BUFFALO — Just how bad was the Patriots’ wild-card round loss to the Bills here on Saturday? It was the second-worst loss of the Bill Belichick era.
The worst was just barely worse — a September 2003 season-opening shutout (31-0) by the Bills was the first game on the road to former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s second Super Bowl win.
The third-worst was also against the Bills, a 38-9 loss that came near the end of quarterback Cam Newton’s brief tenure in New England in 2020.
Here’s the full list:
While it appeared at times the Patriots might have the worst losing playoff margin in team history, they ended up avoiding that fate with a late touchdown. The worst playoff loss came in 1964, when the Boston Patriots were pummeled by the San Diego Chargers in the AFL Championship game.
|Jan. 5, 1964||Chargers||AFL Championship||51-10||41 points|
|Jan. 26, 1986||Bears||Super Bowl XX||46-10||36 points|
|Jan. 15, 2022||Bills||Wild card||47-17||30 points|
|Jan. 10, 2010||Ravens||Wild card||33-14||19 points|
|Dec. 31, 1978||Oilers||Divisional||31-14||16 points|
It quickly became apparent on Saturday there would be no comeback in this team. Only twice have the Patriots rallied to come back to win when down by 18 or more at half: Super Bowl LI vs. the Falcons (New England trailed 28-3 at one point) and a wild 2013 overtime win against the Broncos.
|11/24/2013||Broncos||-24||34-31 Win (OT)|
|2/5/2017||Falcons||-18||34-28 Win (OT)|
Alex Speier of the Globe staff contributed to this report.