Foxboro, MA – This is more than just losses, it’s more than moments of frustration as you watch your team fail to meet the challenge against a certain rival team.
No, these losses to the opposing team and this opposing coach on this field go much deeper. They define the soul-crushing indignation of the entire fan base. They frame a desperation in which there has been no adequate or sustained response, save for an important playoff more than a decade ago.
The loss can at least be split to any other team and eventually set aside. Losing to the Patriots Bill Belichick is just mind-numbing.
Losing 54-13 – one of the most lopsided defeats in franchise history – adds another dose of misery and humiliation.
“You give up 50 points, it’s embarrassing,” coach Robert Saleh said after Sunday’s disaster in which Zach Wilson sustained a knee injury in the first half that could keep him out of the squad for the near term.
Make no mistake. Even if Wilson were able to carry on, the outcome would likely be the same. Neither he nor backup Mike White was able to handle a Belichick-inspired defense that stifled aircraft the entire time. And Saleh’s defense had no answer for Wilson’s 2021 teammate, Mac Jones, who lit the jets for 307 yards and two touchdown passes. Nor could Saleh prevent the hasty landing of the four Patriots.
“A feeling of despair where you’re just watching, trying to figure something out,” Saleh said.
Where did Saleh begin to blame?
He said “from top to bottom”. “He starts training all the way. They punched us in the mouth scary and scored points, so credit to them. That’s it. I mean, I’ve been part of some of those in my life. They just don’t feel good.”
Welcome to the world of airplanes, coach. It’s a garbage fire like no other.
Saleh is now 1-5, with the Bengals returning home from Joe Burrow and the Colts at Indy the following Thursday. Saleh insists he has “the right guys in the locker room. I know we’ll come back strong.”
That’s the hope, of course, that Saleh can somehow rally the forces, perhaps without Wilson, who appears to have injured his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He knew this was going to be a major rebuilding job, and now he must try to build his team’s hopes up after Belichick finished demolishing them with impunity. Belichick is delighted to have defeated a team that once expected him to succeed Bill Parcells as head coach, only to see him “resign as the HC of NYJ” just days after he appointed Parcells in 2000.
He has now beaten Gates 13 times in a row at Gillette Stadium and 12 times in a row. Sometime near the end of all these victories, you’ll see a sly smile from the coach, who spawned the most successful career as a head coach in NFL history after spurning the Jets and partnering with Robert Krafts Patriots.
Even without Tom Brady to torture the Jets, Belichick now appears to have a capable successor in Jones, who has racked up more points against the Gates in one game than Brady did in his 20 seasons with New England.
This game ended just moments after it started.
The Patriots broke through the Jets’ defense on their first drive, as Kendrick Bourne completed an optional 25-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. The Jets, who had been obsessed during farewell week figuring out a way to score points in the first quarter, flew three times on his first drive. New England scored again just moments later to make it 14-0 with less than eight minutes.
soccer. The Patriots led 31-7 in the first half, and it wasn’t that close. They scored 20 points in the final quarter before Belichick finally ordered – and thankfully – reserve quarterback Brian Hoyer to take the knee instead of going for 60.
Ah, hitting planes like that. Besides winning the Super Bowls, this is what Belichick loves the most.
Ostensibly, the coach was his usual then-self, sticking to the heady coach’s script who never seems completely satisfied with his team’s performance. But he threw a few packages at his players.
“I thought our guys did a really good job,” he said. “The players were ready to go. Proud of the way this team bounced back here [after last week’s overtime loss to Dallas]. ”
Belichick reclaimed the idea that his team had gained confidence with Sunday’s performance ahead of next week’s game against the Chargers in Los Angeles.
“I don’t think we lost confidence,” he said.
The Patriots achieved their sixth consecutive season sweep against the Jets, leaving Saleh to admit that the ordeal he spoke of after taking over as coach is now on his side.
“She’s here,” he said, coaches down [expletive] Sorry for my language – in terms of scheduling. We got to line up next week and for the 11th or 12th week [after that]All we have left.”
After Sunday’s attack, he let the Gates coach and his players lick their wounds and somehow move forward.
Meanwhile, Belichick walks off the field realizing he’s done more damage to the team he’s been away from for more than two decades.