The New England Patriots’ week 15 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders not only put a dagger in their playoff hopes but could hint at the end of an era. Whenever your favorite team losses, reactionary and emotionally driven takes are common.
If the Patriots had one this game handily, the reactionary take might be “Oh man, we’re definitely making the playoffs for sure!”
It’s understandable, and I can’t imagine what some Vikings’ fans had to say after their team pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history. The Patriots’ loss in week 15 was perhaps one of the most gutting in the history of the game.
This game was the easiest remaining game on the team’s schedule and would have likely allowed them to only need one more win out of their final three games to have a reasonable shot at the playoffs. Now, instead of being 8-6, New England is 7-7 with three games against the Bills, Dolphins, and Bengals left.
We’re talking about two Super Bowl contenders in the Bills and Bengals and an offensive juggernaut in the Dolphins. Folks, it’s not looking good, and a 7-10 finish is likely, unfortunately. Finishing 7-10 or even 8-9 would not be good enough to make the playoffs, and part of me thinks that would signal the end of an era in New England.
Two out of three years since Tom Brady left, the Patriots would have failed to qualify for the post-season. Surely that is nowhere near good enough for Robert Kraft. I do think he’d approach Bill Belichick after the season and allow him to layout his plan to fix the team.
However, I also see a very real possibility that Kraft relieves Belichick of his duties as the head coach. I’m not sure what BB would do if he was no longer the head coach. For example, would he remain as the General Manager?
Who knows, but the era of Belichick on the sidelines could be coming to an end.