The 2019 NFL season is over for the New England Patriots after a stunning 20-13 loss last night at Gillette Stadium against the Tennessee Titans.
Coming into the season the expectations were sky high that the Patriots would be the last team standing. Fast forward to now and they are the second team sent home on Wildcard weekend thus beginning a long offseason fill with a lot of uncertainty. But that is a story for a different time as now it is time to reflect on the disappointing end to what was once a promising season that could’ve resulted in a 7th Super Bowl title.
During the Bill Belichick era, New England had only played in 3 Wildcard games before last night (bringing the total to 4) and now have a .500 record in those games. This was also the first time in 10 years that they came into the playoffs without a first round bye and they have never made it to and won the Super Bowl without that coveted bye. That unfortunate trend will continue after the Titans went into Foxboro and dethroned the defending champs 20-13.
The New England Patriots came into this game at 12-4 and winners of the AFC East while the Tennessee Titans were the 6th seed at 9-7 after finishing 2nd in the AFC South. Playing at home has always been an advantage for the Patriots and it looked like the Gillette Stadium magic was going to bail them out one more time.
Throughout the game, both the Titans and Patriots were neck and neck from start to finish. New England put points on the board first with a field goal but Tennessee quickly answered to take the lead back 7-3. The Julian Edelman scored a rushing touchdown to put The Patriots back on top 10-7 then added to their lead with a field goal to go up 13-7. That would be the last point they would score in the game. The Titans scored to end the 1st half to take the lead 14-13 and that would be all she wrote until Tom Brady threw a pick 6 in the closing seconds of the game.
Now, it is time to take a look back at my 4 keys -downs- that would either help the New England Patriots extend their 2019 season or start the off-season quicker than expected.