Everything you need to know from the Patriots’ loss to the Dolphins in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
It's over: Any dreams of the Patriots making some sort of miraculous run to the postseason after the Chargers' win over the Raiders were officially dashed in the 22-12 loss that officially eliminated New England from going to the postseason for the first time since 2008. The Patriots are now 6-8, so their streak of finishing over .500 now ends at 19, leaving Bill Belichick one season shy of Tom Landry's record of 20 straight seasons with a winning record.
Defense run over: Despite knowing the Dolphins were starting a rookie QB without two of his top weapons (WR DeVante Parker and TE Mike Gesicki) the Patriots couldn't find a way to make Tua Tagovailoa one-dimensional by eliminating the running game. In fact, the Dolphins largely pushed the Patriots around to the tune of 250 rushing yards. It was Miami's largest running day in regulation since they rushed for 256 yards against the Bills on Oct. 23, 2016. Salvon Ahmed (122 yards) was the first 100-yard rusher for the Dolphins in 31 games.
Jarrett Stidham does not appear: Cam Newton was 8 of 15 for 66 yards at halftime (64.9 rating) and while he was 9 of 12 for 143 yards after the break, the Patriots were down 10 with 3:17 to play and didn't turn to Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots have now failed to score a touchdown in eight straight quarters, since Stidham hit Gunner Olszewski on a 38-yard pass with 6:50 to play against the Chargers on Dec. 6.
Stephon Gilmore reportedly avoids serious injury: The Patriots' top cornerback went down with a scary non-contact right knee injury with 3:28 left in the second quarter and had to be helped to the locker room.
Stephon Gilmore, who is now in the blue medical tent, seemed to slip and tweak his right knee. God I hope he is ok pic.twitter.com/MgAWvNip07
— Casey Baker (@CaseyBake16) December 20, 2020
The fear with an injury like that is an ACL tear, but apparently the initial diagnosis was optimistic.