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Zero to Ten: Magic Numbers From the Patriots Latest Loss

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New England Patriots place kicker Chad Ryland (37) kicks an extra point against the New York Giants during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

On Sunday, the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants. It was another rough day in a very rough season, which somehow seems to keep bottoming out. Today, a look at some of the magic numbers of significance from that game.

How have things continued to go from bad to worse in Foxboro? Why does Mac Jones keep failing to produce, given a plethora of opportunities? When could Patriots fans have ever imagined a Bill Belichick team of losing in ugly fashion to bad teams on a regular basis? Time to count the ways…

Zero

Points the New England Patriots scored with Mac Jones at quarterback against the Giants. Jones played the entire first half, but the only time he moved the offense into scoring range, the threat was thwarted by another interception from the arm of Mac Jones (his second of the game). This was made to look all the worse after his replacement, Bailey Zappe, led the team on a touchdown drive to start the second half. Bill Belichick has preached that “nothing is more important than ball security.” Unfortunately for Belichick, his starting quarterback has not gotten the message.

One

Field goal attempts former Patriots kicker Nick Folk has missed this season playing for the Titans. This is also the number of field goals current Patriots kicker Chad Ryland attempted on Sunday. Folk is 20-of-21 in 2023. Ryland was 0-for-1 on Nov. 26, 2023. To make matters worse, Ryland’s attempt was from only 35 yards out. And it was to send the game to overtime. Pressure was high, but degree of difficulty was low, and he missed. For comparison’s sake, Folk hit 58-of-58 field goal attempts from inside of 40 yards during his four-year tenure in New England. Ryland is now 6-of-8 in his rookie year from inside 40, (12-of-17 overall). Obviously, the hope is that things will improve, but that is now two games in a row with a costly miss for Nick Folk’s replacement.

Two

Consecutive games New England has lost while giving up 10 or less points. That has not been done in 30 years. The only other team to do it in the past 45 years is the 1993 New England Patriots (statistic courtesy of Boston Sports Info). New England’s starting quarterback in those games: Scott Secules. The 2023 New England Patriots are only the sixth team to ‘accomplish’ this feat during the Super Bowl Era.

Three

New England’s current draft position in the 2024 NFL Draft. For people that like feeling positive about the Patriots, this is one of the very few things to smile about in the 2023 campaign.

Four

Targets for JuJu Smith-Schuster on Sunday. He caught two passes for 10 yards. He also got into a heated exchange (per NESN’s Dakota Randall) on the sideline with wide receivers coach Troy Brown. After the game, Smith-Schuster told reporters it was just frustration and did not have to do with a lack of targets on that drive (which ended in Mac Jones’ second interception of the game). However, it is odd that Smith-Schuster and Brown would get into any sort of dispute over Mac Jones play and decision making. This is what the wide receiver claimed to be upset with, just the frustration of not getting points on a good drive and turning the ball over. Smith-Schuster now has 24 receptions for 159 and one touchdown for New England this season.

Five

Receptions it took Giants WR Jalin Hyatt to accumulate 109 yards receiving against the Patriots. In a game featuring very little offense, Hyatt stood out. His 12-yard reception in the second quarter helped set up the only touchdown on the afternoon. Hyatt also catches that picked up gains of 22, 29 and 41 yards. The rookie set career highs in both receptions and yards in a game. He now has seven receptions this season of 20+ yards. The Patriots co-leaders, Kendrick Bourne and Demario Douglas, have five each.

Six

Sacks for the Patriots defense against New York. Not much to feel good about from the Patriots perspective in that 10-7 loss, but the defense did play well. Specifically, the pass rush had its best game of the season by far. The most sacks recorded by the New England defense in a game had been three, but the doubled that against Giants QB Tommy DeVito. This included rookie DE Keion White registering the first sack of his NFL career. Also in on the sack party was Christian Barmore, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Anfernee Jennings, Jabrill Peppers, and Deatrich Wise. This was an area of needed improvement when looking ahead to the 2024 New England Patriots defense. In a day with nearly nothing to feel good about for the Patriots, getting to the opposing quarterback was one.

Seven

Rookie starting quarterbacks who have beaten the New England Patriots since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000. This group includes Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, 2004), Mark Sanchez (NYJ, 2009), Colt McCoy (CLE, 2010), Russell Wilson (SEA, 2012), Geno Smith (NYJ, 2013), Tua Tagovailoa (MIA, 2020), and Tommy DeVito (NYG, 2023).

Eight

Most wins the New England Patriots can finish with in 2023 after their ninth loss. This secures the team’s first consecutive losing seasons in 30 years. In 1992 New England finished 2-14 under Dick MacPherson. They followed that up with a 5-11 record in Bill Parcells first season in Foxboro. Coincidentally, it is also 30 years since Bill Belichick last had back-to-back losing seasons as a head coach in the NFL. While with Cleveland, the Browns had a 7-9 record in both 1992 and 1993.

Nine

Former Bill Belichick assistant coaches who have beaten him after becoming head coaches. New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll became the latest member of this club on Sunday. He joins past winners Nick Saban, Al Groh, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Bill O’Brien, Matt Patricia, and Brian Flores.

Ten

Level of frustration, on a scale of 1-to-10, New England Patriots fans have with this 2023 edition. The team is 2-9 through 11 games. Bill Belichick is possibly in his final year of his historic run in New England. If true, it has certainly been an ugly final act. The quarterback of the future is not on the current roster, and likely not in the NFL. With Christian Gonzalez out, there hasn’t been much to get excited about, in terms of young players who will contribute to the turnaround. Everything came crashing down on the Patriots at once. And for those who were not following the franchise 30+ years ago, this is not a familiar feeling.

At least that 1993 squad had a new head coach in Bill Parcells, and a rookie face of the franchise in quarterback Drew Bledsoe. That alone was exciting and to generated hope. This season’s New England Patriots squad has only been generating negative thoughts throughout New England.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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