The New England Patriots lost their fifth game of the year this past Sunday. They now sit at 2-5 on the season and are losers of four straight.
For all intents and purposes, many believe the Patriots’ season is already over. Despite having made the playoffs in each of the past 11 years and 16 of the last 17, New England currently finds itself behind both the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.
This week, team quarterback Cam Newton appeared on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show and offered some insight into what the locker room vibe is currently like.
“Just the vibe that you get in that locker room is we just need one,” Newton said.
“Going back and knowing this team as well as I do know this team, coming off of that Raiders win, I think everybody had a full head of steam and momentum. Then obviously what happened with COVID and everything like that, it’s just been a slippery slope, walking down a slippery aisle trying to regain your footing.
“One thing I do know about this team is once we get that first one, that next one is almost, ‘OK, we remember how to win. OK, we know how this feels. This is where situational football kicks in, let’s do a better job of doing this, that and the third.’”
Despite it all, Newton maintains that the Patriots know what needs to happen in order for the season to get back on track.
So that’s how she motivates Gronk. https://t.co/84SK9ScUhu
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 3, 2020
“There’s no doubt in my mind that guys are taking the proper steps of focusing on each and every day, each and every rep, each and every practice that will inevitably lead to in-game success for one particular game.
“We have a relatively young, but mature team that keeps everybody focused and in line with what the common goal is for that specific day and week.”
Newton wasn’t alone in facing the music this week. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick appeared on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday and tried to explain his team’s rough 2020 campaign.
“Look, we paid Cam Newton $1 million,” he said.
Don’t try to rob the greatest UFC fighter of all time. It won’t end well. https://t.co/VtBEWH0kq3
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 2, 2020
“I mean it’s obvious we didn’t have any money. It’s nobody’s fault. That’s what we did the last five years. We sold out and won three Super Bowls, played in a fourth and played in a AFC championship game. This year we had less to work with. It’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact.”
Over the next few weeks New England has a reasonably manageable schedule.
This is how you get into the spirit of Halloween. https://t.co/AcyucHrDHS
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2020
It’s a (theoretically) guaranteed victory over the New York Jets, followed by a date with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, and then the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and Dolphins.
There are at least four very realistic potential wins there, assuming the Patriots get back on track. And if they can hit .500, anything is possible.
How the Patriots come out against New York next week will be very telling. If they run out full force and punish them the way everyone else has this year, then this season is not yet a fully lost cause. If the Jets are even moderately competitive, then it’s safe to close the book on the 2020 Patriots for good.