Why the Patriots’ MNF Loss Was Ugly, But Not Historic

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Let’s get it out of the way right now — if there was ever a time for Tom Brady to put his money where his mouth was, he would be packing his bags and sending in his letter of resignation to the Patriots organization. For anyone that missed it the first time, or any other time it’s been brought up during New England’s lackluster start to the 2014 season, Brady told reporters that, “When I suck, I’ll retire.” This is not the kind of thing one wants to be on the hook for after his performance against Kansas City in a 14-41 blowout that saw the quarterback wind up spending the fourth quarter on the bench.

Even though that game sucked (for Patriots fans, that is; Kansas City fans were undoubtedly ecstatic), it wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. During this year’s regular season, it wasn’t even in the top five biggest blowouts of the year — for the curious, the worst loss so far has been Tampa’s 56-14 thrashing at the hands of Atlanta, followed by the Giants beating up on Washington, 45-14 — and compared to other Monday Night Football games in the league’s history, it doesn’t even come across as notable.

The MNF game is always simultaneously the best and worst game of the week for NFL fans who have to watch their team participate, especially if it starts to go off the rails early on. When a team gets blown out in a relatively anonymous 1:00 p.m. game during any given Sunday, everyone’s going to see the box score, sooner or later, but fans can rest assured that most of the football watching population was probably watching a different game, particularly if the score is lopsided. In contrast, everyone is watching Monday Night Football.

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According to the historians over at Pro Football Reference, the biggest blowout in MNF history happened in 2005, when the Baltimore Ravens completely and utterly stomped the Green Bay Packers to the tune of 48-3, but that’s just barely a larger point differential than the three games tied for second place — since the Dolphins, the Seahawks, and the Patriots have each hung a 42 point margin of victory on a team since the 1970 merger of the AFL and the NFL. While the 27 point deficit that the Pats suffered last night certainly felt like a team being crushed, it doesn’t hold up to history, as it doesn’t even grade out in the top 60.

So which set of fans have felt the worst about their team after a Monday night broadcast? That would probably have to be the folks supporting Washington, who had to watch their team give up 59 points to the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2010. Sure, they managed to score a healthy 28 points in return, but no one wants to see their team on the list of most points allowed in Monday Night Football history. For the curious, you can find that list here.