Patriots loss is among the worst in team history, but is it the worst?
David Eulitt/Kansas City Star
Teams lose. Unless you watched the Dolphins in 1972 you expect your team to lose games. It is always painful to watch your team fall, but it is quite another to look on and see them simply embarrassed.
It is difficult to start with what went wrong. Offensive line struggles, Brady's inaccuracy, defensive players slipping, and offensive play calling all contributed to the hot mess on Monday Night Football. One thing is for sure, as Patriots fans we are not accustomed to seeing our team playing so poorly. It may be an unprecedented loss in recent memory but when you look back at the entire history of the New England Patriots it is certainly not the worst loss the franchise has suffered.
What constitutes a tough loss? Well many factors. For example, if you are going to simply examine the score the worse loss the Patriots suffered under Belichik before this game was the 17-41 loss to the San Diego Chargers in Gillette Stadium. That game also took place on week 4 and they were also 2-2 after the game.
If you go back further into the Patriots history of blowouts you'll find the AFL Championship game of 1963 where the Boston Patriots were humiliated by the Chargers 51-10 in San Diego. Of course, we all recall how the Bears performed the Super Bowl shuffle by stomping the Patriots 46-10 back in the 80s. Possibly the most shocking loss had to be the season opener against the Bills losing in a shutout 31-0 in 2003.
Personally, I feel the worst loss has to be the Super Bowl XLII game against Eli Manning and the Giants. The Patriots put on an amazing offensive performance that year setting records for most passing touchdowns and receiving touchdowns. However, they were limited to a mere 14 points by an impressive Giants defensive line. To this day I still have night terrors from the David Tyree catch. According to Tom Brady it is his hardest loss. Some may argue that repeating a Super Bowl loss to the Giants a few years later was worse, but I disagree. That first win would have been historic, something that could never be repeated.
Though it isn't the worst loss in team history, it still hurts. Yes, it wasn't a playoff game or the Super Bowl but for some reason this one was different. It confirmed something that we all felt since the opening loss against Miami, that the Patriots are no longer a dominant force in the AFC East. Every year it seemed like the question wasn't whether the Patriots would win the AFC East, but rather what seed the Patriots would get in the playoffs. Those days are now dust in the wind.
We now have a team that will struggle to stay above .500. We now have a team that no longer has a clutch quarterback. We now have a team that will probably not make the playoffs.
There are two silver linings to this predicament. First, the entire AFC East looks like a dumpster fire. The Bills have already benched Manuel, the Miami head coach constantly talks about possibly starting Matt Moore, and Jets fans are crying for Vick to start over Geno. Second, if the Patriots do have a losing season we get to see who the fair weather fans and who are the real fans. Whether the Patriots make the playoffs or end up with the number one overall pick in the 2015 draft I know I'll be sporting my Gronkowski shirt on Sundays.