Another week, another New England Patriots loss, another chance for me to work on seeing how far I can stretch my own BS meter as I hobble towards the finish line of these Coping With Loss articles. Never in my wildest nightmares did I think I’d ever find myself writing up to 15 of these in a single season, but here I find myself.
Nobody’s fault but mine.
1. Good: This was a loss I feel like all but the most die-hard, ardent, root-for-a-win-no-matter-what fans wanted to see. This one had direct implications for 2024, and with the Giants suddenly on this little mini-run, they seem to be playing themselves right out of contention for a top draft spot.
With this loss, the Patriots put themselves in excellent position for...
2. Draft pick: At 2-9, a top-2 pick is still very much in the cards. But as it stands right now, the Patriots currently hold the No. 3 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, which puts them in right where you want to be if you’re in the middle of a completely lost season.
And did you know that Pope John Paul II was made an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters back in 2000?
3. The easy part is over: I laughed out loud writing that, but it’s true. We all thought that that middle stretch of Commanders, Colts, bye, then Giants would be three easy wins and a chance to build some real momentum for a final six games that includes the Chargers, Chiefs, Bills, and Steelers. But New England lost all three of those games and now have a whole slew of very losable games coming their way.
For the record, I’ll still be pulling for wins over the next few weeks because I’m going down with the ship, but I also acknowledge the net benefit of losing. So, it’s a win either way over the next few weeks in my book.
4. Now we have the Zappe answer: There have been some pretty loud calls to make Bailey Zappe the starter going forward, as Mac Jones has displayed time and again that he’s cooked. But after several weeks and more opportunities to take over the starting spot than virtually any other backup QB has ever had, we now have pretty clear evidence that Bailey Zappe is no better.
So, any and all calls for either quarterback should stop for the rest of the year. Just trot somebody out there, hope for the best, and move on.
5. Rhamondre Stevenson and Demario Douglas: The only two bright spots for the offense, Mondre and Pop both played well yesterday and deserve some credit. Between the two of them, they amassed almost half of New England’s 283 total yards on Sunday.
It’s even more impressive that Stevenson was able to gain almost 100 yards on the ground, because defenses can legit just put 10 guys in the box and leave one deep safety to cover all three New England receivers and he’ll probably still come down with a pick.