Football

Pats can’t get out of their own way

A show of hands please:

How many Patriots fans watched the Chargers’ first field goal and had at least a fleeting thought that Sunday’s final score had just sailed between the uprights?

OK; Los Angeles/San Diego was capable of scoring again, and did.

Field goal No. 2 made it 6-0, and that’s how it stood at the end. 

Once again, the Patriots saw their worst enemy in their collective mirrors.

Of the Pats’ 10 losses in the season’s first 12 games this one may have been the ugliest. They successfully mixed all their methods of self destruction into a noxious stew and fed it to the assembled members of Football Masochists Anonymous.

It’s tough to know how many season ticket holders shivered in the cold rain. Some may have given their tickets to friends and loved ones, though it is fair to wonder how much they really love them.

There was a report that says tickets on the legalized scalping market sold for as little as $5.

Back in our college days, end zone seats sold for $6.

Now Gillette Stadium is infinitely more comfortable than Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium. But there is nothing so comfortable that it can soothe the sensibilities of someone expecting to see professional football and watching the Patriots’ offense bumble its way to history.

Sunday’s nugget of historic note: the 2023 Patriots are the first NFL team to allow 10 or fewer points in three straight games and win none of them since the 1938 Chicago Cardinals.

To clarify: The Arizona Cardinals were born in Chicago, moved to St. Louis in 1960 and on to the Southwest desert in 1988.

In purely parochial terms, this is a level of futility that the Nickerson Field, Fenway Park, Harvard Stadium, Alumni Stadium, Schaefer Stadium and Sullivan Stadium Patriots never endured.

Bailey Zappe started at quarterback instead of the people’s punching bag, Mac Jones. It didn’t matter. It should have been fairly clear beforehand that it wouldn’t matter.

The Patriots’ offensive dysfunction starts at quarterback but most certainly doesn’t end there. As an added handicap, their most consistently productive offensive player this season, Rhamondre Stevenson, left Sunday’s game in the second quarter with an ankle injury in the first half.

What a cheery thought it is to consider the Patriots playing at Pittsburgh on Thursday night without him.

On the bright side, Arizona beat the Steelers on Sunday, lifting the Patriots to the second-worst record in the NFL.