As a Patriots fan, I’ve learned to dread September more than any other month. The embarrassing losses, lackluster execution, and utter lack of resemblance to what the kids call a “Super Bowl Contender” have become synonymous with the ninth month of the year for everyone in Pats Nation.
Watching Patriots September football is like waiting in line at a bar knowing very well you’re underage. You are confident you’ll get in eventually and pull one over on the bouncer, just like you always do, yet you can’t help but wonder, “What if he realizes I’m not a 24 year old from Illinois?” Okay, that analogy was a stretch.
The point is, even the most confident Patriots fans always have some semblance of worry creep into their mind during the seemingly annual slow starts. Many of us wouldn’t jump to write a blog piece about how they aren’t coming back from this (not sure where I saw that…), but September is always concerning nonetheless. Maybe it’s 2017’s 2-2 (probably should have been 1-3 but thank God Tom Brady owns the Houston Texans) start that began with the 42-27 thrashing at the hands of the Chiefs at Gillette.
Or 2014’s 2-2 start complete with the infamous 41-14 spanking courtesy of, yep, the Chiefs. Or if you really want to get nostalgic, we can throw it all the way back to 2003’s 2-2 (seeing a pattern?) start that began with Lawyer Milloy’s revenge game where he and his new Bills teammates blanked the Patriots 31-0. That’s right. The BILLS. Whichever example you look at, though, the common denominator has always been New England’s ability to bounce back.
If you were looking for that trend to come to a halt this year, you’re going to have to keep waiting. Despite all the (possibly warranted) doubt, the Pats have rebounded from yet another 2-2 start complete with a baffling loss. Big shoutout to Matt Patricia for that one. Over the last three games, the Patriots have scored 38, 38 and 43 points (that’s payback, Kansas City), respectively. The defense, while maybe not “good,” has found a way to be juuuuust good enough to allow Tom Terrific and company to dig the Patriots out of yet another early season hole.
They have a legitimate workhorse at RB for the first time in a hot minute, and Tom, despite not putting up the mind boggling numbers of years past just yet, is still proving he’s the best at what matters most: winning football games. All signs point to this team getting better throughout the season, which is terrifying for the rest of the NFL. Or at least the teams not naive enough to think that the Patriots are still the wounded deer they always seem to be in September. Come January and February, I can’t help but feel like I will be watching my team run through the playoffs yet again and struggling to remember the nightmares of September. And I can’t freakin’ wait.