New England Patriots

Boy, won’t it be great if
the Pats are entertaining?

We have reached the point in the Patriots’ meltdown that the weather is cause for excitement.

As in: If it rains Sunday, can that give them a chance to win … or to keep it close … or to be competitive … or to make it entertaining?

There is a subplot to all these conversations. It seems settled – in the court of public opinion, anyway – that Bill Belichick will be the head coach until the season ends.

That much makes sense. As Belichick responded when he yanked Mac Jones from one lost cause and was asked if he should have let him continue, what would be the point?

Belichick appears to occasionally tolerate Jones’ presence, but there is no question that he doesn’t particularly like it. Nothing personal, of course; just business.

Should Jones remain the starting quarterback in 2024? The as yet known coach will, presumably, have a large say in that call. Circumstances will hold more sway.

If a team in need of a quarterback wants one on the cheap, Jones may be a reasonable option. He has shown promise when is able to avoid being bulldozed by swarms of large, snarling men allowed access to him by a bumbling offensive line.

How much can they afford to spend on quality linemen if they have multiple needs in the so-called skilled positions?

How many veterans, on both sides of the ball, have a great desire to stay, regardless of who populates the coaching staff?

And are there enough quality free agents hitting the market to make breaking the bank worth it?

Professional sports constitute the ultimate number-crunching industry. The record is what it is.

(Didn’t a famous coach popularize that rhetorical gem?)

The grading system, fueled by expectations, has slid that low. If the Pats can keep from being embarrassed by the Buffalo Bills – at home – that is now a solid, gentleman’s C.

Ron Erhardt, Rod Rust and Dick MacPherson could certainly relate to that.