The New England Patriots (mainly the defense) were humbled on Sunday night after giving up 210 yards on the ground to the Baltimore Ravens, having key turnovers and penalties at the worst possible times, and by what was an overall bad night for this team.
However, they will learn and make adjustments accordingly after the bye week and every loss is a chance to grow and learn as a team, and take as many positives as possible. Obviously, one takeaway from Sunday was that the Patriots were faced with some adversity for the first time all year and did a good job battling back into that game. Fighting adversity as a football team is imperative, especially down the stretch when the games get tighter and the room for error is slim.
But the biggest positive from this game? No more 19-0 talk. We can finally put it to rest.
Listen, a perfect season is every team’s and fan’s dream (especially after the crushing loss to the New York Giants 12 years back), and call me crazy but this loss doesn’t necessarily hurt the Patriots in ways people may say it does. They still own the number one seed in the AFC by a game and a half and the Ravens have a tough stretch ahead of them too. With the Patriots gearing up for Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City all in a span of four weeks, all they realistically need to do is win two of those games (Kansas City being the most important).
But since we’re on the 19-0 talk, lets take a quick trip down memory lane regarding the 2007 season.
During the two-week span right before Christmas time, the Patriots went down to the wire with the Philadelphia Eagles and Ravens, both of whom finished last in their divisions that year. They were tied 14-14 with Jacksonville in the Divisional round at halftime and lead by two heading into the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game versus the then-San Diego Chargers. This type of pressure and stress as a football team is taxing and really wears you down throughout the year.
Is that really worth it for a team and coach that pride themselves on taking it week-to-week? When these wins start adding up and you get into late November without a loss, you’d be lying if ‘looking ahead’ and counting down the games until perfection wasn’t a thing. It’s so hard to beat a good football team once in this league, let alone twice.
The Lombardi Trophy being handed over by Roger Goodell every year is the main goal. We all know Bill Belichick loves to motivate his football teams and it’s really hard to humble a team and make sure they are ready each week when you have proven to every team in the league you are much better than them.
I get the argument that this is pretty much the only thing this dynasty hasn’t accomplished and of course it would be cool if it ever happened, but there’s a reason that 19-0 has never been done.
Anyway, back to business and let’s focus on getting down to Miami for a record-tying fourth Super Bowl in a row.