It’s been a long time since the New England Patriots (2-3) were under the .500 mark in the month of October. It’s been 18 years, to be exact. But after an 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos (2-3) on Sunday, that is exactly where Bill Belichick’s team finds itself.
Everyone knew things would decline quickly once Tom Brady left. But watching the Patriots on Sunday was brutal. Really, watching them over the last two games has been rough. Only 22 points combined in those two games.
Granted, quarterback Cam Newton was out against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Week 4 loss. But the Auburn product wasn’t all that great. He produced 233 total yards (157 passing, 76 rushing) and one rushing touchdown. He also threw two picks and fumbled twice, neither of which were lost.
Newton can only do so much. And after a battle with COVID-19 that prevented him from strapping up since Sept. 27, the rust for him and the rest of the offense was real.
After starting with a win, New England has now dropped three of its last four games.
Where the team goes from here is anyone’s guess. The good news? John Breech with CBS Sports recently wrote an article that ranked the Patriots with the eighth-easiest strength of schedule in the NFL coming into this week. The bad news? Denver was supposed to be a very winnable game, which is why New England was a nine-point favorite coming in.
Instead, it’s another loss, and fans are left wondering where things go from here.
The San Francisco 49ers (2-3) will be welcomed into Gillette Stadium next Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET for what could be a must-win game for the Patriots. If this New England team falls to 2-4 following yet another winnable game, this could get ugly fast.
The Patriots have been relevant for a long time. But that relevancy is running out fast. Something has to be done or else it could mean a missed trip to the playoffs for the first time in … forever.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.