In a season he recorded a record loss for the first time in 20 years and witnessed New England Patriots Missing the qualifiers for the first time since 2008, we were able to get a closer look at the life of the average football fan. We’ve seen our first glimpse into the post-Tom Brady era and we’ve learned more about this team and ourselves than ever before, all in the midst of a global pandemic.
It was a surreal season but is well summed up by this Devin McCourty quote after the end of the Sunday season:
“[Matthew Slater] He said something cool even after the match: to take the time to think about 2020 and what we learned. What we went through, the good and the bad, and most importantly; Let’s grow out of it and not just say, “Oh man, I’m glad it’s over. Let’s go ahead,” but to take the lessons I’ve already learned.
The team’s 2020 campaign culminated in 14-28 victory over the New York Jets In one of the most impressive and fanatical shows of the season. There have been some great shows as well as a few unsuccessful ones, let’s check them out one last time.
Winner: RB Sony Michel
Sonny Michelle played like the first round over the final three weeks of the season. He averaged 6.3 yards per load on 36 lambs and added four grabs for 68 yards and landings in his starts after Damian Harris fell with an ankle injury. Being able to bring the two together for next season is not just a positive thing for Michel – who appears to be doing better at the booms – but the Patriots, who will be able to maintain a new rotation in position in 2021.
Loser: CB Miles Bryant
Sometimes it only takes one engine.
Jets’ first relegation engine showed the downsides of playing a free rookie player who is not much formulated. Three consecutive faults by Bryant allowed New Yorkers to move 48 yards and into the finish zone for the touchdown.
First it was a missed attempt behind the melee line, which resulted in a 15-yard gain and landing first. Then a beginner foul, waiting for an interception could be while the receiver runs under the ball and picks up 12 yards. Finally, he delayed helping Devin McCourty who was playing outside sway over a job, leading to a 21-yard drop. He added a 15-yard penalty on landing for a blow to a defenseless receiver. Not a perfect extension.
Winner: EDGE Chase Winovich
Chase Weinovitch proved once again to be the source of Sunday’s turmoil with one of his best shows as a professional. Weinovic finished the match with a pair of sacks, two tackles for a loss, five center-back pressures and a passing drift. With the Patriots’ depth problems at the back line, Winovic was able to play a more consistent role, and perhaps cement his position as a forward forward.
Winner: CBGC Jackson
Jackson recovered from his poor performance last week on his strong Sunday Outing.
The former self-styled rookie made more money Sunday with his ninth interception of the season. This is the second-highest number for any Patriots in a single season, and tied with nine Tai Lo players in 1998. They only track Asante Samuel’s ten campaign in 2006.
Jackson also went on to be a quote machine, offering a pair of Post-Gems:
JC Jackson, you set a record for most fast food (11) in a single season under Bill Belišik. What does that mean for you?
“Don’t mean nonsense.”
– Chris Mason (ByChrisMason) January 3, 2021
“How can you say the game doesn’t matter? … It matters to me, and to my teammates.” – JC Jackson was asked about today’s game that makes no sense pic.twitter.com/csti1C6YTF
– NBC Sports Boston (NBCSBoston) January 3, 2021
Winner: TE Devin Asiasi
New England fans can now breathe a collective sigh of relief after seeing one of its rising tight ends turn into at least one strong performance this season. Devin Asiasi was able to do this, not only recording his first shot of his career, but his first downturn in the same game. He had a drop and was far from perfect, but there’s less room for zero to pick out any kind of positive performance from the narrow side of the Patriots.
Loser: CB Joejuan Williams
This is your biggest loser from Sunday. Although it was rare to see the field throughout the season, Williams had one of the worst plays I had seen in a long time. In the third quarter, he watched Preshad Berryman tumble alongside him for a gain of 51 yards, with absolutely no clamor.
For a guy who showed flashes of brilliance at the point of attack, this might be an insight into why he’s not finding a steady playing time. If it were his talent, this kind of play would definitely not help him see the field, and it might help him find his way out of New England.
Winner: WR Jakobi Meyers
Not only was Jacoby Meyers the winner on Sunday, he was the Patriots’ biggest winner in 2020. Myers, the only consistent presence in the broad recipient, showed that he was a legitimate choice in the NFL and worked his way into a growing role in 2021.
On Sunday, he recorded six grabs at 68 yards, landing a 19-yard drop for Cam Newton and even adding a nice 7-yard lunge. His landing throw provided the spark that helped the Patriots pull out in the second half.
Winner: QB Cam Newton
Cam Newton saved his (possibly) best performance at last, throwing 242 yards and three landings at 67 percent pass, lunge another 79 yards, and pulled into his first career.
Despite all the criticism throughout the season, Newton stayed on course. It was Cam Newton from his first run of 10 yards against Miami to his last kneeling against planes. Whatever happens in the future, it can’t be said that he was a locker room celebrity and did things that this fanbase had never seen before.