New England Patriots: Role reversal as Patriots assume patsy role

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: Nick Folk #6 of the New England Patriots kicks during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: Nick Folk #6 of the New England Patriots kicks during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots have completed an epic role reversal with the AFC’s patsies, as their ineptitude shows in a lackluster effort vs. Miami.

If anyone needed any further demonstration of the New England Patriots 2020 offensive ineptitude, it was on full display against the Dolphins Sunday.

Against a really not-so-impressive team, the Patriots spit-the-bit and rolled over in Miami as the fish managed a dull victory (but a win is a win) 22-12 against the role-reversed 2020 Patriots. The Patriots rolled over and played patsy against Miami as their lack of offensive weapons, save the undermanned leader, Cam Newton, proved again to be decisive.

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Newton is a one-man-band for this team as nobody else can seem to get out of his own way. Newton has little or no time to pass. No one can catch it even when he does have time.

And New England can’t run the ball with consistency. The result was predictable, another loss for New England and elimination from the playoffs.

And once and for all, the foolishness should be dispelled that Newton can’t pass anymore. Give him an open target, a rare occurrence for any of New England’s lack-of-skill players since Julian Edleman has been on the shelf, and he can find a receiver.

The problem is, there ain’t no one open. Absent a late mini-splurge by Sony Michel, the running game was shabby as well.

New England couldn’t even get into the end zone as they had to settle for four field goals by one of their best performers this season, Nick Folk. This is a role reversal when in the past, it was the Bills, Dolphins, and Jest who had to settle for three points.

This team is a victim of its own inadequacy in personnel decision-making. They lucked into the acquisition of a top quarterback, yet still lacked any vision whatsoever by not providing him with weapons. Had they done so, Newton may just have taken this offense to a playoff berth.

Unfortunately, he got almost nothing and the coaching staff didn’t have a clue as to how best to utilize this multi-faceted offensive star.

In the offseason, inexplicably there were no wide receivers drafted, no big back drafted, two rookie tight ends were drafted, but have been invisible, and no other difference-making offensive skill players were brought in to try to make an impact on this offense.

An offense, that as has been explained before, even the great Tom Brady (now 9-5 with Tampa Bay) couldn’t get to operate with any great efficiency in 2019 and Brady had Julian Edelman grab 100 last season.

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Newton had no one who could do much of anything, except James White (and he hasn’t been very effective this season with a pedestrian, for him, 42 catches in 15 games) and to some extent, Jakobi Meyers with a respectable 49 catches to-date.

And let’s not forget the great contributions of the Patriots’ defense. Overrated last season to a fare-thee-well, they continued their lackluster play this season. Poor tackling is a hallmark of a poor defense.

The Patriots are poor tacklers. Poor speed on the edge is a sign of a team that will give up backbreaking plays. The Patriots have very little speed on the edge and that’s been quite visible and, a defense that can’t stop the run can’t win games.

The Patriots can’t stop the run, after losing key players on defense to free agency (e.g. Danny Shelton the big run-stuffer who had Vince Wilfork-like statistics last season and was not re-signed). And, the Patriots’ defense can’t get off the field to stop drives.

So, this season is now officially “over”. No playoffs for New England for the first time in what 12 years? Whatever it has been, it’s been a while.

The hope that was engendered when Newton was signed, faded a while back. It became obvious that there was no one else on offense after Edelman went down with injury who could contribute very much of anything to this floundering and now a sunken former dreadnought of a team.

It is clear that a major overhaul of this team is required. This offseason. Now. The only question is to what extent will it be undertaken?

Next. J.C. Jackson deserves to be a Pro Bowler. dark

A major reconstruction is necessary and many familiar faces will likely head for distant shores with their high cap numbers. Coaches? Top management? The personnel decision-making of this team is flawed and needs reconstruction.