Newest loss dims Pats’ hopes of extending division streak

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Throughout Invoice Belichick’s teaching tenure, the Patriots have grown accustomed to being the front-runner within the AFC East.

After dropping their fourth straight recreation on Sunday to Buffalo, New England instantly finds itself in a really unfamiliar place.

At 2-5, the Patriots path each the Payments (6-2) and Dolphins (4-3) within the division standings, leaving their hopes of profitable a twelfth consecutive AFC East title in critical jeopardy.

Qualifying for the playoffs isn’t even assured at this level.

Since 2010 solely 4 groups — the Ravens (2011), Texans (2015), Chiefs (2015) and Colts (2018) — have began 2-5 and nonetheless made it to the postseason. The earlier time New England didn’t make the playoffs was 2008, when Tom Brady suffered a knee harm within the season opener.

However at this level, simply discovering a option to get a win is the one factor on the Patriots’ minds.

Quarterback Cam Newton, whose fumble within the closing seconds Sunday price New England an opportunity to probably pull off the win of their last drive, stated the one factor they’ll do is transfer on.

“This can be a production-based league. Coach preaches each day to guard the soccer, to play sensible soccer,” he stated. “I believe that’s what makes it so irritating, being that we’re making an attempt extraordinarily onerous. However on the finish of the day, you don’t get the outcomes that you really want, then what do you do? We simply should focus in on follow and simply have our greatest week but and preserve constructing from what we’ve got.”

Throughout their four-game dropping streak the Patriots are tied for final within the league in turnovers (12) and are second to final within the NFL averaging 12.3 factors per recreation. Solely the 0-8 Jets are worse at 7.25 factors per recreation.

The excellent news is the Jets are up subsequent on the schedule.

“We’re in in powerful spot and we’ve dug a gap. But it surely doesn’t imply we are able to’t dig ourselves out. It doesn’t imply our season’s over,” operating again Damien Harris stated. “If we don’t consider in one another, then we don’t have an opportunity.”

WHAT’S WORKING

If there’s something to construct on, it’s that the offense had a few of its finest rhythm in weeks within the second half.

The 22-yard landing run by Harris late within the third quarter and the 2-yard TD run by Newton early within the fourth marked the primary time the Patriots have had back-to-back landing drives this season. New England punted on three of its 5 possessions within the first half.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The offensive line has been coping with accidents for a lot of the season, and the fixed shuffling of our bodies could also be starting to take its toll on the unit’s chemistry. Newton was sacked twice and hit a season-high 5 instances Sunday, per week after being sacked simply as soon as towards the 49ers. The offense additionally dedicated a season-high 4 penalties in Sunday’s loss.

STOCK UP

Harris carried 16 instances for 102 yards, his second 100-yard speeding recreation of the season to associate with his first profession landing. His season debut was delayed by a stint on injured reserve due to a hand problem. However he stated his manufacturing is tough to have a good time proper now.

“I can’t say I’m comfortable about something proper now,” Harris stated. “It’s nice, I suppose. However in the end it didn’t actually contribute to our group profitable. You’ve simply received to search out methods to win. That’s the underside line.”

STOCK DOWN

Joe Thuney. The left guard was whistled for a holding penalty for the second straight week. Whereas it’s simply the second penalty on Thuney this season, it stands proud for a participant who was referred to as for no penalties final season and has simply 14 in 5 seasons.

INJURIES

Defensive sort out Lawrence Man left within the third quarter with a shoulder harm. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley exited within the fourth with a groin harm.

KEY NUMBER

416 — The variety of days Newton had gone with out a misplaced fumble in a regular-season recreation. Earlier than Sunday, Newton’s final misplaced fumble was in Carolina’s 20-14 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 2 final season.

NEXT STEPS

Starting with Monday’s journey to face the Jets, New England is on the street for 3 of its subsequent 5 video games. That stretch contains residence matchups with Baltimore (5-2) and Arizona (5-2).

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Comply with Kyle Hightower on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/khightower

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL





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