Marc Bertrand: Robert Kraft and the Patriots need to start over
If Robert Kraft wasn’t already alarmed, the Patriots’ blowout loss at home on Sunday should serve as a blistering wake-up call for the team’s owner.
The Pats were embarrassed a week prior in Dallas and somehow found a way to make their situation worse in falling to the Saints 34-0.
The offensive line couldn’t block, the receivers couldn’t get open, the quarterback turned the ball over, the defense couldn’t stop Derek Carr and Alvin Kamara, and multiple mistakes were made on special teams.
As if that wasn’t hard enough to watch, head coach Bill Belichick decided to give up and surrender early in the 3rd quarter. Trailing 24-0, Belichick decided to punt on 4th and 3 from the Saints’ 40.
It was the strongest signal yet that Belichick has little faith in the roster he assembled and coaches every week.
After the game, in another pathetic podium performance, Belichick made the wild claim that he didn’t even consider going for it. “Until we’re better on third and fourth down, I don’t think so,” he mumbled.
In addition to an unsurprising lack of accountability, there was also a laughable pledge to “start over” as Week 6 approaches.
The idea is far-fetched, given that it’s October and the team’s level of play has gone from bad to worse. The path math isn’t pretty, either. Less than 3 percent of teams to start an NFL season 1-4 have qualified for the playoffs. Is there any reason to believe New England could be an outlier and mount a comeback in 2023?
The Patriots appear to be one of the worst teams in the NFL, and the position Kraft finds himself in is largely unfamiliar. It has been nearly five years since the Patriots won a playoff game. That won’t change this season, and it’s already time to start thinking about the future.
The franchise just went through the least competitive 8-day span in its history and it comes after its owner spent two straight off-seasons talking about high expectations and how much he hates losing.
RKK had to really hate what happened Sunday. He must know that his rah-rah rhetoric will fall flat if he rolls it out again this off-season. And as the only guy who can hold Bill Belichick accountable, it is Kraft who should be considering starting over.
Listen to Zolak & Bertrand from 10-2 every Monday-Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with hosts Marc “Beetle” Bertrand, Scott Zolak, and Rob “Hardy” Poole. You can listen live in the Sports Hub App and subscribe to their podcasts here. Follow @ZoAndBertrand on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the show!