Patriots players appear to be past the point of even trying to pretend they’re a good football team.

New England’s miserable season reached another low last Sunday when it fell to the New York Giants, who have spent the bulk of the campaign in contention for a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Patriots had a golden opportunity to push the Week 12 game into overtime, but Chad Ryland hooked a 35-yard field goal attempt as time expired at MetLife Stadium.

Players exchanged pleasantries on the turf shortly after the rookie kicker’s costly whiff. Included was a greeting between Saquon Barkley and Jabrill Peppers, who took a dig at his team as he embraced the superstar running back.

“You lucky we ass,” Peppers told Barkley.

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Is needling your squad good from an optics standpoint? No, but Peppers’ sentiment can’t be debated. New England objectively is one of the worst teams in football this season, and that should be reflected next spring when the franchise likely will make one of the first picks in the 2024 draft.

Peppers and company are riding a four-game losing streak into Sunday afternoon’s contest at Gillette Stadium. If the Patriots fall to the Los Angeles Chargers, it will mark their first season with double-digit losses since Bill Belichick’s first year on the job in 2000.

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