The New England Patriots have their work cut out for them in 2023.
The Patriots fell into an early 16-0 hole in their season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles before their comeback fell short in a 25-20 defeat. They found themselves down early in Week 2, as well, with the Miami Dolphins racing out to a 17-3 first-half lead at Gillette Stadium on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."
When's the last time the Patriots have trailed by double digits in each of their first two games of the season? You'll have to go back to the 20th century.
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According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Patriots had never dealt with double-digits deficits in their first two games of a season in head coach Bill Belichick's previous 23 seasons with the team.
That's a testament to New England's incredible run as one of the best teams in football from 2001 to 2019. And even after Tom Brady left the team in 2020 free agency, the Patriots found a way to win at least one of their first two games, going 1-1 through Week 2 in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
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Belichick's club faces an uphill battle in 2023, however. After a Week 1 loss to the defending NFC champion Eagles, the Patriots again dug themselves an early hole they couldn't overcome in a 24-17 defeat to the Dolphins that dropped them to 0-2 on the season.
Looking for a silver lining? The last time the Patriots started a season 0-2 was 2001 -- and New England fans know how that season ended.