At 6-8, the New England Patriots have been officially eliminated from the AFC Playoff Picture, joining the 1-13 New York Jets as AFC East teams on the outside looking in. (New York was eliminated in November.)The Buffalo Bills have clinched the AFC East title while the Miami Dolphins currently sit in the seventh and final playoff spot.
The Patriots have tied for the division lead or won in every season since 2001, when Tom Brady was the starting QB an Bill Belichick the head coach. They’ve been the AFC East champs for 11 straight years. The 11-5 Miami Dolphins won the division in 2008, besting the Patriots’ 11-5 season on tiebreakers. In 2002, three 9-7 teams in the AFC were led by the New York Jets.
With Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots took a step back in 2020. It’s their first non-winning season since the year 2000, Belichick’s first season with the club and their last year without a Super Bowl victory on the books.
The reason for the drop-off is fairly evident; New England’s offense stinks. They are 27th in points scored and 25th in yards gained. They are 18th in point differential and 20th in yard differential.