The New England Patriots were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday after their 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The sting of the defeat and the elimination was bad enough, but it has to hurt a little more to watch and hear former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speak so matter of factly about it after he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
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Tom Brady Taking No Outward Joy in the Patriots’ Fall
Perhaps on the inside, Brady felt some level of satisfaction knowing that he, Rob Gronkowski, and the rest of the Bucs are likely on their way to the playoffs while Bill Belichick and Co. will miss the postseason for the first time since 2008 (a year Brady missed 15 games with a knee injury). However, he didn’t show it.
When asked about the Patriots’ elimination from playoff contention after the Bucs’ 31-27 win, Brady said:
As far as the Patriots go, they have their own thing going and I’ve really been focused on how my play needs to be at quarterback, the execution I need. They’re not really an opponent of mine. Obviously, I have a lot of friends there, a lot of great relationships, but they’ve been focused on what they need to do, and I’ve been trying to focus on what my job is.
Here is a look at Brady’s postgame interview.
Brady has been reluctant to speak at length about the Patriots whenever these kinds of questions have been posed to him. Chances are, we might not hear any real thoughts on the subject until Brady has called it quits.
The Patriots play the Bucs during the 2021 regular season, so barring something unforeseen, we will see one of the most epic regular-season matchups you can imagine when Brady returns to Gillette Stadium.
One can only hope the country is in better order and fans can be on-hand for the event.
Patriots’ Final 2 Regular-Season Games
No one knows just what to expect from the Patriots next season.
Before we get that far, we can’t even be sure of what we’ll see from them next week against the Buffalo Bills. Stephon Gilmore went down with an injury and he could miss the rest of the regular season.
Julian Edelman has been trying to get back to the lineup after having a procedure on his knee and battling COVID-19. Will he play in either of the last two games? We’ll have to wait to see how or if he can practice this week. He will have an extra day to prepare with the matchup against the Bills scheduled for Monday night.
Perhaps the most pressing question is whether the Patriots will start quarterback Jarrett Stidham in place of Cam Newton.
Newton completed 17 of 27 passes for 209 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions on Sunday, but was again pointed out as one of the major reasons for the team losing.
If my math is correct – and that is a very big if – Cam Newton has led 21 straight possessions without a touchdown. But remember: you're not allowed to ask if it's time to change quarterbacks.
— Tony Massarotti (@TonyMassarotti) December 21, 2020
Fair blame or not, it’s customary for the quarterback to absorb more blame than is warranted and more glory than is deserved. Because of that, and the Patriots’ need to see Stidham in action, there is a decent chance the 2019 fourth-round pick could be called upon to start the last two games of the season.
Meanwhile, Brady and the Bucs sit in the sixth playoff spot in the NFC. Curses.
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