Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys was a new low for the New England Patriots.
Third-year quarterback Mac Jones was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe after committing three turnovers, two of which resulted in Dallas touchdowns. The 38-3 final score marked the largest defeat in Bill Belichick's 29 years as an NFL head coach.
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Our Patriots insider Tom E. Curran didn't hold back in his critique of Belichick's group immediately after the loss, and he doubled down on Monday's Arbella Early Edition.
"This wasn't a microcosm (of the Patriots' issues), this was it on steroids," Curran said. "You don't often see the Patriots get their asses handed to them in this fashion. I think probably the last time would have been the playoff game in 2021 (a 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round).
"This was so decisive and so definitive, though, that it really brought to light the fool-heartedness of my insistence that they're this close. They fall behind continuously and I chalk it up to mistakes, I chalk it up to penalties, I chalk it up to turnovers, I chalk it up to these preventable errors that I thought that Bill by fiat was going to say, 'We don't do that anymore. That's not us.'
"Yeah, you could say, 'Oh, if they had better talent, they wouldn't make the mistakes.' They make the mistakes, as coaches say, you're either coaching it or allowing it to happen. And I think they allow it to happen far too often."
Those mistakes have resulted in the Patriots offense leading the NFL in an extremely unflattering statistic. Through four weeks, a whopping 71 percent of New England's offensive drives have resulted in either a punt or a turnover.
Joining Curran and Trenni Casey on Early Edition, 98.5 The Sports Hub's Marc Bertrand said the team's Week 4 loss to Dallas may have been "rock-bottom" for the post-Tom Brady era Patriots.
"I think that yesterday is not by accident and it's something that is built up over a period of time," Bertrand said. "This is not a fluke. This is not something that they just stumbled into. It's because of a lot of different decisions that have been made over the course of multiple years. It's not just about this year or this year and last year, it's really about the last four or five years that landed this team in the place that they arrived at yesterday.
"That feels like a rock-bottom type of day, and it leads you to this question of, what does this team do well? What do they do right? What is it that you could point to and hang your hat on and really continue to fuel your hope? And I feel like they're running out of things to give anybody any hope about where this thing is going."
Making matters worse for the Patriots is they'll likely be without two of their top defenders -- rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez and star linebacker Matthew Judon -- for the foreseeable future. Gonzalez went down with a shoulder injury and Judon suffered a torn bicep tendon during the Dallas loss. Both are out indefinitely and will seek second opinions, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
That's simply another obstacle the Patriots will need to overcome next Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints. Kickoff for the Week 5 matchup is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium.