For 18 years I’ve been a Patriots fan, and for 18 years I have watched success unfold before my eyes.
However, there have been some low points. After a 10-year title drought and a 41-14 loss on Monday Night Football to Kansas City in 2014, did my confidence in the Brady-Belichick era ever waver? Of course, it did. I’m man enough to admit it.
Yet I, and all of New England, knew if there was anyone able to come back from such an embarrassing loss, it was “The Hoodie” and “Touchdown Tommy”. Multiple times it appeared like the empire had fallen, and one of the greatest dynasties in the history of American sports with it. However, this time might actually be the end.
A 41-year-old quarterback, an aging and agitated coach, quarrels within the locker room and a 1-2 start to this season have placed doubt in the minds of fans across Patriot nation. But the narrative throughout all this has been, “We’ve come back from bad starts before, we’ll do it again.” I’m saying we won’t.
Not after the disintegration of the relationship between Brady and Belichick. Not after the 26-10 loss to the Detroit Lions, yes you heard that right, the lowly Detroit Lions. Not after the confirmation of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement threat due to a possible trade to Detroit this offseason. It will not get better.
Even with the acquisition of Josh Gordon and the eventual return of Julian Edelman from suspension. This time, it’s too much to overcome. The animosity and distraction in the Patriots organization are at an all-time high, and the lack of talent on this team is evident. Players who have been in this system before seem to be underperforming. Even Dont’a Hightower looked incredibly slow and lost on Sunday night in Detroit, and as much as I hate to say it, our beloved quarterback looked old. The Patriots will need to figure out their run defense and passing game in a hurry if they expect to even play on wild-card weekend, nevermind home field advantage.
I expect a bounce-back game on both sides of the ball against Miami on Sunday, but make no mistake that will not mean all is well in Foxborough. This is the end Patriot nation, and it’s gonna suck.