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10 "What ifs" from the Pats lost season

10. What if Hightower, Chung and Cannon didn't opt out? Michael Onwenu negated some of the loss of Cannon, but Hightower and Chung's losses were felt all season.

9. What if Brian Hoyer showed ANY situational awareness in Kansas City? Hoyer only played because Newton couldn't taste or smell, but Hoyer couldn't count or be counted on against the best team in football. The Patriots probably still wouldn't have won, but they were in a game they had no business being competitive in.

8. What if McDaniels called ANY other final play in Seattle? Easy to second guess, the play had worked several times, but tough end to a great game.

7. What if Cam didn't fumble in Buffalo? 7 and 8 are almost interchangeable, I hate looking at individual plays over the course of a season, but if two plays could tell the story of the entire season, it would be these two that led to losses.

6. What if the fog/rain didn't roll in on Sunday night vs the Ravens? This one goes the other way, it certainly helped the Patriots and perhaps represents the one bit of good luck the 2020 New England Patriots had.

5. What if they tested Will Fuller the week before the Patriots game instead of the week after? Fuller had 6 catches for 80 yards and shredded the Patriots secondary. The loss in Houston came on the heels of the Ravens win when everybody was certain this team was headed to the postseason, after this problem in Houston, the season was never so optimistic.

4. What if the Patriots didn't play the 49ers in the one season they were healthy all season? San Francisco dealt the Patriots one of the worst losses of the century and it was the perfect storm. Jimmy G and George Kittle were both active for the 9ers, Newton was still shaking loose the cobwebs of inactivity and this one got ugly. Any other week of the season and the Patriots would have had a shot to beat Shanahan's club in Foxboro.

3. What if New England played the Rams at home? This one is a stretch because it involves rewriting the schedule, but the Rams lost to the Jets on the road and embarrassed the Pats in LA.

2. What if Edelman didn't get hurt? Seems important when you have no pass catchers and you would lose one of the best 3 receivers in team history.

1. Cam never tested positive for Covid. Through 3 weeks the Patriots were a playoff lock and a legitimate contender, after Newton missed the KC game, the offense was never the same. This will be the enduring thought from the 2020 season.

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