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I have found the single and only reason for the Patriots’ defensive turnaround and win streak

One singular event in October changed the course of 2017 New England Patriots history.

New England Patriots v Denver Bronco Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Editor’s note: the following is satire and 100% not meant to be taken seriously, at all.

Victory Monday? Victory Monday. Victory Monday!

That’s six sweet, sweet Mondays in a row of walking into the office with that smug look on your face, that swagger that only a team that’s dominated for 15 straight years and won on six straight weekends can muster. It’s seeing that one friend everyone has that still insists that they’d take Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers over Tom Brady and not having to say a word because it’s impossible to not see Tom Brady taking NFL records from all the greats and KO’ing them with Mortal Kombat flawless victory after flawless victory. It’s a defense that went from allowing almost 100 points in the first three weeks of the year to the following domination:

Week 5 (Bucs) - 14 points allowed

Week 6 (Jets - they’ll cure what ails ya!) - 17 points allowed

Week 7 (Falcons, worst Super Bowl rematch ever) - 7 points allowed

Week 8 (Chargers) - 13 points allowed

Week 9 - 0 points allowed

(Cause it was a bye, get it?)

Week 10 (Broncos) - 16 points allowed

Week 11 (Raiders) - 8 points allowed

So what the actual heck went down where the Patriots defense that got barbecued by Kansas City (gosh, where have we heard that before?) to the tune of 42 points and MULTIPLE huge plays where there weren’t even defenders in the same zip code are just running the table like your one friend who’s annoyingly good at Call of Duty?

Pick any part of this team, and your answer will be correct. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the nerds at Pro Football Focus or the good old-fashioned “Man, he put him in the GROUND” eyeball test, Shaq Mason and Joe Thuney have been a revelation at the guard positions. Brady is unleashing the cannon of an arm that he supposedly only has if someone named Randy Moss is running go routes all day. Patrick Chung has pretty much played every defensive position aside from nose tackle. The defensive backs that spent the first four games of the season talking about how the game plan literally could not be simpler are making life miserable for any receiver besides Emmanuel Sanders. New England is +6 on the turnover ratio on the season. And they’ve been down to the wire with one healthy wide receiver at certain points. Doesn’t matter. Just look at the box scores and a time traveler from the pre-Julian-Edelman-injury-era seeing the blowouts might think “Yeah, sounds about right for a Cooks-Edelman-Gronk-White-Lewis-Burkhead-Gillislee-Amendola-Hogan-Brady team.”

If you’re familiar with the theory of The Butterfly Effect (not the “WTF?” Ashton Kutcher movie), all of these, however, can be traced to one specific event in early October that turned this national embarrassment of a defense into a classic Belichick “The real season doesn’t start till January”-caliber doom squad, and, of course, the aforementioned six Victory Mondays in a row.


Old school or no school.

More importantly:

Look at the time stamp. October 16th, 2017.

Your New England Patriots have not lost a game OR given up more than 17 points since.

Now, you may be thinking “Bro, that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, and also, that’s clearly not how dates work. The Patriots beat up Tampa Bay the week before that, and the 16th is one day after the Jets game that ended 24-17. FOH with that nonsense.”

You would be correct.

(extreme Mona Lisa Vito from My Cousin Vinny voice)


One must keep in mind that the date of October 16th, 2017 is not when your man Goose BOUGHT the hat, merely the day after it arrived (because he is lazy and didn’t post a picture of it until the next day).

One must BID on an eBay auction in order to win. Then, once you get that fist-pumping “AUCTION WON” alert on your iPhone, the hat had to travel to it’s new, loving home at Goose’s apartment by postal mail.

The bidding date? Why, October 4th, 2017.

The email from eBay - “Your bid is winning, but watch out for competition!”

I know, right? A prophecy!

That fateful day was less than 24 hours before the Jets game, and almost exactly one week after getting embarrassed at home in the final minutes 33-30 in a very winnable game by the Carolina Cam Newtons.

Six straight victories. No more than 18 points allowed to offenses that look like an invite list to the Pro Bowl (the first invite to the actual good players, not like the invite to the Jameis Winston and Tyrod Taylors of the world). Meanwhile, the offense that had to bail the team out so often like they were Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints or something that had to put up 50 to even have a snowball’s chance in the Big Easy at winning keeps on putting up enough to win, even though New England’s played against 3 of the top 10 defenses (by points allowed) in the whole league.

Ever since, New England’s been leaving opponents looking like the Shaq after the One-Chip Challenge.

And if you’ve made it this far and are about the recite, verbatim:

“Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Oh yes, there’s an ace of spades up my sleeve, all right. How did you guess?

Old Red Sox hat

That, my dudes and ladies, is an extremely weathered Boston Red Sox hat. This hat is one of my oldest and dearest friends. This hat has seen some sh*t. Every woman I have ever dated has hated it. “Why are you wearing that beat-up thing?” “Why do you still bend the brim on your hats?” “Why are you wearing that and why did you show up to family dinner with my parents after going out all day for Sunday Funday with the guys again?!?”

Because, friends, I bought that hat with some money I made at the locally famous Pete’s Drive-In (RIP in peace) in Pomfret, CT as a youth, frying plates on plates of delicious whole-belly clams and fish & chips and whipping up milkshakes with more flavor combinations than any man should be able to dream of.

In 2003.

I think everyone remembers what your 2004 Boston Red Sox did the next year.

So basically, I have single-handedly saved the 2017 New England Patriots season.

You’re welcome.