It's not often you see the New England Patriots look completely helpless in a game, especially one at Gillette Stadium, but that was the scenario that unfolded Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers scored a touchdown on their opening drive and never looked back in a dominant 33-6 win in their Week 7 matchup versus the Patriots.
New England has lost three consecutive games for the first time since 2002. They are in third place in the AFC East and their streak of 11 consecutive postseason appearances is in real danger of ending soon.
Former Patriots safety and NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison put a fair amount of blame on head coach Bill Belichick for the situation New England is currently facing.
"They're really bad. I think coach Belichick -- he didn't do a great job of preparing his team. You look at how this team has played in consecutive weeks, even dating back to Kansas City when Brian Hoyer didn't know the situation. It just seems like they're lost," Harrison said.
"And Cam (Newton) has lost his confidence. I remember Cam coming out and playing with so much confidence, throwing the ball around against Seattle, but all of a sudden he can't complete a pass. He's throwing interceptions -- that's the one thing coach Belichick preaches about.
"You look at the wide receivers, they're average at best. He's done a really poor job surrounding Cam with weapons on the outside. I look at Julian Edelman, his knee is shot. You watch the tape, he can't push off and he doesn't have any power. They just -- you got to look at the orchestrator, you have to look at coach Belichick. They got to do a better job."
The Patriots still have a chance to make a run for the AFC East crown because there are five divisional games left on the team's schedule. One of those matchups is a Week 8 game against the first-place Buffalo Bills.
A win for the Patriots could be a turning point and give them some much-needed momentum as the playoff races begin to intensify.
"I would say this is a must-win for the Patriots, to be able to go on the road and pick up a victory against a good team," Harrison said. "Buffalo, they've reverted back to some of the things we're not used to seeing and they don't look unstoppable like they did earlier in the year. But yeah, if (Cam Newton) goes in there and wins that game, they're back on track and now the confidence is high and we'll see what happens the rest of the year."