On Sunday, the New England Patriots lost 22-12 to the Miami Dolphins. The loss dropped the Patriots to 6-8 and officially eliminated them from the AFC playoff race.
The Patriots got hit with a ruthless year this season. It began with quarterback Tom Brady leaving the Patriots in free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; multiple players opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns; new starting QB Cam Newton and star cornerback Stephon Gilmore got infected with COVID-19; New England had one of the NFL's toughest schedules; and now they've missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
The Patriots' first season since 1999 playing without Tom Brady went downhill. The Patriots tried to fill Brady's shoes with Cam Newton, and head coach Bill Belichick wasn't able to recapture the magic that made the Patriots a perennial contender and six-time Super Bowl champion during the Brady era.
Patriots fans take to Twitter to dwell on their disappointment
Patriot fans were even more enraged at the mention of Tom Brady's name. They were not happy about Brady's statement regarding the Patriots' loss. However, Brady chooses a more gracious path.
"As far as the Patriots, they have their own thing going," Brady told reporters. "I've been focused on how my play needs to be at quarterback (and) the execution I need. They're not really an opponent of mine."
"Obviously, I have a lot of friends there, a lot of great relationships, but they've been focused on what they need to do, and I've been trying to focus on what my job is."
The Patriot's loss was a hard pill to swallow; Pats fans are trying to make sense of how and why. Some fans choose to blame Cam Newton.
Other NFL fans were ecstatic to see the Patriot's 11-year streak broken, the longest in NFL history.
The Patriots' disappointing loss came immediately after the Buffalo Bills grabbed their first AFC East title since 1995. The Patriots had won the AFC East for 11 consecutive years. Meanwhile, the once-envied Patriots were knocked out of the playoffs.
The Miami Dolphins' loss was equally brutal since their coach Brain Flores was Belichick's assistant coach.
The Patriots began the season 2-1 with Newton at QB. But they lost four in a row back in early October. The struggling offense never recovered, the defense failed to prove as strong as last season's, New England slowly fell out of contention in the AFC.
Twitter of course enjoyed the sense of irony.
Miami Dolphins running back Salvon Ahmed and veteran Matt Breida combined for 208 rushing yards that allowed the Dolphins to dominate. The Dolphins had three important players out due to injuries, keeping their plays on the ground. They soared a 90-yard touchdown midway through the second half, taking the lead; the Patriots couldn't compete.Published 22 Dec 2020, 10:36 IST