as perennial contenders that don't lose often, us pats fans don't really experience the stench of defeat as often as the next team. i think that gives us more reason to overreact, overanalyze, and overthink "how" and "why" we just lost...to our perennial redheaded stepchild, the bills. let's take a deep breath because i think we all know that this loss is not as nearly as bad as it seems.
the pats didn't lose because of the defense. the pats didn't lose because of the offense. or special teams. this loss was the result of poor execution and discipline on both sides of the ball - the turnovers on offense, and the horrible tackling and penalties on defense. good news? all fixable.
let's not forget it's week 3. while this may have been the bills' superbowl, this is an early season game and was not as much of a barometer for the pats as it was the bills. the bills are not the pushovers they once were. it was only a matter of time before they broke the sreak. today they executed, and got the deserved win. but let's remember several things before we worry about waddling in mediocrity.
this is a road game versus a division opponent. these games are always difficult, no matter who it is. add in the incentive for the bills to get the monkey off your back, and you've got a lethal opponent. although i didn't expect the bills to win, there's no shock whatsoever.
the offense - four interceptions. four interceptions, people! that (in all likelihood) will not happen again this year. do you know what the odds of winning are for a QB that throws 4 INTs? in the modern era it's like 8%. you don't win when you give the ball away 4 times, not to mention a pick 6. four picks, a pick six, on the road versus a division opponent, and we lose by 3 on a last second field goal. this isnot the end of the world. the interception at the end of the first half changed a 28-7 game to a 21-10 game. those mistakes cost even great teams games, as it did for the pats.
the defense - it seems like they were awful this game. while they were spotty, they certainly were game at the beginning. 2 picks, helped the offense build a 21-0 lead. also, while it seemed that the bills were gaining yards left and right, let's not forget it was 21-10 at halftime. and given the final score, it's easy to forget that the bills punted on 3 of their first 4 second half drives. and by the way, the one of those first four drives that buffalo scored, if you forgot, was the pick by josh barrett that was overturned by the pass interference call that gave the bills 50 yards and a gift td (if you ask me, i hate the call. a defender has a right to space, and brown was just standing there. that said, it's no surprise - officials will always call that because it looks worse than it is). it puts a lot of pressure on the defense to keep proving themselves when the offense is turning it over 3 times in the second half and not producing any first downs. the penalties and the bad tackling were just awful and made it seem worse. the drive setting up the field goal at the end of the game was inexcusable, but otherwise made th defensive performance look a lot worse than it was.
add that with arguably our 2 biggest playmakers (hernandez, chung) out of the lineup, and you have a recipe for defeat. outside of the first quarter and a half, the pats played uninspired, unfocused football. and lost against a good bills team, on the road, in the waning seconds. the defense will get better, and brady will go back to being brady. let's not throw the defense under the bus yet. have you looked at the rest of the league? every defense is sucking wind right now, for some reason or another. the jets just gave up 34 points and 200 rushing yards to the raiders. offenses are taking over right now, and the defenses need to adjust. i have faith that they will. and the way our biggest competition looks right now (steelers, ravens, jets), the pats aren't the only ones with deficiencies and questions.
hopefully this helped today's hangover a little bit. bring on the raiders.