Will 2020 be the year the New England Patriots don’t factor in the postseason?
ESPN national NFL writer Dan Graziano predicted Thursday the Patriots will miss the playoffs in the 2020 season. New England has qualified for the postseason as AFC East champions or better the last 11 seasons, but Graziano predicts a division rival will end that streak by a small margin.
“Yes, I went there,” Graziano wrote. “Tom Brady could leave, and the offense was already a disaster with him there in 2019. Watch the (Buffalo) Bills or (New York) Jets swipe this thing out from under Bill Belichick with a 10-6 season and a tiebreaker.”
The Patriots topped the AFC East with a 12-4 record in 2019. The Bills finished second at 10-6, and the Jets third at 7-9. A lot, perhaps even more than Brady departing, will have to change for that order to shift in the direction Graziano predicts.
But if there ever is a perfect time for going out on a limb with bold takes, the dog days of winter — five weeks prior to the start of the new NFL year — is it.