With each passing week this season, the Patriots seem to find a new low. Coming into Week 13, the major storyline around Foxborough was the change Bill Belichick made at quarterback, giving second-year signal-caller Bailey Zappe the nod over Mac Jones.
While there was a new face under center, the offense continued to sputter against the Chargers and was shut out en route to a 6-0 defeat that dropped them to 2-10 on the season.
New England has now lost five straight games, but this recent three-game skid now finds the Patriots making some unpleasant NFL history. They are the first team in the Super Bowl era to lose three straight games all while allowing 10 or fewer points. To find the last time this occurred, you have to go all the way back to the 1938 season when the Chicago Cardinals lost three straight in the same fashion.
Against the Chargers, Zappe finished 13 for 25 passing for 141 yards and was sacked five times in the losing effort. New England had more total yards than L.A., was relatively even in yards per play, first downs and third-down efficiency, and even won the turnover battle, but was still unable to put any points on the board.
"Defense played great," Zappe said postgame. "The offense, it starts with me. I've gotta make plays towards the end. I gotta throw better balls, I gotta make balls catchable, especially in conditions like today. ... It starts with me on the offensive side of the ball to get things going."
This shutout defeat marks the second time this season the Patriots couldn't get on the scoreboard (both at Gillette Stadium). That marks the first time in Belichick's head-coaching career that he's been shut out twice in a season.
This is also the first five-game losing streak for the Patriots since the 1995 season.