It's beginning to look like one of the Patriots' favorite pastimes is starting drama for opposing teams after either veraciously beating them to the point of embarrassment or an unexpected win late in the season that most believed they had no business winning.
That appears to be the case with the Broncos in recent days since they were handed their third loss in four games on Sunday Night Football, courtesy of New England, as stuff is hitting the fan from the coaching staff to the roster.
It seems like the loss to the Patriots was just the icing on the cake of an already dysfunctional franchise, but maybe it really is all it took to send them into a tailspin.
The Patriots continue playing disruptor to end the season
The Broncos were heavily favored in their Week 16 matchup, with nearly every analyst claiming it would be a complete blowout. Despite the home team having started the season poorly before going into a winning streak and returning to their early form, the Patriots haven't been credited for much of anything this year, some of it warranted while most of it not.
Yes, the offense has been putrid for most of the year, and doubting they could do much of anything successfully makes sense. However, the defense has been stellar for several weeks now, even after losing two of their best players to injury in the first month of the year.
To put it gently, that's how this game was won for the Patriots; their defense obliterated Russell Wilson and their offense through most of the game.
Things got a little iffy when they allowed two touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter, but their forcing of punts, a fumble returned for a touchdown, and an early fourth down stop helped ensure a Patriots win.
It was such an unexpected turn of events that Sean Payton has decided to bench Wilson for the final two games despite not being anywhere near the biggest issue on the offense recently. It is said to be due to an injury clause in his contract, and they reportedly don't want to risk the quarterback getting hurt and having to dish out a ton of money.
But since they still have a shot to make the postseason, even if there is only a slight chance, why bench your quarterback in Week 17? It feels like another team the Patriots have broken simply by beating them.
Fortunately, things seem less chaotic in New England, as most focus on Bill Belichick's future has become more background noise over the last week or so. It will certainly pick back up over the next two weeks, but it's nice that they have appeared to be more drama-free recently, and now we can just watch the happenings in Denver from afar.