Through the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season, the Patriots looked like a legitimate playoff contender.
Now, New England looks more like a team that will find itself with a top-10 pick in next year’s draft.
The Patriots on Sunday dropped to 2-4 on the season with a 33-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Gillette Stadium. Nothing went right for New England in the Week 7 clash, which saw Jarrett Stidham replace quarterback Cam Newton at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Patriots had a lack-of-practice excuse to lean on following their Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos, but on Sunday, they were flat-out embarrassed. There’s no other way around it.
Skip Bayless delivered a strong message to Patriots fans after the team’s third consecutive loss, which marked the franchise’s first three-game losing streak since 2002. The FOX Sports 1 talking head believes if fans are going to point a finger at anyone for New England’s struggles, it should be the head coach.
This probably is an unfair take from Bayless. Tom Brady undoubtedly deserves credit for what he’s doing in Tampa Bay, but he arguably has the NFL’s best supporting cast, one that soon will grow stronger via the addition of Antonio Brown.
Would these Patriots be better with Brady under center than Newton? Maybe. But we can’t imagine TB12 would be lighting it up working with the likes of Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers and Ryan Izzo.
The Brady vs. Belichick argument likely will resurface every Sunday. But it’s a debate that’s far from straightforward.