Bill Belichick's post-Tom Brady years continue to get bleaker as the New England Patriots welcomed the New Orleans Saints into Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon and was such good hosts that they declined to score even a single point. Mac Jones was really bad, going 12-for-22 for 110 yards and two interceptions. For a second straight week the Pats were getting crushed so badly that Belichick decided to let backup quarterback Bailey Zappe get some exercise — and it was the only moment of the afternoon the shellshocked crowd showed signs of life.
It's sarcastic cheering but at least there was some cheering.
In case you were in some sort of denial about this, New England is is major trouble. They are now 1-4 and play in an extremely tough division. The main problem, of course, is that the offense has no firepower and Jones has crystalized into someone who is probably not going to be tasked with fixing it long-term. If Zappe were better, though, one would think he's the one who would be starting given Belichick's intense devotion to setting aside egos in the name of winning.
Next week the Patriots travel to Las Vegas and then return home to face the Buffalo Bills. Then it's off to Miami. So the bottom could really fall out here. We're barely through the quarter-pole of the season yet it looks like we're all about to find out if this organization and its long-time leader would actually tank.