53°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Patriots Issues With Covid-19

There is no denying that the 2020 season has been the most bizarre season for the New England Patriots. First and foremost, it is the first time in 20 years that the Pats have to play without the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, whom we have missed so dearly through five games this season. Add on to that with the fact that the Coronavirus seems to be taking the NFL by storm affecting several important Patriots players in the process. The Patriots are currently 23 and need to remain healthy to make any improvement or else New England could end up looking at their first losing season since 2000.

Going into week three, the Patriots had a tough matchup against the defending champion, Kansas City Chiefs. For the first three games the Pats looked like they could still be a force to be reckoned with as Cam Newton seemed to be thriving under Bill Belichick. However, a day before the Kansas City matchup, Newton was diagnosed with Covid-19 and the game was subsequently postponed a day leaving the Patriots about a day and half to prepare a backup quarterback to play a dominant football team.

Ultimately Brian Hoyer got the start over the second year QB Jarrett Stidham. Looking back it was probably the wrong decision to start Hoyer as the Patriots failed to get any points after getting inside the opponent’s 15 yard line on two separate occasions. Once Stidham entered the game, he was actually able to do what no Patriot quarterback, even Newton has done all season and that is he threw a touchdown pass. By no means did Stidham look sharp, but he was able to get some points on the board. The biggest takeaway from this game was that the Patriots probably would have won if Newton had been healthy.

After that week, it seemed the Patriots roster had entered a slippery slope as many more players tested positive for Covid-19 causing their week five matchup against the Denver Broncos to be postponed to week six. For all intents and purposes the Patriots should not have had too many issues with the 13 Broncos. Yet, due to various coronavirus cases, the Pats were only able to practice once in two weeks. This ultimately resulted in a loss in which the Pats played a sloppy game where the team looked completely out of sync.

So far, in week seven we have yet to see practice get cancelled due to Covid-19 and it appears that the Pats will be on track to play the San Francisco 49ers as scheduled this weekend. It will be very important to win this game as the division seems to be slowly slipping away as the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins have both shown substantial improvement from previous years.

The Patriots have an opportunity to show the NFL that they are still just as good as the team that showed up in the first three weeks. If the Patriots cannot take advantage of a full week’s practice and fail to get a win, we could be looking at roster turnover and being sellers at the trade deadline. It is still too early to scratch the season, but if the Pats fall to 24, expect a player like Stephon Gilmore to be traded for picks and for the team to shift their attention to the 2021 season.