I'll get straight to it. The Patriots stunk up Ford Field on Sunday night in a 23-10 loss to a Detroit team that had gotten manhandled by the hapless New York Jets on opening night.
The loss dropped the Patriots to 1-2. Social media criticism of Bill Belichick was flooding in quickly.
Before you overreact with "only fair-weather fans criticize a coach," let me tell you that you can be a diehard and question what a coach is doing.
Belichick has made some questionable decisions over the last several months. Don't even get me started on Malcom Butler again. And trading Gronk? Epically bad idea.
Letting Danny Amendola sign with Miami, trading Brandin Cooks to the L.A. Rams and cutting Jordan Matthews in training camp are all Belichick decisions that are starting to look awfully foolish, given the way the offense has looked the last two weeks.
Tom Brady has nobody to throw to. Defenses are swarming Rob Gronkowski. Week 5 and the return of Julian Edelman, and Josh Gordon suiting up are two things that can't happen soon enough.
Belichick has made some questionable decisions throughout his career - releasing Lawyer Milloy is at the top of my list - but winning has allowed him to get away with it. That 2003 season ended with a second Lombardi Trophy.
Will it start to bite the Hoodie this season? Only time will tell.
But, before you call a Patriots fan a "pink hat" because they don't like what Bill is doing, remember that rabid fan bases have rights to question a coach, no matter his success.
Ask any University of Maine hockey fan, and they'll probably screenshot you any "Fire Whitehead" or "Fire Gendron" tweet they've posted over the last decade-plus. Winning a World Series and three A.L. East titles wasn't enough to keep Red Sox Nation from taking their comment section frustration out on John Farrell.
The Patriots will be fine. But if Belichick makes decisions that costs them a game, it warrants feedback from fans. Good or bad. It's part of the job.
When was the last time the #Patriots started a game with three straight 3-and-outs? According to the NFL Network data goes back to 2000. There wasn't one instance in all that time....until last night.
This is the first time the Patriots have lost back-to-back games by double-digits since December 16-22, 2002 against the Jets and Titans.
They've played 244 games since that stretch.
New England Patriots will start the season (1-2) for only the 2nd time when Tom Brady has started all 3 games at QB.
2012 was the other.