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A football nerd’s guide to the New England Patriots’ 2020 season

Editor’s note: Prior to the start of the season, Sheil Kapadia will provide in-depth analytical breakdowns for all 32 NFL teams. You can find the teams he’s already covered here.

The New England Patriots were 12-3 and well-positioned for a bye heading into their Week 17 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. That’s when things fell apart. They ended the regular season with a 27-24 loss and then lost at home by the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round. Just like that, the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era was over.

Granted, the Patriots benefited from the easiest schedule in the league, but their plus-195 point differential was second to only the Baltimore Ravens, and they were second in overall efficiency. That success came via a dominant defense and an offense that never found its footing. In many ways, it was an anomaly. Over the past decade, it had been mostly the offense carrying the Patriots. Here’s how they’ve ranked in offensive and…

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