Unveiling the Most Surprising Overreactions in NFL Week 5 – Join the Debate!

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Patriots Suffer Second-Worst Loss Under Belichick in Back-to-Back Debacles

By Dan Graziano | October 8, 2023 | 11:25 PM ET | 12 Minute Read

FOXOBOROUGH, Mass. – Following the devastating loss to the Cowboys, the Patriots managed to outdo themselves by enduring an even worse defeat against the Saints. After being benched in both games, quarterback Mac Jones has raised concerns about his ability to perform as a franchise quarterback. With a dismal 156 yards of offense, three turnovers, and a mere eight first downs, the Patriots failed to impress on Sunday. The disgruntled crowd at Gillette Stadium voiced their frustration with boos as the team struggled to make any progress.

As the Patriots move on to face the Raiders in Las Vegas next week, it seems that Coach Bill Belichick is at a loss for what to do. When asked about a solution to their slump, Belichick simply responded with a muttered “start over”. This abysmal performance is undoubtedly the worst the Patriots have experienced during Belichick’s tenure since 2000. Now, there are legitimate concerns about whether the season is salvageable, if Jones can fulfill his potential as a franchise quarterback, and how much longer Belichick will remain in the game.

As an eyewitness to this catastrophe, I believe it’s fitting to address some potential takeaways from Week 5 in our NFL overreactions column.

Is This Belichick’s Final Season?

The Patriots are undeniably in a dire state right now. The statistics speak for themselves – a combined minus-69 point differential in the last two games, something unprecedented in franchise history. The team hasn’t suffered back-to-back losses of 30 or more points since 1970, and scoring only three points over two games is reminiscent of their performance in 1992. Add to that Jones’ struggles, with four interceptions returned for touchdowns already, and the situation seems hopeless.

Belichick’s bewildered and muttered responses during the post-game interview only exacerbate the concerns. Although I highly doubt the Patriots would ever fire Belichick, I can’t ignore the parallels with other great coaches in their final seasons. It’s not far-fetched to consider the possibility that the Patriots might decide to part ways with Belichick at the end of the season, especially if they plan to start fresh with a new quarterback. Rumors of Patriots defensive coordinator Jerod Mayo being the successor add to this speculation, making a coaching change less surprising if the team ends the season with a 3-14 record.


Are the Ravens Struggling on Offense?

The Ravens had a golden opportunity to dominate the AFC North with a win against the Steelers. However, their stagnant offense let them down, scoring a mere 10 points in a game where victory seemed within reach. While it’s no surprise that the Steelers are struggling offensively, it’s alarming that Baltimore’s offense hasn’t shown the promised improvements under new coordinator Todd Monken. The inconsistency in their passing game and their heavy reliance on running plays have hindered their progress. Even with Lamar Jackson’s occasional brilliance, the offense lacks the spark and explosiveness that was anticipated.

However, it’s important to remember that the Ravens’ offensive scheme is new to Jackson, and the team has been plagued by injuries. Despite the setbacks, their 3-2 record and Jackson’s improved passing skills suggest that there is still potential for growth. It’s premature to overreact and dismiss the Ravens’ chances of reaching new heights this season.


Are the Giants Destined for a Top Draft Pick?

Among last year’s playoff teams, the Giants have displayed the worst performance so far. In a 31-16 loss to the Dolphins, their offensive line allowed a staggering seven sacks, and their defense was their only source of points. With injuries sidelining key players like Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, the Giants’ offense struggles to protect the quarterback and make successful plays downfield. Their receiving corps lacks reliability, exacerbating their offensive woes.

What was once a promising team seems to have lost all momentum, leaving doubt as to whether Coach Brian Daboll can turn things around. The Giants are on pace for a three-win season, placing them in the running for a top-five draft pick. ESPN’s Football Power Index also suggests a high probability (60.7%) of them ending up in the top five. With an upcoming game against the Bills likely to yield another defeat, it seems increasingly likely that the Giants’ struggles will continue.



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