New England Patriots: Therapy session for fans following 33-30 loss

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01: Tom Brady /

After the New England Patriots dropped a close home game against the Carolina Panthers, I think it’s time for a fan base wide therapy session.

Hi. My name is Ben, and I’m a New England Patriots fan. This is the part where you’re supposed to say “Hi Ben”. It’s okay, I know these things can be awkward the first couple times.

A quick little background on me before we get started. I was born just three years before the turn of the millennium, so I have had little to no experience watching a suffering Patriots team. Spoiled? Yes. Ungrateful? Not one bit.

My career as a football spectator began in the early 2000’s, so as you can imagine, I became accustomed to success very early. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were characters on my television just as much as Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star were.

I have not lived through the decades of darkness previous to the success we have all grown so accustomed to. I was lucky enough to become football conscious at the beginning of the dynastic cycle. This cycle, in ancient Chinese history, consists of a culture change, a new ruler who receives the Mandate of Heaven, and viola, a dynasty is born.

The Patriots culture change began in 1994, after Robert Kraft became their owner. In the year 2000, Bill Belichick resigned as the New York Jets head coach and received the Patriots Mandate of Heaven, vaulting him into the head coaching spot. That same year, Tom Brady was drafted 199th overall. The rest is history.

FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 01: Tom Brady /

So you might be asking yourself why, with all of this success, are we here today? Well my friends, with dynasty comes opposition. Rebels. Enemies of the State. We gather here to address a situation many of us are not used to and to block out these haters.

What’s wrong?

The first step towards acceptance is to acknowledge that there is, in fact, a problem. The Patriots defense is a problem. They were awful week 1 vs. the Chiefs. They didn’t do much against the Saints in week 2. Week 3 was a mess, as they almost lost to the rookie-led Houston Texans. This past week, they couldn’t contain the Panthers.

If you check any social media platform, you’ll see angry Patriots fans ripping Stephon Gilmore for his poor coverage. Eric Rowe getting scorched. The entire defense is in shambles, and Pats Nation knows it.

Secondary aside, the Patriots haven’t done much to contain the run. Cam Newton gained over 40 yards and Jonathan Stewart gained nearly 5 YPC. Cassius Marsh has looked incompetent in recent memory, failing to make tackles and closing gaps.

Kyle Van Noy gets to reside to his quarters after the game to his beautiful wife, but during the quarters on the field he hasn’t been stuffing anyone. The linebacker corps is weak without Dont’a Hightower in for the full game.

It feels good to get this off of our chests, doesn’t it? Now, considering Matt Patricia’s swiss cheese defensive scheme, the game was not entirely negative. It’s easy to sulk and panic, but we have to look at the positives. The Patriots were never out of the game.

The Positives

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Last week I referred to Tom Brady as Patches O’Houlihan, because as long as the Patriots have him, they’ve got a chance. I bring it up again not only because I really like this reference, but because it couldn’t be more true.

The McDaniels offense didn’t skip a beat, despite not being on the field as much as they would have liked. Brady threw for 307 yards and 2 TDs, while again protecting the football. His TD/INT ratio so far this season is 10/0.

Both of Tom’s TDs came inside the 5-yard line, and they came on strikes to Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola. Passes were completed to 8 different receivers, and 4 non-Bradys rushed the football. Dion Lewis scored a rushing touchdown in the game.

We may not have been focused on it, but the Patriots offense was all business as usual. Brady spread the wealth, and the clever scheming allowed them to put up yet another 30-point performance. When your offense is scoring 31.5 PPG, you shouldn’t be 2-2.

The Takeaways

It’s easy to quote Everett from O Brother, Where Art Thou? right now and say “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!” over and over again. But I implore you to look on the bright side of things.

The Patriots offense is as effective as ever, and they’re going to put up point against the stiffest of defenses. That’s a promise.

The defense has work to do. Tom Brady says the Patriots need to play better regardless of the venue. Teams are scoring at will against us. But we can only put the past behind us.

If there’s one team who can overcome adversity and make adjustments, it’s the New England Patriots. They have the best coaching in the history of football, and the Patriot Way doesn’t allow for continued failure. That’s not to say they’ll be perfect, but they’ll improve. I feel as confident as Prince Humperdinck identifying Vizzini’s iocane powder: “I bet my life on it”.

Any time the Patriots have the same record as the New York Jets after the season has started is cause for concern. But there is no need to panic. Thank you all for allowing me to share my story with you, and I hope you feel comfortable sharing your story one day.

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The Patriots play on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so it will be a test of their character to see if they can bounce back. If I know the Patriots like I think I do, it will be a bloodbath in our favor.