The New England Patriots once again let their fans down this past Sunday in a 25-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. After falling behind 16-0, the Patriots rallied and had two drives in the final five minutes to win the game. Ultimately, the Patriots reverted to the same team they’ve been in the post-Tom Brady era, a team that cannot finish off great teams in the fourth quarter.
For a team that has made strides from a year ago, most notably on offense, losing because of poor execution in the clutch is a tough pill to swallow. The Patriots' clutch woes prevent them from taking the next step.
What transpired on Sunday for the Patriots was mostly positive.
After the first quarter, which was terrible, the Patriots outplayed the Eagles for the most part in the final three quarters. The same scenario played out in the games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders a year ago, where they had the game in the palm of their hands, but they could not close it out.
It’s unbelievable that the Patriots are still unable to close out great teams, considering they have the greatest coach in NFL history. There always seems to be just one play that you don’t expect to see coming that hurts them.
That play on Sunday was Kayshon Boutte failing to get his second foot in bounds for the second time in the game. The play is one that the Patriots almost always used to make in the Brady era, and it shows that they just lack the clutch gene.
The blame game is unnecessary because the whole team needs to be better as a collective unit in those situations. Although Mac Jones tried to take the blame for the loss; the entire team should look to fix their clutch woes.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see if the Patriots are able to execute in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins in what should be a close affair.