I'm not going to lie; I contemplated not even writing this article today.
Usually, these Coping With Loss pieces that I always post after the Patriots drop a game are designed to make everyone (myself included) feel better about what transpired over the weekend and offer a few silver linings to a potentially dark cloud. However, I don't seem to need to cheer anyone up this morning, as we all seem pretty much right as rain right now. Yeah, the Patriots lost, and yeah, it was to a division rival...but is anyone even thinking about this game anymore? Is anyone remotely worried about this loss or lamenting what transpired on Sunday? I'm sure they're out there, but I certainly haven't spoken to any of them.
But that's no reason to slack off on the job. So, in case there are still any of you out there who are still miffed over this loss, fear not. Here are five reasons to be cheery and optimistic today in the wake of the first defeat of the season.
Rex gets to hang around a little longer. As long as Rex Ryan is the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, they aren't a threat to do anything. The Patriots will go to Buffalo and beat the Bills in a few weeks and the Bills will finish 6-10 or 7-9 and all will be right with the world again. But until then, we all get to enjoy the Rex soundbytes and the Bills Mafia and everything that goes with it. And that makes me very, very happy.
Affordable loss. 3-1 is a game more than any of us could have hoped for after the first four weeks. As far as I'm concerned, the Patriots are already up a game from where most of us, myself included, predicted they would be, and a lot of people had the Bills winning this game back in August. The Pats could 100% afford to drop this game, and the fact that I'm even writing that through these first four weeks is a wonderful thing.
Brady is back. That's right. Tommy B's suspension is officially over and he's likely sitting in the bowels of Gillette Stadium right now watching game tape. The Patriots are getting back to full strength slowly and surely, not the least of which being the greatest quarterback of all time coming back into the house and ready to set the league on fire. So it almost feels like a win, doesn't it?
Who cares? Seriously...is anyone upset over this loss at all? The entire team played like dookie from top to bottom, and that's pretty much all there is to it. There really isn't any need to talk about the QB situation here, because this loss is on everyone - coaches, players, you name it. You also need to credit the Bills, of course, as they had a great game plan and executed it - but this game doesn't even register on my radar anymore. I was over it at halftime and slept like a baby on Sunday night. I have yet to speak to anyone who isn't just chalking this up to one of those games that this team seems to play every year - the complete stinker that refocuses everyone and gets the team back on track. Rock on, I say. To that end...
The Patriots needed this. I said in our pregame preview that a loss here wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the Patriots, and I stand by that now. A Bradyless Patrriots going 4-0 would have been something else - but it also would have created a certain narrative that might not have been the best thing for the team in terms of the big picture. This is the kind of loss that gives the coaches plenty of bulletin board material and talking points, galvanizes the entire team, and motivates them to shake off the rust in a big way against Cleveland. Plus, if you're the Pats, is this the game you want Brady returning on the heels of? It kind of feels like the Patriots are the 12-year-old kid who just set fire to the living room rug 20 minutes before Dad is supposed to come home from work. What is going to happen as a result is a stern talking to, maybe a firm slap on the behind, and the pinnacle of discipline for the next few weeks in order to avoid another "incident." I'll take that all day.