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Patriots Talk: Are the Pats coming apart at the seams? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots have struggled to find their footing since returning from their bye week.
They rode a seven-game win streak into their Week 14 bye and have since dropped two consecutive games to the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills. Those losses put them at 9-6 and back behind the Bills in the AFC East heading into Week 17.
New England hasn't looked nearly as sharp defensively over its last two weeks and rookie quarterback Mac Jones appears to have hit his "rookie wall". Uncharacteristic mistakes in all three phases of the game have proved costly, and they've all but ruined the Patriots' chances of locking up a first-round playoff bye.
So, are the Patriots coming apart at the seams with two weeks left in the regular season? Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed on the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"Are they falling apart at the seams? I don't think so," Perry said. "Because I think the things that bother them and didn't make this game closer than it should have been are easily correctable."
"I was hoping you would say that," Curran replied. "We said it after the Miami game to open the season, we said it after the Saints game when they had defenses lapses and personnel stuff. They've made so many preventable mistakes, whether it's fumbles, penalties, personnel.
"Maybe it's just because they're early in their evolutionary cycle, first year in the program for a lot of these guys and they've overachieved relative to what the national expectations were. Maybe they're not with the program yet in some ways."
The Patriots will look to start righting the ship when they host the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
Also discussed in this episode: An uncharacteristic lack of effort and focus from the Patriots. Are you getting 2019 vibes from this Patriots defense? And is Mac Jones starting to hit the rookie wall?