Poll: Who are these Patriots and where are they going?
To quote the late Dennis Green, the New England Patriots "are what we thought they were," or what at least many of us thought coming into this season. Unfortunately, that's a middling team in the NFL, equal distance from contending with the elite as they are the top of the draft board.
That much was exposed last night at Gillette Stadium as the Pats were played off the field by a vastly superior Buffalo Bills team. The final score, 24-10, was not indicative of the gap between the teams. It was a 17-7 game at halftime, though it might as well have been 35-7 because it was evident there was little the Pats could muster on either side of the ball to keep up with the Bills.
That's now three straight meetings with the Bills in which Buffalo has taken all three W's and outscored the Pats 104-45 in the process.
The path to the playoffs is now murky at best. FiveThirtyEight.com gives the 9th-place Patriots a 23% chance of making the postseason. ESPN analytics aren't so kind, offering only a 13% of making it.
Back in March, Robert Kraft said the standard in New England is winning playoff games. It would appear 2022 is going to be another year without meeting that mark. I can't imagine he's too pleased with the performance through a dozen games this season.
Sitting at 6-6 and possibly primed for another late-season skid, how would you describe this year's edition of the Pats?