The questions surrounding the how and why New England’s final-play defense gave up an historic game-winning 69-yard touchdown to Kenyan Drake and the Dolphins continue to be asked.
In many ways, though, there are few substantive explanations.
The Boston Globe says that a day removed from the loss, there are no answers in Foxborough. The Globe observes that Bill Belichick declined to explain during his day-after-game conference call why Devin McCourty was not on the field for the final snap in Miami. After throwing it into the crowd in celebration, the Globe says Dolphins running back Drake is trying to get the ball back from the play that’s dubbed the “Miami Miracle.” The Globe’s film breakdown notes that the Patriots struggled on more than just the final play against the Dolphins.
The Boston Herald’s Patriots report card tries to explain what went wrong in the loss in Miami. The Herald writes that the Patriots are moving on to Sunday’s trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. The Herald declares that the crazy loss on a crazy play was all on Belichick. The Herald also has Belichick trying to explain the final defensive alignment against the Dolphins.
A Providence Journal columnist writes that the “times are a changin’, even in Foxboro.” The ProJo has its own version of a Patriots report card. After the loss the ProJo says New England is still in line for a playoff bye, but there is less room for error down the stretch of the regular season.
ESPNBoston.com says that “Gronk’s revival” was a silver lining in the loss in Miami. ESPNBoston.com also has Belichick pointing to himself for the final play failure.
ESPN does its own breakdown of the “Boise” play the Dolphins used to shock the Patriots.
WEEI.com lists all the reasons the Patriots lost in Miami beyond the final play, “including more bad coaching.” WEEI.com has Belichick putting the loss in perspective on the station’s afternoon show, “Nobody died.” WEEI.com also has Brady sharing Belichick’s message from after the loss.
NBC Sports Boston also looks at Gronkowski’s production in Miami and says his “resurgence comes at a price.” NBC Sports Boston has Belichick saying simply, “I gotta do a better job.” NBC Sports Boston has some “brutal grades” from the New England loss.
The Patriots fall to No. 4 in NFL.com’s power rankings, while this week’s opponents, the Steelers, fall out of the top 10.
NESN.com explains that Pittsburgh could actually miss the postseason.
The Sporting News drops New England to No. 6 in its power rankings.