FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s been over a month since the New England Patriots put together a competent offensive performance.

No, we’re not joking.

In a season full of struggles, things got about as bad as we’ve seen them for New England’s offense Sunday at Gillette Stadium. In his first start of the year, Bailey Zappe led the Patriots to zero total points against the Los Angeles Chargers. It’s not like that’s a fluke, either, as the Patriots are 0-3 in their last three games, despite having kept their opponent to 20 points or less in all of them. They’re the first team to ever do that.

That Chargers weren’t going to let that fact stop them from taking credit for the shutout victory, however.

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“It’s our first (shutout), I think,” Chargers safety Derwin James said postgame. “It feels good. … It’s a good start for our defense. I feel like we’re starting to get connected and get in a rhythm. It was about us. I don’t feel like it was nothing they were doing. I feel like when we’re connecting and we’re talking, that’s the type of performance we’re capable of.”

That’s a nice thought, but one quick internet search might tell you different.

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The Chargers have the worst defense in the NFL when it comes to yards allowed per game, giving up 390 per contest entering Week 13. That’s in the neighborhood of the Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Commanders and Denver Broncos — who are also among the league’s worst defenses in scoring.

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It was a nice starting point for the Chargers’ defense, which needed to face a Patriots-level offense to get things pointed in the right direction. That’s quite the indictment on New England.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images