There was a time when championships were all we knew, but those glory days appear long gone


Oh, and as if we didn’t need any more poison in this big boat of evil, New England franchise quarterback Mac Jones appeared to pick up a bad leg injury in the dying seconds of Sunday’s 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens Gillette- Stadion.

What’s next? A plague of locusts in Downtown Crossing? A swan boat drowning in the Public Garden pond? Green flies on the Orange Line?

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones needed help after suffering an injury in the fourth quarter on Sunday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

We had hoped that Sunday’s tournament in Foxborough would be the start of something good. It was the 62nd home game in Boston/New England Patriots history. Bob Kraft wore a snazzy red tie, Vince Wilfork was celebrated at halftime, and the Pats and Ravens treated us to a 60-minute thriller crammed with leadership changes, an old-fashioned Patriot double score, Lamar Jackson writing his name in the sky great Patriot comeback, a near-impossible 2-point conversion (it was recalled) and a potential late-game Patriot win. Things felt like Brady for a minute.

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But then the Patriot defense went dark, Jones threw another poor interception (always on a ball meant for DeVante Parker), Nelson Agholor got a ball knocked out of hands, and Jackson went into MVP mode.

After Jackson (four TD passes) sealed the win with a touchdown run to go 37-26 with three minutes left, Jones came on for another drive and on his final pass (#3 interception that day) he was overtaken by Pancakes 6-foot-8-inch, 307-pound Ravens defensive tackle Calais Campbell. After his left ankle became unusable, Jones hopped off the field on his right foot.

The air was sucked out of the stadium. And all of New England.

Bill Belichick began his post-game presser in typical deadpan style, as he always does; dissecting the game in monotonous fashion without mentioning the late-game disaster we just experienced:

“Obviously the Ravens made more plays than we did. You are a good team. They could take advantage of our mistakes. We couldn’t use that many of them. All along the line. Just a few games here and there that we need to play better, train better, do better. But we certainly made too many mistakes today to be able to win.”

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This guy.

I swear if Belichick was slapped in the face with a chocolate cream cake on his way to the podium, the coach would start the session by saying, “The cake has to get better at all three stages. Better Crust. Better whipped cream. Better filling.”

After the tedious duties were completed, Belichick was asked about his quarterback. Could he tell what happened or explain why Jones was limping?

“No,” was all he said.

After three more minutes of nothing, Bill was gone.

And so was the Patriot season.

Say hello to Brian Hoyer, ladies and gentlemen, the clipboard backup you’ve known all these years.

The Pats are in Green Bay next week. Hoyer versus Aaron Rodgers. Wonder who is preferred.

The gruesome hits just keep coming. As Sunday afternoon lingered and Pats fans made their way home, most local TVs at Raymond James Stadium were tuned in to Tom Brady v Rodgers and the Pack.

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At 7:08 am Sunday, New England geared up for ESPN to broadcast the bottom-ranked Red Sox as they take on Aaron Judge and the top-ranked Yankees at Yankee Stadium. We wondered if a Sox hurler would have the dubious honor of conceding the No. 61 home run to a Yankee slugger for the second time in 61 years.

Monday is Celtics Media Day and the inauguration of 34-year-old Joe Mazzulla as the 19th head coach in franchise history. This is the first chance to speak to Celtic players since their head coach fell out of favor on Thursday.

In the meantime, we await word from Fort Foxborough regarding quarterback Jones’ shaky sophomore status.

That’s what the great Paul Simon wrote about in American Tune 50 years ago.

We’ve lived so well for so long. . . You can’t be blessed forever. . .

It’s the circle of life for sports fans everywhere. And now it’s our turn.


Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.





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