ARLINGTON, Texas — The jury has returned.
The verdict is in.
The Patriots are responsible.
Of roster-building conceitedness. Of quarterback malpractice. Of deluding a fanbase and themselves they have been able to launching a playoff marketing campaign in opposition to the NFL’s hardest schedule.
Their sentencing got here down Sunday with a calamitous 38-3 loss at Dallas, a sport that may stay on as a searing reminder, branded into the reminiscence of their fanbase, that the Patriots are to not be trusted.
Because why would you belief them?
What have they executed to deserve your confidence the final three years?
Who amongst them do you imagine in?
Is it Bill Belichick, who simply swallowed the worst lack of his head-coaching profession?
The Cowboys jumped his protection for 10 factors on their first two drives. His particular groups bought out-foxed on a faux additional level. Belichick is 26-29 since Tom Brady left, and has didn’t instill any of the traits that outlined the Brady-era groups — taking part in good, sound and properly beneath stress — each season since Brady left.
Do you imagine in Mac Jones?
Mac Jones benched as Patriots get demolished in 38-3 loss to Cowboys
Had Jones been a mole for Dallas, he would have inflicted much less injury Sunday than what he really achieved making an attempt to assist the Patriots win.
First, Jones gift-wrapped a fumble return landing deep in his personal territory. Then, he ripped a mind-numbing decide six. And in a single closing grasp stroke, trailing 28-3, he tossed an interception on fourth down that regarded like a designed back-shoulder throw for Cowboys nook DaRon Bland.
Yet Jones’ unintended hurt solely price the Patriots one sport. He was among the many few causes the workforce discovered optimism within the movie of its 1-2 begin. His sins will wash away by the point the Patriots kick off subsequent week.
But Belichick’s will not. As the final supervisor, Belichick has handcuffed his quarterback to a turnstile offensive line and weapons with none trace of explosion. Who in at the moment’s NFL believes reaching into the low cost bin for broad receivers and offensive tackles is a recipe to contend?
On the drive after Jones’ second decide, these are the pass-catchers the Patriots deployed within the face of a 31-3 deficit: Pharaoh Brown, Mike Gesicki, Hunter Henry, DeVante Parker and Ezekiel Elliott. Aside from Henry, that could be a who’s who of NFL cast-offs.
Patriots rookie standout Christian Gonzalez injures shoulder vs. Cowboys
Gesicki and Parker are Dolphins leftovers. Brown is a lifelong journeyman who owes his season spotlight, final week’s 58-yard landing versus the Jets, to a busted protection. And Elliott is an outdated 28, zapped of all his burst and risk as a runner.
The Cowboys knew it. That’s why they reduce him.
Meanwhile Dallas, as Belichick famous earlier this week, led the NFL final season with eight Pro Bowlers. The Cowboys by no means, ever lack for expertise, regardless of having an proprietor for a GM. Yet in New England, Belichick has collected one, perhaps two, blue-chip abilities on his whole roster.
And each have been misplaced Sunday: Matt Judon to an elbow harm, and rookie nook Christian Gonzalez succumbed to a damage shoulder.
Where does that go away the Patriots? Never earlier than have they felt extra like a promise of the previous, a workforce outlined by success that grows extra distant by the day. What concerning the current appears like a present?
And who’s to say what the long run will convey?
Remember within the offseason, the Pats supposedly corrected course as a franchise. Belichick re-hired Bill O’Brien as his offensive coordinator and appeared to clean his fingers of the dysfunction and catastrophe of 2022. But the stains — turnovers, penalties and poor fundamentals — are nonetheless there, and O’Brien hasn’t delivered.
The offense has averaged fewer than 14 factors per sport. The Patriots cannot run-block, pass-block, run or throw. Somehow, in buying and selling out Matt Patricia and Joe Judge for O’Brien and new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, they’ve regressed.
The backside line is that this: the Patriots are a failed Hail Mary away from being 0-4. They’ve opened at 1-3 for a 3rd straight yr and been outscored by 42 mixed factors over 4 video games. Reaching again, they’re 3-8 since final Thanksgiving, with wins solely over Zach Wilson, Colt McCoy and Skylar Thompson.
Before Sunday, the Patriots had come shut; in opposition to the Bills final season, the Eagles and Dolphins this yr. But shut continues to be too far.
Too far for this workforce, for this fanbase, for this whole operation to proceed for much longer.
Sunday uncovered the Patriots for who they’re: a fraudulent workforce taking part in and training on borrowed time.