The Patriots ended off the 2020 regular season with a 28-14 win over the New York Jets. They finish off with a record of 7-9 and will be picking at number 15 in the NFL Draft. It is very weird to see the Patriots end their season so early because they are consistently in the playoffs. For Patriots fans who wanted a higher draft pick, this was probably not the result you wanted. But the Pats did end the season on a positive note, and they gained some momentum going into 2021.
Cam’s Outfit Check
This may be the last time Cam walks into a stadium as a member of the New England Patriots. His play was not good enough, but as usual, his outfits have been top tier. Not because they have all been good, but they are his personality. And that is respectable. This one is simple but also nice. Solid 8 out of 10.
Now, Cam hasn’t been good on the field this season, but he played very well yesterday. Newton threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 11 carries for 79 yards, including a team-record 49-yard run. Yes, it is the Jets, but it seems like he could have been trying to make a case to be under center in Foxboro next season.
As bad as Cam has been, he has gained the respect of his peers in the locker room and has shown he is a top-tier individual. It may be unlikely that he is back next season, but it also would not be surprising if he returns, because of how highly Belichick and the rest of the teams think of him.
Sony Trending Up?
Sony Michel has had injury issues since his rookie season when he almost ran for 1,000 yards. Over the past few weeks, he seems to be getting healthy and running very well. Sony had 16 carries for 76 yards, but he was most effective in the passing game. He had three receptions for 60 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown catch. With James White possibly leaving, is there a chance Michel could try to fill his role? That could be an interesting storyline going into 2021.
Young Building Blocks
Three young players really stood out yesterday, and have all season. But these could be the future stars of the Patriots moving forward.
Jackson not being selected to the Pro Bowl is a huge mistake. Jackson had one interception yesterday, bringing his total to nine on the year. He was second in the league in the stat, and he has been amazing all season. With Gilmore possibly leaving in the offseason, Jackson looks ready to step into that number one corner spot.
Winovich has been mainly a pass rusher this season. He had two sacks yesterday and has been developing all season in that pass-rushing role. He has not been as good against the run, but he has shown his value rushing the passer.
Meyers might have been the Patriots’ best receiver this season. He led the team in both receptions and receiving yards, with 59 catches for 729 yards. He never found the endzone, but he caught a lot of big passes this season. He also threw two passes this season, both for touchdowns. Meyers should definitely be starting in 2021, and hopefully, he can continue to develop after going undrafted last year.
Putting A Bow On It
This season for New England was a tough one. First-year without Brady, not a very talented roster, and COVID issues early on in the season. On top of all of those, the Patriots had a league-high eight opt-outs due to COVID. One thing is for sure, this team definitely played better than expected. 7-9 may not look good, but it is as good as they could do, given the circumstances. This team may look a lot different going into next season, and some big decisions are going to need to be made. Bill Belichick will not want to keep this rebuild going on for long, he is not getting younger. So expect a quick rebuild. On to 2021.