Patriots Wrap Up: I Hate This New Monday Tradition

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots

I can’t believe I have to do this for a second consecutive Monday, but it seems like there’s plenty of panic across the Patriot Lands today. I guess I’ll be posting intelligent, common sense, practical thoughts about the team every Monday when they’re coming off a loss. Hopefully this will be the last time until next season.

I wouldn’t feel the need to chime in if there weren’t so many idiots out there crying about back-to-back losses and openly wondering if this is the beginning of the end for New England.

Why people are wasting their time and energy panicking is beyond me, but here are the opinions of one level-headed fan:

  • First of all, and I really can’t believe this needs to be said, this entire loss cannot be pinned on the curious decision by New England to dropkick the kickoff after they went up 14-0 in the 2nd quarter. That’s such a bullshit copout to use momentum (which doesn’t really exist in football in the first place) as the reason this team took a collective dump on the Gillette Stadium turf yesterday. You’re letting a lot of people off the hook who deserve a big share of the blame by claiming that. The dropkick was not the cause of Brady’s two devastating interceptions, or the awful blocking on the punt that turned into a Philly touchdown.
  • The dropkick probably cost the Patriots four or seven points, assuming a normal kick would have produced at most a field goal for Philly on their ensuing drive.
  • Yes, as of this moment the Patriots would get the #3 seed in the AFC playoff bracket if the postseason began today. But it doesn’t begin for another five weeks, so relax. Denver and Cincinnati still face each other along with each of them facing the Steelers. New England absolutely still controls its own fate for the #2 seed, and most likely winning out would get them the #1 seed.
  • And remember a week ago after the loss in Denver when we collectively decided that getting Gronk, Edelman, Collins and Hightower healthy for the playoffs was far more important than seeding? That’s still the case today.
  • But I know what you’re thinking. None of the Patriots’ six Super Bowl appearances under Belichick have come with them having to play during Wildcard Weekend. So that’s probably the reason for all the panic.
  • But guess what? They’ve won two Super Bowls as the #2 seed, both times having to travel to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship game. This isn’t like Tiger Woods never winning a Major when he doesn’t begin Sunday with at least a share of the lead. The Pats have won Super Bowls (PLURAL!) without being the #1 seed.
  • And remember, if they do end up as #2 in the AFC, all it takes is for playoff Andy Dalton or first-time-playoff-quarterback Brock Osweiler (whichever one ends up #1) to slip up in the divisional round and the Patriots are back to having home field advantage. That feels very likely considering who those two quarterbacks are.
  • And if New England does get stuck as the #3 seed and they can’t win a road game in Cincinnati or Denver, then they don’t deserve to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl anyway.
  • So let’s all take a step back from acting like our team is the equivalent of the Colts or Falcons today. They are 10-2, got two key players back on the field yesterday and almost won a game in which they legitimately did everything wrong for the first 50 minutes.
  • Nothing has changed from the start of the season: If Belichick & Brady are steering the ship, we get two decent offensive weapons on the field at the same time, and the offensive line gives even a B+ effort, this team is guaranteed to be playing on Conference Championship Weekend.
  • I really hope I’m not writing this same stuff a week from today.
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