Patriots eliminated from postseason contention with loss to Miami

Patriots eliminated from postseason contention with loss to Miami
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 22-12.(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara/AP)

MIAMI, Fla. — For the first time since the 2008 season, the New England Patriots will not be playing in the NFL Playoffs after they were eliminated from contention following a 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins Sunday.

The loss means that New England (6-8) will be unable to extend their NFL-record 11 consecutive seasons of making the playoffs. Since their first championship season in 2001, the Patriots have qualified for the postseason in all but two years, missing out in 2002 and 2008.

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The Patriots fell to the Dolphins in Miami Sunday after they managed just 12 points on four field goals. Their defense, which blanked Miami in the first half, surrendered a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, while also conceding a rushing touchdown to RB Salvon Ahmed.

Cam Newton went 17-for-27 on offense for New England, amassing 209 yards, but was unable to lead his team into the end zone on the afternoon.

The Patriots also saw some of their vital players injured in the loss, with CB Stephon Gilmore - the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year - leaving the contest with a knee injury. LB Ja’Whaun Bentley also did not return to the game after being pulled with an arm injury.

New England will finish out their season against AFC East opponents in the last two weeks. The Patriots will play host to the Buffalo Bills - who won the division for the first time since 1995 on Saturday - in Week 16 and then will end the season against the still-winless New York Jets.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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