The 5 most disappointing Patriots from the 2020 season
It’s tough to live up to the expectations of New England Patriots fans after two decades of unprecedented success with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm.
So, when the 2020 season began, many thought the Patriots could be a borderline playoff team, even though the team clearly lacked talent at many key positions.
Those who tempered their predictions knew that New England would be closer to the first overall pick than the Super Bowl, and that’s exactly where they ended. Their 7-9 record was enough to earn them the 15th overall pick in the draft, the highest the team has drafted since 2008 when they drafted Jerod Mayo who is now on the coaching staff.
Any season that finishes with more losses than wins has to have some things that went wrong, and, in the Patriots’ case, that list could go on and on. So, just to keep it simple, these are five of the most disappointing Patriots from this past season.
QB Cam Newton
Cam Newton’s arrival back in July really changed a lot of people’s perspectives on the coming season. With questions about Jarrett Stidham’s ability, Newton was going to come in and lead the Patriots to a few more victories than they were predicted to earn. However, following the short honeymoon period, fans and the media began to turn on the former MVP’s performance. His mechanics never looked right throughout the season, as it seemed like he was trying to throw a medicine ball. This led to inaccurate passes that often found their way into the hands of defenders. Newton played in 15 of the 16 games this season, finishing with 2,657 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. His biggest plus was his rushing, especially in the red zone, as he totaled 592 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Even with the benefit of his running, Newton’s season was a disappointment and many are hoping that his tenure in New England was just this one season.
WR N’Keal Harry
It’s often considered that players in their first season don’t always jump off the page because they are getting adjusted to the differences in the game between college and the NFL. So, the second year is a big deal for young players in the league. N’Keal Harry didn’t make any strong, positive statements with his play this season. Just a year after being Belichick’s first, first-round wide receiver, Harry put up numbers that are more in-line with a late-round pick. In two seasons, Harry has played in 21 games, recording 45 receptions for 414 yards and two touchdowns. With players from the 2019 wide receiver class putting up incredible stat lines every week, this pick looks worse and worse. The 23-year-old just has to hope that a new quarterback will help elevate his game, but that seems like more of a wish right now.
TE Devin Asiasi
The Patriots drafted Asiasi 91st overall in this year’s draft, making him the second tight end selected in the draft. Asiasi was playing just a few snaps at the beginning of the season, as would be expected from a rookie. However, after a strange situation that landed him on injured reserve, the tight end missed seven games. When the 23-year-old returned to the active roster in December, his production on the field was still non-existent. It wasn’t until the final week of the season that Asiasi brought in a pass, recording two receptions for 39 yards and his first touchdown. Hopefully, the struggles this season can be blamed on the quarterback, the injury, and the normal rookie adjustments to the NFL.
TE Dalton Keene
Like Asiasi, Dalton Keene was selected in the third round in this year’s draft. He was the fourth tight end off the board. Keene was brought in to be a bit of a hybrid full back/tight end, but he wasn’t able to get on the field either. Some of this was due to injuries, but it’s never good to fall behind in a rookie season. At 21, Keene is the youngest player on the Patriots’ roster, so there’s a lot of growing to do, but three catches for 16 yards isn’t going to cut it. New England’s tight end group has been the worst in the league over the last two seasons, and if they want to see more wins, they need to get more out of the position.
K Justin Rohrwasser
Justin Rohrwasser was the first kicker selected in this year’s draft after the Patriots lost Stephen Gostkowski in free agency, and Nick Folk was still a free agent coming off of surgery. The Patriots took the former Marshall kicker over better prospects including Tyler Bass and Rodrigo Blankenship who both had solid rookie seasons at the position for the Bills and Colts respectively. Rohrwasser spent a portion of camp standing around and not kicking, and when he did it wasn’t good. This led to his season spent on the practice squad all year. And, while the Patriots were lucky that Folk came back and performed well, Rohrwasser not even making the roster is a disappointment. If the Patriots wasted a fifth-round pick on a kicker that never plays, that won’t be the best look.