The New England Patriots have played two solid games against tough opponents so far this season, but Bill Belichick and his squad sit at 0-2 heading into Week 3.
Andrew Fillipponi and Danny Parkins of the Audacy original podcast “1st & Pod” discussed the Patriots’ start to the season that is a “rude awakening” for Belichick.
“He’s such a great defensive schemer. He had that amazing special teams play – which Collinsworth nailed, everyone’s going to try to replicate that now. He’s had pretty good defensive gameplans the last two weeks against the Eagles’ and Dolphins’ explosive offenses at home, and it’s not good enough,” Fillipponi said (2:50 in player above). “He’s put so many eggs in the defensive basket. He’s drafted for defense. He’s signed for defense. Even with probably B-plus defensive efforts, the defense doesn’t really beat offense in the NFL anymore.”
The Patriots have had some things go their way through the first two weeks of the season but none of that really matters. New England is now 0-2 for the first time since 2001.
“This is a rude awakening for Belichick that he can have games that kind of go his way and he’s still on the losing end of things. The players for the other teams are just too much,” Fillipponi continued. “As the GM of the team, that’s on him. Offensive coordinator was a step in the right direction. But ultimately, you can’t beat the Miamis and the Eagles of the world with the guys they have on the offensive side of the ball.”
Despite two one-score losses, the Patriots appear to be ways away from their opposition.
“It doesn’t feel like they’re competitive. I don’t think he’s a quarterback away though. It’s devoid of playmakers. Stevenson is very good. He’s a powerful runner. But he’s not special,” Parkins said. “It’s a passing league. I feel like this Patriots team would’ve gone 11-5 or 12-4 if you teleported them back to 1996.”
The Patriots did well to stage a comeback against both the Dolphins and Eagles, but they came up short against both dominant offenses.
“It’s got to be a really frustrating place for Patriots fans to be,” Parkins continued. “You’re so competent and you’re absolutely good enough to be competitive in every game but not good enough to win anything that matters.”
While New England is getting some credit for two close losses, that’s not what The Patriot Way is all about.
“That’s such a far cry from what the standard is in New England where to be 0-2 with competitive losses to the Dolphins and Eagles isn’t good enough,” Fillipponi said. “And the schedule doesn’t get any easier; they have the toughest schedule in the entire NFL.”
The Patriots will look for their first win of the season as they head south to take on the Jets in Week 3.