The New England Patriots haven't found themselves in their current position since 2002.
They are 2-4 riding a three-game losing streak and sit in third place in the AFC East after a horrendous 33-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's Week 7 game at Gillette Stadium.
Devin McCourty was drafted by the Patriots in 2010 and is in his 10th season with the franchise. He's won the division and reached the playoffs in every season of his career, but both streaks are in danger of being snapped in 2020.
McCourty is one of the leaders of the defense and the team overall, and he was brutally honest in his assessment of the Patriots' abysmal performance against the 49ers.
“I mean, it is what it is, I think. I mean, anybody that's been here for a while, we haven't been in this position, but I do know we have to stick together and we got to just fight," McCourty said. "You don't ever want to come out here and get embarrassed the way we did today. And there's no excuse. There's nothing to talk about. We just got to keep working. We just have to keep fighting together.
"I'm sure I'll be saying that the whole night, I mean, it's just embarrassing the way we went out there and played. I mean, we got to go out there and play to keep jobs right now, you know, I know coach Belichick, the Kraft’s, they're not they’re not fielding a team for us to go out there and play like that, so we have to improve and we have to improve in a hurry.”
The Patriots do need to improve in a hurry. They have two tough games coming up against the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills in Week 8 and the uber-talented Baltimore Ravens in Week 10, with a winnable Week 9 matchup versus the New York Jets in between.
If the Patriots lose two of those next three games, the playoffs could be an unrealistic goal for New England by the middle of November, which is crazy to think about given how the previous 19 years have played out.
The Patriots coaching staff has a difficult challenge this week trying to find adjustments that will help an offense that can't find the end zone consistently and a defense that gives up a ton of yards.