3 months ago
Last week, the Patriots had a chance to clinch their 10th straight AFC East title with a win in Miami over the Dolphins.
Courtesy of the “Miracle in Miami,” they didn’t do it.
Yesterday, they had the same opportunity to clinch in Pittsburgh — but again failed in a 17-10 loss to the Steelers.
Because of the loss, New England finishes the season 3-5 away from Gillette Stadium, the first time the Patriots have a losing road record since 2009.
The defeat in the Steel City also drops the Patriots to the third seed in the AFC playoffs, meaning they currently do not have a first-round bye and would have to host a game on wild-card weekend and then play a road playoff game if they were to make a run at the Super Bowl.
Under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots have never advanced to a Super Bowl after playing on a wild-card weekend.
With two weeks left to play, that could all change and the Pats could reel off two wins while the Chiefs, Chargers, Texans, Ravens, Steelers, and Colts could all choke and finish poorly. That would allow New England to ascend to a top seed and secure a first-round bye.
But, considering how the Pats have looked and the mental mistakes ( (14 penalties for 106 yards on Sunday) they have been making over the past two weeks, it seems more likely their season, and perhaps their dynasty, will end badly.
“There comes a time when mystique and aura are nothing more than smoke and mirrors,” according to Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe. “There comes a time when being smarter is not enough, when waiting for the other guy to step on his own appendage will not guarantee victory. There comes a time when your own ability and execution are more important than all the good things that have happened before. There comes a time when you will not get the benefit of some strange rule that will be changed during the offseason. There come a time when assuming the other guy will lose his mind and hand you the game is more hope than reality …
“They have failed to capitalize on mistakes of the opponent. And in atypical Patriot fashion, they are finishing the season with a whimper. New England traditionally gets better at the end of the year. These Patriots have lost three of their last five, and two straight in December. That simply never happens.”
Until now.Read the full story at The Boston Globe