Early-season struggles are nothing new in New England. Throughout Bill Belichick’s tenure, the team has endured plenty of what were thought to be catastrophic defeats in September and early October that spelled the end of the dynastic run of the franchise. Calling the first month “an extension of the preseason” had been a mantra that was pointed to in the past when talking about New England’s approach and sometimes sluggish starts to the year.
While those starts were more often than not overcome with a deep playoff run and even a Lombardi Trophy sprinkled in, these are different times we’re living. This version of the Patriots is a much different team than those from the past.
Through five weeks, New England finds itself at the bottom of the barrel in the NFL. The club is 1-4, currently in line to have a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and each week seems to be worse than the last. After being destroyed on a national stage against the Cowboys in Week 4, the Patriots returned home Sunday and were handed a 34-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Saints. The Dallas loss was the largest of Belichick’s career, and it was met with the second largest Sunday. New Orleans also gave the Patriots its largest home shutout loss in franchise history. They’ve been outscored 72-3 in the last two games and have suffered back-to-back 30-point losses for the first time since 1970.
It’s the very definition of rock bottom.
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