Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Home Sport Patriots stunningly find themselves in Jets-like mess

Patriots stunningly find themselves in Jets-like mess


They’ve been disappointing and inconsistent this season.

They’ll play #Sunday’s season finale already miles from playoff contention.

They were hurt before the season even began by key players opting out of the 2020 schedule because of COVID-19 concerns.

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They endured a number of debilitating injuries during the season.

Their quarterback play has been vastly inconsistent with the future at the position in serious question.

They’ve been playing the season with a severe lack of explosive skill-position players.

These, of course, are the #Jets …

… and the #Patriots, too.

The 2-13 #Jets, riding a two-game, feel-good winning streak, play the 6-9 #Tom #Brady-less #Patriots, losers of their past three games, in #Sunday’s season finale for both teams at #Gillette #Stadium.

#While the #Jets are fresh off upsets of the #Rams, who were 9-4 at the time, and the #Browns, who were 10-4 before last week, the #Patriots have lost 24-3 to the #Rams, 22-12 to the #Dolphins and 38-9 to the AFC #East-champion #Bills in their past three games.

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“It’s definitely different. … #It’s weird not seeing them go to the playoffs,’’ #Jets defensive end #Henry #Anderson said #Wednesday of the #Patriots — who beat the #Jets, 30-27, on a final-seconds field goal earlier this season.

“It is bizarre, because you got kind of used to seeing them playing games in #January and #February,’’ #Jets guard #Greg #Van #Roten said #Wednesday. “Yeah, it’s different, but these things happen in the NFL. They’re a team just like us that had a lot of injuries, they had a lot of guys opt out. #It’s not an excuse, but it does make things more difficult, makes obstacles harder to overcome.

“It’s been one of those years for a lot of teams.’’

The #Patriots, though, have made it an art form avoiding “one of those years’’ for years.

#This will be the first season since 2008 they won’t be in the playoffs and only the second time since 2002. Their streak of 11 consecutive AFC #East titles was stopped this year. #Since #Bill #Belichick took over as their coach in 2000, the #Patriots have been to nine #Super #Bowls, winning six of them.

They did all of that, of course, with #Tom #Brady at quarterback.

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#This #Brady-less season has been a revelation, proof of #Brady’s incredible ability to elevate the players around him. The lack of that has turned the #Patriots from extraordinary to ordinary.

The #Patriots tried to replace #Brady with #Cam #Newton, whose MVP powers from the 2015 season appear to be long gone.

A dejected Bill Belichick walks off the field
#Bill #Belichick
AP

#In short, it hasn’t worked, turning the #Patriots from a team that went nearly 20 years without having to worry about the quarterback position to one of the many around the league that don’t have a dependable one.

#Newton, who’s thrown just five touchdown passes in 338 attempts this season to go with 10 interceptions, has thrown only one TD pass in the past four games. #He was benched and replaced by #Jarrett #Stidham in #Monday night’s blowout loss to the #Bills after completing 5 of 10 passes for 34 yards.

#Asked this week what the transition has been like without #Brady, after a long pause, #Belichick replied: “Well … our record’s disappointing. #Obviously, we are doing things differently than the way we’ve done them in the past. #We just need to perform at a higher level. #All of us. [We] keep working to do that.’’

#Belichick has shown a curious unwavering support for #Newton this season despite a number of spotty performances. #Instead of playing the younger #Stidham to have look at him as a possible starter in the future, #Belichick stubbornly keeps trotting #Newton out — as he’s expected to do #Sunday against the #Jets.

“Cam has worked hard,’’ #Belichick said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. #He’s given us great leadership and toughness and competitiveness. I have a ton of respect for what he’s done for us this year.’’

#But, just as #Belichick has “a ton of respect’’ for #Newton, the #Jets have the same respect for #Darnold, who at age 23 has shown terrific resiliency in the face of all the losing.

The problem for #Belichick with #Newton, though, is the same as it is for the #Jets and #Darnold: The play of both quarterbacks has not been conducive to winning football.

#So that leaves the #Jets and #Patriots in very similar places once this season ends: with a lot of questions about the future of the quarterback position.

#That, too, leaves #New #England in the stunning position of being essentially one and the same as the #Jets, who for the past 20 years have been the #Patriots’ personal punching bag.

#And that has to chafe #Belichick, whose disdain for the #Jets is as transparent as a squeaky-clean sliding-glass door.



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https://nypost.com/2020/12/30/patriots-stunningly-find-themselves-in-jets-like-mess/

##Patriots #stunningly #find ##Jetslike #mess

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