The Patriots have officially been eliminated from playoff contention after a loss to Miami on Sunday.
It’s the first time New England and Bill Belichick will miss the playoffs in 11 years. The last time we didn’t see the Patriots in the playoffs was back when Alicia Keys had a top-three hit on the year-end Billboard list and Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” was being inappropriately played in middle school dances across the country.
Flo Rida and T-Pain rapping about girls with Apple Bottom jeans was the year’s top song.
Please, think about that for a minute.
It’s not surprising that the Patriots have struggled this year without Tom Brady and that their new quarterback Cam Newton has been terrible at times this year, along with the fact that they have no big-play weapons at the wide receiver position.
The Patriots couldn’t even execute well enough to beat a rookie quarterback starting in Miami. Usually, Belichick is dominant against the inexperienced signal callers but Tua Tagovailoa, who was in elementary school the last time the Patriots weren’t in the postseason, played well enough to get the win.
Tagovailoa was the first rookie quarterback to beat Belichick since Geno Smith did it in 2013.
2020 has been a bizarre year for everyone, but especially for the folks up in Foxborough.
The Patriots lost the face of their franchise in the off-season. The team grabbed a former MVP, a unique player, to replace that guy, and paid him close to nothing.
They started strong out of the gate this season, and then Newton got COVID, which sent their season into decline. They fought back and went on a winning streak towards the back half of the year, yet it was too little, too late.
Without a postseason berth, this off-season becomes very crucial for this organization. Some questions need to be answered.
Will they re-sign Newton? Will offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels finally leave for a head coaching position? Is it time for this team to trade the few assets they have and completely rebuild?
The Patriots are no longer a dominant fixture in the AFC. It’s a position that we have rarely seen from this organization.
All eyes will be on New England to see how/if Belichick can bounce back from the debacle that was the 2020 season. Leading the Pats to another title, from the ashes of this roster, could prove to be his greatest feat yet.