New England Patriots

What’s Next For The New England Patriots?

  • 2020 NFL Season
  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • 2021 nfl free agency
  • 2021 NFL Mock Draft
  • AFC East
  • Bill Belichick
  • Cam Newton
  • Dak Prescott
  • Damiere Byrd
  • Denver Broncos
  • Dont'a Hightower
  • Ja'Marr Chase
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • Julian Edelman
  • Kyle Trask
  • Miami Dolphins
  • N'Keal Harry
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets
  • nfl 2020
  • NFl Draft
  • NFL Draft Busts
  • Patrick Chung
  • Rex Burkhead
  • Rondale Moore
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Sam Darnold
  • Tom Brady
  • Tom Brady Leaving
  • Trevor Lawrence
  • Trey Lance
  • Tua Tagovailoa
By Andy Davies December 12, 2020 0 Comment
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New England Patriots fans are in new territory. After their 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, their team is extremely unlikely to win the AFC East. The last time they didn’t win the division was in 2008. This was without Tom Brady, who was injured that season.

The 2002 New York Jets are the only other team to win the AFC East since Tom Brady became the Patriots starting quarterback in 2001.

It has been a while since we saw the Patriots struggle. Even in their 2008 season, they missed out on the playoffs with 11 wins. How often do we see an eleven win team miss out on the playoffs?  Only the Denver Broncos in 1985 and New England in 2008 have missed out on the playoffs with an 11-5 record.

The previous success has not translated to wins this year.

They currently sit on a 6-7 record and there is the possibility of their first losing season since 2000, the last season before Brady became starting quarterback. This is not a coincidence.

We have seen the Patriots suffer without Tom Brady or any legitimate wide receivers. Cam Newton has proved to not be the answer, despite his strong start. Julian Edelman has struggled with injury and N’Keal Harry is looking more and more like a bust.

So, What Next For The New England Patriots?

The Patriots still have playoff aspirations, although if the three current wildcard teams all win this weekend, the Patriots will be three wins behind with just three games left. This would all but end their playoff chances.

New England is likely to be in an unwanted position on the draft board. They won’t be low enough to be happy with their season and will not be high enough to get a top prospect.

Who Will Be The Patriots Starting Quarterback In 2021?

The quarterback situation will need to be addressed. Cam Newton was given a low money one-year deal by New England this season and the Patriots may want to give him another year contract.

If the Patriots decide not to give Cam another year, there will be plenty of other quarterbacks available. The New York Jets are likely to draft Trevor Lawrence, which would allow Sam Darnold to be traded away or released. The Patriots may feel they can bring out the potential in Darnold.

There is also Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who lost his starting job midseason to Tua Tagovailoa. The Patriots could give Fitzpatrick one final starting role.

The Dallas Cowboys may decide to cut ties with Dak Prescott, with their high draft position, they could get the likes of Trey Lance or Kyle Trask. Prescott would be the best option of them all for New England.

The last year New England drafted a future Pro Bowl player was 2013.

Issues At Wide Receiver

Part of the issue with Tom Brady’s final year in New England was that he had no one to throw to.

This year is not different. Damiere Byrd is the leading receiver this season, with just 566 yards. Their leader in receiving touchdowns this season is running back Rex Burkhead (3). N’Keal Harry leads wide receivers with two touchdowns this season. This is not good enough.

How New England Should Tackle The Off-Season

The quarterback position should be a focus in the draft. The Patriots should aim to get Prescott or Fitzpatrick in free agency and get a wide receiver in the 2021 draft.

LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase is seen as the best receiver prospect. Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle and Purdue’s Rondale Moore are two other prospects being talked about.

The defense has not been as good this season in comparison to previous years. However, it is hard to judge due to the amount of injuries and opt-outs New England has had.

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung are two high profile opt-outs this season. One or two defensive picks in the draft or free agency would not hurt the Patriots.

On top of that, the Pats need to turn to a free-agent quarterback in the off-season, and a wide receiver first-round draft selection.

With arguably the best head coach of all time, the Pats still are in safe hands. Fans should absolutely trust him and believe in what he is doing.

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