Without exaggerating, that may have been the worst Patriots game I have ever had the displeasure of watching. I legitimately cannot remember the last time a game was that unenjoyable to watch.
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.
If you didn't watch the game and just looked at the score, you would think that the Patriots defense was overwhelmed after losing Dont'a Hightower and just couldn't put together. But the fact of the matter is that a lot of this loss falls on the shoulder's of a man that very rarely loses it for the Pats: Bill Belichick.
To start the game, the Patriots looked pretty decent. Their defense was playing great, and the offense was starting to move the ball towards the end of the first quarter. After a TD reception by James White and Scott Chandler, Belichick tried to get cute with a pooch onside kick by former Ohio State rugby standout Nate Ebner. The play failed and the entire Patriot fanbase was left shaking their heads.
At first, I understood why Belichick chose to do this. Its 14-0, you have a bad team on the ropes, and if you score one more time you can put this game out of reach early. However, the Patriots defense was containing Sam Bradford and the Eagles were having trouble finishing drives. Giving them the ball at midfield on a crucial possession doesn't help.
From there, everything went downhill. Guys were dropping passes, the special teams unit forgot how to play football, and, surprisingly, Tom Brady was struggling with his accuracy, finishing with two interceptions on the day, an accolade he has not possessed at home in quite some time.
Nevertheless, in typical Patriots fashion, at the start of the 4th quarter, the Patriots came roaring back. They scored 14 points to put them within one score of the Eagles. After giving up a crucial first down, the Pats forced a turnover with a minute left and a chance to win the game. Tom Brady delivered three perfect passes, all of which were dropped and left the Patriots with their second straight loss and dropping them to the #3 seed in the AFC.
It is going to be a long week in Foxboro.
Houston should be another difficult test next week. The Pats better be ready to play.
By Pete Packowski