| USA TODAY
NFL Week 8 overreactions: Time to ban the NFC East from the playoffs
SportsPulse: The NFC East is a joke and somehow will have a team hosting a playoff game this January. Mackenzie Salmon overreacts to the biggest story lines from Week 8 in the NFL.
The post-Tom Brady era in New England could be going better.
After Sunday’s defeat to the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots have lost four consecutive games — their worst losing streak in 18 years. New England is on the fast track toward missing the playoffs for just the third time in the past two decades.
In his weekly radio interview on WEEI in Boston, Patriots coach Bill Belichick got defensive when asked about his comments from a Sirius XM NFL Radio interview last week citing the salary cap for his team’s depth issues.
“I didn’t say it as an excuse. I never said that,” Belichick said. “Look, we paid Cam Newton a million dollars. It’s obvious we didn’t have any money. It’s nobody’s fault.
“That’s what we did the last five years. We sold out and won three Super Bowls, played in a fourth, and played in an AFC championship game. This year we have less to work with. It’s not an excuse. It’s just a fact.”
WEEK 8 WINNERS, LOSERS: Mike Tomlin has Steelers looking like legitimate Super Bowl contender
NFL NEWSLETTER: Sign up now to get football news delivered to your inbox
Brady’s departure to Tampa Bay was just the start of an offseason exodus in New England. No team was hit harder by players opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. The Patriots had eight players opt out, including Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower, veteran safety Patrick Chung and starting offensive tackle Marcus Cannon.
The Newton signing, hailed as a potential stroke of genius in late June, hasn’t exactly panned out as expected. A positive COVID-19 test sidelined the former Carolina Panthers star and 2015 NFL MVP for a Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which New England lost, and the Patriots haven’t won since his return.
Newton’s passing numbers for the season (2 TDs, 7 INTs, 190.5 yards a game) have been mediocre. In a crucial moment in Sunday’s game, with his team in position for a tying field goal position and still driving for a potential winning score, Newton fumbled the ball on a scramble, handing the Bills a rare victory over the Patriots.
If you enjoy talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders. Do the right thing, sign up now!