The New England Patriots did the impossible: they lost at home, to the 5-11 Miami Dolphins, in a game where it mattered most, with playoff seeding on the line.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led an improbable game-winning drive in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter of the Miami win. He connected with tight end Mike Gesicki for the game-winning touchdown to beat the Patriots, in turn forcing New England to go to wild card weekend for the first time since 2009.
Why did the Patriots lose? Quarterback Tom Brady blames the mistakes.
“Yeah, it was just we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing and it ended up costing us. Just too many bad mistakes,” Brady said postgame, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Football.
It was a game of mistakes for the Patriots, capped off by the grandest mistake of all: losing when they needed to win most. Brady was not devoid of mistakes, either.
In the first half, Brady errantly threw an interception to the outreaching hands of Dolphins cornerback Eric Rowe. Rowe celebrated the opportunity of the rare interception on Brady, taking it 35 yards to the house for a touchdown, which built-up their lead that the Patriots ultimately could not overcome.
After their mistakes, the Patriots will enter the postseason as a third seed. They will face either the Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders or Pittsburgh Steelers. With the Titans currently beating the Houston Texans, it looks like those in Nashville will fly up to the Northeast to face the 12-4 Patriots.