick Chung to name a few. So it already wasn’t a good situation.
Truthfully where the Patriots are in the standings is where I didn’t want them to be, in the middle. Not good enough to make the playoffs, but not bad enough to get a higher draft pick to land one of the best draft prospects. I was hoping they wouldn’t be in the middle of the pack and that’s exactly where they are. As far as the game went, it was hard to watch. the first half wasn’t all bad, they had momentum and a 6-0 lead, then the second half came and they fell apart. The Patriots haven’t scored a touchdown in 2 straight games now and the run defense was still awful as a running back who most fans have never heard of ran all over the defense. The team collapsed and couldn’t get into the endzone to save their lives.
Worse yet, the Patriots lost Ja’whaun Bentley, David Andrews, and Stephon Gilmore during that game, coupled with Damien Harris’s injury last game and New England just can’t seem to say healthy, further adding to their struggles. It’s time to call it a year and (maybe) try to aim for a better draft pick and focus on rebuilding for next year. Next game is the AFC East champion Buffalo Bills in New England, it will be interesting to see how Bill Belichick handles that game and what adjustments he makes.