The Patriots’ Reign on the Prime of the AFC Is All however Formally Over

//The Patriots’ Reign on the Prime of the AFC Is All however Formally Over

The Patriots’ Reign on the Prime of the AFC Is All however Formally Over

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  • The Patriots misplaced to the Dolphins on Sunday.
  • New England doesn’t have a bye within the playoffs for the primary time since 2009.
  • Its dynasty appears all however formally over.

The New England Patriots entered Week 17 with a 97 percent chance of getting their tenth consecutive postseason bye. They have been 17-level favorites over the Miami Dolphins, who hadn’t gained at Gillette Stadium in over a decade.

All victories within the NFL are earned. But when there was one end result that appeared foregone earlier than Sunday’s video games kicked off, it was definitely that the Patriots would maintain enterprise towards the Dolphins with a primary-spherical bye and residential-area benefit on the road.


Slumping Towards The Playoffs

Miami got here from behind to beat New England 27-24 on Sunday, courtesy of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s landing cross to Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds remaining.

It was the end result of a tough-fought recreation between two groups who know one another exceedingly nicely. However any notion that Miami’s win over New England was a fluke ignores its statistical context and the latter’s struggles over the ultimate month of the common season.

The Dolphins out-gained the Patriots in complete yardage 389 to 352. That they had eight extra first downs than New England, too. Fitzpatrick was superior towards football’s top-ranked pass defense, throwing for 320 yards, one landing, and no interceptions. Tom Brady, in the meantime, went sixteen-of-29 for 221 yards, two scores, and an interception that was returned for a landing.

The loss marked the third within the Patriots’ previous 5 video games after they started the season 10-1. Their protection wasn’t fairly as dominant over that stretch however nonetheless performed nicely sufficient to prop up an offense that has underwhelmed because the season kicked off.

The issue? New England’s passing attack has clearly regressed since September. Brady ended the common season by finishing fifty five % of his throws or much less in six of the Patriots’ final seven video games. He’s handed for greater than 300 yards simply as soon as since early October, and it got here in a loss to the Houston Texans.

Supply: Twitter

Robust Postseason Path

The Patriots might have washed away their late-season struggles by getting into the playoffs with a bye, utilizing that essential additional relaxation time to regroup of their quest for a second straight Vince Lombardi Trophy. As an alternative, New England finds itself in an growing state of disaster through the time it usually thrives.

Brady was stoic after the sport, insisting his group merely must play higher subsequent week with its season on the road.

Superior execution and fewer errors might undoubtedly be a profitable recipe for the Patriots within the wild-card spherical. They’ll be enjoying at residence as heavy favorites towards a group – regardless of who their opponent is –  that hardly managed a profitable document through the common season. Residence-subject benefit plus the guile and expertise of Brady and Invoice Belichick ought to be sufficient for New England every week from now.

However towards the surging Kansas Metropolis Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium? Or on the street versus Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens with an AFC title on the road? There’s simply nothing to recommend these Patriots would be capable of muster the playoff magic that helped propel their predecessors to championships.

Baltimore blew out New England 37-20 in early November, whereas three weeks in the past Kansas Metropolis became the first team to win in Foxborough since 2017. Belichick and the Patriots, it bears reminding, have by no means performed within the Tremendous Bowl with out assistance from a primary-spherical bye.

Supply: Twitter

It’s too early to write down off New England solely. The Patriots proved throughout final yr’s playoffs that they will beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Belichick had a number of tips up his sleeve that annoyed Jackson in a possible matchup with Baltimore. Perhaps the Patriots, one way or the other, have one final run in them.

However no sports activities dynasty lasts ceaselessly. And because the playoffs daybreak, New England’s appears sure to return to an imminent finish.

This text was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.


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