The New England Patriots’ week 15 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders perfectly sums up the team in what is their post-Brady era. Perhaps one of the most brutal losses by any team this season, the Patriots lose on a freak last play that started with a Rhamondre Stevenson run and ended with a Chandler Jones defensive touchdown.
New England has been in a bit of a weird spiral since Tom Brady left. In that first year, they weren’t really competitive with Cam Newton under center and didn’t have of ton of cap space to do much.
They selected Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL Draft who does share some qualities to Tom Brady, and I think that was the pull for him to end up as a Patriot. Their first year in 2021 was very encouraging. Mac Jones and an elite defense led the team to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth.
That season provided hope for the future. Did the team really luck out transitioning from one franchise quarterback to another? Well, Josh McDaniels leaving for Las Vegas put a giant wrench in things.
Since then, Matt Patricia has taken over the play-calling, and it’s gone as well as you’d expect. The team entered week 15 just barely clinging to their playoff hopes, and the people you’d expect to let the team down, let the team down.
Matt Patricia and the offense put on a clinic of what not to do, and it was the offenses ineptness during the final play that caused the loss. It hurts even more when Josh McDaniels, who was keeping that offense in 2021 humming, was on the other sideline celebrating.
This loss should prompt heavy chances in New England. If Bill Belichick isn’t yet leaving, it’s time for a full deconstruction of the offense and the play-callers and an installation of something new.