FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday felt like a role reversal.
Dallas went into Gillette Stadium and put up 567 total yards of offense compared to the Patriots’ 335; Dallas threw the ball 51 times compared to the Patriots’ 21 passing attempts; and it was Dallas who got defensive stops when they needed to at the end of the game.
It was an epic showdown, a true mid-October classic, and the Pats showed a lot of heart. But again they couldn’t get the job done.
New England is now 2-4 on the season with all four losses happening at home. Their two wins? Those have come on the road against the New York Jets (1-4) and Houston Texans (1-5), two of the worst teams in the league.
This isn’t the type of start to the season that Pats fans have become accustomed to over the past two decades. After all, the Patriots lost three home games throughout the entire season last year and home dominance was a staple of the Tom Brady era in Foxborough.
Still, Patriots fans do have some reasons to be optimistic, even if it may not feel that way:
- The Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have solidified their status as two of the league’s most high-powered offenses this season, and the Patriots hung tough on both sides of the ball in both losses. New England had legitimate chances to win both games.
- Rookie quarterback Mac Jones has shown himself to be both tough and accurate. After taking a huge hit from Randy Gregory early in the 2nd quarter, he stayed in the game and didn’t show a noticeable dropoff. Through six games, he ranks fourth in the league in completion percentage. It hasn’t been an easy introduction to the NFL, but he’s embraced all adversity that’s come his way and shown he belongs.
- Since 2020, the NFL has added two playoff spots (one in the AFC, one in the NFC) and one regular-season game to the schedule, both of which stand to benefit the middle-of-the-road teams like the Patriots who hope to have a chance at the postseason come January.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has always emphasized improvement over the course of a season, and Pats fans can only hope the team will continue to get better and become more disciplined. New England’s position in the standings won’t change overnight, but the season isn’t a lost cause. At least not yet.