The New England Patriots, by some standards, have been pretty underwhelming this season.
After falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Pats concluded their season road slate with a 3-5 record, their worst since they went 2-6 back in 2009. That infamous 2009 season is regarded as being among the worst in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, coming to a bitter end with New England getting its doors blown off by the Baltimore Ravens in the wild card round.
Comparisons between that campaign and this one flared up when a clip from NFL Network’s “A Football Life” from the 2009 season resurfaced. The clip shows Belichick lamenting to Brady during a game against the New Orleans Saints that his players simply are unable to do what he’s asking of them.
Patriots fans are well known for being a bunch that is fond of the knee-jerk reaction, so many are drawing comparisons between the two campaigns. Belichick, who tends to be *just a bit* more measured in his reactions, isn’t buying the comparisons.
“This is a lot different than 2009, but look, we’ll see what happens,” Belichick said during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria” on Monday. “There is still a lot of football left this year and I know our guys are very dedicated and work hard. Nobody feels good today, nor should we. We’ll see what we can do this week.”
Belichick then essentially indicated that it’s a fools errand to compare current teams to previous ones, especially those in the distant past.
“Right now, I am really just thinking about Buffalo and do the best job I can to get our team ready to go on Sunday against them,” Belichick said. “What happened last week, or two weeks ago, or in 2002 — I don’t really think what happened in 2002 has much bearing on this week’s game, with all due respect.”
Indeed, the Patriots clearly don’t look like the squad they’ve been in years past. But with there being no true top dog in the AFC, it may be a little bit premature to start thinking the season is a lost cause.
Thumbnail photo via Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports Images