How the hell am I going to spin this one? A home loss where the quarterback goes down with an injury that’s going to cause him to miss a few weeks minimum?
Honestly, I have no idea. Going to just kind of wing it. But here we go anyway.
Expected loss. To be fair, I did predict a Patriots win on the Pats Pulpit Podcast last week, expecting full well to regret my decision. My thought process is that there would be a Baltimore hangover coming off that Miami loss, and New England would be able to capitalize on that. Not so much, alas — but I feel like this is a game that most people had pegged as an L right when the schedule came out. Lamar Jackson is one of the best players in the NFL and has made a strong MVP case for himself over these first few weeks of the season. Losing a game a lot of people expected you to lose is always an easier pill to swallow.
This game was winnable. Even with the expected loss, the Patriots could have won this game on multiple occasions. They moved the ball well, they made stops, and they kept it close. But you can’t turn the ball over like that or take these dumb penalties that negate big plays and expect to beat a very good team. Had the Patriots gotten blown out having played their best football, there would be a lot more cause for concern today. But they played well, shot themselves in the foot, and deserved to lose. The good news is...
Fixable mistakes. The errors that are taking place are correctable for sure. Ball security can be improved. Game tape can be watched to correct poor decisions. Stupid penalties like illegal shift or too many men on the field or illegal man downfield can be coached up. If New England can up their discipline and stop being their own worst enemy, they should be fine going forward.
Jones’ injury isn’t season ending. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Mac Jones’ sprain in terms of just how severe it is, whether it will need surgery, or how much time he’ll miss, but it doesn’t seem like the injury is going to sideline him for the entire season. And if he can come back at any point, even if it’s six weeks from now and the Patriots are 1-7 and more or less done for the year, he can get meaningful reps with the offense, continue to learn and grow, develop more chemistry with the pass catchers, and get a head start on 2023. New England wasn’t likely to win the Super Bowl this year anyway, and Mac Jones being able to return at some point this season means that 2022 doesn’t represent a complete wash and set his development back. That alone is reason to be happy. Especially because...
It’s Fall Beer season! For those of you who enjoy the glorious taste of sweet, frosty beer, autumn is the best time of the year for sure. Summer ales are great, and we can all enjoy a nice shandy by the pool every once in a while, but give me a nice, robust brown ale or hoppy IPA outside in the brisk fall air any day of the week. I’m personally not a big pumpkin ale guy, but I’ll never knock anyone for enjoying something just because I don’t, so if you like pumpkin beer, you go get one with a nutmeg and cinnamon rim and have yourself a day. Tough to be too upset when every time you walk into your local package store or favorite bar, you see a plethora of delicious libations that will be available for the next few months.