Curran blasts ‘chronically unprepared’ Patriots amid ugly Saints rout

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Curran blasts ‘chronically unprepared’ Patriots amid ugly Saints rout originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the New England Patriots after their blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, you were mistaken.

The Patriots laid another egg Sunday at Gillette Stadium, allowing the New Orleans Saints to jump out to a 21-0 halftime lead en route to an embarrassing 34-0 defeat that drops them to 1-4 for the first time since 2000. Slow starts have plagued the Patriots for a shockingly long stretch — they’ve now dug an early hole in 10 of their last 11 games dating to last November — and Tom E. Curran is placing the blame on the coaching staff, starting with head coach Bill Belichick.

“It’s a team that is perpetually and chronically unprepared to start football games,” Curran said Sunday on NBC Sports Boston’s Patriots Halftime Live. “That starts with the preparation. The preparation is on the coaches.

“If the players aren’t sharp enough to get what the coaches are giving them, then that means the wrong players are here. That’s on the general manager. And if the players are unwilling to perform when the game begins, well then that’s on the players who were brought in incorrectly by the coach and then not brought up to speed.”

Belichick is both the head coach and de facto general manager in New England, and the last two games have highlighted his shortcomings in both jobs: The Patriots have seemed ill-prepared for both matchups, and their lack of talent on offense has manifested in two embarrassing showings, with three total points and five turnovers over eight quarters of football in which they’ve been outscored 72-3.

But Curran believes New England’s issues go well beyond this two-week sample size. The Patriots are now 3-8 in their last 11 games, with their only wins coming against the Colt McCoy-led Arizona Cardinals, the Skylar Thompson-led Miami Dolphins and Zach Wilson-led New York Jets.

“We’re not looking at a minor little window here,” Curran said. “This is now the tenth time in 11 games that they are desperately down early in the game. It doesn’t matter if they’re against a good quarterback or Skylar Thompson. They dig themselves a hole.

“This is beyond tenable. This, to me, is a tipping point.”

Whether Sunday’s game has consequences for quarterback Mac Jones — who was benched for backup Bailey Zappe on Sunday for the second consecutive week — or Belichick himself remains to be seen. But don’t be surprised if we see some fallout from this Patriots debacle.

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