3 Reasons the Patriots Won't Make the Playoffs

Zach Brunner
Three reasons why the Patriots won't make the playoffs.
Three reasons why the Patriots won't make the playoffs. / Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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The New England Patriots have been the most stable franchise over the past couple decades, being Super Bowl contenders nearly every season. With Tom Brady heading to Florida like most rich, northeastern people at the end of their careers, there are a lot of question marks in New England this season.

ESPN recently released their Power Index rankings, giving the Patriots a 60 percent chance to reach the playoffs. These are three reasons why New England could miss out on the postseason.

1. Too Much Notable Turnover

Kyle Van Noy left the team in free agency.
Kyle Van Noy left the team in free agency. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some challenges with offseason preparation. When there is a lot of turnover and newcomers, it could be tough to get everyone prepared and on the same page to start the season. Aside from the obvious, with the Patriots having a new starter at quarterback, New England also lost three notable starters from their elite defense. Danny Shelton will be missing from the middle of their defensive line, while Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins are both gone from their linebacking corps. Not only is there the loss of talent, there is the loss of in-person prep time.

2. Red Zone Struggles

Patriots scored a touchdown on less than half of their red zone trips last season.
Patriots scored a touchdown on less than half of their red zone trips last season. / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Normally a solid red zone team. the Patriots struggled to finish drives in the end zone last season. They scored a touchdown on less than half of their red zone trips (49.21 percent), ranking 26th in this category. Surprisingly, they were much worse at home, scoring a touchdown on just 42.86 percent of red zone trips at home. All three of their divisional opponents ranked higher in this category, and all three have improved, on paper, this offseason.

3. Kicking Inconsistency

Justin Rohrwasser is penciled in as the starting kicker.
Justin Rohrwasser is penciled in as the starting kicker. / Tim Warner/Getty Images

With a struggling offense and a tough defense, you can bet there will be many close games for the Patriots this season. The outcome of these games could be decided on one or two plays, and these plays could be on special teams. Like quarterback, the Patriots have had consistency at the kicking position. From Adam Vinatieri to Stephen Gostkowski, most Patriots fans got used to the assumption every kick would go in. Now, the only kicker on their roster is rookie Justin Rohrwasser. The rookie kicker missed three extra points in his two seasons at Marshall and made 78.6 percent of his kicks.


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