You know the Patriots are bad when ESPN's Mike Reiss says they're bad

Oct 1, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA;  New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the
Oct 1, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Not many Patriots reporters are universally liked and respected more by New England fans than ESPN's Mike Reiss. So when he says something about the team and how they're playing, everyone listens.

That makes his latest take on the 2023 Patriots even more significant. After falling to the Saints 21-0 in the second quarter on Sunday, Reiss tweeted out the first-half deficits the Patriots have faced this season, primarily by their own hand.

He finished the tweet by sharing thanks for the great football he's been able to see firsthand over the last two decades and concluded that what we've seen from the Patriots so far this season is far from that.

Although it's evident to anyone who has watched a single game this season, hearing that echoed by a guy like Reiss makes it even more significant.

It's an incredibly disappointing way to start a season that felt very promising, with the additions of Bill O'Brien and Adrian Klemm and the potential bounce-back year for Mac Jones. On top of that, the 2023 draft class looked like one of the best in recent memory, and some have performed beyond expectations, but that's where it all stops.

Not enough was done during the offseason to make this a competitive team. Key players were not re-signed (aka Jakobi Meyers), Mac Jones wasn't given more dynamic or reliable weapons, and the offensive line was essentially ignored.

The defense began the season looking as dominant as ever, but the loss of Christian Gonzalez and Matthew Judon is already plaguing them against a lackluster offense like the Saints. If that's any indication of what's to come this season, it's not looking good for the Patriots on either side of the ball.

And to make matters worse, special teams are not playing up to snuff either. They have had a few standout moments this season, like Brenden Schooler's blocked punt, but they haven't been able to replicate that in the following games.

How the rest of the season will look is yet to be seen, but given what they're doing in this game against the Saints, plus Reiss' shared disappointment, it's not looking good.