I'm not going to lie to you: I never in a million years thought that I'd be writing this article this morning.
Not really much I can say about this one; the Patriots stunk all across the board, the Eagles special teams made some huge plays, Tommy B threw some questionable picks, and a few coaching decisions left us all scratching our heads. Add that all up, and the Patriots are now looking up at both the Bengals and Broncos and no longer have the inside track for homefield advantage. It's rare that the Pats drop two in a row, and even more rare when one of those two is at home, but that's the reality right now.
The other reality right now is that the Patriots are still in pretty good shape. Granted, they aren't in as good a shape as they were on Sunday morning, but they are still right in the thick of things in this awful, awful NFL in 2015. So chin up, everyone. Since everyone is likely a little more bummed out than usual this week, Here are a whopping six positives we can all take away from this week's loss.
Non-conference loss. If you're going to drop a game, you always want to drop it to an NFC opponent. The only thing that this loss is going to count for is the L itself, and won't really factor into any of the tiebreaking scenarios. I'm not really going to call it an affordable loss, as the Patriots dropped from the one seed all the way down to the three seed with this defeat, but there's really no sense in stewing too much over it
This happens every year. Every single year, there's a game the Patriots are supposed to run away with. A game they are supposed to win handily. A game they have no shot of losing. And what do they do? They lay a complete egg. They look soft and sloppy and undisciplined. They lose to an inferior team. The camera crew finds plenty of reasons to cut to Brady on the sidelines looking despondent so the media can have a field day about Brady's body language. It's something of a tradition around New England, and while I don't like it any more than you do, it kind of comes with the territory when it comes to the Patriots. You just have to accept that the Pats are going to eat a horrible loss and move on with your season. Sunday was it.
Still in line for a bye. The Patriots can still get a bye if they keep winning. The way the schedule is panning out around the league, particularly the upcoming Broncos/Bengals game, New England is still very well positioned for one of the top two seeds. Homefield advantage is possibly in jeopardy now, there's really no way to deny it, but there is still a lot of football left to be played at the end of the day, and a whole lot can happen down the stretch.
Getting healthy. With each passing week, guys are coming back. It's very obvious that these are two completely different teams when certain guys aren't out there, and the guys who play for the Good Patriots are still sidelined. We're slowly getting the players we need back, and since we're well in line for the playoffs, it's really all about the postseason and making sure the team is at full strength once it starts to matter.
James White. James White really seemed to click with the offense on Sunday, perhaps for the first time in his career. Here's hoping that that represents a tend that's going to continue upwards as the season goes on. Almost every time he touched the ball, he did something good with it, and with the running game really not working anymore, there's really no reason to not continue leaning on James White going forward.
Super Bowl Champs! It's a little mind-boggling how quickly some folks lose sight of the fact that the Patriots won the Super Bowl a few short months ago and are currently world champions. There's a tendency around Patriots Nation to panic and overreact when things don't go perfectly the way that they are supposed to, and because of that I'd like to remind everyone that we should all still be enjoying this stuff. I guess when there are fully grown adults out there who were 8 or 9 the last time the Patriots were bad, it's understandable to have no real perspective on anything other than demanding wins all the time. But please - please please PLEASE, for the love of Tebow please - remember that football is for fun and we have it better than any other fan base in the league and it isn't even close.