Patriots: Seven Points on the Patriots 30-24 loss to the Raiders

The Patriots lost a heartbreaker to the Raiders thanks to a boneheaded play by both Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers. The loss all but cemented the Patriots playoff fate with three games left against the Bengals, Dolphins and Bills.

Here are seven thoughts from last night’s debacle.

1. The Las Vegas Lateral: The best way to describe the Stevenson to Meyers to Jones lateral is that it is the dumbest play in NFL history. The league has seen it’s fair share of dumb plays but last night’s takes the cake. Sadly, it will come to define the Post-Brady Patriots and what this franchise has turned into the past three years. A middling franchise that seemingly has no direction.

2. Fourth quarter meltdown: The Patriots overcame a 17-3 deficit only to meltdown defensively the last two minutes of the game. The defense dominated in the second half but when the team needed a stop to win the game, they gave up a fourth down conversion and eventually, the game tying score. I know the play was mired in controversey but it was a touchdown nonetheless and it proved to be costly.

3. Blown call: The officiating crew blew the touchdown call to Keelan Cole, plain and simple. Cole was clearly out of bounds and to not overturn it is such a bad look for Ron Torber, his crew and the league. It cost the Patriots the game. And yes. I am making excuses because that is a fact.

4. Mac’s Meltdowns: Mac Jones continues to be visably frustrated and to be quite honest with you, his schtick has worn thin on me. I am tired of it. We get it. You are frustrated. Enough with the immatiure theatrics. Just move onto the next play and keep playing.

5. Stevenson stars: Aside from his late game gaff, Stevenson proved once again that he is one of the best backs in the league. Stevenson finished with 19 carries for 172 yards and a touchdown. He was the Patriots primary source of offense and when they needed a play, they called his number. It is unfortunate what happened at the end of the game because it takes away from a great performance.

6. Operational failure: The offense is a mess. Delay of game penalties, not getting the calls in on time. It is not good. Factor in the performance of the special teams which has also been not good the past two years and you wonder how this team is 7-7. They have had to literally overcome their own coaching staff. I never thought I’d say that about a Bill Belichick coached team.

7. Belichick loses to McDaniels again: Bill Belichick is now 0-2 against Josh McDaniels and both losses have been close games. Belichick lost to McDaniels in 2009 and now this year.