Yet another failure to finish pretty much finishes off the 2020 Patriots


Cam Newton and the Patriots weren’t all that far from victory Sunday afternoon in Houston.

And New England really isn’t all that far off from being a playoff contender in the AFC in 2020.

But, alas, the Patriots fell 27-20 to Deshaun Watson and the Texans, with Newton’s Hail Mary 50-yard completion to Ryan Izzo coming up short of the end zone, New England helpless at the Houston 12 as time expired. That came after a penultimate Patriots possession in which the visitors turned it over on downs on the Houston 24 with 1:11 to play.

The loss, yet another oh-so-close failure this fall, snapped the Patriots two-game winning streak, killed the momentum from the prior Sunday night’s upset of the Ravens and all but finished off New England’s realistic playoff hopes with a 4-6 record with six games to play.

Newton was upended at the Seahawks 2 as time expired in the 35-30 Week 2 loss in Seattle.

The Patriots offense turned the ball over on downs at the Denver 24 with 59 seconds to play in the 18-12 Week 6 loss to the Broncos.

Newton fumbled with New England in range for a game-tying field goal or game-winning score in the 24-21 Week 8 loss in Buffalo.

Now this.

Four end-of-game, gotta-have it plays. Four failures. Four losses.

Split those four games and the playoffs are still very much within sight, at 6-4. Win all four as a team with a QB closer like, say, Tom Brady might do, and you’re sitting pretty at 8-2 as you hit the holiday season that suddenly feels more like Groundhog Day than Thanksgiving.