BOSTON (CBS) — The 2020 Patriots season is over. For the first time since 2008, New England’s campaign comes to an end with the conclusion of the regular season.
Simply put, it’s a big big bummer for a franchise that always strives for a Super Bowl. But we’ve known that the Patriots probably wouldn’t be adding to that banner collection at Gillette Stadium for the last two weeks, and really, we kind of had an inkling that it wouldn’t happen in 2020 as soon as Tom Brady decided to take his football to sunny Florida.
So now the Patriots are fans like the rest of us. They’ll be watching the playoffs from home, which is a new and unusual spot for many players on the roster.
But while they’re disappointed that they don’t get to prepare for another game this year, the Patriots were happy to end the season on a high note. It’s really all they have to grasp at right now. Instead of a banner, they’re talking about building blocks at One Patriot Place.
“I have a lot of respect for the coaches and players, members of this team. Results this year weren’t what we hoped for, but it doesn’t change my appreciation for their efforts and what they tried to do,” head coach Bill Belichick said after Sunday’s win. “It’s good to end a disappointing season on a high note. That’s not where we want to be at the end of the year here, but today was today and that’s all we can control. I appreciate all the players and the way the team performed.”
This marks the first time that Devin McCourty won’t be part of playoff football in his 11-year NFL career.
“It was a good way to end the season,” he said of beating the Jets. “Not the way we wanted to go, but we’ve known that the last two weeks. It’s good for the team moving forward, building character and all the things that the Patriots have been built on. I think it will mean a lot going forward for a lot of these young guys. They’ll always remember this year, what we went through and what the country went through, what it took to go out each day and keep fighting.”
Cam Newton struggled mightily in his first season with the Patriots, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it will likely be his only season with the Patriots. The quarterback was guilty of making backbreaking turnovers throughout the season, and he never mastered those short passes that are key in the New England offense. While he is still a beast on the ground, rushing for 12 touchdowns, Newton could never really generate anything in the passing game.
It’s hard to put all the blame on the quarterback for the offense’s woes, because Belichick really didn’t give him much to work with at receiver or tight end. And Newton has never shied away from taking the brunt of the blame for the Patriots’ struggles.
He was happy to see the team put it all together and end the season with a win, but pretty disappointed he won’t get to experience postseason football as a member of the Patriots.
“We played this game to win, but our season is done. We have the talent in that locker room to still be playing for a playoff berth and making a deep run,” he said. “That is the realization of things; you know what we could possibly do and what we’re capable of, we just didn’t show it enough this year.
“I need to get better. That’s what it all comes down to,” he added. “For me, I’m such a stickler about ‘did you win, did you win?’ Doesn’t matter what the statistics were, ‘did you win, find ways just to win?’ Having a game like today is good, but you wish you would have had more games like this.”
As for his future with the team, Newton wouldn’t get into the speculation that it’ll be one and done for him in New England.
“I can’t speak on that right now. My whole time in here in New England has been a blessing,” he said. “I learned a lot about myself, I had great teammates, unbelievable coaching. We’ll see how it goes and go from there.”