Some, fans and media, were not satisfied with the Patriots’ 2021 season.
The team went 10-7 before falling to the Bills, 47-17, on Wild Card Weekend. New England hasn’t won a playoff game since 2018 and has gone two straight seasons without winning the division, which comes following a stretch of 11 straight AFC East titles and 15 of 16.
That’s tough for some to handle, but the reality is the Patriots’ level of sustainable success is not even close to the norm.
Speaking following the loss to Buffalo last Saturday night, Matthew Slater tried to put things into perspective.
“You have to keep proper perspective on the National Football League,” he said. “For those of you who have been covering this team for a long time, this is not reality. What we’ve experienced here, to have the runs that we’ve had, the expectations for this football team, I mean nobody else in the league has done that. That’s not reality. That’s not the reality of the NFL. I think perspective is important. You look at what happened last year and the regression we had, to get back to this point, I think, certainly, we should be proud of that. But, the other edge of that sword tells us that the expectations and demands are high here and the standard is never going to change.”
Along those lines, consider this: Since 2015, every NFL franchise has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons except for three teams — the Patriots, Chiefs and Seahawks.
Not winning a playoff game in three seasons is hard for some to accept, but the reality is 29 NFL teams haven’t made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons at least once in the last six years.
Just making the playoffs with the level of consistency the Patriots have is extremely hard to do. Keep that in mind when judging what the did this season following going 7-9 a year ago.