Updated: Nov 10, 2020
The fact is, the Patriots are really close to having a .500 or above record. They were literally a yard away from beating the Seahawks. A bad sack pretty much ended a possible game winning drive versus the Broncos. Last week, a Cam Newton Fumble inside the Bills fifteen yard line cost them the game. They also didn't have Newton for their game against the Chiefs, in which they made countless mistakes.
Now I get it, a loss is a loss, and what ifs really don't matter in sports. The Patriots are 2-5, and that is the bottom line. What I am trying to say though is that the Patriots are a few breaks away from not looking so bad.
It boils down to two solutions:
Number one: this is just how their season is going to go. They are going to lose winable games. They are going to come up short in the clutch. Cam Newton does not have the clutch gene anymore.
Number two: they have gotten really unlucky, and that will start to reverse over the course of they year. They will actually start winning these close games, and contend for the playoffs.
The Patriots absolutely have the ability to clean things up a little and make a playoff push, especially if the NFL adds another playoff spot. Looking at their schedule, they could very easily finish the year going 6-3. That would leave them with an 8-8 overall record. With the expanded playoffs, that has a decent chance to get them into the postseason.
The first thing you need from them is to see more of the defense that we saw last year. Stefon Gilmore is staying in New England, so that is a good thing. The offense all revolves around Newton. Damien Harris has been great, but clearly is not the guy who is going to win this team games. That is Newton. You need him to make quicker and better decisions. He needs to play with no doubt in his game. The last few weeks he has been hesitating before running. He has also been missing open receivers because he is stuck looking at someone else.
Jakobi Myers needs more playing time. He played really well last week, and was consistently getting open for Newton. That is something that the other Patriots wide receivers have not done well so far this year. Hopefully new addition from Miami Isaiah Ford will help open up this offense a little.
There are a lot of what ifs, but the bottom line is that the Pats are not that far away from putting a few things together, and competing for the playoffs.