Patriots “not performing at a good level,” lose third in a row to 49ers

By Brendan Beauregard, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Patriots were served an embarrassing 33-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon in Foxboro, recording their third-straight loss and falling to 2-4 on the season.

Before Sunday, the New England Patriots had only lost three straight games once in Bill Belichick’s 21 seasons as head coach—18 years ago during the 2002 season. Now, almost two decades later, the Patriots have done it again, and it has created a growing feeling of uncertainty among Patriots fans.

To say New England had a tough day at the office would be an understatement. The team coughed up four turnovers on offense, gave up 467 total yards, and did not score a touchdown, according to ESPN.

“We were clearly outcoached, outplayed, just out-everything,” Belichick said in the postgame press conference. “We’re just not performing at a good level right now in any area.

You can say that again, Bill.

Additionally, Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton was benched in the fourth quarter after a simply terrible performance. According to ESPN, Newton completed nine of 15 passes for only 98 yards, recorded zero touchdowns, and threw three interceptions. File that production in the “that’s not good” section, with Newton knowing it, too.

“In no way, shape, or form did I put this team in a position to compete, and that’s inexcusable,” Newton said in the postgame press conference. “This is the National Football League, where a lot is put on the quarterback, and I have to deliver, and I haven’t done that.”

Newton didn’t help New England in any way with his play on Sunday. But, again, it wasn’t solely his fault. 

Offensively, it was a mixture of bad decision-making and guys just not getting open when they had to. Patriots star receiver Julian Edelman, yet again, was hardly a factor, recording one catch for 13 yards along with one slammed helmet in anger after a ball he touched led to an interception.

“Our Wi-Fi is definitely off,” Newton said in regards to his recent lack of connection with Edelman. “It’s frustrating because knowing the person Julian is and knowing the body of work that he puts in each and every week and day and from preparation to biometrically with his body, you fall in love with a person like that.”

Like Newton said, the Wi-Fi signal is definitely not working in the offensive part of New England’s household, and it’s also not working in the defensive rooms too.

Out of San Francisco’s nine total drives on Sunday, New England’s defense gave up points on six of them. The Patriots couldn’t keep up with San Francisco’s consistent pre-snap motions and speed as the 49ers averaged over seven yards per play

Sure, you can point out the two interceptions caused by the Patriots, but one of those picks was a “just chuck it in the endzone” hail mary by the 49ers with seconds remaining in the half.

“We never had control of the game,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said afterward in the postgame press conference. “I mean, you give up 33 points. I don’t think we did anything really well today.”

When New England looks at themselves in the mirror, it’s not going to be pretty. Star cornerback Stephon Gilmore said it best in his postgame press conference. 

“The last three weeks we haven’t won, so we have to change something,” Gilmore said. 

“We have to do some of the things better.”

If the Patriots want to climb out of the hole they dug themselves into and save their season, they need to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, what part of the run game can they utilize to their full advantage while addressing their poor tackling of late? 

It’s going to be an uphill battle the Patriots haven’t faced in a very long time, and the climb starts with facing a solid Bills team on Sunday. 

On to Buffalo.