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Patriots loss could prove to be beneficial in the long run

Patriots+loss+could+prove+to+be+beneficial+in+the+long+run
Patriots loss could prove to be beneficial in the long run

The New England Patriots lost their first game of the season on Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens and fell to 8–1. As terrible as 8–1 may sound, that one loss could end up benefitting the Patriots more than if they had won. For starters, the only use winning last week’s game had was keeping 16–0 on the table, and as we know from experience, 16–0 does not always get you a Lombardi trophy. So, in what ways could this loss prove to be beneficial in the long run?
Learn from mistakes
One downside that goes with going undefeated is that you never know what you struggle with and what you need to improve on because you have been perfect all season. However, when you lose as the Patriots did on Sunday, you can learn a lot from your team. For the Patriots, they now know that their defense is not an all-time defense, and an off night will show against a playoff team like the Ravens. This game also showed that the Patriots have to be more opportunistic and capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes; they cannot just give the ball back when they have all the momentum like they did when Julian Edelman fumbled.
Being 16–0 has not helped in the past
No team has gone undefeated since the Miami Dolphins went 17–0 in 1972, and no team in history has ever completed a 19–0 season. The closest a team has ever gotten was the 2007 Patriots when they finished the season 18–1, after losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42. People look back on that season and remember the dominance from players like Tom Brady and Randy Moss. People are quick to forget that the Patriots were close to losing a few times that season, including in a regular season game against the same Giants team that ended up beating them in the Super Bowl.
Being the “underdog”
Last year the Patriots finished the regular season 11–5, and some sports analysts had them pinned as the worst team in the playoffs. All the noise off the field seemed to have fueled them to make another Super Bowl run last year. It is very unlikely that the Patriots will finish with a record as rough as 11–5, but it seems every time they lose, people are quick to say that the Patriots are not as good as they seem and that their reign at the top may be over. The Patriots are often known to create their own adversity to fuel themselves, but a loss can create that by itself.
Going undefeated is awesome and there is not a true Patriots fan that did not want 19–0 to happen. But now that the perfect season is officially off the table, I think it is fair to say that 16–0 is a pretty overrated accomplishment unless you can go on to win the next three games that win you a ring. The Patriots have never won a Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick era without losing at least two games, so losing a regular-season game now and then is not all bad. As long as the Patriots go 3–0 in January and February, it does not matter what their record is from September to December.

About the Contributor
Jonathan Hopkins, Sports Editor