Over the course of the past few decades, the New England Patriots have established a reputation as consistent winners in the NFL football world. In 2020, that near-sterling reputation took its first hit in years.
Through the franchise’s first season without all-time great quarterback Tom Brady in over 20 years, the Patriots recorded a disappointing 7-9 record.
Robert Kraft, who’s served as New England’s principal owner since 1994, had become accustomed to his team’s winning culture.
This year’s losing record was clearly a tough pill to swallow for the longtime executive.
“It was horrible,” Kraft said of the 2020 record, via Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe.
Robert Kraft says “it was horrible” to go 7-9 in 2020.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 31, 2021
To find the Patriots’ last losing season, you’d have to go all the way back to Brady’s rookie season in 2000 when the team went 5-11. Once the legendary quarterback took over as starter in 2001, New England embarked on its decades-long dynastic run — including six Super Bowl championships.
With Cam Newton at the helm for the Patriots in 2020, the team didn’t exactly celebrate the success it’s used to. A third-place finish in the AFC East saw New England miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008 — the year Brady tore his ACL during Week 1 of the season.
In his first year away from the Patriots franchise, Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title in franchise history — adding insult to injury for Kraft and the New England front office.
Likely looking to add a new quarterback of the future in this year’s NFL Draft, the Patriots hope this disappointing 2020 season was just a bump in the road on the way to continued success.
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