One of the takeaways from the New England Patriots' Week 3 loss at home to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday was the uncharacteristically high amount of silly mistakes Bill Belichick's team made.
These avoidable mistakes included penalties, three turnovers and poor pass blocking. Another issue to add to the list is not having the correct number of players on the field for an important play late in the fourth quarter.
After the Patriots trimmed the deficit to 21-13 in the fourth quarter, the Saints offense marched down the field and into the red zone. Any score from New Orleans would've essentially sealed the win.
The Saints had Taysom Hill in at quarterback on a 1st -and-goal play from the 4-yard line with 2:41 remaining on the clock. Hill ran into the end zone to increase the Saints' lead to 28-13, which ultimately was the final score.
He didn't have too much trouble getting over the goal line, and if you look at the Patriots' formation before the snap, you'll notice they only had 10 players on the field.
Here's a video replay of Hill's score:
The Patriots, like every team, have taken penalties for having too many men on the field during Belichick's 20-plus seasons as head coach. But those are rare occasions. What we almost never see is New England having too few players out there, especially at such an important time in the game.
We can talk about the defense not being able to stop the run, or the offense not being explosive enough. These are all valid concerns. But until the Patriots clean up these uncharacteristic mistakes, wins will continue being hard to come by.