10/16/23 By Nick Antonakas
The Patriots are in unfamiliar territory: amongst the bottom feeders of the NFL.
After falling to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday 21-17, the Pats dropped to 1-5 on the year. While on paper the score was close, Vegas handed New England countless opportunities to win the game, none of which were capitalized on. Instead, it was a game that featured 11 team penalties, a terrible interception by Mac Jones, a horrid drop by DeVante Parker on a perfect throw, and a safety to close out the contest.
To add to the sting Pats fans felt, it was a crew of ex Patriots outperforming their former squad.
Josh McDaniels, the Raiders head coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick, was able to improve his record against his former boss to 3-0. Jakobi Meyers – a receiver New England refused to give a raise to last offseason – scored the game’s first touchdown for Las Vegas. Even when Jimmy Garoppolo – Patriots former backup quarterback – went down with a back injury, another former Pats backup QB in Brian Hoyer was there to take his place in leading the Raiders offense to victory.
The Patriots locker room is discouraged, disconnected, and disappointed; and things won’t be getting any easier for them. Up next is the 4-2 Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Oct. 23, with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. Following that is a date with the 5-1 Dolphins in Miami, creating a real possibility that the New England Patriots are 1-7 by week eight; just in time for the NFL Trade Deadline.
All the Patriots can hope for is that what happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas.