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Patriots Triumphant Return to the Playoffs Marred by Glorious Flameout

Most of the goodwill Bill Belichick earned by bringing the Patriots back to the playoffs with a rookie QB evaporated last night after getting throttled by the Bills 47-17. The Pats were the gang that couldn’t shoot straight in a 30 point blowout with the Bills becoming the first team EVER in the Super Bowl era to score touchdowns on their first 5 drives of a playoff game. It also marked the second worst playoff loss in franchise history, second only to the 36 point drubbing at the hands of the ‘85 Bears in Super Bowl XX. At least that beatdown was to an all-time team though.

Not like this is anything new, but goddamnit did that game make me miss Tom Brady. Obviously no longer having the greatest player of all time hurts our chances, but you never felt out of a playoff game with TB12 (insert 28-3 joke here).

It was a disaster of a night that just snowballed with bad penalties, dropped passes, a defense that couldn’t stop Josh Allen through the air or on the ground, and routinely failed to set the edge. Any spark the Patriots had seemed to be snuffed out on Mac Jones’ endzone INT, which took an incredible effort from Micah Hyde to even make.

So where do we go from here? I’ll let the true football guys break down the All-22, but what seemed like a quote unquote successful year 24 hours ago now limps into the long, cold offseason after getting completely embarrassed on national TV. The Pats will get better, Mac Jones will get better, but last night showed that they’re a lot further away than we all wanted to admit from returning to true title contender status.

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