For the third straight game, the Patriots allowed 10 points or fewer but still lost. It marks the first time since 1938 that a team has managed to allow 10 points or fewer in three straight games but still lost in each since 1938, according to CBS Sports.
In addition to the rare streak, the Patriots' losing streak was extended to five games on Sunday, marking the first time since 1995 that they've lost that many games in a row.
Even though the rare streak has only run for the last few games, it tells just a small part of the story of the Patriots' offensive struggles this season. They entered Sunday's game second-to-last in scoring and 25th in total yards.
“I give it up to our defense,” Smith-Schuster told reporters. “They’ve been doing their job and to be able to stop a high-powered offense like the Chargers and hold them to six points and us not being able to put up points sucks.”
Smith-Schuster's first season in New England has been highly disappointing, but his play as of late might be the worst stretch of football in his career. He only had one reception on three targets for 11 yards on Sunday, giving him just three receptions on eight targets for 30 yards over the last three games.
Bill Belichick, Bailey Zappe also expressed their disappointment with the Patriots' offense
Smith-Schuster wasn't alone in feeling frustrated over the Patriots' lack of offensive production as of late. The Patriots coach thought the biggest issue with his team on Sunday was that they weren't scoring points even though they only put 257 yards of offense against the league's worst defense.
“We moved the ball, didn’t make enough plays to score,” Belichick said. “We got into scoring range and weren’t able to convert those into points.”
Zappe took personal accountability following his first start of the season, in which he completed 13 of 25 passes for 141 yards and was sacked five times in the second half.
“Defense played great,” Zappe said. “Offense, it starts with me. I’ve got to make plays towards the end. I’ve got to throw better balls. I’ve got to make the balls catchable, especially in conditions like today – wet ball, wet hands. I’ve got to throw the ball better. It starts with me on the offensive side in getting things going.”
Looking beyond Sunday's game, Belichick refused to give a full autopsy of the offense's struggles, saying, “I’m not going to get into a full season review.”
But Belichick expressed some disappointment with skill position players not making the most of their chances.
“I’d like to see all our skill players be more productive when they get the opportunity to do that,” Belichick said about Tyquan Thornton's pivotal second-half drop. “It’s obvious.”
With five games left in the season, it's clear what the Patriots need to do on offense.
“I think we all need to find a way to be more productive, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Belichick said.