There was no bounce-back effort for the Patriots this week, now losers of two straight games after a 26-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday night.
Adding insult to injury is that New England fell to its former defensive coordinator in Matt Patricia, who earned the first win of his head coaching career after the Lions started 0-2. Patricia served as an assistant coach with the Patriots from 2004 through last season and was in charge of the defense for the last six seasons.
Tom Brady completed only 54 percent of his passes (14 for 26), throwing for 133 yards. He threw for one touchdown pass against one interception.
With a decimated group of skill position players -- particularly at wide receiver -- the Patriots didn't pick up a first down until there were 3:55 to go in the second quarter, by which time Detroit had already jumped out to a 13-0 lead.
The only time New England showed any life, really, came on a two-play sequence defensively at the beginning of the second half.
Down 13-3 at the break, the Patriots kicked off to begin the third quarter. Deatrich Wise Jr. had a run stuff of former Patriot LeGarrette Blount on second-and-3, dropping him for a 1-yard loss. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford proceeded to throw and interception to rookie linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley on the very next play.
Seven plays later, Brady dropped a textbook ball to James White's back shoulder in the end zone, getting New England back within a field goal.
The good times didn't last long. A Detroit implosion turned out to be a mirage, as Stafford led the Lions right back downfield on a 10-play, 75-yard drive in response that ended with a 33-yard pass to Marvin Jones for a touchdown.
New England's run defense was non-existent to the point it allowed Detroit its first 100-yard rusher since 2013, as Kerryon Johnson eclipsed the century mark with 101 yards on 16 carries.
Conversely, the Patriots did everything they could to establish the run with Sony Michel. He was so-so at best, carrying the ball 14 times for 50 yards.
At 1-2, this is the latest in the season New England has been below .500 since 2012, when it also started 1-2.
The Patriots are back home next week against the Miami Dolphins, who are off to a 3-0 start. Kickoff is 1 p.m. in Foxboro.