In these Coping With Loss articles, it’s my job to put a positive spin on a game the Patriots dropped and make you all feel a little bit better regarding the plight of the team. And most of the time, it’s not that hard; there’s always another week, or a promising offseason, or something else I can use as an anchor to keep things rolling along.
This week’s edition, though, presents me with the challenge of having to look on the bright side of a home loss in late December to a terrible Dolphins team that knocked the Patriots out of the two seed and forced them to play on Wilc Card Weekend for the first time this decade.
A tall order, even for a BS artist such as myself.
So let’s see how I do.
The Patriots deserved to lose. The Patriots didn’t deserve a two seed over the Chiefs, and so they’re where they should be. The Chiefs beat the Patriots in Foxboro earlier this year and are a better team than they are this year, and so they deserve to be the two seed. I’d be fuming right now if I thought that the Patriots were the second best team in the conference, but they aren’t, so I’m OK with them landing where they’re supposed to in terms of seeding. I wouldn’t even have been all that upset if they had dropped to four, to be honest.
An interesting playoff narrative. Every single Patriots Super Bowl has begun with a first round playoff bye. That’s out the window now, which means if the Pats are going to repeat as champions, they’re going to have to win four games instead of three, with two of those games most likely being at Kansas City and then at Baltimore. If the Patriots can go to KC and win, and then go to Baltimore and win...holy jeez would that be amazing. And the number of Patriots haters that would just completely lose it should that happen would be incredible. It’s not going to be easy, but New England now has the opportunity to do something amazing here.
An extra Patriots game. I’ve been saying ad nauseum that we need to cherish every single snap of the Tom Brady era, as it’s rapidly coming to a close. Well we now get an extra Brady game to watch this year. Sure it would be nice to relax next weekend, but if you want to keep things on the bright side, you should all look at this as one more opportunity to appreciate that we get to watch the greatest quarterback of all time play for our team.
Wake up call. If this game didn’t wake the Patriots up, then nothing will. Their backs are as against the wall as they’ve been all year, and they have had multiple chances to get it together and put together a complete game. They haven’t done that yet, so maybe it takes this, a sort of rock bottom moment loss at home to lose out on a bye week, to really galvanize the team. How they respond over the next few weeks will tell us just what kind of team the 2019 Patriots are.
SUPER BOWL CHAMPS! The Patriots are Super Bowl champions. They’ve won six rings. They just hoisted a Lombardi. Does anything else really matter at the end of the day. Keep on enjoying the extra features, deleted scenes, unaired episodes, and director’s commentary that is these last few moments of this amazing run. The season finale came and went in 2016; we’re just coasting to the beat with the window open and our hair down from here on out.