By Austin Payne
The Patriots lost to…the…Dolphins…this Sunday in the NFL’s final week. And yes, you read that correctly, the annual division champs who routinely treat their division rival Miami like a JV team lost to that same group yesterday.
The Patriots, unlike some other teams playing this week, actually had some incentive to win this game due to the possibility of sliding up a spot in the AFC playoff picture, depending upon the Chiefs game outcome. Because of this we saw them leave all traditional starters in for this final game of the regular season, including Tom Brady, who’s been blasted on twitter consistently this season and especially today.
While Brady did pass Peyton Manning today for second all time on the touchdown passes leaderboard when he threw his 540th, the overall game and macro view of the season itself have been a bit dismal in comparison to what we’d expect from him. I’ve written about this topic at least a few times now and I’ll continue to repeat the same theme. The Patriots clearly lack the weapons on offense we anticipated they’d have going into the season. I mean, did you see linebacker Elandon Roberts line up at fullback and be the one to catch Tom’s record breaking touchdown? If any team would try something of the sort and pull it off, it would be one coached by BB.
Despite their lack of elite skill positions players at receiver, tight end, running back, or well, anywhere on offense, it can’t be overlooked or denied that it isn’t all on them. There have been multiplicities of exampled given to us this season where, on occasion, TB12 simply makes an inexcusable throw. Whereas if someone the likes of Cam Newton had made said overthrow, Twitter would be flooded with memes having the caption something along the lines of this. Age is creeping up on Tom, who is now 42, and yeah his resources are depleted, but we can see that his arm is getting there too.
This loss doesn’t matter all too much, although it does assure that they will have to face the Titans in the first round of the playoffs. Usually we would scoff at such a matchup, but with NE’s offensive issues and as well as Tennessee has been playing for the last half of the season after choosing to start Ryan Tannehill, this game may actually end up being interesting.
Patriots in the Super Bowl? It seems more unlikely than ever this year, but If I’ve learned anything in my time watching football, it’s to never short the Patriots stock.