The latest comments from Patriots QB Cam Newton have to make you feel like the latest L was on the coaching staff.
Coming off the win of the season against Baltimore last weekend, the New England Patriots were widely favored — and rightfully so when you compare their respective rosters — to dispose of the Houston Texans this past Sunday.
When all was said and done, however, Deshaun Watson overcame the deficiencies of his offensive line and delivered one of the better performances of his career, completing 28-of-37 pass attempts (75.6%) for 344 yards and two touchdowns, adding 36 yards and a score on the ground en route to a 27-20 victory.
On the other side of the ball, Cam Newton did everything he could to keep the Patriots within striking distance before ultimately failing to come through on the final drive while trailing by a touchdown.
No matter who you blame for the loss, it was downright shocking to see a Bill Belichick-coached team get drastically outplayed by a side who had previously looked like it had given up on its season. If you ask us, that speaks to a lack of preparedness, and Newton’s comments from his weekly segment on WEEI Radio make us feel that was the case.
With a date against the 6-4 Cardinals slated for next weekend, Sunday’s matchup against the Texans, who scored seven points in a loss in their previous game and beat Jacksonville by two points the week prior, had all the makings of a trap game, and the Patriots fell right into it. Newton clearly knew that was the case. How did the coaching staff miss this then?
Houston’s spirits would’ve been crushed had New England set the tone early. Instead, however, the defense coughed up an early 7-0 lead and the offense was rendered useless — probably because running back Damien Harris was made an afterthought — in the second quarter.
Before fans could even blink, the Patriots found themselves down 21-10 at halftime. With lackluster (at best) offensive firepower and a quarterback who’s still adjusting to a new system, that deficit predictably proved to be insurmountable, even though the Texans managed just two field goals on offense in the second half.
We normally hate to come down on Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff, but who else are we to blame for their players’ lack of execution — especially on defense — against a team with one of the worst records in the league?
This is a game the Patriots should’ve won coming off a timely triumph against the Ravens and now their already-slim playoff hopes have been rendered improbable. If that isn’t an indictment against their preparation and approach leading up to Sunday, then nothing is.
We’ve defended the coaching staff all year based on the lack of talent they’ve been working with, but they undoubtedly deserve to shoulder the majority of the blame for New England looking like the inferior team against Houston, because that is far from the reality of things.