Foxborough, MA – Several statistics illustrate the Patriots offensive struggles following a 6-0 loss to the Chargers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
For the first time in their 64-year history, New England has been shut out at home twice in the same season. The Patriots also became the first team in the Super Bowl era to lose three consecutive games while allowing ten or fewer points, and they’re also the first team to allow 26 points over a three-game span and lose all three games since 1950.
During the post-Brady era under head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots still could win low-scoring games where their defense carried them and the offense made just enough plays to come out on top. Those victories kept the Pats relevant throughout the 2022 season. The defense should hold their heads high, but the offense has gotten into such a funk that Belichick’s team has sunk to 2-10 because the wins they used to inflate their record a year ago are no longer there. Last season, wins over the Jets and Colts come to mind. Those games aren’t going in their favor anymore, and now that that’s the case, what else is left for this team?
The vibe from the post-game locker room was that the defensive players felt defeated, and the offensive players understood their frustrations. New England has now tried two different starting quarterbacks, and with it all pointing back to head coach Bill Belichick’s roster building, Bailey Zappe was similarly underwhelming as Mac Jones.
Although the Chargers drops in rainy conditions played a role, New England had its best defensive performance in over a month on Sunday. Unlike the last two games, LA’s eighth-ranked scoring offense has an all-star quarterback with big-name skill players, and the Pats defense was well prepared for OC Kellen Moore’s offense. Despite the team’s record, the defense continues to play hard. The players and the defensive staff deserve credit for continuing to pull on the rope while the offense isn’t producing.
“It’s about playing with pride. It’s about putting good stuff on film, representing your last name, representing your family. Going out there and competing because we are 2-10, we aren’t going to the playoffs. But it’s about pride, putting good stuff on film that people want to see.”
“Held a top offense to six points. We hold them to six points and don’t even get in the end zone. I have nothing to hang my head on. I’m proud of our defense. Next week, we have to shut them out. Goose egg,” nose tackle Davon Godchaux told Patriots.com.
As a disgruntled Patriots fan, you can find hope that the defense isn’t far from contending, especially when you factor in the major personnel losses due to injury. The other glimmer of hope is that with the Cardinals win over the Steelers, the Patriots now hold the second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft – #TheTanks is alive and well. That’s where we are at.
Here are eight observations as the Patriots drop to 2-10 on the season with a loss to the Chargers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday:
1. Powerful Play of the Game Presented by Enel: Chargers S Derwin James Sacks QB Bailey Zappe on Fourth Down Attempt in Fourth Quarter
The defense deserves kudos for their performance on Sunday, but we can’t in good conscience continue to highlight positive plays here when the Patriots are losing at this rate.
New England’s best chance to put points on the board came midway through the fourth quarter after their longest play from scrimmage offensively since Week 9. Following a well-timed end around where second-year receiver Tyquan Thornton gained 39 yards, Zappe was sacked on back-to-back plays to end the drive, including a sack on fourth-and-5 from the LAC 30.
Due to rainy conditions, head coach Bill Belichick went for it on fourth down rather than attempt a roughly 47-yard field goal to make it a 6-3 score. Belichick said rookie kicker Chad Ryland had issues in warmups with long distances due to the conditions.