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New England Patriots links 12/21/20 - Pats ‘Phin-ished; NFL suddenly aware AFC East pretty damn good

Daily news and links for Monday

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New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
Jakobi Meyers a bright spot for the Pats
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images



  • Evan Lazar picks out ten things we learned from the Patriots’ 22-12 loss to the Dolphins. “New England’s quarterback situation will dominate all offseason conversations, and rightfully so, but it was their run defense that also did them in over the last two weeks.”
  • Tom E. Curran says this loss delivers a harsh dose of reality for Patriots. “What were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse for the Patriots dynasty? Tom Brady’s departure, a pandemic, opt outs and bad drafts.”
  • Karen Guregian talks about how the loss to the Dolphins merely reinforced the issues that have been plaguing the offense much of the season.
  • Steve Balestrieri (PatsFans) Monday observations after Dolphins send Patriots to the back of the pack. “Between the Dolphins and Rams last week the Patriots have given up a total of 436 yards rushing in two games.”
  • Bob George (PatsFans) Tough loss in Miami leaves Patriots officially ousted from playoffs.
  • Mike Reiss reports the Patriots lose playoff hopes, Stephon Gilmore and several key players —David Andrews (calf), Ja’Whaun Bentley (arm) and John Simon (hamstring) — in loss to Miami Dolphins.
  • Sean T. McGuire points to this specific stat that probably best depicts why New England missed the playoffs: Pats couldn’t stop the run all season long.
  • Doug Kyed says the loss showed which two players the team can build around in the future: New England’s best offensive and defensive players Sunday were undrafted.
  • Steve Hewitt highlights how despite the fumble, Jakobi Meyers continues to shine with 100-yard game.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) With two games left for the Patriots, it’s time to close the book on Newton.
  • Zack Cox gives us the latest positive update on Stephon Gilmore: Gilmore likely will miss the rest of the season but avoided serious injury.
  • Zack Cox Patriots Notes: Pats can’t explain woeful run defense after loss; Plus, the Patriots were hit hard by injuries in their Week 15 defeat.
  • Zack Cox notes the Patriots have a clear goal after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008: “To win. That’s all we’ve got left.”
  • Darren Hartwell tells us the current draft order to see where the Pats pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
  • Sean T. McGuire explains why Pats fans should root for Brian Flores. /I mean, I like the guy, but I root for the Pats.


  • Albert Breer (SI) Monday Morning QB: Jets finally win; Josh Allen dominates; Dolphins knock out Patriots; Plus, the Colts’ takeaways, Trubisky’s resilience, an Andy Dalton Q&A and a mock draft.
  • Gary Gramling (SI) Week 15 Takeaways: A Jets W, Trevor Lawrence drama, A very Brady comeback, Hurts shines; Plus, Mahomes closes out Saints, Darius Leonard saves Christmas in Indy, Dolphins gut one out, Trubisky has Bears back in it, Patriots eliminated from playoff contention, Falcons find a way to blow another lead, and much more.
  • Peter King (ProFootballTalk) FMIA Week 15: How Buffalo built its way back to the top of the AFC East.
  • Around the NFL ( 2020 NFL season, Week 15: What we learned from Sunday’s games. 1) The teacher (Bill Belichick) met the apprentice (Brian Flores) on Sunday, so it was no surprise that two defensive-minded men had this game at a thrilling score of 9-7 late in the third quarter. ...
  • Nate Davis (USA Today) 32 things we learned from Week 15. 3. In less consequential (and more unsurprising) AFC East matters, the New England Patriots have officially failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008 – their record 11-year run reaching postseason spiked by the Dolphins on Sunday.
  • Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports) NFL insider notes: AFC playoff race gets wild with more worthy teams than spots, plus more from Week 15.
  • Jonathan Jones (CBS Sports) Week 15 insider notes: Buccaneers still don’t look quite ready for January, Ravens take a big step, why Sunday’s injury to Stephon Gilmore came at the worst possible time; More.
  • Rodger Sherman (The Ringer) The winners and losers of NFL Week 15: The Jets tank their tank, former Sooners have a ball, and Tom Brady earns a massive win in the Brady-Belichick battle for supremacy
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) NFL Week 15 grades: Patriots get big, fat ‘F’.
  • NFL Game Center ( Patriots at Dolphins: Stats, drives, ‘highlights’.
  • James Fragoza (Pro Football Focus) NFL Week 15 PFF ReFocused: Dolphins 22, Patriots 12. “Jakobi Meyers and Sony Michel were the only Patriots players to do anything effective with their opportunities.”
  • Tyler Sullivan (CBS Sports) Patriots at Dolphins takeaways: The Patriots have officially been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2008.
  • Jarrett Bell (USA Today) Tom Brady’s vintage comeback win for Bucs also cruel irony for Bill Belichick, Patriots.
  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) For the Patriots to rebuild, it’s time for Bill Belichick to do something he’s never done as a head coach. “Belichick needs to identify the quarterbacks in the first round of the upcoming draft who are capable of being franchise players, and then he needs to design a plan to get one of them.”
  • Terez Paylor (Yahoo! Sports) Bill Belichick and his Patriots will find there’s no easy way out of AFC East purgatory.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Bill Belichick on playoff elimination: Disappointed, but we didn’t deserve to win today.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Cam Newton: Tale of whole season has been coming up a tad short.