There is not a more foolish declaration to make than "the New England Patriots are done." Some have tried, all have failed. Trent Dilfer, Max Kellerman, the diehard Jets fan that calls up Mike Francesa, anonymous sources in that awesome Seth Wickersham story from last year that probably didn't want to be named for fear of being wrong. It's a silly statement made by silly people. There is no such thing as "done" in New England, no such thing as "panic."
But after two straight losses, one by way of a miraculous play, to be fair, and the other by way of a pretty dreadful performance in Pittsburgh, is it officially time for Pats fans to ... panic?!?
You won't catch me saying so, I know better. But here's just some objective facts: Sunday marked the second time this season the Pats have lost back-to-back games, something they last did in 2015, when they eventually lost the AFC Championship in Denver. With Sunday's loss, they will now finish the year with a record of 3-5 on the road, their worst since 2009, when they went 2-6 on the road and got blasted in the opening round of the playoffs at home against the Baltimore Ravens. The loss to Pittsburgh also marks the first time they have lost consecutive games in December since 2002, a year they finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs, the worst year of the Brady-Belichick era. It also puts them in danger of losing three consecutive games, something they also last did in 2002.
Does this mean the Pats are doomed for this season? Who knows. Is the Brady-Belichick era finally ending? Too early to say. With two home games left against Buffalo and New York, the Pats' two punching bags for the last 18 years, chances are they rip off two wins and set themselves up to make a run. But any small slip up is an opportunity for the media and opposing fans to pounce, a chance to declare the Pats DONE. Let's see how much fun Twitter had at the expense of the 9-5 Patriots, who will probably win the Super Bowl as an "underdog" and shove it in everyone's stupid face.
We'll see about that!