The Patriots’ playoff hopes took what was most likely a fatal hit last night by Los Angeles Rams.  From the first snap, the Rams dominated the Patriots.  The offense had absolutely no answer for the Rams defense and the defense could not stop Cam Akers and the Rams rushing attack.  With seven losses, the Patriots will not win 10 games for the first time since 2002, and making the playoffs looks unlikely.

Time For A Change?

Cam Newton was replaced in the fourth quarter by Jarrett Stidham.  Cam has been good on the ground, but he has been inconsistent throwing the ball.  It does not help that he has almost no weapons.  But with three games left, and the playoffs a longshot, why not give Stidham a long look?  Unless Cam will be here next season, then Stidham should get a chance to win the job.

Stidham has been praised over and over by the coaching staff and players.  He has struggled at times when he comes in, but Stidham is normally thrown into the fire at the end of the game.  He has zero career starts, so he has never really had an opportunity to take over the offense.  Last night, Stidham looked decisive and accurate.  Cam looked off and indecisive at times.  If Cam is not coming back, Stidham should get a chance to take the job over for 2021. 

N’Keal Harry Is Arriving?

Over the past two weeks, Harry has looked better.  He scored a touchdown last week and he had one of his best games as a Patriot last night.  Harry had three receptions for 49 yards, leading the Patriots in receiving yards.  Harry has been struggling to develop into what the Patriots hoped he could.  But you saw a little bit of that last night.  He is a physical receiver that can catch in traffic and use his size to his benefit.  Maybe this is a sign of things to come for Harry?  We will just have to wait and see.

Myles Bryant: Next Star Undrafted Corner?

Undrafted rookie cornerback Myles Bryant had his first career interception last night, which nearly turned the game around for New England.  Then Cam threw a pick-six a few plays later.  But Bryant could be the next name in the line of undrafted cornerbacks playing well in New England.  Malcolm Butler and J.C. Jackson were undrafted and developed extremely well in New England.  Bryant went up against Robert Woods, Los Angeles’ best receiver, and wrestled the ball away for the interception.  He impressed in training camp by making a ton of plays, which earned him a spot on the team.

What’s Next?

It is very sad to see a team so likable fall short.  But that is what could happen with this team.  There are a lot of missing pieces.  The offense needs some weapons, whether in the draft or free agency.  A quarterback for next season also needs to be figured out.  The defense needs a linebacker to replace Donta Hightower in the middle, who could retire after opting-out this season.  It will be very interesting how this team moves forward into the offseason.  But for now, a meeting with the Dolphins is in the cards, and the Pats could be playing spoiler.  On to Miami.