The quarterback really struggled against the Texans. Couldn't make enough big plays.
The playcalling was terrible by the offensive coordinator.
The defense couldn't handle Deshaun Watson. Defensive gameplan was flawed.
Those are some of the comments going around about the Patriots after their 27-20 loss on Sunday to the previously 2-7 Texans, which quickly dashed most of the dreams of a postseason run.
They also happen to be many of the same comments I heard from Patriots fans following LAST YEAR's 28-22 loss in the same place to the same team.
Funny how things change but they really stay the same.
On Dec. 1, 2019, the Patriots trailed 21-3 in the third quarter after Tom Brady was 7 of 19 for 82 yards, an interception and a rating of 28.8 in the first half. You'll remember this as the Tom The Miserable game, as he tossed helmets and screamed and ranted.
This time, a less-talented Texans team dealing with a coaching change led 21-10 at halftime, as Cam Newton was 7 of 13 for 85 yards and 74.2 rating.
Let me put those first halves side by side for you, for effect:
Brady: 7 of 19, 82 yards
Newton: 7 of 13, 85 yards
For giggles, let's do Watson.
2019 (3 quarters): 14 of 21, 192 yards, 3 total TDs
2020: 18 of 23 241 yards, 3 total TDs
Well, isn't that interesting. Two trips to Houston in back to back years. Largely, the same results.
Bill Belichick on Sunday: "Had some opportunities throughout the course of the game and just couldn't do enough with them."
Belichick in 2019: "I thought we had our chances, we’ve just got to make more out of them.”
I think I could probably just change some names around with this and run it again while we're at it:
To finish it off: the Texans loss last year started a finish of 4-5. Sunday's Texans loss completed a 4-6 start to this season for the Patriots.
In the words of Yogi Berra, "It's like deja vu all over again."
The question is, what does it mean?
Well, all the coaches are basically the same for the Patriots. I don't think they've gotten dumber, even though apparently that's what I'm supposed to believe with all the Playcalling Experts on Twitter.
I do find it interesting that I didn't hear anyone saying the team should move on from the quarterback last year — but the player himself was already thinking that.
The answer to any and all questions about Sunday's result should be evident with what we eventually learned last season. It should be as clear as day.